Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Take steps NOW to slow spread of coronavirus

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This post will remain at the top for a week. Newer posts begin immediately after this post. – LG

I suggest that waiting for leadership from the Federal government is not realistic. (President Trump stated, “I’ve been briefed on every contingency you could possibly imagine. Many contingencies. A lot of positive. Different numbers, all different numbers, very large numbers, and some small numbers too.” Perhaps you find that reassuring. I do not.)

Read this chart-heavy article in Medium, which begins:

With everything that’s happening about the Coronavirus, it might be very hard to make a decision of what to do today. Should you wait for more information? Do something today? What?

Here’s what I’m going to cover in this article, with lots of charts, data and models with plenty of sources:

• How many cases of coronavirus will there be in your area?
• What will happen when these cases materialize?
• What should you do?
• When?

When you’re done reading the article, this is what you’ll take away:

The coronavirus is coming to you.
It’s coming at an exponential speed: gradually, and then suddenly.
It’s a matter of days. Maybe a week or two.
When it does, your healthcare system will be overwhelmed.
Your fellow citizens will be treated in the hallways.
Exhausted healthcare workers will break down. Some will die.
They will have to decide which patient gets the oxygen and which one dies.
The only way to prevent this is social distancing today. Not tomorrow. Today.
That means keeping as many people home as possible, starting now.

As a politician, community leader or business leader, you have the power and the responsibility to prevent this.

You might have fears today: What if I overreact? Will people laugh at me? Will they be angry at me? Will I look stupid? Won’t it be better to wait for others to take steps first? Will I hurt the economy too much?

But in 2–4 weeks, when the entire world is in lockdown, when the few precious days of social distancing you will have enabled will have saved lives, people won’t criticize you anymore: They will thank you for making the right decision.

Continue reading. There is a great deal more, including many charts that show the reality of what he reports.

And read also “What Will You Do If You Start Coughing?” by James Hamblin in the Atlantic. That article begins:

Covid-19 is not the flu. We have a vaccine for the flu. We have anti-viral medications designed to treat the flu. We have a sense of what to expect when we catch the flu, and when it’s necessary to seek medical attention. Doctors have experience treating the flu, and tests to help diagnose the flu, right there in the office, while you wait.

Against the new disease, we have none of this. This coronavirus is unknown to our species. Once it breaks into one of our cells, the extent of its spread through the body seems to vary significantly. The experience can slowly progress from the familiar—cough, congestion, fever—to a life-threatening inflammatory response as the virus spreads down into the lungs, filling the airways with fluid. Survivors can have permanent scarring in the lungs. The virus can also spread into other organs, causing liver damage or gastrointestinal disease. These effects can play out over longer periods than in the flu, sometimes waxing and waning. Some patients have begun to feel better, then fallen critically ill. The disease can be fatal despite receiving optimal medical care.

None of this is meant to cause panic. Panic is not useful. But as we all begin to comprehend the nature and extent of the new virus and its spread, questions should arise about what to do with those early, familiar symptoms. At what point should you ask for testing? When do you need to self-quarantine, and for how long? Who needs to be in a hospital, and who can ride things out at home? If you’re sick, should you bring your illness into a crowded clinic or emergency department, possibly shedding virus that infects others? Should you stay home, maybe using telemedicine, and risk infecting roommates or family members?

The source of most panic is uncertainty. While much remains uncertain in the realm of virology and immunology, other sources of anxiety could be mitigated. Everyone could have clarity and certainty on those fundamental questions, or at least on the most immediately pressing: What should I do if I start to feel sick?

In an ideal outbreak scenario, at the first signs of illness—or even after a concerning exposure—everyone would go get a quick test. It could assure them that they’re okay to go to work, or to go to a public gathering, or even to go home. If a test were positive, that person’s close contacts would be alerted of an anonymous exposure. They would be advised to come get tested. The process would be fast, easy, ubiquitous, and free.

Given the nature and spread of this particular virus, though, this textbook public-health approach to tracking and containment has proven infeasible.

Continue reading. There’s much more.

Written by Leisureguy

11 March 2020 at 8:02 am

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