Coronavirus (way, way, off topic)

  • Hero Member

    I'm curious how it's going with you all in whatever country you're in. Nothing better than first hand reports.

    Here, the US is effectively shut down for now. I predict the military will be deployed to set up emergency field hospitals to handle the expected surge that will undoubtedly overwhelm existing hospitals. If they do it now, there may just be enough time to pull it off and train soldiers to intubate people. Fingers crossed. NY has already asked for federal help, so it's either that or the national guard. What else is there? FEMA couldn't handle even a hurricane, and the scale of this is, I'm guessing, 1000x bigger than that.

    Canada has closed their US boarder to keep US health refugees from flooding into their country. I can't blame them.

    Unfortunately, the true limiter may be the number of ventilators. Time for an epic open source project?

    Perhaps people can 3D print their own intubation stents though. Not a perfect solution, but perhaps better than nothing? Might have to use chemical sterilizers to avoid melting it. I haven't seen any yet on thingiverse, but something to think about for those who have the skillz....

    As for me, I wouldn't be surprised if I've already had it. My family and I have been pinned down for the last couple of weeks with some kind of flu/who--knows-what. My wife thinks we got hit by something else, but if it isn't coronavirus, it's a flu that's damn similar and quite a coincidence. No way to know, though, as test kits aren't easily available.

  • Hardware Contributor

    I guess here (FR), it's quite like in others countries.. very sad.
    Shutdown for two weeks at least, borders closed for 30d. Going out without a paper=penalty (130€).
    Military deployed to help overwhelmed hospitals (especially in East which is epicenter here), "hopefully" I live in West. Hospitals missing protection, intubators etc..
    We're a "small" country, with good healthcare, hopefully for sick people. Still It doesn't touch only old persons, there are reports of 25-40years old people deaths too.
    Today, deaths have doubled here.

    Personnaly, I started to limit my visits when it started in China, because I never trust when someone tells me the big cloud stopped at the borders, and didn't want to get caught and transmit to people I love..
    I think govs should all have taken decisions when it started instead of waiting "will I get the flu or not??" And here we are now .. 😬

    Well, it's very sad. Praying for sick people, doctors, nurses who are on the frontline. I hope a lab will find the remedy soon.

    And I hope it'll be fine for you and your family too.

  • @NeverDie Worth a read as a lot of info not explained by the political crew or the media... The infectivity and when it peaks is the most illuminating, it explains why it spread so dramatically, and why isolation, distancing, sitting tight and testing were so effective...
    As an aside to the lunacy, Chinese sent a planeload of gear and advisers to help in Italy with their experience in dealing with COVID.
    No use to Trumpland of course, the CHINESE VIRUS is unknown outside the US πŸ˜‰

  • RO instigated guidance on distancing, touching etc., no more than 50 in a group, as of last Monday, not a huge problem but for old habits like shaking hands, it looks like a game of rock, scissors paper on occasion.
    The authorities are watching like hawks and will respond rapidly to any emerging pattern, much as all european countries now are after Lombardy went from OH to SHIT in days.
    The greatest risks are in cities obviously because of proximity, but with Chinese and Korean on experience on mass disinfection gives them all they need to know what to do.
    Glad I'm out in a nice village with plenty of space around, no guarantee that will last of course but no report of anything close.

    The medics are those in greatest danger in all this, thereby compounding the problem when they are not protected, screened, tested. The UK could be next to go into meltdown with catastrophic leadership and response for the above reasons, will leave those there to example why it is the perfect storm...

  • Hero Member

    @zboblamont said in Coronavirus (way, way, off topic):


    I think he's calling it that as a reaction to and to sandbag against Chinese allegations that it was started by the US.

    It turns out there is a basis for those Chinese suspicions. USAID actually created a man-made chemeric coronavirus in their lab and reported the results in November 9, 2015 Nature. If that article doesn't make the hair on the back of your neck stand on end, I don't know what will. Here's an excerpt:

    Here we examine the disease potential of a SARS-like virus, SHC014-CoV, which is currently circulating in Chinese horseshoe bat populations1. Using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system2, we generated and characterized a chimeric virus expressing the spike of bat coronavirus SHC014 in a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV backbone. The results indicate that group 2b viruses encoding the SHC014 spike in a wild-type backbone can efficiently use multiple orthologs of the SARS receptor human angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2), replicate efficiently in primary human airway cells and achieve in vitro titers equivalent to epidemic strains of SARS-CoV.

    And, there were alarms raised at the time:
    And the CEO of USAID just recently resigned for no good reason. So, while proving nothing, maybe that is grounds for suspicion. Or, maybe the Chinese themselves were conducting similarly foolish experiments and something got into the wild ( After all, the Chinese have a history of letting SARS viruses escape from their labs (, so it's not unimaginable. That said, it's worth noting that scientists in the field don't even consider a man-made virus as one of the possible origens:
    perhaps because there's no need to reach for that. It shall be interesting if Patient Zero can be identified and whether he/she was a bat eating weirdo, which is the popular theory, or whether this is the Chernobyl of bio-research.

    Personally, my bet is on the animal source. When I visited China in the 1980's, any and every animal that could be caught by humans was caught, flattened, dried out, and sold in the markets. And by that I mean rats, lizards, snakes, you name it. Fairly disgusting, but maybe not if you were raised eating that and your alternative is death by starvation. So, for those reasons, I suspect poverty may be the root of it all, just as it was with bush meat in Africa leading to Ebola. It's hard to heap blame on people of limited means who are trying to survive and just barely hanging on. For that reason, I see it as a societal failure, and I hope covid-19 will motivate them to fix it (and not just make empty promises that they'll fix it, as was the case with previous SARS). Sigh, it probably won't happen though unless covid-19 turns out to be so terrible that the whole world unites and truly demands it. And so, to avoid that, I think that's why the Chinese are busy trying to blame it on to the US, which, let's face it, did immoral research on its own population in the past (e.g. in 1950 the US military dosed the San Francisco population with bacteria just to see how it would spread:

    Regardless, I think investigators should dig as deep as they need to in order to be certain as to the true cause of it all. Let's get all the facts and leave no stone un-turned. The name calling is just a distraction from that.

  • Hardware Contributor

    Here in Vietnam as a China neighbour they took things very seriously from the start. There is a very strict quarantine rule, where everyone in contact with sick people is quarantined or home-quarantined, and then all their contacts, and so on up to sometimes 4-5 levels.
    It helps but there are still people who are in the incubation period in the country, and this morning they announced there was one case in my building, a guy who came from UK 10 days ago. So they have quarantined the building and we can't go out for 2 weeks. The same will probably happen to all visitors (they know have to sign a register so it's easy to trace them), the people we have been in contact with, etc etc

    I was sceptical at first when seeing the extreme precautions they used as we had 3 weeks without any new case in the country but they still didn't want to reopen the schools (closed since early February, right after TΓͺt = Vietnamese new year). But now we can see things in Europe, US etc, while here we have less than 80 cases for 100 millions pple, and less than 10 cases per day, most of them being fresh arrivals to the country, I realize they were one of the very few countries in the world to take enough precautions.

    They knew the limits of the medical system here, so they planned ahead and "sacrificed" tourism and economy earlier than the others, in the end it might prove less damaging to the economy. They started research early so now they can produce their own tests at a very low price to test people massively despite limited financial resources. Local companies started to produce a lot of alcohol too so hydroalcoholic gel is available everywhere at cheap price. Mask is mandatory in public places so it's not that easy to find some, but a lot of garment companies are already producing them in big quantities so they are more and more available.

    With the very hot weather here at the moment I hope it will be enough to contain the virus, we will know in the coming weeks now that the arrival of people from abroad is seriously limited and controlled with quarantine.

  • Hardware Contributor

    In Sweden it seems like Stockholm is preparing now for a big increase in sick people. So far its been very quiet where I live (except on the news of course). Schools still open and most work places open, but people are limiting their social contacts and working from home if possible. Toilet paper out of stock everywhere, but most other products are still there.

    But I live quite rural, so hard to say how its going in the big cities. We dont have any confirmed cases in my town but I guess its just a matter of time.

  • Hardware Contributor

    @sundberg84 said in Coronavirus (way, way, off topic):

    Toilet paper out of stock everywhere

    Great thing in Vietnam about that is most people use a bidet shower aka "bum gun", so toilet paper is not seen as an interesting thing to hoard, and shelves are still full πŸ™‚

  • Hero Member

    Sadly, I'd say the US is full of sitting ducks. I went to the post office yesterday, and I was the only one wearing a P100 respirator or gloves. No one else was wearing a mask or gloves of any kind. People were standing in a fairly long line at the normal separation, not enhanced 6 foot separation. The only precautions I saw anyone take was a woman who managed to open the exit door with her elbow.

    I normally wouldn't even go to the post office, but the place I normally use to accept pre-paid packages for shipment has totally stopped taking them. I presume the reason is to protect their employees from exposure to the public, but this has the consequence of concentrating the public in larger numbers at the post office.

    The supermarkets, which used to be nearly 24/7, have reduced their hours to 8am to 8pm so that their employees have enough time to restock before the customers come flooding back in. Maybe it's also to better protect their restockers from the public as well? While all that may be great for the grocery store, where business is booming, this has had the unintended consequence of making the supermarkets more crowded for customers, which is the opposite of what it should be. And, for whatever reason, the grocery stores seem perpetually packed with people, and even their parking lots are constantly full.

    Clearly the guiding hand of self-interest alone isn't working so well to optimize public health in the large.

    It sounds as though Vietnam is the model we should all be following. As near as I can tell, though, Vietnam's success has had nearly zero press coverage here. That's a tragedy in itself, but not altogether surprising given that the press here has been fairly terrible ever since the collapse of newspapers and magazines.

    @nca78 What do people in Vietnam do for food when they suddenly find themselves under quarantine? I presume they aren't allowed out for it, as it would defeat the purpose of the quarantine. Do they order it delivered, or do they just manage to scrape by on whatever reserves they have on hand?

  • Admin

    Here in Sweden many supermarkets open an hour earlier only for the elderly or people with preconditions.

  • Hero Member

    There's some debate about whether a mask is helpful protection or not. I'm not sure what the science indicates. Hackaday has an article on how to DIY one, and it seems to indicate that the coronavirus particle size is actually larger than some bacteria, whereas I had always thought viruses were generally smaller than bacteria. Clearly healthcare workers are wearing them, so that's maybe one sign that they do work. I guess I'm lucky in that I have a P100 dust mask for when I use my circular saw or 3D printing. I'm not sure what might be better than P100. Plainly Home Depot isn't normally stocked for a virus attack. Is there anything commonly off-the-shelf that's better than P100?

    One theory is that even if the virus size is smaller than what a P100 can completely remove, the virus is likely to be lodged inside a globule of spittle or mucus from when someone coughed, rather than floating about in the air in isolation, and so the filter can filter those globules, which are comparatively large, and so thereby block the virus, albeit indirectly.

    I see no downside to it, so if you have one, you might as well wear it when going about in crowded public places. It's still quite easy to breathe with it on. Perhaps it will become the new fashion. πŸ’ͺ

  • @NeverDie It is also said to enter via the eyes, so airtight eye protection is also needed or the mask may well be least that is what I have heard....

  • Hero Member

    @skywatch Thanks! It will be hard to find something airtight that fits over my glasses, but I'll look.

  • @skywatch True, but the greatest danger is the airways because you are inhaling.

  • Hero Member

    Just a follow-up: Hackaday's reported size for the virus ( is the right order of magnitude but nonetheless a bit off. Hackaday reported 0.1 to 0.2 micron in size, whereas analysis under an electron microscope reports it is 70 to 90nm in size ( The hellish thing is definitely smaller than even the smallest known bacteria.

    From what I've read so far, there are (obviously) respirator filters that can filter out virus's of even that small particle size, but they are cause for labored breathing and so unpleasant to wear. I guess that's why the ultimate is a powered air purifying respirator (PAPR), which the CDC says offers good protection ( Interestingly, hackaday has a design for one of those too (, but who can say how well they work. I may have the parts for one, though, as I was a year or so ago trying to create an air purifier for a 3D printing enclosure. There was a design on thingiverse that I used to house the HEPA filter. It turned out the computer fan I was hoping to use was just nowhere near strong enough to push air through the HEPA filter. Besides, since it wouldn't be formally rated for this use, it would be a total crapshoot as to how well it would actually work.

    Fortunately, the above CDC article says that airborn transmission of small particles is thought to be a relatively rare way to contract COVID-19. It seems that the protective eyewhere is therefore meant to be a guard against being directly sneezed/coughed upon at close proximity.

    So, unless anyone has a better idea for something better than P100, I guess that's about it. I will, though, add over-glasses shop goggles, for whatever good they might do, if anything, since I have them anyway for when working with power tools. Perhaps overspray goggles would be even better? That way it might guard against someone "painting" my eyeballs with their cough. LOL.

  • Hero Member

    Which sources of information about coronavirus have you all found to be the best? I've read CDC, WHO, and FDA, but the best source I've found so far has been Harvard:

    Useful info reported there:

    1. advised to take acetaminophen instead of ibuprofen if you have a fever.
    2. an experiment where a nebulizer was used to send coronavirus into the air shows that infectuous virus laden droplets can remain airborn for up to 3 hours. So, this idea that you see everywhere in the press that the particles can travel only up to 6 feet before they simply drop to the floor just isn't so, and plainly droplets can travel quite some distance in three hours.
    3. Coronavirus tests are prone to false negatives, and it's not even known yet at what stage of the disease a test might indicate positive.
    4. Cancel your kid's play dates.
    5. The incubation period is thought to be anywhere from 3 days to 13 days. The 5 days you commonly read about is just the average (presumably, the median).

    What I like about Harvard is that it's fairly frank about what still isn't known, as compared to, say, the FDA, which makes pronouncements like "there's no evidence that coronavirus can be transmitted by food", which may be literally true, but which probably misleads some people into thinking that such a grand pronouncement is being broadcast because it means food poses zero threat from coronavirus, which isn't what a more careful, literal reading actually implies. It would have been more honest to say that there "isn't yet any evidence." As my high school English teacher was fond of saying, "Absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence." Not surprisingly, fresh produce companies are quick to quote the FDA and reference the FDA as the source. Harvard is more clear that the matter isn't settled, and that the risk may depend a lot on the health of who may have touched the food (and their personal hygiene) before it gets to you. We know that the virus dies in 3 days on plastic or stainless steel, but what about on butter lettuce? That doesn't lend itself well to pealing off of layers, and sanitizing it with common sanitizers... yuck. So, here we won't be buying certain kinds of produce until more is definitely known about this.

  • Hardware Contributor

    @skywatch you're missing the point of the mask. Here it's not worn to protect you, but to protect others if you are infected. So you don't need to have an efficient/medical one, a cloth mask is enough to block saliva spray if you cough or just when you speak. I everyone is wearing a mask, you don't need glasses because no one can project the virus in your face.

    @NeverDie most people starting to put food aside in February here, because with China next door people were afraid it would spread. It's the case for us we had plenty of food in stock and my wife was outside when the quarantine was enabled so she boughts fruits and other fresh food.
    But we can also get deliveries at the entrance of the building and guards will give us so we are not in direct contact with delivery people.

  • Hardware Contributor

    @NeverDie for point 2) it's not comparable to someone coughing, nebulizer makes really tiny droplet that can stay in suspension, when you cough/spit the droplets are much bigger and don't stay airborne for long. But still, I think wearing tissue or even paper masks can limit the spread by blocking the saliva droplets.

    For 3) it happened in Vietnam, a flight attendant was tested negative 4 times before testing positive. Some people have a long incubation period and it seems during part of this incubation period the test fails to detect the virus 😞

    For the FDA unfortunately at some point they have to give recommendations to people, as raw scientific data "It might, it might not" is not enough for people&companies to take a decision. So they have to opt for the most probable situation, and take into account the price and feasibility of things too I guess. If transmission rate is possible but likely extremely low with food, it's not worth spending huge amounts of money to avoid the few cases that it will cause.

  • Here in the Netherlands, schools and daycares are closed for a week now, and stays so at least until the 6th of April. Only people with vital occupations can drop their kids off (hospital personal, and people who work for food companies etc. )

    For the rest, they advise to stay at home and if you need to go out, stay at least 1,5m away from one another. No lockdown yet, they hope these measures will help flatten the curve.

    But people are so very stupid atm. "hey its sunny, let's all go to the park/beach/(fill in crowded place)". I fear that for this reason, they will have a lockdown anytime soon.

  • Hero Member

    Visit to the store.jpg

  • @zboblamont You know the test will only tell you if you have at time of test not if you will not get it in the future so not sure why all of the belief that testing is going to stop you from getting it if you are in contact with people who have it

  • @mntlvr Sorry, obviously I didn't explain that clearly enough.
    There were two strands to testing the Chinese, South Korean etc authorities successfully deployed, and bear in mind these are in communities where voluntary precautions limited the spread, control on movement, distancing, isolation, sterilisation, etc..
    The first strand was a rolling programme of mass checking to identify those with potential symptoms, typically temperature, but there were reports of the Chinese deploying portable scanners to check for lung damage (a much earlier flag) but found no further info on that.
    Only those identified as suspicious went on to specific virus testing, while they traced and checked contacts. Where positive the contacts were advised to be aware and were more rigorously checked.

    Edit - A further complication is that some who recovered fully were infected a second time. This raises questions over immunity, but pretty sure the specialists are trying to figure that out.
    The Vo project/experiment in Italy was an interesting project on global virus testing... As a non-infected city, it's only danger now is inward carriers, but lockdown prevents it...

  • Hero Member

    @zboblamont said in Coronavirus (way, way, off topic):

    Edit - A further complication is that some who recovered fully were infected a second time. This raises questions over immunity, but pretty sure the specialists are trying to figure that out.

    Here's a list of the different theories put forth to explain the double positive test. In classic news style, they're presented with almost equal weight. As a result, the TL;DR is: who knows? 🀷
    My guess: since the stakes are high, you probably want a test that's biased toward false positives over false negatives, and so you would actually expect some double positives from that alone. Whether statistics alone accounts for all of it or not... well, that's what bio statisticians are good for, to tease apart the raw data and figure that out. They should have interviewed one!

  • @NeverDie said in Coronavirus (way, way, off topic):

    They should have interviewed one

    Not sure what US media is like, but in the UK it is expert and eminent virologists such as Pierce Morgan, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson's father they select to interview.... πŸ‘€

    Considering the speed at which this has unfolded the knowledge gleaned has been remarkable, much more to come I suspect.

    UK now has finally gone into lockdown and I believe the US, but there is still considerable disinformation circulating which is not helping, such as Dan Patrick's idiocy on Fox News, reported in the UK along the lines of "WTF... and we thought Boris Hohnson was mad".
    Will leave you with this reality check from Ireland, where numbers are still mercifully low...
    Good luck to all, stay safe...

  • Hardware Contributor

    @zboblamont said in Coronavirus (way, way, off topic):

    Not sure what US media is like, but in the UK it is expert and eminent virologists such as Pierce Morgan, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson's father they select to interview....

    I believe this is some kind of worldwide trend 🀦

  • Hero Member

    @zboblamont According to an op-ed piece in the New York Times, as of yesterday "the United States has tested approximately 313,000 people for the coronavirus, and more than 270,000 have tested negative." i.e. only 13.7% of those who were tested actually tested positive. Given how pre-screened most of those 313,000 had to be in order to even get the test, that 13.7% figure seems a lot lower than I would have expected a priori. Unless the test itself is pretty much garbage, that suggests there must be some other flu with remarkably similar symptoms that's attacking in parallel at the same time. A one-two punch perhaps?

  • Hardware Contributor

    @NeverDie said in Coronavirus (way, way, off topic):

    the United States has tested approximately 313,000 people for the coronavirus

    A lot of tests return negative while people are still in incubation period, but also after symptoms, they seems to be far from 100% reliable. Yesterday they stated that a case currently treated at hospital was tested negative 3 times already, but she is still not considered "cured" in the official statistics.
    My building is still in quarantine, we were supposed to be released from quarantine if all direct contacts tested negative. They tested them all, twice, all negative, but they still maintain the quarantine until the end of the 14 days, and tested all the building yesterday.
    I think it shows how much they trust the tests...

    If you look at the study from Pr Raoult in France who claims chloroquine is an incredible cure, you can see the same patient can be positive one day, negative the next, and positive again on third day. And that's probably the best hospital in France, with the best equipment and very experienced doctors.

  • @NeverDie There do appear to be conflicting reports of test results, but what is not clear in some cases is what the test actually was.
    What IS however very clear is that different strategies of identification, distancing, isolating, quarantine are having various profoundly differing impacts on the spread of the virus, but doing nothing is catastrophic.
    A collaborative article drawing together various aspects of this I'll attach here, a long but illuminating read, and we all have plenty of time of late... The projections for the US were eye-popping, even if the orange faced idiot thinks you'll all be at Easter church services..

  • Hero Member

    @zboblamont Surely by now everyone realizes that mitigation will help save lives. So, what's holding it back? In the US forward thinkers are starting to question whether a proper prolonged mitigation is even possible without the economic wheels exploding and an altogether different, possibly worse disaster happening, leading to who knows what. It's hard to know what the shape of that might be, but look at how quickly Iraq went barbaric after the US invaded as one possible model of the fallout, and, well, it's not unimaginable. We're all built from the same DNA as those Iraqi's. Mass looting? Definitely, and in poorer cities pretty fast once the groceries run out. And the chaos just gets worse from there. Take existing crime and multiply by 100x. We're just not staffed to control for that. I think we're looking at government rationing and martial law, at a minimum, just to try to keep a lid on things and prevent a boilover.

    So, on the one hand, we think we know the huge cost in lives of not mitigating, but on the other hand, we have little idea of what a prolonged mitigation could lead to, because there's just too many unknowns. Save lives or save society as we know it? And then you look at just whose lives are being saved, and it's mostly a lot of very old people, so you're saving years at end of life rather than saving entire lives. Thus, I can see an argument in favor of letting the chips fall where they may on the virus front but otherwise keeping the world as we know it more or less in tact. Ultimately, I think that's the sort of trade-off that's being debated behind closed doors. If not already, then pretty soon.

  • Hardware Contributor

    @NeverDie depends on who's old. Here in FR, yesterday, 38% of people in reanimation are <60years old. Being in reanimation, means people may also have future health consequences=money cost too.
    Sadly, there are also doctors who died, infected nurses and firemen.. each day seems worse. with confinement, peak is coming very soon here I think.
    Citing a french doctor: "when there is fire, you shouldn't look at the water bill"

  • Hero Member

    @scalz said in Coronavirus (way, way, off topic):

    38% of people in reanimation are <60years old

    They may be in re-animation, but are they dying? So far, US death rate seems governed by age:
    alt text

  • @NeverDie As @scalz aptly quoted, "when there is fire, you shouldn't look at the water bill", unfortunately many of our politicians obsess over little else.
    Frequently ignored on stats relating to age range of fatalities is the realities faced where COVID overwhelms, such as Italy. Those >60 are more likely to have medical complications which increase chances of pneumonia. When numbers attending hospital exceed resources, prioritising WHO gets ventilation kicks in. Over 60s are not priority but are given "assistance" to suffer less, hence inflating fatalities in that age range. A dreadful but necessary choice for doctors typical of a war zone.
    China went on a war footing rapidly, field hospitals, roving screening, contact tracing, they wrote the book. Korea and Singapore refined the techniques successfully, look at their numbers and condition now...

    It is too early to assess the long term damage to health for survivors, but lung damage is fully expected, hence the desperate search for drugs which can have beneficial effect BEFORE infection becomes destructive.

    Finally, the front line as @scalz highlighted. It is crucial medics etc are given all the PPE and kit they need, without it their numbers will deplete, and fatalities will increase... No healthcare system can handle this, again highlighting the importance of strategy deployed by Singapore/Korea etc, screen, test, trace, isolate.

    Watch London in the next 10 days for a textbook example of bean-counter mentality on the health of a populace, it will eclipse Lombardy...

  • Hero Member

    @zboblamont Yes, in an ideal world, I'm all for that. But realistically, for how long can it be maintained? At the moment, we're teetering on recession/depression. As you may have heard, in the US the politicians just recently authorized $2 Trillion direct cash injection to individuals and businesses, and supposedly that means most people will get a roughly $2,000 check. Wonderful. Just how long will that $2,000 last you before it runs out? A week? Two weeks? And then what? Another $2 Trillion? For argument's sake, let's say $4 Trillion/month. Times what? 12 months? 24 months? That would be a range of $48 Trillion to $96 Trillion dollars. Who's going to lend the US that kind of money, especially in an environment where other countries will be needing to borrow similar amounts? Even if everyone got behind that, is it even possible? I just don't see how. In the near term the treasury could print money, but there are limits to even that before dollars lose much of their value to inflation, and if that's the only plan then dollars will become devalued even sooner. US GDP is roughly $20 Trillion. Total existing national debt is $22 Trillion. If there's some way it's possible, I'm just wondering how.

    And I don't mean this to be about the US. The same thing in will probably happen in many if not most other countries.

    My earlier point was simply this: in the US the average life expectancy is 78.6 years. For simplicity, let's set aside the nuances of what that means and take that number at face value. Suppose that by whatever means and at whatever cost you could save a large chunk of the 85+ year olds. Just how much longer do you suppose they would live, even before coronavirus? Maybe a couple more years, on average? And yet, because I doubt the US will triage like the Italians are doing, they'll probably be occupying most of the hospital beds and respirators, because they'll become the sickest in the biggest numbers.

  • Hi guys from Italy. I live in one of the most interested areas by the Virus and I can say that the situation is very bad. I read some of you refer to older people as the main group touched by the virus. That's obviously true but our doctors start to say that the last days people around 50 years old are now increasing in the intensive care units. So, since you all have more time than us, please stay at home and avoid any possible contact with others because this virus is very aggressive. Take care!

  • Hardware Contributor

    @giangired said in Coronavirus (way, way, off topic):

    but our doctors start to say that the last days people around 50 years old are now increasing in the intensive care units

    And yesterday a 16 y.o. girl died in France...

    Edit: no pre-existing condition known and no saturation of hospital/missing equipment involved...

  • @NeverDie We have been teetering on global recession/depression since 2008 because the underlying problem was never addressed, we just stuck a band-aid on it and carried on with the same "religion". The MMT model is now peeking out amid the UK crisis, and the finance circus are up in arms seeing their QE milk-cow taken away. For the US there are multiple times that resistance and greater lobbying power but that's a whole other issue..

    The problem with your earlier point is what value is placed on a human life, and as both preceding posts made clear the statistical prevalence of older sicker people masks the fact that this virus takes out the young and fit also.
    Without mitigation and ultimately intervention those numbers will escalate dramatically, and you're going to need multiple field hospitals built by the army in record time to cope. It is THAT serious.

    As of this morning the US exceeded China's infections (who tested rigorously and universally v the US scenario) the wider the spread of the virus the greater the number of young and middle-aged who will die, it really is THAT simple.
    As an aside, a 4,000 bed field ICU is almost completed in London just as ALL hospitals are at breaking point, but with it's high population it will still be too little for the tsunami which hits over the next 10 days.
    Time was up 6 weeks ago....

  • Hero Member

    @zboblamont Sounds apocalyptic. Here we've barely left the house since January. Take care, and even more so if you have one or more of the known co-morbidities that puts you at higher risk of death. Plan ahead and identify your source of nearest available supplemental oxygen in case it comes to that.

    The Italians have started to say that hospitals are a major source of caronavirus infection, so I intend to stay away unless it's truly unavoidable.

    In the US there's a push toward hospitals not attempting to resuscitate anyone (aka as "universal DNR") with caronavirus, because healthcare workers don't want to expose themselves to greater risks than they're already taking (which is the stated reason), but probably also legally absolve themselves from taking action when, for example, there simply aren't enough ventilators or other resources to meet demand. Otherwise, they'd be in a constant thrash mode trying to revive someone who has no ventilator access only to be in the same position a moment later, because there's still no spare ventilator to put them on. The only prior precedent for it would be people who officially ask in advance for DNR, with notarized paperwork and instructions to that effect, but this would encompass everyone, even if you've made it clear that's not what you want. I'm guessing it will be approved, but even if it isn't, I can imagine they may adopt that policy unofficially anyway out of either self survival or absurdity avoidance, in which case the public at large may not find out until after the dust has settled, if ever. At least if it were official, people would know what they may be in for if they're unable to breathe on their own, or worse, which is probably the only reason you'd want to be in a hospital in the first place. A brand new catch-22.

  • @NeverDie It's only apocalyptic because politicians made it so or played it down, the nuts claiming it's no worse than flu, or a scam by money manipulators, or Chinese conspiracy, or would damage the economy, only helped obscure the danger to human life by confused messaging.
    Odds of dying in ICU is averaging 17% from the figures I've seen, 27,000 dead so far, no plans to join that number but acutely aware I'm high risk, hence isolated...
    DNR is normal once ICUs are overloaded, a shot of morphine is all they can do to ease the passing.

    For now hunker down and take reasonable precautions, even from our own family members if symptoms show. Until governments are forced to take this seriously and adopt the WHO measures, there is very little upside until you survive it...
    Best of luck over there. πŸ˜‰

  • Hero Member

    @zboblamont said in Coronavirus (way, way, off topic):

    Odds of dying in ICU is averaging 17%

    If you don't already own one, you may want to buy an oximeter, just to have some objective measure of your condition or a family member's. They're cheap and even now probably pretty widely available. And if you do end up in a hospital, it sounds like you may want to take it there with you. Otherwise, you may be turning blue before anyone notices.

  • Hero Member

    There's growing consensus that the Italian data (not the Chinese data) provides the best model for infection rates and death rates in western countries. Because no one has any natural immunity to this virus, anyone who is exposed will get sick to one degree or another, though some may only be unwitting carriers. That much is a given. Current estimates are that 10% of those exposed will require hospitalization. About half of those "lucky" enough to be on ventilators will die anyway. Cause of death is pneumonia, which in turn is caused a body's excessive inflammatory response. The current average death rate is about 3%. So, when the supply of ventilators and hospital support run out, expect a higher death rate. In the US, the "peak" (i.e. number of new cases per day) is estimated to be sometime in May, with the number of new cases doubling about every 3.5 days up to that peak point. Due to lag, peak death will be sometime in July. It's likely we'll all continue in lockdown until at least August. So, answering my own question from earlier, I'm guessing that yes, the US can self-finance through August. If there is a second wave of infection that comes after, as some predict, then...

    This took some work to dig up and distill, but there it is. Sorry to be the messenger.

  • Admin

    Here in DK, we started with closing down all public schools, and educational institutions 2 weeks ago. For my part, I have been working at my home office for the last 2Β½ weeks.

    The government is taking a more and more strict approach to the current situation, limiting the freedom of movement, the latest is that (unless you'r a family living together) you are only allowed to be 2 persons in the same area (taking a walk etc.). And the schools etc. are closed at least until 14th of april (after the Easter holidays in denmark)

    Luckily I live in the countryside, so we have lot's of space around us, with forrests etc. So we can get out in the fresh spring air, almost without meeting other people, or if we do meet other people, we can keep a safety distance of 2m. This also means that our local grocery store is not overly crowded with people, when we do shopping, as opposed to the shops in bigger cities.

    As a kind of bonus, I get the opportunity to order some gadgets for my home office, now that I work full time here. "But honey, this thing will unclutter my desktop / make it easier for me to switch between work and hobby".." 😏

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