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Some useful perspective on Coronavirus from one of those on Diamond Princess


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Got this in my daily headlines from WaPo. This is written by a gent in his 60s who was on Diamond Princess but not diagnosed until he was on the flight home to the US.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/02/28/i-have-coronavirus-so-far-it-isnt-that-bad/

To summarize, apart from the high fever he said this is not even close to the worst he’s ever been sick. It’s been a lot of Gatorade and some Advil when the fever went back over 100, and lots of poking and prodding while he’s been taking voluntary part in efforts to find a treatment for the virus. But at no time did he feel like he was at death’s door or even in particular danger.

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1 hour ago, JLMoran said:

Got this in my daily headlines from WaPo. This is written by a gent in his 60s who was on Diamond Princess but not diagnosed until he was on the flight home to the US.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/02/28/i-have-coronavirus-so-far-it-isnt-that-bad/

To summarize, apart from the high fever he said this is not even close to the worst he’s ever been sick. It’s been a lot of Gatorade and some Advil when the fever went back over 100, and lots of poking and prodding while he’s been taking voluntary part in efforts to find a treatment for the virus. But at no time did he feel like he was at death’s door or even in particular danger.

It is nice to hear about a "normal" case given that the media emphasizes the extreme situations. 

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According to the stats being shared by the media on multiple sites, 80% of people have mild symptoms only.  Of the 20% left, 14% have serious symptoms, with about 5% critical (needing major intervention).   

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-symptoms/

https://www.sciencealert.com/large-chinese-study-finds-most-coronavirus-infections-are-mild

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On 3/4/2020 at 7:14 AM, mark52479 said:

The woman here in FLorida who has the virus according to local news also has "very minor" symptoms.  I believe they said a cough and that is about it.

 

There will be many that go undiagnosed you can count on that.  

And there was a guy in his 30s in the UK who wrote about getting it in early Jan in China and still hasn't fully recovered and for most of that he thought he was going to die it was so bad and he wasn't even hospitalized.  So like anything everyone is different and there is a huge range of experiences which vary widely. Better not to get it at all I guess. 

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Meridian said:

And there was a guy in his 30s in the UK who wrote about getting it in early Jan in China and still hasn't fully recovered and for most of that he thought he was going to die it was so bad and he wasn't even hospitalized.  So like anything everyone is different and there is a huge range of experiences which vary widely. Better not to get it at all I guess. 

 

 

Did he have some kind of underlying condition?  Everyone on TV keeps saying UNDERLYING ISSUES are what are getting these people the most sick

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26 minutes ago, mark52479 said:

Did he have some kind of underlying condition?  Everyone on TV keeps saying UNDERLYING ISSUES are what are getting these people the most sick

I saw an interview with an expert (?) earlier today, in an effort to clarify some of reports, pointed out that many of the fatalities worldwide died *with* the virus, not necessarily  *of* the virus.  

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1 minute ago, bytheslice said:

Saw that as well. Yesterday I heard that anyone in the US that wants a covid 19 test can have one. Get the test to calm your fears and stop the panic. We are in good hands with people who know what they are doing.

Well that at least is not true.  There is a critical shortage of tests in the US. There have been many articles of people in Washington etc begging for tests to be refused.   Only 2000 have been done in the entire country of 350m and even if they meet the targets of 1m to be made that's still way less than needed.  

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/how-many-americans-have-been-tested-coronavirus/607597/?preview=3-4FLneYp3QF4ooMLWUN_KtUiR8

 

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My wife sent me a link to an NBC Nightly News video posted on Instagram, appears to be a recording of a Facebook Live session or maybe Instagram TV. The video was a discussion between Jose Diaz Ballart and Dr. John Torres, who they regularly have on broadcasts for health topics. He was asked a number of questions from viewers / people who posted via Instagram / FB. A couple of points I found particularly relevant:

  1. The "vast majority" of those who have died were smokers. Not indicated how long they had been smoking, but I would assume for long enough to have impaired lung function. They openly said that if you are a smoker you would be well-off to start the effort to quit.
  2. People who have asthma or chronic respiratory illnesses are not more likely to contract the virus, but are more likely to get a more severe illness / suffer complications if they do contract it.
  3. As has been stated by some of those here who work in the healthcare industry, getting a mask if you are not sick is really not going to help you; it's more to help prevent spread if you have contracted it.
  4. Household cleaners that have previously been labeled as effective against SARS and MERS are also confirmed effective against Coronavirus. But, you must allow the cleaner to air-dry after spraying, and not immediately wipe it up with paper towels; these cleaners need some time to properly kill any virus on the sprayed surface.

You can watch the whole video if you go onto Instagram, look up NBC Nightly News, click the bio link and from there click/tap the picture showing Mr. Ballart and Dr. Torres in front of a background with a big "Coronavirus CRISIS" banner.

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6 hours ago, JLMoran said:

My wife sent me a link to an NBC Nightly News video posted on Instagram, appears to be a recording of a Facebook Live session or maybe Instagram TV. The video was a discussion between Jose Diaz Ballart and Dr. John Torres, who they regularly have on broadcasts for health topics. He was asked a number of questions from viewers / people who posted via Instagram / FB. A couple of points I found particularly relevant:

  1. The "vast majority" of those who have died were smokers. Not indicated how long they had been smoking, but I would assume for long enough to have impaired lung function. They openly said that if you are a smoker you would be well-off to start the effort to quit.
  2. People who have asthma or chronic respiratory illnesses are not more likely to contract the virus, but are more likely to get a more severe illness / suffer complications if they do contract it.
  3. As has been stated by some of those here who work in the healthcare industry, getting a mask if you are not sick is really not going to help you; it's more to help prevent spread if you have contracted it.
  4. Household cleaners that have previously been labeled as effective against SARS and MERS are also confirmed effective against Coronavirus. But, you must allow the cleaner to air-dry after spraying, and not immediately wipe it up with paper towels; these cleaners need some time to properly kill any virus on the sprayed surface.

You can watch the whole video if you go onto Instagram, look up NBC Nightly News, click the bio link and from there click/tap the picture showing Mr. Ballart and Dr. Torres in front of a background with a big "Coronavirus CRISIS" banner.

Thanks for posting actual useful information.  This thing has taken on a life of its own with the US Media being the main culprit as usual. 

Why are these facts not at the top of every story about it?  Must be because it would calm the panic.  We can't have that. 

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1 hour ago, RCVoyager said:

Why are these facts not at the top of every story about it? 

The media doesn't report facts.  They report what will generate ratings and support ad revenue.  They don't report news, they create it or sensationalize it because in part that is what people want.  Bad news travel faster than good news because of human nature.  No one but ourselves and fellow members of society to blame for that.  

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I am not worried about the virus itself (I am an epidemiologist MPH, interned at CDC&P/retired from that and have a different life, now), but rather the panic that is spreading faster than the virus. Actually, cancelling the 7 day cruise portion of our vacation due to the very real possibility of being stuck on the ship well past spring break. Killed me to cancel that $18/day intern sale DBP. We'll still go fishing in FLL and Lake Okeechobee and go to the Blues/Panthers hockey game, but come back a week early. I've got a HS freshman that needs to get back to classes and not stuck on a ship with passengers in QT.

Edited by Baked Alaska
Add my training/background, as it is relevant to the conversation. Never thought it would be on these boards!
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2 hours ago, twangster said:

The media doesn't report facts.  They report what will generate ratings and support ad revenue.  They don't report news, they create it or sensationalize it because in part that is what people want.  Bad news travel faster than good news because of human nature.  No one but ourselves and fellow members of society to blame for that.  

Too many Americans, and probably people around the world, believe what they hear or even see sometimes.  Funny how important news like trying to protect our Southern Border from daily invasion doesn't jibe with their agenda, so it goes unreported.  Yet this affects a tiny percentage of the World and is all over the place to the point where people I know who never pay attention to the News are stocking up on Clorox wipes.

This board is not about politics and I'm not trying to make it such, but it is ironic the amount of money Congress printed up for Corona in about 3 days was the exact same amount that they can't seem to find with a search warrant for another more important project to the safety and well being of our Country.  I think you know what I'm talking about.

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So to follow up with another news report, this time from an epidemiologist with over 20 years of experience in actual disease monitoring (including SARS and H1N1) writing for the Washington Post: Why it's so hard to pin down the risk of dying from coronavirus

Again, the key points:

  • The director of WHO reported that 3.4% of people with reported Covid-19 infections have died
  • The above statement is not the mortality risk rate of this disease for every single person who gets infected, it is the mortality rate among reported, confirmed infections
  • As we've all learned, there is apparently a significant population that was infected and either showed no symptoms (asymptomatic) or had only mild symptoms and never went to a doctor for testing; they were found later on when broader population tests were conducted
  • Knowing the actual mortality risk of this disease with absolute certainty is, bluntly, impossible at this time; it may not be known until after the pandemic has run its course. But current estimates based on growing data are putting the risk at between 1% and 2%

A couple key quotes from the article (emphasis added):

Quote

One source of bias arises because, initially, we tend to see the most severe cases. In Wuhan, China, where the epidemic began, care and testing were prioritized for the sickest patients. In other places, such as Iran, the first covid-19 tests were administered because individuals were unexpectedly dying of pneumonia. Either way, the cases we know about are not a random sample of all cases, but a sample of the sickest — so the risk of dying is higher in the people we know about than in typical cases.

By contrast, the other source of bias can make us underestimate the risk of dying. At any moment in a growing epidemic, most cases are people who were infected recently — that’s what it means for an epidemic to grow: There are more new infections this week than there were last week. Many of the people with these new infections will recover, and some will die. We don’t yet know the fates of those who were infected, say, just yesterday or the day before. To count appropriately, we need to know how many of the current cases will die, not just how many have died.

Quote

Several estimates have suggested that the risk of dying, for those infected with covid-19 and showing its flu-like symptoms, is around 1 or 2 percent. Elderly adults have a considerably higher risk of both becoming infected and dying, as do people with compromised immune systems. The estimates might change as new data arrive, but the range of 1 to 2 percent for fatalities among the symptomatic seems to be the consensus for now. The overall fatality rate for people infected with covid-19 will be lower — possibly much lower — when we know how many people are infected but asymptomatic.

 

This article explains in a nutshell why I'm not listening to most news reports, unless those reports include a board-certified MD, an epidemiologist, or other person who actually knows what they're talking about. If it's politicians talking and making any statements of fact (with either (D) or (R) after their name), they're pulling it out of their a$$ based on stuff they've overheard and haven't taken the time to fully understand.

Doing actual science takes time, and the news today is completely averse to the idea of patience and waiting for the evidence; in no small part because we've allowed the Internet and its 24-hour news dump to take over in place of actual reporting (which also, not so coincidentally, takes a good amount of time to get right). Wait for the scientists to do their jobs, and in the meantime take all the sensible precautions that have been noted multiple times already.

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19 hours ago, CoupleOfCruisers said:

Only around 100,000 have the virus population is 7.5 billion! We got long way to go before we panic! Everyone just wash your hands and cover your mouth! 😊 

I'm not asking you to panic, but there is also the opposite of panic, which would be using one mild case as the poster child for the virus.  You don't know, I don't know.  I wouldn't ask you to ever act on what I have to say about it, and no disrespect, but you telling me not to panic isn't going to effect whether I panic or not.

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9 hours ago, Baked Alaska said:

I am not worried about the virus itself, but rather than panic that is spreading faster than the virus. Actually, cancelling the 7 day cruise portion of our vacation due to the very real possibility of being stuck on the ship well past spring break. Killed me to cancel that $18/day intern sale DBP. We'll still go fishing in FLL and Lake Okeechobee and go to the Blues/Panthers hockey game, but come back a week early. I've got a HS freshman that needs to get back to classes and not stuck on a ship with passengers in QT.

@Baked Alaska  We did the same thing and cancelled our Harmony sailing.  😪Super sad about it but the small risk of being quarantined would really impact my husband's job and I have a college kid who needs to be back at school.  Just not worth it for us.  MEI Travel booked us a trip to Cancun all inclusive.  It will finally give us a chance to compare all inclusives to the cruise vacations. 

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26 minutes ago, melski94 said:

@Baked Alaska  We did the same thing and cancelled our Harmony sailing.  😪Super sad about it but the small risk of being quarantined would really impact my husband's job and I have a college kid who needs to be back at school.  Just not worth it for us.  MEI Travel booked us a trip to Cancun all inclusive.  It will finally give us a chance to compare all inclusives to the cruise vacations. 

Does going to an all inclusive really reduce the risk of being stuck in a quarantine?  Aren’t there some hotels in Europe that have been quarantined?

 

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7 hours ago, JLMoran said:

So to follow up with another news report, this time from an epidemiologist with over 20 years of experience in actual disease monitoring (including SARS and H1N1) writing for the Washington Post: Why it's so hard to pin down the risk of dying from coronavirus

Again, the key points:

  • The director of WHO reported that 3.4% of people with reported Covid-19 infections have died
  • The above statement is not the mortality risk rate of this disease for every single person who gets infected, it is the mortality rate among reported, confirmed infections
  • As we've all learned, there is apparently a significant population that was infected and either showed no symptoms (asymptomatic) or had only mild symptoms and never went to a doctor for testing; they were found later on when broader population tests were conducted
  • Knowing the actual mortality risk of this disease with absolute certainty is, bluntly, impossible at this time; it may not be known until after the pandemic has run its course. But current estimates based on growing data are putting the risk at between 1% and 2%

A couple key quotes from the article (emphasis added):

 

This article explains in a nutshell why I'm not listening to most news reports, unless those reports include a board-certified MD, an epidemiologist, or other person who actually knows what they're talking about. If it's politicians talking and making any statements of fact (with either (D) or (R) after their name), they're pulling it out of their a$$ based on stuff they've overheard and haven't taken the time to fully understand.

Doing actual science takes time, and the news today is completely averse to the idea of patience and waiting for the evidence; in no small part because we've allowed the Internet and its 24-hour news dump to take over in place of actual reporting (which also, not so coincidentally, takes a good amount of time to get right). Wait for the scientists to do their jobs, and in the meantime take all the sensible precautions that have been noted multiple times already.

I like & appreciate your assessment...I try to attain as much factional & real number/ratio as possible myself. I have stated a little time ago, in one if these thread, the reason why I'm torn between the official report from many of these media outlets(whom just regurgitate what other outlet spit out) versus leak information that is unverified or not being reported. So yes, I do appreciate your assessment.

 

With that said...and I state again...until we get real/true numbers from China...I suspect things are much worse. There is a reason, imho, why China sought the need close down 60+ million people, so quickly, 3 major cities & adjacent areas, as those quarantine areas steady has been increasing...given the known viral research/medical/military facilities in that area....and now we have Northern Italy doing the same. We don't know the real numbers of infection to fatality ratio in China, other than what state media release to the world. I have qualms with accuracy & forthcoming with China on such things.

 

This virus is very contagious...that doesn't mean it very dangerous/deadly...just that it easily spread. This is where we need to take some responsibility & caution ourselves, on individual basis. Some number of people are infected, whom don't know they are carriers, propagating the rate of infections, because of lack of understanding how reduce one's risk or being very apathetic. That is my level of concern...nothing to do with the media...I see what what happening & quite capable of assessing steps I need to take, in safeguarding myself & family/friends. I have two cruises coming up, on each side of Royal new "cruise with confidence" cancellation policy.

 

As the official numbers stand to, minus real numbers from China...no, it does not look as deadly as the media makes it out to be. I'm personally don't like the real possibility of being stuck quarantine on a ship...that is an unnecessary inconvenience that I don't have to place myself into...a terrible situation to be in, when one could just wait it out, let things subside, & resume from there. So yes, I am closely monitoring both the airline & cruise industry & reported case in those areas. Not as concern about an outbreak at some office/business that I don't frequent, so nursing home, I dont visit, or hotel or city I'm not going to presently. I can't say that about air travel & cruising; because, those area will directly affect me, if a situation arises when I am abroad somewhere.

 

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