Coronavirus Pandemic

I posted these two posts on Facebook but thought it was worth sharing here. Curious about other people's thoughts regarding this topic.


Do I believe what the Chinese government is saying based on past behavior? No.

Do I believe what the US Government is saying, based on past behavior? No. (Not to mention the different sides of the aisle arguing against each other...)

Do I believe the WHO and other health agencies are saying, based on past behavior? No.

So what is really going on? I don’t know. We live in an age of too much information including intentional disinformation from multiple angles, definitely including government agencies.

I’ve seen all the theories from there is no virus at all to it’s a bioengineered weapon mutating into several forms. (Watch this get flagged for spreading misinformation just from mentioning that!) Everything from there is no problem at all to this will become a big problem.

What’s the truth? I don’t know.

Personally, I’m not worried about the virus, even though we have confirmed cases here in Santa Cruz, California. Most of the information points to it being not really worse than the common cold or flu, though more contagious.

After all, I personally take many steps to have a strong immune system.

But make no mistake, the panic is very real.

More worrisome in my mind is the economic impacts that are already occurring and are going to get worse. The market is crashing, probably globally. This will end up worse than 2008.

Forget the virus for a moment, are you ready for that?

This is not to say that money is more important than the lives of people that the virus is claiming. Just that with our globally reliant systems, the total impact of this thing is difficult to grasp. My business has already been impacted. I recognize this will get worse before it gets better.

Being prepared for emergencies is not hysteria. It’s like insurance. It is worth having. And the best time to get insurance is well before you need it. In my mind, toilet paper is the least of your worries.

I’m reminded of the old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times"…We certainly do.


I put out some of my thoughts on the coronavirus yesterday. Today, I feel compelled to continue that thought as things are developing fast! I ended that piece by saying that the economic consequences of this will be worse than the disease for the vast majority of people.

But that’s not the complete picture. I neglected to mention the political consequences of such.

In other words, it is my belief that the “solutions” are going to be worse than the problem itself.

Make no mistake, this flu is problematic in and of itself. But the scare tactics are overhyping the effects of this to the moon and back. Even if the flu is way more contagious and a bit more potent, as it appears to be, understand that that can be true AND it can be overhyped as well.

Those in power, including the medical monopoly, live by a golden rule (as in he who has the gold makes the rules). The rule is this…

Let no crisis go wasted.

What we will see is government over-reach. What we will see is medical over-reach. We can already see elements of this in play.

What is the medical message? Wash your hands. Cover your coughs. Clean surfaces. Avoid contact with people. Wear a facemask.

It’s not bad advice in and of itself. But the hidden message is you are powerless if you come in contact with this disease.

Not a single word about the hundred things you can do to support your immune system. It even seems that messages about vitamin C and other possibilities are being squashed. That’s because the medical monopoly (which includes all its lobbying power and the revolving door of politicians, scientists, etc.) doesn’t believe in this viewpoint…because they don’t profit from it.

They believe the only things that can save us are drugs. And not existing ones (despite there being evidence of some of these working against this virus). We’ve got to spend BILLIONS developing new ones. Understand that that money has already been given with more to come.

Yes, you can watch the medical cash grab unfold in real time.

What is the greater medical message? The government, the CDC, the WHO, let daddy (*cough* Big Brother) come and save you because you can’t possibly do anything on your own.

As this continues to unfold here’s some things that I sadly expect in the USA…

There will be something along the lines of a Medical Patriot Act.

This will lead to either a new medical department of the government or greatly expanded powers in an existing medical department.

When all is said and done the money spent will make the bank bailout of 2008 look small. Yet the vast majority of it will be going to big industry once again not to the people that are hurting.

The first amendment right of free speech will be clamped down to “prevent the spread of misinformation”.

And there will be massing cheering for the action taken from most people, not recognizing the further erosion of our rights.

I hope I am wrong. I fear I am not.
"Most of the information points to it being not really worse than the common cold or flu, though more contagious. "

That depends on a persons age. Children may pass through this with barely a blink. Younger healthy adults mostly may experience some illness, possibly very mild, maybe more severe. But the older age groups and those with certain pre-existing condition may find this life-threatening.

Current number of deaths in Italy over 1000. In the UK, current figure is 10 deaths. These figures will change.

While it is certainly over-hyped, one thing seems accurate - this is new to humans and there is no pre-existing immunity. That is one reason why it spreads so easily.
Anyone here opposed to the development of a vaccine?
Surely you don't want a vaccine, because I am probably old enough for this virus to take me off to the next reality - that way you would get a new moderator that might let you get away with more than I do :)

I am primarily opposed to vaccines for relatively trivial diseases such as measles or mumps. (Note that even trivial diseases kill or maim a very few people) In this case the risk of damaging more people than you help is very real.

US Centers For Disease Control Coronavirus

CDC: Cases in the U.S. - Updated every week day at noon with the previous day's statistics.

For people in the US, the second link has a graph of the number of cases reported over time. I think that is what I am going to watch to assess whether things are getting worse or getting better. There is also a map showing number of cases by state. If you click on your state it links to state's department of health.

This morning's graph looks like the outbreak is practically over, but that could be because the first cases are related to Americans returning from China and from a Cruise ship, while new cases may take time to develop and spread.
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We'll see how this thread ages. My family and those around me are taking this seriously. The risk of overwhelming our medical professionals isn't worth taking a cavalier attitude.

Personally, I’m not worried about the virus, even though we have confirmed cases here in Santa Cruz, California. Most of the information points to it being not really worse than the common cold or flu, though more contagious.

After all, I personally take many steps to have a strong immune system.
Fortunately, my retired father lives in Floriday and not in Santa Cruz. Its not about you, presuming you are presenting yourself as an otherwise fit and under 50 year old adult. That said, you can be a carrier and someone who could infect someone who is, actually, at risk.

But we shouldn't worry because you are an authority on the topic and its "nothing to be worried about" because institutions and governments have proven to be unreliable at times.

Ask yourself this: What does it really cost you to take this thing seriously and take common sense steps in your day to day life to potentially retard the spread of the virus? I know for me, I'd much rather have the wool pulled over my eyes than to be wrong about a conspiracy and put other people's health at risk as a result.
I posted this in another thread, thought I'd bung it in here, too:

[Coronavirus] Is it over-hyped? I have a few questions before I can make up my mind. 1) The Northern Hemisphere is currently in 'flu' season. Each year a certain percentage of serious respiratory illnesses are caused by corona viruses. Are the current levels of serious cases above average? 2) I'm assuming most people tested are being tested because they are presenting with serious symptoms. This could skew death rates. Is this potential bias being taken into consideration? 3) Are people being specifically tested for covid 19 or for corona viruses, more generally?

I can't help but remember that swine flu turned out to be substantially less deadly that the usual seasonal variety. If covid's dangers are being similarly overstated, then are we not inflicting a potentially mortal economic wound on ourselves for no good reason?

Disclaimer: I am in no way qualified to comment with authority on matters medical!

I would only add that basic precautions are, of course, worth taking regardless.
I like that quote from the article you posted Vortex...

"Is is important that COVID-19 be the object of widespread debate and that the “official interpretations” be forcefully challenged."

I posted this here to initiate this debate not to say that I have all the answers. I do find it interesting that I'm being forced to take precautions, as in the events I'm scheduled to go to have all been canceled, including one that only had 14 or so people.

My understanding is South Korea has been doing very diligent testing and they show quite low mortality rate compared to elsewhere.

Meanwhile US testing is horrible. 77 people tested as of yesterday for the week.

The CDC has been sending incomplete kits to places like California. As dpdownsouth mentioned the swine flu that's a good historical example. Back then the CDC ordered people to stop testing, meanwhile spouting large numbers.

What are they saying now? CDC says worst case scenario 214 million people in USA could get coronavirus, with 1.7 million deaths.

I'm not saying no one should worry about it or that nothing should be done at all. But we're headed towards martial law at least in some areas.
Another set of statistics I will be watching...
CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 36 million flu illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths from flu.
COVID-19: U.S. at a Glance*
  • Total cases: 1,629
  • Total deaths: 41

If there were 36 million cases of flu there could possibly be millions of cases of corona virus. Using the above numbers, if there were 36 million cases of corona virus that would amount to 41/1629 * 36,000,000 = 900,000 deaths.
The statistics appear shoddy at best. Seems every medical researcher/authority who discusses the virus makes this point. Never the less, the voices from the medical field seem to be advising the world to take this thing seriously and have been generally supportive of efforts being taken to slow/retard the infection rate so as to not overwhelm the medical resources.

I'd much rather see my community take the conservative path here only to find out we erred on the overly cautious side versus the reverse.
It seems to me that the only way to get real statistics about the lethality of this virus, would be to sample people at random to see if they have the virus and/or antibodies to it, and then follow them up for a reasonable length of time. Otherwise you will always overestimate the dangers - maybe quite significantly.

Another question I would have, is how good is this test - does it throw up false positives, or miss some cases?

There could be a huge epidemic in the US and it might not impact the average person all that much while the government and medical community would rightly consider it a national emergency.

The mortality rate in the US is approximately 800 per 100,000 or .8%

The population of the US is about 330,000,000 people, so roughly (800/100,000*330,000,000) 2,600,000 people die each year in the US

For the sake of discussion, let's say the the usually mortality rate in the US is 1% and in a bad epidemic of disease X the mortality rate doubles to 2%. To the average person, that means instead of 1 in 100 people dying, 2 in 100 people die. What does that feel like to the average person? For some people instead of let's say 2 people they know dying each year this year four people they know die. Each death would be a tragedy but it might not seem to be much different from other years.

But to the national government it would seem like a much bigger problem even if the mortality was much lower than in my example above, it wouldn't be just a handfull of people, it would be thousands, tens of thousands or more. To the medical community, their capacity would need to increase - the country would need more hospitals. But you can't increase the number of hospitals overnight so the existing hospitals could be overwhelmed, they would have more patients and need more beds and more supplies (could manufacturers provide enough?). So I think it is understandable that while some individuals are not impacted in a way that seems much out of the ordinary, the government and medical community would be reacting like it is a national emergency.
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President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday to address the coronavirus pandemic, as cases around the country continue to mount.​
Top executives of Target, Walmart, and Walgreens also agreed to make all their facilities available for testing of the coronavirus, Trump said.​
“I’m also asking every hospital in this country to activate its emergency preparedness plan, so that they can meet the needs of Americans everywhere,” said Trump.​
“Emergency orders I’m issuing today will also confer broad new authority to the Secretary of Health and Human Services,” Trump added. “The Secretary of HHS will be able to immediately wave revisions of applicable laws and regulations to give doctors, hospital — all hospitals — and health care providers maximum flexibility to respond to the virus and care for patients,” the president continued.”​
The President noted that the declaration would allow him to disperse nearly $50 billion to states, territories and localities that are fighting against the disease.​
Trump also announced that he would waive interest on all student loans held by all government agencies.​
“Google is helping to develop a website,” he said. “It is going to be very quickly done, unlike websites of the past, to determine whether a test is warranted and to facilitate testing at a nearby convenient location.”​
I just got a robo-call from my town government with a message that they are closing the schools, public library, and senior's center.

The town web site explained that someone in my town has tested positive for covid-19 and has a child in public school. The family is quarantined at home, the families of exposed schoolmates are being contacted, and the town is closing the schools to sanitize them.