Chinese coronavirus

Lucille

From the NYT: Airports in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles will begin screening passengers arriving from Wuhan, China, for infection with a mysterious respiratory virus that has killed two people and sickened at least 45 overseas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Friday.

Most people with the disease are believed to have contracted it from exposure to animals at a market that sells seafood and meat in Wuhan, and it is not certain that the virus spreads from person to person. But a few cases have not been linked to animals, and researchers say some human-to-human transmission may be possible, so precautions are necessary.

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socks

Scary. I’m glad the airports are screening for it.

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drewsmaga

Are people going to get all hysterical about this like the Zika virus, West Nile Virus (I have a hysterically funny l story to tell about that "SCARE, ") Swine Flu, Bird Flu, etc? OMG 45 confirmed cases and 2 dead out of 7 BILLION people! If it becomes the Black Plague or the Spanish Flu then it's newsworthy. Until then it's sensationalism. Welcome to today's MSM.

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Lucille

Drewsmaga, it was interesting enough to mention; there was no sensationalism at all in my remarks. How disease moves around the world is an interesting subject. It can indeed be scary when a particular illness is on the move, especially one where is little known.

It seems to me that you jumped the gun a bit in your need to be the first to disparage even the mention of an event and to set yourself up as the arbiter of what is or is not newsworthy.

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socks

Plagues start out small and need to be addressed before becoming epidemic. Death seems rare until it happens to family or friend. I’m grateful we have organizations like WHO to track illness.

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drewsmaga

Lucille and socks: I meant no disrespect to you or the fact that this was discovered. I only hope it doesn't turn into a media circus like the aforementioned viruses.

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socks

People need to know. Travel is heavy between China and US at this time of year because of Chinese New Year.

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adellabedella_usa

It may be here already. I was watching Channel 2 earlier. I thought they said someone here in the Houston area may have died of the disease. I can't find the news story.

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Alisande

I just received an email from the NY Times saying a case has been confirmed in Washington State. The patient recently traveled to Wuhan, China.

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Lucille

"Lucille and socks: I meant no disrespect to you"

Thank you. Considering that it is now in the state where my son lives, Washington State, I certainly feel that I have the right to worry.

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jewelisfabulous

I've been trying to find out info about the incubation period. Anyone know?

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morz8

Lucille, I didn't know your son is now in this state.

Yes, it does appear we are the first state to have a confirmed case. I haven't heard yet how many days before he showed symptoms he may have been contagious. I would guess if they expect exposure has taken place, they will list public places he may have visited once coming through the airport. From what I've seen on the news this evening, he does not sound frighteningly sick.

The Snohomish County man, who is in his 30s, returned to the U.S. from
Wuhan, China on Jan. 15, traveling through Sea-Tac International
Airport. The virus is believed to have originated from Wuhan.

He appears to have developed symptoms after visiting and was
hospitalized at Providence Medical Center in Everett. The man is in
satisfactory condition and being monitored in an isolation unit,
according to Providence.
Medical professionals want to monitor the patient for at least 48 hours before he is released back into the public.

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Lucille

Lucille, I didn't know your son is now in this state.

Initially he was thinking about Oregon but he says he thinks Washington has a better school system so that is where he ended up. I've just been calling his destination the pnw, the entire area is just beautiful (well, except for the coronavirus, which they are now saying may be an illness of snakes.)

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marilyn_c

They were talking about it just now on the radio. They said it started in a "wet" market. They gave the name. It is a place of small stalls that sell vegetables, seafood, and animals that can be slaughtered on site. Dogs, civets, chickens, snakes, rabbits and whatever.

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Alisande

And wolf puppies. Remind me never to go to China. Never mind, you don't have to remind me.

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terilyn

There is now a suspected case in Brazos county in Texas. They are being quarantined at home.

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mdln

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Bluebell66

It’s not just face masks...if you feel you want to have a face mask on hand, you better get some wrap around safety glasses, too. According to a doctor I follow, this virus enters the body by way of mucus membranes. So it can get in through your eyes, too.

Jewel, it seems the incubation period is maybe 3 days. I’ve also heard (from a doctor) the virus can live on door knobs and such for 5 days. Who knows for sure at this point, though?

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joyfulguy

It's reported to be in half a dozen widely scattered countries, with some spreading.

Several are suspecting that it seems to have quite a few similarities to the SARS virus that caused quite a lot of trouble in a number of countries several years ago.

ole joyful

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Debby

Every year there's a new bug that goes around and scares the crap out of everyone. It's almost like they want to keep everyone inside their homes. Just eat right, wash your hands, keep our hands away from your face and get enough sleep. Also wearing those paper masks from the drugstores won't help, so don't bother.


You need a special one:


https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/coronavirus-mask-what-to-buy_ca_5e2b0fcfc5b67d8874b0db77?fbclid=IwAR2hd9QV390VKiiKhpBm03PMwQoQ1NE6X_qS3NTWUPUZoewqD33CsBaEP9c

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Ladydi Zone 7A NW BC Canada

Debby, good to know. I always wondered if a facemask gave much protection. That's not to say it might help depending on what it is used for.

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Kathsgrdn

Watched Pandemic last night on Netflix. I thought I made a post about this but I can't find it now. It was very interesting. There is a company in California working on a one-time flu shot, the research being financed by Bill Gates. The whole series was fascinating and I learned a lot.

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jemdandy

The announcement of the latest case of coronavirus shocked the stock market today. DowJones dropped a bunch of points at opening today. Not sure if this is just a knee-jerk reaction or if it will have a longer impact.

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mdln

do NOT cough in your hands


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Elmer J Fudd

jemdandy, there's some irony in your comment. The stock market can drop when the wrong person sneezes or sneezes the wrong way. I wouldn't worry about stock prices, it's the nature of the beast.

I'm not sure why but China has a bad record for originating serious infectious disease outbreaks. Hopefully this will go the way of most others and wind up being less severe than the worst case expectations would suggest possible. But it's too soon to know.

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socks

See it as a good time to buy!

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sushipup1

80,000 people in the US die of the flu. Regular ol' garden variety, year 2017-2018 season.

Just to put numbers into perspective.

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Ladydi Zone 7A NW BC Canada

I think the news is getting pretty ridiculous & sensationalizing everything to death. Of course we all know we are going to face an environmental disaster, pandemic or WWIII. It's just which one will happen first. I say this with tongue in cheek 🤔.

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graywings123

Yikes - I was transiting Beijing last year at this time.

It's hard to imagine airlines just not flying in and out of the most populous country in the world. But that is what British Airways has done.

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Lucille

I think the news does sensationalize anything of interest, that is the way they are. Like the boy who cried wolf, when the real thing comes along people may discount it.

I agree with Elmer that it is too soon to know whether the coronavirus will or will not achieve worst case expectations. I for one am not in any way going to trivialize or laugh at the possibilities.

It is one thing to mock the press, because they do write over the top dramatic pieces sometimes. But I am taking a wait and see attitude and not dismissing the most severe possibilities. We just don't know yet.

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Kathsgrdn

Read an article last night that they took a bunch of Americans coming from China to March AFB in CA instead of letting it go to the original destination in California (corrected from Canada, read the news report wrong). Those people aren't sick right now. I think that's overkill. Like someone said previously, more people die from the flu every year. I know the deaths just increased from this virus but not sure it's worse than the flu. I don't know the statistics. They are closing schools in Kentucky now because of the flu. I worry more about some flu strain mutating into something our bodies can't fight. It can already kill healthy young people. The 1918 Spanish flu killed 50 to 100 million people and this was before transatlantic flights. Can you imagine how awful it would be if the same percentage of people died now with 6 billion people on the planet.

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Toby

I think the concern is that no one is immunized from the coronavirus so it has the potential to affect more people. If it kills the same percentage of people that other strains of influenza has killed, we will be seeing a lot more deaths.

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Lucille

Those people aren't sick right now. I think that's overkill.

We don't know exactly how bad this new virus is. The time to be proactive isn't when people lie dead in the streets.

but not sure it's worse than the flu.

What if it is?

The 1918 Spanish flu killed 50 to 100 million people and this was before transatlantic flights. Can you imagine how awful it would be if the same percentage of people died now with 6 billion people on the planet.

Perhaps, right at the beginning, being extra protective until we know what we are dealing with isn't overkill. If it is worse that the flu and even one of those on the flight are incubating but not showing symptoms but are contagious, diverting them and watching them for a few days may be reasonable.

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graywings123

I think it would be malfeasance to take a planeload of people from ground zero of a virus source and then not quarantine them on the other end. Apparently you are contagious with coronavirus before you show symptoms.

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Kathsgrdn

https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm

So why aren't we quarantining people with the flu or who have been around people infected with it, since it kills so many more people every single year?

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bpath reads banned books too

We used to quarantine in a major way! My dad told me how his immigrant grandmother and 6 children were quarantined in the apartment when one had the measels. His grandfather had to stay with other relatives so he could still go to work.

During the SARS outbreak a few years ago, we know someone who was quarantined when she had been exposed. She couldn't go visit her husband in the nursing home because of it for a couple of weeks.

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Lucille

Kathsgarden, a lot has been done to help decrease the mortality of the flu including low cost/free vaccinations. Your question though is assuming that the flu kills more, and we don't know that right now. It is possible that the coronavirus will kill many more and there is currently no vaccine.

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bpath reads banned books too

The flu virus can be especially deadly to the medically frail. Right now I can't go visit my mother because two residents and a staff member have been diagnosed with flu. Residents are being kept in their rooms as much as possible, too, which I'm sure is a challenge for the memory care staff.

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sleeperblues

I think this is overblown, but erring on the side of caution is probably wise. I have never been so sick as when I got the flu when I was in my late 30s. Healthy, worked out every day. Had gotten the flu shot, as I do every year. I was in the hospital for a week, with a PICC line (for antibiotics as flu had turned into bacterial pneumonia) and off work for another 6 weeks. I have become even more religious about hand hygiene and staying away from known sick people, however working in a hospital makes this tricky. I have never been sick to that degree again, so my hand hygiene must be working.

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Lucille

Lucille, in the first 2 weeks of this year over 8000 have died from the flu in the US alone. 2 weeks.

Yes. But you cannot yet compare that number to the coronavirus because the coronavirus is not (yet) out in the general world population, and hopefully by segregating those who might have it, it won't get out there, and hopefully we will never have the number that could be compared to the 8,000 because it might be much higher. We are still dealing with an unknown.

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beesneeds

Um, there hasn't been 8,000 deaths in the first 2 weeks of this year from flu. There have been 8,200 confirmed deaths from the flu since October 1st of last year.


In coronacirus news today... confirmed case of person to person infection out of Chicago. A person came home with it and passed it to their spouse.

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Lucille

Um, there hasn't been 8,000 deaths in the first 2 weeks of this year from flu. There have been 8,200 confirmed deaths from the flu since October 1st of last year

Whatever the actual number (thank you bees) my point is that we cannot compare mortality rates at this point. And so quarantining a plane full of people is not overkill, but actually reasonable. Mortality for the coronavirus may end up either less or more than that of the flu. At this point, we don't know, and it would be foolish to underestimate it.

From the New York Times:

The W.H.O. declared a global health emergency following the spread of a dangerous coronavirus from China to more than a dozen other countries.

Thursday, January 30, 2020 2:50 PM EST

The W.H.O.’s declaration — officially called a “public health emergency of international concern” — does not have the force of law. But it serves notice to all United Nations member states that the world’s top health advisory body thinks the situation is grave.

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Kathsgrdn

Sorry, I deleted my post about the number of flu deaths. I googled 2020 and that is the stat that came up. Still over 8000 during this flu season is a heck of a lot.

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Lucille

Still over 8000 during this flu season is a heck of a lot. Yes it is. Imagine if the coronavirus was ten times that amount. But we don't know yet. That is why quarantining the plane made sense.

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beesneeds

8,000 isn't too bad considering we are around halfway through flu season. Probably why the 20,000 estimate number is in there too. Disease Burden of Influenza, 2010-2019

And the flu is different in a way that you are infectious when you have symptoms- but this coronavirus you are infectious even before you start developing symptoms.

But it's not a fair representation to compare the flu with the coronavirus. We could opt to inoculate, protect, and quarantine ourselves better during flu season, but we often don't for various reasons.

The fact that it is currently flu season does complicate the issue with the coronavirus, because there's a lot of similar symptoms.

Also of a concern is what we don't know yet about the coronavirus compared to what we do know or have learned how to project about the flu. We are about one month into this and are now starting to get some data in.


Handy timeline


Another timeline

I don't want to sound like I'm underplaying the flu, because it is a serious thing in
itself. But it's not what this thread is about, and it would be easy to
let us all get derailed in that.

In the spirit of trying to keep the thread on rails...

I can't blame many countries for being cautious at the time. 22 countries with cases, 170 deaths, and 7,783 cases over four weeks since it was first discovered.

Between Tuesday and Wednesday, the deaths went from 132 to 170, and 1,459 new cases were reported.

Now, if we are cautious about not spreading this thing around- some good news is that a vaccine is already being developed... but likely won't be useful till April, same time the regular flu season runs out. But it means that if it persists or comes back, a vaccination will be available.


To my understanding, Britain was able to pull it's citizens out, and had
them land at a military site to get checked out upon arrival. I don't
think that is unwise to do in the states if it can be done. Or any other country that is seeing cases and still having flights in or out of the area of origin.

Better a penny of prevention than a pound of cure.




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Lucille

NYT:

The U.S. issued a "do not travel" to China advisory, its strongest warning reserved for the most dangerous situations, over the coronavirus outbreak.

Thursday, January 30, 2020 9:24 PM EST

The warning came as deaths from the virus climbed over 200 and nearly 10,000 cases were confirmed worldwide.

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mdln

The reason for increased precautions


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sableincal

This is probably not the time to suggest reading Stephen King's The Stand, a story told as only S. King can tell them, about a deadly worldwide pandemic that opens with someone sneezing in a gas station in Texas. (Actually, there's more to it than that, because this is S. King, who never misses an opportunity to frighten you.) 1150 pages and I can't put it down!

Stay healthy, everyone!

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Debby

OMG! We can't keep hand sanitizer, rubber gloves or masks on the shelf at work. Some guy said to me to my face today, "I work in customer service so I want to make sure I'm protected." I said, "I work in customer service too, and I'm not afraid of this virus". He kinda turned red when he realized what he said.... People are freaking out here. Four cases in Canada. One was the wife of a man who was hospitalized, but she wasn't that sick and sent home. Four people in the entire country and now everyone is freaking out.


Wash your hands

Cover your mouth when you cough

Keep your hands away from your face. (easier said than done, I know)

And calm down.

The looks I get when I say Health Canada isn't advising people run out to get masks. I think all the germaphobes are making us sicker. Sanitizing everything makes superbugs. Superbugs are harder to kill, and make more people sick. (imo). Live and let live.

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joyfulguy

They're speaking of it being apparent that there's a 14 day incubation period, and many who are being officially evacuated from the risk area in China to offshore destinations are being kept in observation areas for two weeks.

Several airlines are ceasing regular flights to China.

Our media are saying that they feel that China is being careful, has prohibited travel from infected area to rest of China, and elsewhere, and is being more transparent than usual about what is happening and being done.

It is reported that a lab (I don't remember where) has isolated the originating virus so they expect early progress toward a vaccine.

A lady in nearby city of London has contracted it from another human, but was careful, wearing mask and self-isolating.

ole joyful

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Lucille

I think those who say there is nothing to fear are whistling in the dark, because we do not yet completely know what we are dealing with.

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graywings123

It's kind of a can't-win for health officials. If they do nothing and millions of people get sick and some percentage dies, then they get blamed. If they do their job and contain the virus, then the illness and death counts are low and people will say they over-reacted.

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chisue

Don't let news of airlines cancelling flights frighten you. They are not doing it because of this 'flu', but as a response to frightened people refusing to fly. It's a financial decision.

Even WHO has said that public health officials are overreacting. I'm pretty tired of the phrase "...out of an abundance of caution..." It usually means that lawyers have 'cautioned' that inaction may provoke lawsuits.

All 'flu' can be fatal, and reasonable precautions are always wise. Ironically, the overuse of antibiotics has contributed to development of resistant super-bugs.

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sjerin

You are sooooo right, Chisue!

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mdln

China Silenced Doctors and Focused on Secrecy as Coronavirus First Spread https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/01/world/asia/china-coronavirus.html

Our aging population, often with chronic diseases and/or compromised immune systems (heart, lung, kidney, and gastrointestional diseases, diabetes, cancer) are the most vulnerable.

Unfortunately, too many do not take advantage of influenza vaccination, which can prevent or lessen the duration and severity of the disease.

Hopefully, at least, this media attention will promote improved basic health hygiene practices.

***Stay home if you are sick, don't expose others to your illness; stay away from others who are sick.

***Wash your hands often. Don't touch your face esp. eyes, nose, and mouth.

***Cough or sneeze into tissues, your elbow, or under your shirt - not your hands.

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Lucille

Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Officials Warn Americans to Brace for Likely Outbreak

New outbreaks in Asia, Europe and the Middle East are renewing fears of a coming global pandemic, even as the spread in China appears to be slowing.

RIGHT NOW

“We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad,” a C.D.C. official said.

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graywings123

I read recently that this corona virus may be spread by fecal matter in addition to respiratory means. This apparently allows for greater dissemination, especially in places like China with squat toilets and limited ability to wash hands.

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Alisande

Lucille, did they give any suggestions on what to do while we're bracing?

Mdln, I don't have a NYTimes subscription. Did they really say the flu vaccine improves the outcome if you get the coronavirus?

As stated here before, not all viruses are the flu. For example, rabies is a virus. Ebola is a virus. HIV is a virus. And so on.

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Elmer J Fudd

alisande, the NY Times offers free guest accounts (that you need to sign up for on the nytimes.com site) that entitle "guests" to something like 10 free articles a month. If you clear the history of your browser, you'll find the counter is reset to 0 and you can read 10 more. Wash and repeat as needed.

(I finally got a digital subscription but used the free access for many years)

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Lucille

did they give any suggestions on what to do while we're bracing? No. But Walmart online is running out of a lot of canned stuff. While it is true that it is near payday for many and often that is when they do their biggest grocery buy, I haven't seen what is happening now.

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sheilajoyce_gw

Washing hands frequently, and always after coming home from being out in the public is helpful. Stay away from coughing or sneezing people.

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Elizabeth

From Reuters:

"Dr. Nancy Messonnier, an official at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told reporters that data on the virus’ spread over the past week had heightened the agency’s expectations of transmission within the United States.

“Disruption to everyday life might be severe,” she cautioned. "

How exactly DO we brace ourselves? Stockpiling food?

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Bookwoman

https://slate.com/technology/2020/02/should-you-panic-about-coronavirus-now.html

What can I actually do?

If things reach pandemic status, you might be spending more time at home. But that will really depend on what’s happening where you live. Messomier advised that people come up with the same plans they might if they knew they were going to be stuck at home with a fever for a while: ask your employer about working from home, ask your school about a plan for closure and tele-schooling, and check if your doctor or insurance plan offers a way to chat with a doctor virtually.

My friend is stocking up on canned food, should I stock up on canned food?

“That’s not something I’m recommending,” says Blumberg, who suggests most routines won’t come to a halt (with the caveat that he can’t predict the future). “People who are sick will hopefully stay home.” Keeping up with regular grocery shopping seems like precaution enough here.

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maddielee

How exactly DO we brace ourselves? Stockpiling food? “

The following is going around Facebook...


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LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

Adding a little levity to the subject



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Lucille

Stockpiling food?

I have a canner and from time to time will can up some nourishing home made soups. They are MUCH better than commercial canned soup, I make them with nice home made broth. I do think that stocking up on foods that are both nutritious and which require minimal prep might be a good idea. If you are home ill with the virus, you might not feel much like cooking.

And if you have pets, I think it is good to keep a couple weeks of pet food on hand.

I myself do food storage, and that is an individual choice, but I certainly think it is reasonable for anyone preparing for the virus to stockpile a few weeks worth of tasty, nutritious, easily prepared items.

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raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

My cousin and I have been planning a trip starting in Italy, then to Lithuania and Istanbul (flying in and out of Rome), departing at the end of March. After multiple times asking him if he was sure he wanted to go to Rome right before Easter, and suggesting other itineraries, I finally gave in and booked the flight.

Now he is making noises about cancelling because of the outbreak. Even though I bought "cancel for any reason" trip insurance, I would still be out several hundred $ (and yes that is a significant amount to me). Thinking about still flying in and out of Rome but instead just connecting there to another first destination.

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nicole___

raee....they had a GREAT deal, $2k off each on a dive boat going to The Galapagos Islands, trying to fill it up. The fact there were openings is my 1st insight into people cancelling travel plans. We did NOT jump at the chance to go @ a discounted rate.

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Elmer J Fudd

We had a few ideas but hadn't booked anything for the coming months. We've decided to put travel involving plane flights on hold for now. Even in normal times, it's too easy to catch something when passing through airports or sitting in planes. We'll wait and see what happens and hopefully it will subside quickly and without causing too much in the way of suffering and deaths.

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jemdandy

A health official now suspects that a person with the coronavirus is yet contagious for a period of time after recovery. Just because you are feeling better doesn't mean you are 'safe'.

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raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

I have no doubt that we will soon see an exponential increase in cases here in the USA with so much travel from/to China, South Korea, and even Italy to here having occurred before the virus was really known, and still ongoing. I would expect to see cases in Orlando and other popular tourists spots, as well as any university towns with a significant population of Chinese or Korean students.

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Elmer J Fudd

rae, last I heard, there wasn't a racial component to susceptibility to the virus.

Plenty of non-Asian people travel to Asian locations. I have a relative in South Korea right now and we're not Asian. I hope for them that they won't be subject to quarantine when they return but it will be what it will be.

PS - the infection level in South Korea is low right now and something like half of the cases stem from members of one large mega-church in the southern part of the country or contact with such members.

There's cause for optimism though because every reasonable public health step is being taken. China has temporarily banned the eating of bats, civets and hedgehogs (according to the NY Times).

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Kathsgrdn

I am a little more worried about the virus now that it has spread so far and wide. I feel bad for all the people with really poor healthcare around the world. I also worry about those in our country with no insurance.

Wondering if those 8400 people in California they are "watching" are getting tested or if they are, how many false negatives they are having. I have a feeling they aren't even being tested.

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Raye Smith

Usually these types of test kits will have false positives over false negatives. From what I have heard those that are under quarantine are tested if they show symptoms.

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Lucille

I feel bad for all the people with really poor healthcare around the world. I also worry about those in our country with no insurance.

Because the statistics surrounding the coronavirus are so unreliable, I have not gone looking, but I'm curious as to whether health care makes much of a difference in outcome once one has the disease.

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raee_gw zone 5b-6a Ohio

Elmer, I wasn't suggesting a racial component to susceptibility and I am surprised that you misinterpreted my comment that way. It is simply that those are the countries that the virus first got a major foothold, and so far nearly all cases in other countries are linked to travelers to/from those countries. Therefore it is logical to think that the areas that are major destinations for such travelers will be prone to outbreaks. Many students go home to visit during term breaks, and that was just at the time the virus was spreading but still under the radar.

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Elmer J Fudd

True, raee, but students of all ethnicities travel during school breaks too. As do many people with no cultural or ancestral connection to various places they visit. I simply thought your calling out Asian students was random and your comment wasn't clear. I now understand what you were saying.

My relative is not a student and went there for a touristic visit. And is leaving today.

There's lots of business travel to Asia from my area and I would guess that people whose ancestry is not from China/Korea are well represented among the people who do so. If I recall correctly, KT participant Sephia (or Sepia) had regular, maybe monthly, trips to China as part of her work. She may be of Asian ancestry, she's never said. But her trips were unrelated to family history, that's all, and I'm sure she encountered many "regulars" on the flight.


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Alisande

Here's one important way health insurance impacts the situation:

The significance of the Miami man who feared he might have coronavirus

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