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Thread: Coronavirus with an R0 of 3 or beyond

  1. #106
    Super Moderator Wind's Avatar
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    It's terrible, I saw dogmeat restaurants in Vietnam, it is also fairly common there, as well as in Korea. Thankfully, dog meat has mostly been outlawed in the rest of Asia. Europeans have eaten dogs in emergencies, to be fair, but to actually snatch people's beloved pets and torture them to death is beyond the pale. I'm going to sound racist here, but there is a special kind of cruelty unique to Chinese culture that you don't really see elsewhere. It is hard to describe, but you see it in things like people not giving a toss if somebody gets run over on the street, or not intervening, when somebody's in distress, drowning, having a heart attack, etc... It just seems to me that Chinese society as a whole does not care about the suffering of others. Maybe it is to do with a very large population and a long, brutal history of suffering (foreign invasions, pestilence, famine, etc...), which creates this indifference. However, It must be noted that other "Chinese" countries, such as Hong Kong, Taiwan or Singapore are very different.

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  5. #108
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    But Chris, you made a good point...affluence is/was a major determinant of what is eaten. Vietnam is passing the cultural era when dog meat was a required staple.

    On the question of weapon or nature, everyone should take a closer look at the biological steps nature took to give AIDS life. It reminds of the line from 'Jurassic Park'...nature will find a way.

    My Vietnamese co-worker said his kids were horrified when they saw dog being eaten..
    “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”

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    We had our first death from covid-19 today-, a 78 year old male who had been on the ship quarantined off the coast of japan. I'm not concerned for my own health if I get the virus, but my wife and my elderly parents/grandparents/mother in law are another matter entirely. My wife is overweight and seems to come down with things pretty bad, and my mother in law is going on 90, as are my grandparents. I'd like to think they'll survive if they get infected, but especially with my grandparents and mother-in-law, I'm not optimistic.

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    I;ve been thinking about the virus, and I have to say I disagree with Aragorn. I do think it's a deliberately released bioweapon. But I don't think most of us have anything to fear from it - it seems it's likely designed to affect the sick/frail/elderly the most. In short, they're culling the herd. If my grandparents or mother-in-law catch the disease, their chances of survival would be 50/50 at best. My wife or my parents - 70/30. I hope I'm wrong but I'm going by my gut instinct.

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    Quote Originally posted by jcocks View Post
    I;ve been thinking about the virus, and I have to say I disagree with Aragorn. I do think it's a deliberately released bioweapon. But I don't think most of us have anything to fear from it - it seems it's likely designed to affect the sick/frail/elderly the most. In short, they're culling the herd. If my grandparents or mother-in-law catch the disease, their chances of survival would be 50/50 at best. My wife or my parents - 70/30. I hope I'm wrong but I'm going by my gut instinct.
    Well, we don't really know for sure where the virus came from, but certainly the circumstances of its appearance are suspicious, given that Wuhan has the only BSL4 lab in the country which was in fact conducting research on bat coronaviruses and there have been 4 accidental releases of SARS pathogens previously. I would say, that it is highly likely that the pathogen was released from that lab, probably by accident or through endemic corruption and incompetence. It is rumoured, that infected animals from that lab were previously sold on to the Wuhan seafood market for food, so who knows...

    Regarding the bioengineered nature of this virus, the HIV-like spike protein "is unlikely to have been fortuitous" to quote the Indian research paper that first spotted it and if it were inserted artificially as some claim, it would certainly constitute gain-of-function bioweapons work. At this point, it is very hard to say for sure, we can only speculate without further data.

    But yes, the big worry is how it will affect the already sick and elderly. I am also worried about mutations, it may yet become far deadlier, as this is an RNA-virus which has a far bigger propensity to mutate.

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  13. #112
    Senior Member NotAPretender's Avatar
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    Interesting parallels:


    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqr5CIe-NAA



    Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph6_Z6NIx98


    Some of this stuff is horrific, it does make one wonder how benign and beneficent nature is..."When the Earth eats, it doesn't give back"
    Last edited by NotAPretender, 1st March 2020 at 18:17.
    “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”

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    On the question of weapon vs nature, in watching the above videos something occurred to me:

    If the microbial trading between bats and humans has continued for a long while, it is possible that certain microbial elements of the bat genome might have integrated themselves into the human making it possible for the Coronaviruses to cross species with some mutations...i.e. COVID-19.
    “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.”

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  17. #114
    Super Moderator United States Dreamtimer's Avatar
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    Good TED talk.

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    I work in the vehicle parts export-import business and I received the following Coronavirus update from one of our main suppliers in China, so I thought I should share it here:

    From the news, the Coronavirus is also breaking out now all over the Europe, especially Italy. It seems now Hungary no case found, while you are in Europe, the risk is very high!!

    To be honest, the virus is very dangerous, all of you should be careful. If not necessary, don't go outside and gather with your friends or somebody else, just stay at home when free. The top important thing is that you must take the masks always when in office or go outside, like supermarket, coffee bar, cinema, etc, the mask will protect you very well. Often wash your hands, the virus can also infect people through mouth!

    A news reported weeks ago here, one guy without taking masks in the bus was infected just because he sat next to a person who was infected with Virus, the total contact time is just 5~10 minutes. The other people who take the same bus while with masks, none was infected. So, we must take masks all time, it can save our life.

    Under strictly control, in China, Nanjing and other cities except Wuhan city have no new cases almost 10 days. The virus seems stepping far away from us, we are just afraid that it will soon break out in the other parts of the world. It is a bad news really:-(

    From TV, lots of Italians and French don't take masks even in hospital, they gather on the streets like nothing happen, it is really very very dangerous:-(

    This Corona Virus is more serious than Flu, it can destroy our lung, make it hard as rock and kill people easy. In Wuhan city here, one family, 4 people are dead within 25 days due to the Virus infection, the youngest is 42 years old, very healthy, no base disease. If one person is infected, the whole family will definitely suffer from this Virus! So, all of us must take more attention to this virus!

    If possible, try to keep enough storage of long-preserved food and water at home. If Virus really spread out in the country, the food will be in a hungry shortage, which is extremely hard for the family.

    Hope we can defeat this virus soon and hug the spring!

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    Some good news on the Coronavirus front.

    It seems that China's extreme Quarantine measures are working. Remember, that around 780 million people or one-tenth of the world's population was under some sort of lockdown. Some people were welded shut into their apartments and those that attempted to break the Quarantine, jailed. People were taken to Quarantine centres against their will and if they succumbed to the disease, their infected bodies were immediately cremated. These extreme measures are what are apparently necessary to contain such a plague as this one and a milder version of these may be coming to other parts of the world.

    The big worry in China now is that they are importing cases from other countries, such as Italy and have to re-quarantine certain cities as a result.

    So, now we know that this plague can be effectively fought through good old-fashioned social distancing lockdown measures. Just keep this in mind if the pandemic reaches your neck of the woods and be prepared to isolate yourself and your family for at least four weeks.

    We also have fresh data on death rates. With good quality care, it can be pushed as low as 0,4 percent, which is amazing news. However, death rates in Hubei province, where health infrastructure was overwhelmed, reached as high as 4-5 percent officially, which isn't great news for the likes of Africa and India.

    So, the battle is not lost yet and let's keep fighting and contributing what we can through common-sense social distancing measures.

    As a personal side-note, both my nephew and niece are currently down with some bug. My sister was told that she will have to separate the children, one will have to stay with her father and the other one cannot go to school for up to six weeks, because he has a compromised immune system right now and cannot risk a Coronavirus infection.

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    Every sniffle and sneeze is scary now. Welded shut? Jeez, that's nightmarish. I had a sniffle after traveling to the west coast, but it was nothing. Whew!

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    Quote Originally posted by Dreamtimer View Post
    Every sniffle and sneeze is scary now. Welded shut? Jeez, that's nightmarish. I had a sniffle after traveling to the west coast, but it was nothing. Whew!
    Actually sniffles are good news, it means you have the common cold, not the Coronavirus!

    Covid-19, the unsexy name for the disease caused by Sars-Cov-II virus, generally starts with a sore throat, occasionally digestive discomfort and moves on to a dry cough and fever, eventually moving down the lung causing pneumonia. It does not cause sniffles, or a runny nose!

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    Source: Science


    China’s aggressive measures have slowed the coronavirus. They may not work in other countries.




    Other countries can take lessons from China’s handling of the COVID-19 epidemic, the World Health Organization’s Bruce Aylward told reporters in Beijing on 24 January.



    Chinese hospitals overflowing with COVID-19 patients a few weeks ago now have empty beds. Trials of experimental drugs are having difficulty enrolling enough eligible patients. And the number of new cases reported each day has plummeted the past few weeks.

    These are some of the startling observations in a report released on 28 February from a mission organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Chinese government that allowed 13 foreigners to join 12 Chinese scientists on a tour of five cities in China to study the state of the COVID-19 epidemic and the effectiveness of the country’s response. The findings surprised several of the visiting scientists. “I thought there was no way those numbers could be real,” says epidemiologist Tim Eckmanns of the Robert Koch Institute, who was part of the mission.

    But the report is unequivocal. “China’s bold approach to contain the rapid spread of this new respiratory pathogen has changed the course of a rapidly escalating and deadly epidemic,” it says. “This decline in COVID-19 cases across China is real.”

    The question now is whether the world can take lessons from China’s apparent success—and whether the massive lockdowns and electronic surveillance measures imposed by an authoritarian government would work in other countries. “When you spend 20, 30 years in this business it’s like, ‘Seriously, you’re going to try and change that with those tactics?’” says Bruce Aylward, a Canadian WHO epidemiologist who led the international team and briefed journalists about its findings in Beijing and Geneva last week. “Hundreds of thousands of people in China did not get COVID-19 because of this aggressive response.”

    “This report poses difficult questions for all countries currently considering their response to COVID-19,” says Steven Riley, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London. “The joint mission was highly productive and gave a unique insight into China’s efforts to stem the virus from spread within mainland China and globally,” adds Lawrence Gostin, a global health law scholar at Georgetown University. But Gostin warns against applying the model elsewhere. “I think there are very good reasons for countries to hesitate using these kinds of extreme measures.”

    There’s also uncertainty about what the virus, dubbed SARS-CoV-2, will do in China after the country inevitably lifts some of its strictest control measures and restarts its economy. COVID-19 cases may well increase again.

    The report comes at a critical time in what many epidemiologists now consider a pandemic. Just this past week, the number of affected countries shot up from 29 to 61. Several countries have discovered that they already have community spread of the virus—as opposed to cases only in travelers from affected areas or people who were in direct contact with them—and the numbers of reported cases are growing exponentially.

    The opposite has happened in China. On 10 February, when the advance team of the WHO-China Joint Mission began its work, China reported 2478 new cases. Two weeks later, when the foreign exerts packed their bags, that number had dropped to 409 cases. (Yesterday, China reported only 206 new cases, and the rest of the world combined had almost nine times that number.) The epidemic in China appears to have peaked in late January, according to the report.



    Ambitious, agile, and aggressive

    The team began in Beijing and then split into two groups that, all told, traveled to Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and the hardest hit city, Wuhan. They visited hospitals, laboratories, companies, wet markets selling live animals, train stations, and local government offices. “Everywhere you went, anyone you spoke to, there was a sense of responsibility and collective action, and there’s war footing to get things done,” Aylward says.

    The group also reviewed the massive data set that Chinese scientists have compiled. (The country still accounts for more than 90% of the global total of the 90,000 confirmed cases.) They learned that about 80% of infected people had mild to moderate disease, 13.8% had severe symptoms, and 6.1% had life-threatening episodes of respiratory failure, septic shock, or organ failure. The case fatality rate was highest for people over age 80 (21.9%), and people who had heart disease, diabetes, or hypertension. Fever and dry cough were the most common symptoms. Surprisingly, only 4.8% of infected people had runny noses. Children made up a mere 2.4% of the cases, and almost none was severely ill. For the mild and moderate cases, it took 2 weeks on average to recover.

    A critical unknown is how many mild or asymptomatic cases occur. If large numbers of infections are below the radar, that complicates attempts to isolate infectious people and slow spread of the virus. But on the positive side, if the virus causes few, if any, symptoms in many infected people, the current estimated case fatality rate is too high. (The report says that rate varies greatly, from 5.8% in Wuhan, whose health system was overwhelmed, to 0.7% in other regions.)

    To get at this question, the report notes that so-called fever clinics in Guangdong province screened approximately 320,000 people for COVID-19 and only found 0.14% of them to be positive. “That was really interesting, because we were hoping and maybe expecting to see a large burden of mild and asymptomatic cases,” says Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “That piece of data suggests that’s not happening, which would imply that the case fatality risk might be more or less as we currently have.” But Guangdong province was not a heavily affected area, so it is not clear whether the same holds in Hubei province, which was the hardest hit, Rivers cautions.

    Much of the report focuses on understanding how China achieved what many public health experts thought was impossible: containing the spread of a widely circulating respiratory virus. “China has rolled out perhaps the most ambitious, agile, and aggressive disease containment effort in history,” the report notes.

    The most dramatic—and controversial—measure was the lockdown of Wuhan and nearby cities in Hubei province, which has put at least 50 million people under a mandatory quarantine since 23 January. That has “effectively prevented further exportation of infected individuals to the rest of the country,” the report concludes. In other regions of mainland China, people voluntarily quarantined and were monitored by appointed leaders in neighborhoods.

    Chinese authorities also built two dedicated hospitals in Wuhan in just over 1 week. Health care workers from all over China were sent to the outbreak’s center. The government launched an unprecedented effort to trace contacts of confirmed cases. In Wuhan alone, more than 1800 teams of five or more people traced tens of thousands of contacts.

    Aggressive “social distancing” measures implemented in the entire country included canceling sporting events and shuttering theaters. Schools extended breaks that began in mid-January for the Lunar New Year. Many businesses closed shop. Anyone who went outdoors had to wear a mask.

    Two widely used mobile phone apps, AliPay and WeChat—which in recent years have replaced cash in China—helped enforce the restrictions, because they allow the government to keep track of people’s movements and even stop people with confirmed infections from traveling. “Every person has sort of a traffic light system,” says mission member Gabriel Leung, dean of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong. Color codes on mobile phones—in which green, yellow, or red designate a person’s health status—let guards at train stations and other checkpoints know who to let through.

    “As a consequence of all of these measures, public life is very reduced,” the report notes. But the measures worked. In the end, infected people rarely spread the virus to anyone but members of their own household, Leung says. Once all the people in an apartment or home were exposed, the virus had nowhere else to go and chains of transmission ended. “That’s how the epidemic truly came under control,” Leung says. In sum, he says, there was a combination of “good old social distancing and quarantining very effectively done because of that on-the-ground machinery at the neighborhood level, facilitated by AI [artificial intelligence] big data.”



    Deep commitment to collective action

    How feasible these kinds of stringent measures are in other countries is debatable. “China is unique in that it has a political system that can gain public compliance with extreme measures,” Gostin says. “But its use of social control and intrusive surveillance are not a good model for other countries.” The country also has an extraordinary ability to do labor-intensive, large-scale projects quickly, says Jeremy Konyndyk, a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development: “No one else in the world really can do what China just did.”

    Nor should they, says lawyer Alexandra Phelan, a China specialist at Georgetown’s Center for Global Health Science and Security. “Whether it works is not the only measure of whether something is a good public health control measure,” Phelan says. “There are plenty of things that would work to stop an outbreak that we would consider abhorrent in a just and free society.”

    The report does mention some areas where China needs to improve, including the need “to more clearly communicate key data and developments internationally.” But it is mum on the coercive nature of its control measures and the toll they have exacted. “The one thing that’s completely glossed over is the whole human rights dimension,” says Devi Sridhar, an expert on global public health at the University of Edinburgh. Instead, the report praises the “deep commitment of the Chinese people to collective action in the face of this common threat.”

    “To me, as somebody who has spent a lot of time in China, it comes across as incredibly naïve—and if not naïve, then willfully blind to some of the approaches being taken,” Phelan says. Singapore and Hong Kong may be better examples to follow, Konyndyk says: “There has been a similar degree of rigor and discipline but applied in a much less draconian manner.”

    The report doesn’t mention other downsides of China’s strategy, says Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, who wonders what impact it had on, say, the treatment of cancer or HIV patients. “I think it’s important when evaluating the impact of these approaches to consider secondary, tertiary consequences,” Nuzzo says.

    And even China’s massive efforts may still turn out to have only temporarily slowed the epidemic. “There’s no question they suppressed the outbreak,” says Mike Osterholm, head of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. “That’s like suppressing a forest fire, but not putting it out. It’ll come roaring right back.” But that, too, may teach the world new lessons, Riley says. “We now have the opportunity to see how China manages a possible resurgence of COVID-19,” he says.

    Aylward stresses that China’s successes so far should give other countries confidence that they can get a jump on COVID-19. “We’re getting new reports daily of new outbreaks in new areas, and people have a sense of, ‘Oh, we can’t do anything,’ and people are arguing is it a pandemic or not,” Aylward says. “Well, sorry. There are really practical things you can do to be ready to be able to respond to this, and that’s where the focus will need to be.”


    Source: Science
    = DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR =

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    Super Moderator Norway Elen's Avatar
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    As I follow the news from Norway, it seems like the Norwegian authorities are following the same procedures of making people self-quarantine in their homes. If they think they have a virus...or the virus, they should stay at home and have food delivered by friends or home-delivery. This seems to be the general philosophy.

    We had a doctor who came back from Italy with the virus, he went to work and saw 100 or so patients before being diagnosed and medical professionals spent a day contacting all the patients to have them quarantined + the people they had been with. My goodness.
    Whatever is true. Whatever is noble. Whatever is right. Whatever is lovely. Whatever is admirable. Anything of excellence and worthy of praise. Dwell on these things. Jesus Christ (I agree)

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