Food for thought about the extreme measures re: Coronavirus

The public health experts do have a problem with limited data. I think the stats from Italy are clear enough to convince most of the public that flattening the curve is essential in the US. My biggest concern is this urban legend that only the elderly need be concerned about catching it…not true! There are articles out today stating that 6% of preschool age kids in China who caught the virus had to be hospitalized. Shouldn’t that concern the public?

Unless they (ALL school kids) were repeatedly tested with very accurate tests, who is to say how many kids actually had the virus? I’d venture to say that untold numbers were either asymptomatic and/or not tested. You know what they say about figures.

Unfortunately the general public is no position to know what we really should be doing. We are taking our cues from government officials who are all new to this. It’s almost like the blind leading the blind.

the Dow dropping freaks me out more than the pandemic. :slight_smile:

Agreed…but my point is the media is repeating this urban legend that only elderly people (or chronically ill blah blah) are at risk of hospitalization. It is not true and it influences the younger crowd to ignore all the guidance about self distancing. I have no doubt that the statistics will eventually tell us that all these percentages are actually lower because of the number of untested infected people.

But the big picture is just the sheer number of people in the “not elderly and not chronically ill” population is enough to overcrowd the ICU’s and ventilators unless the spread is dampened down, no matter how small the percentage of them is that has to be hospitalized.

Here is a link:

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They even found a confirmed case in Greenland…that freaks me out.

I agree with you on that. (the age thing)

I tried to get treated at an ER a few months ago, and gave up after 4 hours of nothing happening. The place was FILLED with homeless. It was, IIRC, the day after Thanksgiving. What I’m saying is that our medical facilities have already lost the ability to care quickly for those in distress, simply from the social ills of our society. It’s only getting worse by the day. This pandemic just adds more stress to an already overburdened system.

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People are very mobile with all the international flights. And think of the petri dishes like cruise ships, forgetting for the moment, flying on planes and then dispersing whatever illness one might catch from those long-term close quarters. As a germaphobe of many years, I’ve not wanted to fly for that, and other unrelated issues.

Not entirely. They are new to this new virus, but they are not new to other viruses, endemic or pandemic. At least in Canada, those who were on the front lines during SARS are often now in positions to advise public health departments. They bring useful experience and knowledge to the table.


The sad part of this is that while this younger crowd has less to fear from this virus their actions my sign a death warrant for grandma and grandpa if they don’t take the necessary precautions to prevent transmission to their elderly family.


I thought I wrote “government officials”. That doesn’t include “many experts”. It’s a comment about bureaucrats. Why are we conflating the two groups?

I was surprised at all the people out and about in San Jose today, given the "shelter in place"orders. Open stores have a normal amount of shoppers for the time of day (10AM). Fast food places were open like Jack in the Box, In & Out and presumably the others, but I didn’t notice them today. Only a small percentage of shoppers were wearing masks.

Wearing regular face masks has no practical purpose in preventing Covid-19.

The Chinese wearing masks, that’s not a medically driven thing but more of a social status thing. Masks were commonplace when I visited Beijing in 2012 (perhaps in large part due to air pollution - smog was worse in Beijing than I ever saw it in LA in the 80’s or 90’s probably because of all the coal burning). And masks have become even more commonplace now. The latest wave is more of a social status statement “I care about public health and show it by wearing a mask” than any actual reason.


I would have worn a mask if I was in Beijing during the Olympics. The air looked thick enough to cut with a knife. Yuck.

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Those masks don’t actually filter the air at all though. You’d need a real respiratory one, like the ones people have with hazmat suits or to work in certain labs, which are expensive and bulky and uncomfortable to wear. Otherwise it’s basically placebo tx. The main utility of masks right now for the general population is behavioral—helps remind you not to touch your nose/mouth.

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I think an N95 would help. Not some flimsy junk or just fabric. I have a box of N95’s due to the things I do here at home. I have a wood shop and use masks there and for other purposes. When I spray herbicides and other garden chemicals, then I wear a cartridge respirator.

Right, so this is the equivalent of the herbicides/chemicals, not of dust—tiny airborne viruses.

I think the N95 would help for nearby airborne droplets, but according to experts an N95 isn’t going to stop virus-sized aerosolized material. ie, in close quarters, the N95 would be better than nothing, but it’s not a solution for other situations when viruses not attached to droplets are present. Make sense?

Sure—I think that would still support the idea that masks are far more likely to be useful if worn by the sick people than the healthy, which is also how they tend to be used in Asian countries all the time.