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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
EDIT 3/16/20 - corrected seasonal flu mortality rates, revised source HT to zbaird

EDIT 3/16/20: I put this here in the eddy because it's not really related to boating. My hope is that this will be a place for frank, civil, and sincere discussion. It may be tough but let's try to keep politics out of it - we are where we are and this is about helping folks understand what's going on. If you've got claims to make that are new, please provide sources for your info. And please keep conspiracy theories out of this unless you've got a reputable source to back it up.

Hey Folks,

'Thought I'd share some stuff I've written about the Coronavirus and posted in other venues. I was posting this on FB a week or so ago when it seemed like there were still a lot of folks brushing off the pandemic as "seasonal flu" or something made up by the media.

I don't really tune into the cable TV/mainstream network news for my scientific information but bet they've got the panic machine turned up to 11 with the pandemic. Instead, most of my info on the virus comse from more scientific sources, mainly the news sections of Nature and Science. These are where academics and researchers summarize journal articles and write about stuff from a scientific point of view. They're funded by the journals of the same names, so they're not trying to boost viewership by using sensationalist clickbait like you'll see on regular news sites (unless you find article titles like, "Interdomain spacing and spatial configuration drive the potency of IgG-[L]-scFv T cell bispecific antibodies" titillating). So just in case you're not convinced yet, the science nerds that work with viruses and epidemiology are saying that we're dealing with something much, much more serious than our regular seasonal influenza.

Here's what I've been learning:

First, I really hope that the Coronavirus will not be as bad as current projections. There are some articles in the scientific literature saying that the percentage of people who die from Coronavirus (mortality rate) may be much lower than the 2% rate estimates from China. This is because a lot of mild cases haven't been reported and aren't included in the mortality rate calculations.

But it's also misleading to minimize the outbreak as some folks are doing by saying the seasonal flu kills many more each year than the Coronavirus has killed (so far), and so the Coronavirus is overblown and will not be a problem. This is because far fewer people have been infected, to date, than get the flu every year. The number of infections now known is just the tip of the iceberg because the epidemic is just beginning to spread in the US.

Now let's run some numbers to put things into perspective: To say that 98% of people who get the Coronavirus infection live is also to say that 2% of infected people die. Thus, out of 100,000 infections, that 2% mortality rate translates to 2,000 deaths. This is compared to a seasonal flu mortality rate of only 15-20 deaths per 100,000 people infected according to the CDC. If the 2% mortality rate is correct, the Corona virus is 100 times more deadly than our garden variety seasonal influenza.

Hopefully the Coronavirus mortality rate has been overstated and is much less than the 2% rate being reported. But even if it's only 1%, instead of the current 2% estimate, that means that it would kill 1,000 people out of 100,000 infections. This would mean it's 50 times more deadly than the seasonal flu - still pretty serious.

So based on this, when, not if, the virus sweeps through the country a couple of people you know will probably die of it, especially among the elderly or those with immune system problems or other health issues. In addition to the toll in suffering and loss of loved ones, this kind of death rate, and also the reluctance of people to go to work if they're well, or need to stay home if they're sick, could have significant impacts to our economy (as we're seeing) and our quality of life over the next year or two.

I've discussed this stuff with a couple of family members who work in molecular biology daily and they agree.

Maybe I'm overreacting, but I'm taking it seriously.

CDC Flu Mortality Rate source: Influenza/Pneumonia Mortality by State

Here's a good starter article on the virus from the Smithsonian Magazine, a reputable science news source: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/everything-you-need-know-about-covid-19-180974313/

Here's an article saying that the mortality rate may be overestimated (let's hope they're correct!): https://www.physiciansweekly.com/data-suggests-virus-infections/

Here's an article on the BS consipracy theories going around that the virus is man-made or came from a bioweapons lab: https://www.factcheck.org/2020/02/baseless-conspiracy-theories-claim-new-coronavirus-was-bioengineered/
 
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
What you can do to protect yourself from the Coronavirus

Here's something else that's come my way. I first received this from a FB posting, and then as a multi-forwarded email from my sister who works at Stanford in a molecular biology lab and is part of the academic and applied science biotech research community. I've made some minor edits and comments in ALL CAPS below.

Clear and concise coronavirus info from a leading virologist and longtime coronavirus researcher, James Robb, MD:

Date: February 26, 2020 at 2:35:50 PM EST
Subject: What I am doing for the upcoming COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic

Dear Colleagues, as some of you may recall, when I was a professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego, I was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses (the 1970s). I was the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, I have kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g., SARS, MERS), from different animal sources.

The current projections for its expansion in the US are only probable, due to continued insufficient worldwide data, but it is most likely to be widespread in the US by mid to late March and April.

Here is what I have done and the precautions that I take and will take. These are the same precautions I currently use during our influenza seasons, except for the mask and gloves.:

1) NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.

2) Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.

3) Open doors with your closed fist or hip - do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.

4) Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.

5) Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.

6) Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home's entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can't immediately wash your hands.

7) If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

What I have stocked in preparation for the pandemic spread to the US:

1) Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.

Note: This virus is spread in large droplets by coughing and sneezing. This means that the air will not infect you! BUT all the surfaces where these droplets land are infectious for about a week on average - everything that is associated with infected people will be contaminated and potentially infectious. The virus is on surfaces and you will not be infected unless your unprotected face is directly coughed or sneezed upon. This virus only has cell receptors for lung cells (it only infects your lungs) The only way for the virus to infect you is through your nose or mouth via your hands or an infected cough or sneeze onto or into your nose or mouth.

2) Stock up now with disposable surgical masks and use them to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth (We touch our nose/mouth 90X/day without knowing it!). This is the only way this virus can infect you - it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth - it is only to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.

3) Stock up now with hand sanitizers and latex/nitrile gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family). The hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.

4) Stock up now with zinc lozenges. These lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY "cold-like" symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx. [EDIT TO REMOVE BRAND REFERENCE; NOTE DR. ROBB CAUTIONS AGAINST OVERRELIANCE ON ZINC LOZENGES. RESEARCH IS INCONCLUSIVE AND THERE ARE NO SPECIFIC DATA ON ZINC INTERACTION WITH COVID-19 VIRUS.]

I, as many others do, hope that this pandemic will be reasonably contained, BUT I personally do not think it will be. Humans have never seen this snake-associated virus before and have no internal defense against it. Tremendous worldwide efforts are being made to understand the molecular and clinical virology of this virus. Unbelievable molecular knowledge about the genomics, structure, and virulence of this virus has already been achieved. BUT, there will be NO drugs or vaccines available this year to protect us or limit the infection within us. Only symptomatic support is available.

I hope these personal thoughts will be helpful during this potentially catastrophic pandemic. You are welcome to share. Good luck to all of us!

James Robb, MD FCAP
PS: FROM SNOPES-DOT-COM ARTICLE CONFIRMING ATTRIBUTION TO DR. ROBB:
RE: ZINC LOZENGES:
“In my experience as a virologist and pathologist, zinc will inhibit the replication of many viruses, including coronaviruses. I expect COVID-19 [the disease caused by the novel coronavirus] will be inhibited similarly, but I have no direct experimental support for this claim. I must add, however, that using zinc lozenges as directed by the manufacturer is no guarantee against being infected by the virus, even if it inhibits the viral replication in the nasopharynx.”
[PPS: FROM DR. ROBB REGARDING DISTRIBUTION OF HIS EMAIL:]
“It was my email to my family and close friends ONLY. Someone put it on their Facebook page. It was intended to be a monologue – not a dialogue. I do not use any social media and may have been too naive about what “sharing” means today.”
 
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This just in, a doc I know just posted on FB that a vaccine is going straight to human trials. Sponsored by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, developed by biotech firm Moderna in Cambridge and tested in Seattle at Kaiser Permanente WA Health Research Institute. I don't have anything official on it yet, this may be a rumor but stay tuned. This kind of thing usually only happens in Hollywood...
 

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This just in, a doc I know just posted on FB that a vaccine is going straight to human trials. Sponsored by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, developed by biotech firm Moderna in Cambridge and tested in Seattle at Kaiser Permanente WA Health Research Institute. I don't have anything official on it yet, this may be a rumor but stay tuned. This kind of thing usually only happens in Hollywood...
More info if you're interested, the test subject was also just on CNN, sounds like they may expand the test program fairly quickly. https://www.livescience.com/first-person-coronavirus-vaccine-clinical-trial.html
 

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That is a somewhat optimistic read. There was a link on that page that was perhaps less optimistic titled the '12 deadliest viruses on earth'.


https://www.livescience.com/56598-deadliest-viruses-on-earth.html


It is an interesting read. But what struck me is the last two corona viruses (SARS and MERS) that are similar to COVID it said they have not developed successful vaccines. Doesn't go into details, but it appears (by analogy) it might be difficult to develop a vaccine for COVID.


While the mortality rates for the corona viruses are much lower than others (like Ebola), they are still pretty high (30-40% for MERS).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
While the mortality rates for the corona viruses are much lower than others (like Ebola), they are still pretty high (30-40% for MERS).
From a global pandemic standpoint, the "good" thing about Ebola (and I think SARS and MERS) is that the time between exposure to becoming symptomatic is very short, and the symptoms are debilitating - like you have a hard time getting to the airport before you collapse if you've got it. With coronavirus one can be exposed & then contagious, of have very mild symptoms but still be highly contageous and able to move around in society infecting others.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
And here's a long article from the South China Morning Post that I came across.

Coronavirus: the new disease Covid-19 explained

While I'd normally be skeptical of anything out of China, there's enough here that's not disputed and is corroborated by enough other things I've seen that this article in itself appears to be a good info source. They're updating a lot of the graphs and statistics in the article, and there's good stuff on medical personnel protective clothing, handwashing, makeshift hospitals, masks and their limitations, symptoms, incubation period, and travel restrictions. Of interest is the "Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market" graphic (ground zero where the virus jumped from an animal to human) which looks more like an exotic zoo to most Americans than a meat menu (unless you're Cajun :) ).

One thing I've heard is that the Chinese had experience with previous outbreaks and were quick to shut everything down using their authoritarian system to it's advantage. The US is more accustomed to our freedoms, and have had doubters in high places, so we're way behind on preventing the spread. (this is by no means an endorsement of authoritarian societies)

One thing of real concern is the "Deaths day-by-day" graph which looks like it's starting to get into the steep exponential part of the curve.

-AH
 

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Insert laugh emoji!

No we are getting PPE with strick regs.... at least here in the mountains.... We are deferring testing unless sick .... Holding out!
 

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In Salida if a worker gets tested its because they have symptoms. They are put on quarantine until test comes back negative. Right now that is running 7+days. Better hope they don't start testing all the employees or healthcare will be non existent.

SO got a travel nurse posting the other day for $5500/week they are so short in some places. Told her to quit here and go! That way she can stop bringing shit home to me. LOL
 

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In Salida if a worker gets tested its because they have symptoms. They are put on quarantine until test comes back negative. Right now that is running 7+days. Better hope they don't start testing all the employees or healthcare will be non existent.
That is the norm.... though we like to call it isolation.... you can come right back to work on a negative test, as of today was 5-7 days with commercial labs opening up testing options. Quarantine comes with a positive test and that means 10 days to 2 weeks with the last 72 hours fever free.... Sometimes I feel we are not testing just for that reason. Being in a community spread area testing takes on a whole new dimension....

SO got a travel nurse posting the other day for $5500/week they are so short in some places. Told her to quit here and go! That way she can stop bringing shit home to me. LOL
I truly miss the days of a $1200 day rate to work in Iraq as a contractor.... if they offered that again..... I'd self isolate there!
 

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Say a person has a R/HT permit, and can fully rig without going shopping, the only commodity needed along the way would be pay at the pump fuel, and self-shuttling. Is that selfish to go ahead and make that trip happen?
 

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Say a person has a R/HT permit, and can fully rig without going shopping, the only commodity needed along the way would be pay at the pump fuel, and self-shuttling. Is that selfish to go ahead and make that trip happen?
It is nearly impossible to say that there is something wrong with what you propose. After all, what could possibly go wrong?

The problem is, if the back-country were left open as you suggest, it is unlikely that everyone will be as "safe" as you intend. That is, there will be a flood of people going to the back-country which is what was happening to Moab for example.(Several days ago a friend of ours who lives in Frisco said everyone there out of work was heading to the desert. Especially the young out-of-workers. (Ya,hooo. Party time.))

For this to succeed so we can get back to near normal ASAP we cannot have a country of people mobilized to do long distance travel and contamination just because they have the day off.

Bottom-line, you can't always get what you want.

Thank you very much if you play it safe and stay put.

Signed:
From someone in the potentially 1-in-10-die-age-range. Not as bad as playing Russian Roulette but bad enough.
 

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Well the permit holder decided to cxl the trip, she just thought it through and decided it was better to not go for the multitude of obvious reasons. It was the first permit she had acquired on her own and while of course she is disappointed, she understands it'll still be there when we get through this. She went through the thought process without any input from me, so at least I know I got something across while raising her. (patting self on back........ :) )
 

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Well the permit holder decided to cxl the trip, she just thought it through and decided it was better to not go for the multitude of obvious reasons. It was the first permit she had acquired on her own and while of course she is disappointed, she understands it'll still be there when we get through this. She went through the thought process without any input from me, so at least I know I got something across while raising her. (patting self on back........ :) )
I'm truly very sorry your trip canceled. I love R/HT in the spring.
 
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