Today's US graph, latest data is from two days ago. No sign of slowing down yet:
I think we're in day 9 or 10 of social distancing. If this is having an effect it should begin showing up by early next week.
My gizmo from Amazon arrived yesterday in a plastic pouch. It connects my non-bluetooth sound system to bluetooth, very nice for very little money, and I don't have to wear headphones anymore to get good sound. I was using Pandora, which is part of my sound system, but Pandora's variety for the type of music I like has diminished a great deal over the past couple years and I'll be dropping them. My own music collection is much more varied, and I'm giving Apple Music a try. During my first exploration of their collection I added the Beethoven symphonies I was missing. They're expensive, $10/month.
To unpack the gizmo I carried the pouch into the garage using a paper towel, then sprayed it down with isopropyl alcohol and let it sit a half hour. I sprayed down a pair of scissors with alcohol, opened the pouch, and extracted from it a cardboard box, being careful to not touch it. Turning it using the scissors as a prod to expose different sides, I sprayed down the box with alcohol and let it sit a half hour. I then opened the box, extracted the contents with a paper towel and brought them in. I then washed my hands and the scissors with soap and water for 30 seconds. Setting up the gizmo was easier and took much less time.
All the indoor tennis clubs have shut down, but we haven't been able to play outside because it's been too cold, and Tuesday we got 5 inches of the heavy stuff. I've called off doubles for now because of the potential for approaching too close. The next few days are supposed to be nice and top 50 by a little, I've scheduled play for all three days. Before play begins both players will spray their hands with alcohol, since both will be touching the balls. Balls will be new out of the can. We'll approach each other no closer than 15 feet.
Tomorrow is grocery shopping day and I'll be following the same protocols I followed last week. Again, the 6 foot recommended distance, besides being not enough, is absolutely impossible in grocery stores.
There is some social pressure against these protocols. Most people don't like to feel weird, and you *do* feel weird if you're the only one wearing a mask. But I advise everyone, if you got 'em wear 'em whenever other people are present.
Most exhaled droplets are larger and do fall to the floor rather quickly, so floors can be hotbeds of virus. I don't know how long coronavirus can survive on linoleum, tile or concrete, but assume that your shoes are contaminated and don't track them into your house. Leave them outside and spray them down with alcohol or don't touch them for a couple days, which is easy since most people have several pairs of shoes.
I keep going on about precautions because from what I see on the news too many are not taking them seriously enough. It is true that the risks for not following them are greater in New York City than, say, Wyoming and that penetration into the population will be a function of density, but no part of the US is completely isolated from the rest. There are no hard borders inside the country. Wyoming could return to work next week with only small consequences in terms of raw numbers of infections and deaths and the strain on their hospital system, and the percentages should be significantly less than New York City, too.
But without doubt Wyoming's numbers in terms of infections and deaths will be higher if they don't take precautions. Will it be enough to overwhelm their hospital system? I found Wyoming hospital data at Wyoming Hospitals, the total number of beds is 1423, or 1 bed for every 400 people. New York State thinks they will soon be at 100,000 hospital beds, which is 1 bed for every 200 people, twice as good as Wyoming. I don't think Wyoming should get too cocky.
The problem we have here is that without the test, we've no way of knowing whether this is COVID or not. The symptoms are similar to colds and flu.
This has been a major problem worldwide -- a shortage of tests. And even with some of the tests, results can take days. The assumption should always be that if you're feeling sick at all, self-quarantine immediately. Even supposing its just a cold, should you catch COVID-19 on top of that, it might prove to be too overwhelming for your immune system to handle.
I have a coworker who came down with flu-like symptoms. Turned out to be a rare form of influenza but had he gotten that in addition to this new virus it most likely would have been enough to put him on a ventilator.
The other problem is that this coronavirus is already mutating. Of the 117,749 people that have recovered up to this point, and of the 21,100 people who have died, a small fraction of those people got the disease TWICE. The speed at which it is mutating should also be very alarming.
We'll be in this fight for months... I monitor the cases provided by WHO and CDC daily, and the numbers increase 10-20,000 new cases daily. If the trend continues as projected, 52-56% of the U.S. population, alone, will become infected. Can't even fathom what that trend might look like globally.
Imagine though this was Ebola that had gotten out in the same manner... Ebola or any hemorrhagic fever is orders of magnitude more lethal. We would certainly be talking about a legitimate existential threat to humanity at that point. The worst thing is that it is not far-fetched that it could happen. That could happen at any time.
This should be an enormous wake-up call to the entire planet about preparedness.
Edited by Hyroglyphx, : No reason given.
"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine
The graph's labels are missing from the image, see the article if you'd like to see the numbers.
I think it's too late to stop the momentum of the "social distancing" term, but giving the experts the nod, two months of "physical distancing" puts us out to mid May.
This would be a terrible disaster for the economy, but if we can get mask production ramped up to about 20 million/day (which is far, far above the current 100 million/month) so everyone could have masks, and if isopropyl alcohol can become widely available again, and if we could get people to follow serious protocols like the one's I've described myself taking (I know people in general find them extreme, but as the viral threat approaches closer to home attitudes will inevitably change), then it would be safe for people to return to work far sooner.
The lies and misrepresentations spread by Trump during his increased air time from his coronavirus briefings and interviews is why not broadcasting his comments is a public service. From the very beginning the FCC saw broadcasting media as a source of essential and accurate information. That's why the Emergency Broadcast System existed, replacing a predecessor and itself being replaced in 1997 by the Emergency Alert System, though that last isn't a name that has stuck in the public mind.
It is dangerous for public health for Trump to be filling the airways with misinformation. Here, taken from Trump’s faux facts on Fox News, are the lies and misrepresentations of March 24:
Trump: Everyone was against closing travel to China, but he pushed it through anyway.
The Truth: It was never Trump's idea in the first place, he was against it from the start, and he was reluctantly pressured into it by advisers.
Trump: He made the decision to close off travel to China early, while Joe Biden called it xenophobic and racist.
The Truth: Biden made the comments in a speech that began only 15 minutes after the administration announced the travel restrictions. If he already knew about it when made his speech there was no indication of it. He never mentioned China, only Trump's record of xenophobia and fearmongering. Since Trump was at the time still downplaying the dangers of the coronavirus, no one would ever have described Trump's coronavirus comments as fearmongering.
Trump is making contradictory claims, that Democrats were both whipping up a hysterical hoax about the dangers of the coronavirus while at the same time accusing Trump of fearmongering about it.
Trump: A few weeks ago the economy was the best in the country's history.
The Truth: This is historically false. There's been both lower unemployment and higher growth rates in the nation's history.
Trump: We don't turn the economy off for the flu, which kills tens of thousands every year, we shouldn't turn it off for the coronavirus.
The Truth: The coronavirus is at least ten times more deadly than the flu, and there is no vaccine to prevent infection rates from reaching very high levels.
Trump: The original CDC test was perfect, just like my phone call was perfect. Oh, you're challenging that the test was perfect? I never said it was perfect.
The Truth: The fact that Trump contradicted himself in the space of a minute says it all.
Trump: Problems with the CDC coronavirus test were due to previous administrations.
The Truth: Trump was advised back in January that the CDC wasn't up to the task of designing and producing the coronavirus test and that he should involve private industry, which he didn't do until a month later.
Trump: "Anybody who wants a test gets a test." Response to reporter's question at the CDC on March 6.
The Truth: Obviously it was false then, just as it is false now. Test availability is still poor enough that it is strongly urged that you be displaying symptoms before requesting a test. The process people were asked to follow, and that they're still being asked to follow in most places, is to call their doctor and for the doctor to recommend whether they should have the test or not. So much for, "Anybody who wants a test gets a test."
Trump: New York Governor Cuomo had a chance to order 15,000 ventilators back in 2015.
The Truth: This is just a flat out lie that a conspiracy website has tried to give a veneer of truth by stringing together unrelated tidbits from a report from five years ago. It was noted in the report that a pandemic like 1918 might require 16,000 ventilators, but there was never any suggestion that New York should purchase such a fantastic (at the time) number, especially given the staffing/training problem for so many ventilators.
Staffing/training will be a serious issue for the ventilators New York is acquiring now. You don't just flip a switch. I think someone in this thread already made clear the complexity of ventilators while explaining why sharing a ventilator seems like a very unlikely thing to achieve.
Because of delays in data gathering the final statistics aren't actually in yet, but there is no doubt that we are now the world record holder in coronavirus infections, passing Italy and China. Here are the currently available numbers showing us in third place:
Today it was warm enough to play tennis outside. The park where we played had a sign on the tennis courts (the fence was a convenient place for the sign given the tennis courts' location near the park entrance) saying, "Use of playground prohibited due to coronavirus." There is a playground area in the park, but nowhere near the tennis courts. People passed the courts regularly, usually walking their dogs. There was a couple flying a drone. One court was already filled when we got there, they left, another pair came, they left, and as we were leaving a mother and her three children (I presume) came.
My partner and I never came closer together than around 15 feet, except for a brief instant when I sprayed his hands with isopropyl alcohol. He's a retired doctor and had been worried about us possibly contaminating each other when touching the balls and was relieved to see the alcohol. He mentioned that yesterday he had applied online to become a medical volunteer to help relieve the load on working doctors.
A little later I spoke on the phone with another doctor in the area who said that things were beginning to look bad in our area.
Treat this very seriously. Even if you're certain you're indestructible, the people you infect might not be.