2020-03-11 20:50:33

It's funny to listen to things like "stadiums around the world are being abandoned" while also hearing "companies are encouraging their employees to stay home," as if these two things are mutually exclusive from one another. There are so many things wrong with the coverage of this virus. I admit that I don't feel particularly comfortable traveling back to my university, not only due to the possibility of getting sick at a very crucial time during my education, but I also don't want to spend the money to get back to school knowing there is a strong possibility that they will move to online classes, in which case I can stay in my hometown area and do my work. It's turning more into an inconvenience in other areas of my life than just my health, as is the case with an overwhelming majority of the population. At least, here in the states, that is. Just look at how many events are being canceled.

2020-03-11 20:52:29 (edited by camlorn 2020-03-11 20:53:31)

@20
Crispr, which is being used for a lot of stuff, is actually an engineered virus.

We have cloned sheep.  The only reason we haven't cloned people is scientists decided that that would be unethical.  It is certainly possible to do.

Fully vat-grown chicken nuggets (as in no animal involved) have been taste tested in San Francisco.

We have made significant progress on simulating a C Elegans at the cellular level.

In 2021 or so we will be bringing the first exascale computer online, putting us at the lower end of the estimated computing power required to simulate a human brain.

We have the technology to modify animals such that genetic traits are carried to their offspring relatively unconditionally, and are in the process of determining if it would be a good idea to deploy this in Africa to make flies go extinct.

Even if we say that the coronavirus wasn't engineered, there's lots of non-engineered viruses and such in labs all the time. Really dangerous ones, even.

I don't believe the Coronavirus came from a lab.  But we could make something like it in a lab if we wanted, and for that reason I'm not derogatory toward people who believe that we did.  I think it's stupid, but it's not the kind of stupid that's being uninformed about science, it's the kind of stupid that is failing to follow the reasoning chain as far as you need to.  The reasons I absolutely believe the coronavirus isn't from a lab:

1. It's too ineffective.  If it was from a lab it'd be deadlier;
2. It takes more resources to run a program like this than it takes to build a nuke, and is thus beyond the resources of all terrorists;
3. Even someone like North Korea wouldn't play with it because it is 100% impossible to aim, since we can't just program it to only detect insert-country-here people, so if you ever use it it's also guaranteed to kill your side off.

One of my relatively more likely concerns, however, is that 10 years from now we will have the knowledge to do this quickly and with few resources: for the most part the equipment you need for this is already on hand at even small universities, we don't classify any of the science related to it because it's i.e. the same stuff as vaccines, and the computing power required to run the simulations for this stuff is coming down in price incredibly rapidly (plus, quantum computers may shift the algorithmic complexity of simulating biological processes, for those who understand what algorithmic complexity is).

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2020-03-11 20:53:41

Here our media did their best to keep people panicked like shit. So for that very example, my math teacher arrived to school in the mask with some carbone filters at Monday. Today schools are closed, but anyway.

“If you are not united,” Jamuka said in a low voice, “you can be broken by those of no importance, just like a single arrow. If you unite, you will be as solid as the five arrows and no person will break you.”

2020-03-11 20:59:50

Hi.
Here in Denmark, there are around 450 effected people.
All bigger arrangements are delayed to late April or even later. Some schools and universities has been locked down. It does also effect the public transportations. I have heard about airports which has locked down as well, but I have not got that confirmed yet.
More and more people are getting effected each day. We are close to 500 out of five million people.
I'm not sure on what to think about the situation yet...

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2020-03-11 21:17:39

I just remembered a question I wanted to ask in one of my previous posts. At least one person in this topic has stated that they're immunocompromised, I don't remember which post it was. What, if anything, makes the risk of catching the coronavirus more harmful than the regular old flu, or any number of other ailments? Or is it because there isn't a vaccine yet? I'm not trying to be rude, just trying to understand the concerns some people are having.

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It's just holding half the amount it can potentially hold.

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2020-03-11 21:18:28

I think I agree with assault freak here, concern yes, panic no, though going into end of days appocalypse stance is probably taking things a bit too far, as were the people at my brother's work who had a hissyfit because he went to Italy at the start of february (three weeks before the first case).

In the UK things haven't reached lockdown stage yet, but lots of people believe it's coming, and I've already bought some emergency supplies just in case.
no the virus isn't as dangerous as some pandemics have been in the past, but it's still bad enough. Personally though, I'm not really concentrating on major governmental responses or conspiracy theories, indeed I feel oddly calm about the hole thing.

at this stage, I'm more worried about Mrs. Dark, who has just finished radio therapy treatments for cansor (and yee gods I'm glad she's no longer going to a hospital everyday which contains a testing centre).
We have hand soap and sanitiser by the door and practice hand washing regularly, which will hopefully help us get through this.

On a larger level, oddly enough I've been surprised how coordinated the response to the virus has been between different countries, though I can't speak about the states as the news over here has been oddly quiet about the situation.
I'll say it really shows what happens when people stop with the greed and posturing and get things done, which is hopefully a better sign, though with some of the bonkers things elsewhere in the world goodness knows.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2020-03-11 21:19:48

I'm not intending to be glib about this - a case just popped up in my city - but there's a point I want to make here.

Coronavirus has thus far killed about three thousand people. That's not good at all, but it's infected many, many more than that. It's getting round-the-clock, obsessive media coverage.
Starvation kills nine million a year around the world, and nobody talks about it.
Anyone care to hazard a guess as to why that might be?
I'll give you three guesses, and the first two don't count.
Hint: it rhymes with frappitalism.

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2020-03-11 21:27:59

@32, I recall the same structural argument being made about the Notre Dame fire. "There are issues surrounding x, y, z, ..., and we're worried about this?"
I'm afraid things of this nature are a losing battle. How can we recognize and act on things like this that come up without forgetting the sensible way to prioritize how we should handle other severe, worldly issues?
I'm not asking you in particular, just posing a question to Earth.

2020-03-11 21:30:42

@30
I'm not that person, but I also happen to be slightly immunocompromised via a medication.  If this gets more serious I might have to talk to my doctor, but there's not enough near me for me to be overly worried yet.  But yeah one of the primary, big factors is the lack of a vaccine for it.  A death rate of 3% or so for normal, healthy people with no real effective treatment options yet is a death rate of a hell of a lot more than 3% if you're immunocompromised to a serious degree.

But yes, you do also have to worry about the cold, the flu, etc.  In my case any infection that doesn't go away after a couple days (wound, cold, etc) that's serious enough that I'm not working means calling the doctor, because without an immune system at 100% effectiveness, at that point there's a realistic chance you're going to get worse fast.

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2020-03-11 21:33:07 (edited by queenslight 2020-03-11 21:33:56)

@Dark

If you would like info about the Virus state side, check out the below MSN Live Updates Page.

2020-03-11 21:36:03

In addition to my last post, Colorado's got 20 cases currently, and the St. Patric's Day Parade has been canceled.

2020-03-11 21:40:07

Here in the US, the Flu has killed some 20,000 people this season, whereas the Koronavirus has killed, in comparison, a small number. No one went into panic mode in terms of the flu and what it cause3d, but this somehow caused people to go nuts, and for no reason. So, there are many cases of Koronavirus, and I am sorry for those who have died or fallen ill to this. However, just as with any other sickness, life moves on and we have to live it regardless of how scary it can be. I am a professional musician, and have just lost a months worth of work over this unreasonable panic. If there is a plague, it is the panic that has been fostered in those who have caved into fear. People are being tested for this thing when there is no need for them to be, and there actually is known to be a 98%  recovery rate with this thing, so there is absolutely no need for panic. Now, if we could just get people to understand that we might get things back under control again. I hope this thing hasn't effected too many of you in some way or form.

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2020-03-11 21:56:46

There is much better than a 98% recovery rate with the flu plus people have vaccines.  In the U.S. alone millions of people get the flu every year, and millions more avoid getting the flu via flu shots.

If the coronavirus is untreated and as common as the flu, it's killing a lot more than 20000 people a year in the U.S. alone.  If the coronavirus becomes common in Africa, which has no good healthcare infrastructure to deal with it, it's going to be much much bigger than anyone would like to admit.

I keep seeing people in this thread saying that everything is overblown.  I haven't seen anything overblown.  Indeed, the news seems to be downplaying it.

Governments are freaking out right now because if you don't freak out right now, you can't freak out later.  People have a very bad grasp on exponential transmission of diseases.  So suck it up and realize that yeah it's lame that we're closing borders and whatnot, but we're doing it because it's the only tool we have at all to stop this from spreading before treatments can be developed.

No one goes into panic mode with the flu because going into panic mode with the flu can't help, since the flu is already everywhere.  Going into panic mode with the coronavirus isn't actually going to stop it at this point.  But it's buying us time to do research.  If there is a coronavirus season, then we won't go into panic mode after this year because it will be everywhere; but if we stop it from being everywhere for long enough, we won't be looking at a rather large death toll up front because no one had treatments.  The current actions are going to probably save half a million people conservatively, potentially much, much more, and until it spread beyond China there was actually a not at all insignificant chance that we'd have been able to kill it off entirely.

What the news isn't saying, but what the CDC and the WHO are saying, is that the coronavirus is here to stay.

Anyone on here who wants to know what the honest worst case of this is, I give you the Spanish flu.  No one is actually panicking, but since the people who do understand the science here don't want another Spanish Flu,  and since the governments of the world generally and fortunately listen to scientists on diseases, we're taking the appropriate actions to ensure there isn't another one.  Except for the U.S., which is trying to pretend things are great and it can't happen here.

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2020-03-11 22:08:31 (edited by zakc93 2020-03-11 22:26:11)

For the longest time South Africa and most of Africa actually didn't have any cases. Just recently we were making fun of how people from other countries were panicking, but then we got 1 case, then 2, then 3, then 7, and now it's up to 13, and now people here are starting to panic. So far it hasn't had any impact though, although my university disabled the biometric access system because they decided having thousands of people putting their fingers on the same spot might not be a good idea when an epidemic is potentially about to hit. At least so far all our cases have come from europe, as far as I know there hasn't been any confirmed cases of it spreading locally. There's an unconfirmed theory that it doesn't spread so well in heat, in which case we should still be fine for a month or so, but winter is coming and then we might be screwed. The major concern is since we have a high rate of people living with HIV who are immunocompromised as a result, the mortality rate might be higher if we do lose control of it.
As for comparison to the flu, although this virus is not that deadly it is still quite a bit more dangerous than a regular flu. According to wikipedia the latest numbers are 125599 cases and 4605 deaths, which gives a mortality rate of 3.7%. This is probably skewed though because a lot of cases are probably going undetected, so the actual number of cases is likely much higher. Apparently Korea is quite good with their testing coverage, so just taking their numbers (7755 cases and 61 deaths) gives a mortality rate of 0.8%, which is likely much closer to the actual value. This is still higher than the flu though, which I believe has a mortality rate of around 0.1%, but I might be wrong. Also keep in mind that of those who survive there is also a percentage who develop severe illness requiring hospitalisation. For the most part a normal healthy person should be fine though, but if you have a weak immune system you might be in trouble. But although the panic is probably overblown it's still inaccurate to compare it with normal flu. The flu kills so many people because it's already everywhere, if this virus gets established in the same way it is likely to kill more people than the flu does. Although it might mutate to become less dangerous, because the more severe cases are detected and quarantined while milder cases are more likely to go unnoticed and spread further.

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2020-03-11 22:11:41 (edited by devinprater 2020-03-11 22:24:05)

Confirmed: we're all going to die and there's nothing science can do about it because global warming. Or something.

Yeah, media is crap, and soaking in it just makes one panicked and erratic. For better media, check out http://www.noagendashow.com

Sarcasm, obviously.

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2020-03-11 22:24:21

Oh and as far as a global economic recession is concerned, I think that is already unavoidable. And on top of the corona-related issues we have the oil crash due to Saudi Arabia's price war, which is also making things worse. Our currency has already dropped quite a bit in the last few days.
It's also throwing a lot of plans into disarray. I'm supposed to attend two conferences this year, one in America and one in Cape Town. Because the America one requires a lot of arranging things in advance we're not really sure what to do at this point, on their website they still say it's going ahead for now despite the outbreak, and it's only in June so things might be better by then, but it would suck for the people who have to pay if they can't get a refund on everything.
Oh and one more thing, the spanish flu really was the worst case scenario, but it was helped along by some factors, mainly world war 1 and the fact that european countries brought people from all around the world to fight there. There's also a theory that one of the reasons it was so severe is that soldiers who had a milder illness were expected to continue fighting, while those with the most severe cases were sent home, so it was the opposite of the usual pattern in that the more severe strains were more likely to spread.

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2020-03-11 22:25:40 (edited by turtlepower17 2020-03-11 22:31:20)

I disagree that panic is in any way, shape or form helpful, at least not when average citizens are doing the panicking. Plus, you can't be clear-headed and do the necessary research into treatments and what not if you're coming at it from the angle that it's going to be a world-ending event. That's my major concern--the fact that the public's reaction may actually hinder the progress of finding a vaccine in a timely manner. I actually agree with measures like closing countries' borders where the virus is hitting the hardest. Things like that are common sense. But other things, like the topic that's being parodied on here where people are buying up all the toilet paper? Not so much. Nor is being overly paranoid and thinking that everyone you see on a daily basis is a potential carrier, and that you're going to get it and die (remember, you're one of the 60%, apparently) and that you should only buy food that's sealed that no one has handled (so like, you shouldn't go to the deli counter and get cheese or lunch meat) and not go to any restaurants. When I tried to point out to the person who said this that actually, if the worker who was stocking shelves at the store sneezed and didn't cover their mouth, their nasty snot droplets probably rained down on your sealed bag of chips, and you open the bag and start eating out of it, you're still going to catch the virus if it was on there to begin with, they didn't like it. Again, perhaps that level of paranoia would make sense if you're living in an area that's currently being hit hard, or if you are immunocompromised, but where I'm at, not so much. There have been a few confirmed cases in my state, but none near where I live yet, so that's the kind of response that I believe is doing more harm than good, which is only spurred on by fake news.

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It's just holding half the amount it can potentially hold.

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2020-03-11 22:34:20

Luckily for me, the coronavirus is not in my home country, ( Trinidad) however, it is in the Caribbean, though. Hope you guys both do. I also don’t believe that the coronavirus was manufactured in a lamb. That is poppycock and balderdash. I also heard about the thing where we can do coronavirus. Don’t know how true thoughtful it is. Oh yes. Dictation. Never mind. Anyways, I hope every one stays safe.

whoever made the saying everything happens for a reason, that's garbage. don't believe that bonker.

2020-03-11 22:39:29 (edited by Dark 2020-03-11 22:39:59)

@Camlorn, I for one am taking matters seriously, however actually once people coordinate the responses have been far better than anyone might have expected, look at china reducing rate of transmission etc.

My worries aren't so much governmental responses, since yes national governments (or at least the sane ones), are more likely to get something done because even large amounts of money can't buy public approval if roughly one percent of your population are likely to die off, my worry is more those frapitalists that Jayde mentioned and people who refuse to take necessary steps.

Case in point, Fifa refused to cancel a football match between wolvaahampton and a greek side, even though people are being told not to attend the match and the Greek team coach is a confirmed case.

@Jayde, not that I disagree with your point, but I do challenge you to now create a sentence using the word frapitalism, since I assert that Frapitalism is not a cromulant word big_smile.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2020-03-12 03:34:33

@zakc93
An interesting article (though sadly full of graphs):  https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavi … d3d9cd99ca

One of the main points of that article is that if you know the number of deaths and you have an approximation of the death rate you can work backward to the actual number of cases (as opposed to the number of tested cases) which implies that for example the U.S. has way more than a thousand (which is probably true, because we have beyond botched testing for it, as in the kits the government came up with didn't work at all for weeks and hospitals couldn't legally use anything else).

You're right about HIV as well: this will probably hit those communities hard.

Egypt has had cases for a bit now.

The recession was coming anyway.  Europe has been flirting with negative interest rates for a while now, and the U.S.'s economy has been running mostly on hype via tax breaks for the wealthy, Trump saying whatever, and the federal reserve not being willing to raise interest rates.  This has put us in the position of most of the largest economies not having any fiscal policy tools to deal with this situation, which can't be dealt with well at the best of times because it's a supply-side problem (i.e. even if you give people money, that won't start the factories again).  My opinion on the oil price war is that it's happening now because the coronavirus makes for a good distraction for places like the U.S. who would otherwise probably try to step in.  But my point is that the coronavirus was just the last straw, and if it wasn't this it'd have been something else in the next year or so.  The U.S. at least has been in a record bull market, and that never lasts.

Also, in general viruses don't mutate to become less severe.  It can happen, yes.  But I don't expect it here.  We're past the point of i.e. "we have 3 cases of antibiotic resistant whatever".

@42
Anything the public does or doesn't do will have no impact on research.  Since fear causes people to self-isolate, it's probably more helpful than not at this juncture.

@44
China is a surveillance state where political descent gets you arrested and no one has any power to resist.  Obviously everything in that sentence is bad, but when you are a surveillance state where no one has any power you can pull off a China-style response.

Unfortunately in this case, though of course fortunately in general, very few countries have the ability to do that.

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2020-03-12 04:28:41

Well, the thing is, if we're really all going to die, then nothing we do or don't do will stop it, either. Let the WHO and the CDC and everyone else do their thing. But pandemic or no pandemic, I refuse to let the end of my life, if that's what this is, be dictated by scaremongering, threats of lockdown, and everything else.

My partner is coming from out of state to spend a week with me. Airports are filty places; planes themselves are a billion times worse. They are literally some of the most germ-infested things in existence. We're also staying in a hotel, which aren't exactly known for cleanliness either. By that, I mean, many people pass in and out of them on a daily basis, so no one, no matter how good at their job they are, can account for everything that might end up circulating in the air there. We are also planning to go out frequently, not only because neither of us is staying at our houses, but also because that's what you do when you're new. With all of those factors combined, I should be absolutely terrified, right? Well, I'm not, and, even if I were, if this truly is the apocalypse, then it wouldn't matter if I cowered in my home like a mouse in its little hidey-hole avoiding a cat.

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It's just holding half the amount it can potentially hold.

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2020-03-12 04:37:40

@46
I am not saying that you, personally, should be terrified.

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2020-03-12 05:24:59

Here in the Philippines, we have 49 cases. It is continuesly rising. The media coverage is fine as they try to encourage the public not to pannick buy.

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2020-03-12 05:28:28

@those of you that want to give the middle finger to the virus by doing as you please and going where you will, just be careful and mindful. Although you may not be in danger of being affected by it, you can still carry a dormant infection that can be passed onto someone more vulnerable than yourself who will have a much higher chance of being affected. I am also of that mindset: Remember that I was furious for being called out after going to service on sunday, but I can see the sense in limiting my contact until this has died down some, especially since I am currently staying in a full house of 3 generations of people, and god forbid that any of them should fall I'll because of my careless actions. Additionally, this hoarding thing is stupid because it takes from those in need, and it is ultimately useless, since apparently all you need to do to get infected is to breathe the same air as an infected indicidual. As it stands, I think that the best we can do at this point is to heed the warnings, be mindful but not panic, and comply with the instructions of *knowledgeable* authoritative figures in our immediate area who are working to contain and limit the spread.
Lastly, I read an article about a week or so ago that said that the gene for the virus has been mapped, and a vaccine should be ready in 18 to 24 months.

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2020-03-12 06:16:02

Here in South Africa, things don’t seem too bad. students are now required to carry bottles of hand sanitiser around with them. My previous school has made this requirement. The shops are now sold out of hand sanitiser. Someone who had bought a bottle of the stuff for R69 tried to charge one of my relatives R1000 for it. There was also this video. https://youtu.be/op8KZ2ay_eM
As it stands I have a bit of a cough, but it was confirmed yesterday that I do not have the virus. I also got this message from my Internet service provider.
The Corona virus has arrived in South Africa, let us UNITE and fight this disease together. Please wash your hands using soap and water or disinfectant. Cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. For more information call the hotline 0800029999. National Department of Health

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