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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    According to a news story I just read (COVID-19 Isnít As Deadly As We Think / Slate.com) the Case Fatality Rate for Covid-19 is about 0.85%. This is taking the data from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship where, of 3,711 passengers, 705 have tested positive, and 6 of those have died. All six patients who died were over 70 years old.

    So it's serious, but not worth panicking over.

    Again, the best advice I've heard is to wash your hands frequently (with soap, for 20 seconds), use hand sanitizer if hand-washing is unavailable, and only wear a mask if you are sick. Avoid hand contact with others (elbow-bump instead of shaking hands), and try to avoid touching your mucous membranes (eyes/nose/mouth).

    Regarding its origins, no reputable news outlet has confirmed the bio-weapon story, and every report I've seen links it to the meat markets.

    Here's a 'real-time' worldwide tracker: Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases
    Last edited by Lord Torath; 2020-03-30 at 09:41 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Xyril View Post
    Could you please share citations for the first two times WHO "embarrassed" itself? I know you're not a medical doctor, but since you're offering opinions, it would help if you could be specific about what you're offering your opinion on.

    I mean, are you talking about the ebola scare a few years back, because I am fairly sure that particular crisis was in what Brother Oni articulated as category 4: Something that didn't end up escalating into a global "big deal" precisely because WHO and other responsible experts recognized that it had the potential to become very bad, and the people with the power to do something about it actually listened.
    This is beginning to sound like those managers who say "why do we have an IT department, everything is working fine!"
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    , and only wear a mask if you are sick
    Is the justification behind that statement just to prevent shortages for those who need it, or is there an actual reason wearing a mask is a bad idea in and of itself? In other words, am I somehow increasing my risk of contagion by wearing a mask? (I'd also ask about risk others have around me, but if I'm not sick, I don't see how me wearing a mask could increase risk to others nearby.)

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    This is beginning to sound like those managers who say "why do we have an IT department, everything is working fine!"
    Obviously, for the sweet satisfaction of having somebody to gloat to when everything is still working fine tomorrow.

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Wearing a mask is much better at preventing your germs from spreading than it is at protecting you from others' germs. When there is a shortage of masks to go around (and there are now shortages of masks), it's better that they be worn by those who are sick, instead of those who are healthy. Each mask you wear when you're not sick is a wasted mask that could be preventing a person who is sick from spreading disease.

    Plus, if you re-use the mask, your own germs can build up on it, possibly building to a higher concentration of them on the mask than you would otherwise come in contact with. You could make yourself sick by re-using a mask.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    It's definitely not worth panicking over. The death rates are almost certainly higher than their final values just due to the difficulty in testing right now. Not only are authorities lacking the tests themselves, people with asymptomatic cases are definitely not being tested which is artificially lowering the number of people actually infected.

    If you're elderly or immunocompromised, it may be worthwhile avoiding contact with people more than is necessary. For almost everyone else there's no reason to panic and definitely no reason to guy out and start panic buying things like hand sanitizer or masks. Normal hygiene practices (maybe some extra hand washing) is sufficient. The panic here is almost certainly worse than the actual disease. Depending on how far you have to drive to get those masks you may be more likely to die because of the drive than to the disease.

    The other thing to note here, there is a large focus on the number of deaths due to this. But we're in the middle of flu season right now. Even if every one of those deaths is 100% coronavirus related these are not necessarilly 100% more deaths than would be occurring right now if there were no coronavirus. This is likely competing with the normal flu, or lung disease deaths that are going around. Our of the thousands of elderly people who died in China due to this, we have no good way of knowing how many would have also just died to whatever other pre-existing conditions they had.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Chen View Post
    It's definitely not worth panicking over.
    I would argue that pretty much nothing, no matter how legitimately dangerous, is worth panicking over. There are very few situations where the panic response helps, and those that exist generally aren't the sort you get advanced warning for.

    However, I would argue that this may well be a case that calls for heightened vigilance. Your points are well taken, but they cut both ways: While might be too early to say for sure whether this has been more deadly than a severe flu season, it's also too early to definitively claim that it's not going to get much worse, and what little of the science is certain gives us reason to worry that it could in fact get much worse. To me, the downside of failing to take precautions is one of those low probability, high cost catastrophic outcomes, while the downside of choosing to exercise caution is... well, you feel silly about being wrong, and you accidentally help protect yourself from the flu while mistakenly thinking you had to protect yourself from COVID-19.

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    Is the justification behind that statement just to prevent shortages for those who need it, or is there an actual reason wearing a mask is a bad idea in and of itself? In other words, am I somehow increasing my risk of contagion by wearing a mask? (I'd also ask about risk others have around me, but if I'm not sick, I don't see how me wearing a mask could increase risk to others nearby.)
    Aside from what Lord Torath mentioned about your own germs, I saw a doctor commenting that they also allow germs from the outside (so to speak) build up much more than they normally would, meaning you could get infected (or infect others) that way. And that you should basically burn the mask once you're done wearing it, which isn't something most people would think of. Or do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pickford View Post
    I don't understand your point. Why does it matter what I said?

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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    Wearing a mask is much better at preventing your germs from spreading than it is at protecting you from others' germs. When there is a shortage of masks to go around (and there are now shortages of masks), it's better that they be worn by those who are sick, instead of those who are healthy. Each mask you wear when you're not sick is a wasted mask that could be preventing a person who is sick from spreading disease.
    I remember seeing a video showing the droplet plume from someone coughing/sneezing while wearing a mask 'normally'. The spray just went out the sides instead.

    If anything, wearing a mask lulls ill people into a false sense of security - they believe they're safe to go out when they're highly contagious and should be self isolating.

    Even if you're not ill, the protection offered by wearing a face mask normally can be as low as 34%, as evidenced by this study where they had one mannikin coughing at another mask-wearing mannikin: link.

    The good thing about this study is that they studied different qualities of mask fitting - I know how to wear a face mask correctly as it's required in my job and I'm annually tested for wellness of fit; the average person doesn't as quite a few pictures and crowd pictures during the news cycle seems to indicate.

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    - The thing with the WHO is that basically, we're not their primary target audience. They're an international body which was founded to assist in sharing knowledge and information between the different governments of the world. And while they've adapted rather well to the Internet Era of media, providing medico-scientific advice to governments - particularly ones too small/poor to have much 'in-house experts' - is still their primary reason for existing.

    They're meant to be the fact-based party-poopers - unlike national politicians, who may have... other reasons for making the calls they do. One thing the Internet Era has done, however is make it much harder for said politicians to flatly contradict the WHO advice for the majority of their citizens will be aware of said advice.

    - Oni is right in pointing The Finger at media sensationalism for part of the problem. Here in the UK, we had reports over the weekend that UKGov was preparing public parks for makeshift morgues, allowing funerals to be held in non- licensed premises, to get the police to only work to 'preserve public order', call out the armed forces, 500k dead etc. When listening to the reports, it made it almost sound like it was the start of 28 Days Later or something.

    Without context this looks really bad; that this was basically the 'nightmare scenario' - one where the worst projections were right, everything went wrong etc. The terminology itself was confusing; when they said 'preserve public order' they meant 'all police investigations shelved so staff can be put on the front-line' not 'beating down rioters', that if the Army is deployed, they'll be guarding our nuclear facilities, not patrolling our streets armed to the teeth.

    That's the part of the problem with the medias. Social media relies on views and shares, papers on selling copy and so on. It needs to be explosive in nature; the truth is often rather duller affairs and needs 'jazzing up'. This is similar in say science fiction; they want the ground-shaking events, not a tale of gradual technological change.

    - There is some justification for some 'panic buying'. Almost all modern businesses operate 'just-in-time' stock; meaning that they don't have much product on-hand [usually measured in hours, not days]. This means their system has no 'slack' to it; one drop on the line means it all grinds to a halt. Therefore, if for example a country's ability to import/export and/or internal transport starts being affected, it could lead to empty shelves very quickly. There's also the fact that 'building up a reserve' is a sound move for it means if you're ill you can subsist on what stuff you have on-hand and don't have to risk anybody else's health by getting more in. Lastly, this outbreak has shown us just how much stuff comes from China; I've been waiting for two weeks for the materiel for my dental crown to come in so the work can be concluded - guess what, the maker is Chinese and they can't import the stuff.

    - I'm more worried about 'folks having to continue working even if they think they're ill' rather than 'folk thinking they're superpeople'. Here in the UK, there's a lot of people who can't afford to self-isolate who I am sure are going to be the main vectors of this disease. I've written a blog post on this in greater detail, but not sure whether I'm allowed to post a link to it here.

    - Paper masks generally don't work. For 'the infected' it works a little for it means if you sneeze it won't go everywhere. However, this relies on the mask being fresh - once it's started to get moist, it's ineffective. For 'the healthy' it's utterly ineffective as the virus is smaller than the filter-holes on said mask. The only fringe benefit it has is that it stops people touching their mouth/nose.

    - Chen is right; there's a fair chance some of those folks would have died anyway [what with them being so frail]. And that we need to keep a sense of proportion. Chinese raw numbers are high, but they have a population of over a billion. Read somewhere that using guestimate statistics, more people in China were murdered than died of Coronavirus in the same period. I believe this is called 'reporting bias', which leads people to misjudge the true risk levels due to selective reporting.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Until very recently in my country, there were more cases of racist attacks linked to misinformation about the Covid-19 coronavirus than there were cases of the virus itself, and I'm not sure whether or not that's still true. While the medical response is appreciated, the public response has been almost as damaging as the disease itself.

    My take is that it's probably both an overblown scare and a genuine threat that's swiftly becoming comparable to previous epidemics, but I don't really know enough to guess which side of the line it's going to end up falling on.

  12. - Top - End - #42
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by JeenLeen View Post
    Is the justification behind that statement just to prevent shortages for those who need it, or is there an actual reason wearing a mask is a bad idea in and of itself? In other words, am I somehow increasing my risk of contagion by wearing a mask? (I'd also ask about risk others have around me, but if I'm not sick, I don't see how me wearing a mask could increase risk to others nearby.)
    An infected person spreads it by coughing or sneezing on other people or on things.

    A healthy person gets infected either when it hits their face, or if it gets on their hands and then they touch their eyes/nose, or they stick something in their mouth that has it on it.


    A mask would stop a sick person from spreading it everywhere.
    A mask would not stop it from spreading to a healthy person because their eyes are still uncovered, and your hands (if you don't wash your hands often enough) can still spread it.
    If there's mask shortages because they're all bought by the people who it won't really help, then the people who the masks will help will not have it available. Panic-buying isn't good or helpful.

    In addition, like every other safety device, people will be using it wrong (buy one that's not good enough, not replacing it frequently enough, etc). Healthy people will think they're safe when they're not, which could lead to unsafe practices.


    Or, in other words,
    Masks prevent it from spreading if sick people use them.
    Masks don't prevent it from spreading if healthy people use them.
    People incorrectly using safety devices usually has the opposite effect.
    But also panic-buying and shortages is not a good thing.
    Last edited by 5a Violista; 2020-03-04 at 04:24 PM.
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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    According to a news story I just read (COVID-19 Isnít As Deadly As We Think / Slate.com) the Case Fatality Rate for Covid-19 is about 0.85%. This is taking the data from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship where, of 3,711 passengers, 705 have tested positive, and 6 of those have died. All six patients who died were over 70 years old.

    So it's serious, but not worth panicking over.

    Again, the best advice I've heard is to wash your hands frequently (with soap, for 20 seconds), use hand sanitizer if hand-washing is unavailable, and only wear a mask if you are sick. Avoid hand contact with others (elbow-bump instead of shaking hands), and try to avoid touching your mucous membranes (eyes/nose/mouth).

    Regarding its origins, no reputable news outlet has confirmed the bio-weapon story, and every report I've seen links it to the meat markets.
    Thing is, we don't know how fatal it is. 2% is the number that has the most support RIGHT NOW, but there are going to be people who get asymptomatic cases or minor cases that never get detected, which screws with the rate, and there will be people who are sick now and haven't died yet, which screws with the rate in the exact opposite direction.

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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Unavenger View Post
    Until very recently in my country, there were more cases of racist attacks linked to misinformation about the Covid-19 coronavirus than there were cases of the virus itself
    That had to be one of the most ridiculous things about the whole thing, to my mind. So, racists are going out and attacking people who look Asian because "We don't want your virus in our country". Two problems there: firstly, you can't beat a virus out of someone, and secondly, you're deliberately putting yourself in close physical contact with someone you think has a highly infectious disease!

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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    Avoid hand contact with others (elbow-bump instead of shaking hands),
    Why use elbows when your hands have a perfectly clean "hasn't caught any sneezes or touches any doorknobs today" outside?



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  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    That had to be one of the most ridiculous things about the whole thing, to my mind. So, racists are going out and attacking people who look Asian because "We don't want your virus in our country". Two problems there: firstly, you can't beat a virus out of someone, and secondly, you're deliberately putting yourself in close physical contact with someone you think has a highly infectious disease!
    If an ability to rationally think through actions existed in these people they'd not be racist in the first place.

    The truth is, they wanted to do the former, and the latter is just the excuse they were looking for.

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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    I think accurate information is in a format incompatible with a racist's mind, which I suspect also lacks the appropriate slot to plug-in the card labelled 'logic'.

    Here in the UK, there were reports of Chinese food being avoided 'because of coronavirus'. And we're not just talking about Chinese restaurants either; even 'Chinese takeaway' meals at supermarkets. Though I did take a look to see myself but didn't find anything of the sort.

    But I'm seeing loads of plain stupid stuff right now [example; people buying water purification tablets]. This may sound weird, but I'm starting to suspect that some folk are actually getting a kick out of all this.
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    This may sound weird, but I'm starting to suspect that some folk are actually getting a kick out of all this.
    Not at all. Panic and pain is a great way to not having to look at your own internal issues. I know people who can only cope by trying to make everyone around them miserable.

    This is an excellent scenario for the more deranged prepper's e.g., their wildest imagination is coming true before their eyes (or as they see it anyway) the promised collapse hasn't arrived (it's always six month in the future it seems) so you grasp at anything to validate the belief you bought into. Or you will feel pretty stupid when that bucket of individually packaged coffe won't be able to buy you a car (that there won't be any gas for in the Postcalypse but whatever). And that last part isn't a joke, it's a statement I saw off some clip of what I can only describe as "TV-shop for preppers".
    And that's just one type of people who are invested into the downfall of how everything is.


    I think one the major issues seems to be that we need to be able to hold 2 on the surface diametrically opposed thoughts in our heads, and many seem unable to, and the media for sure are not capable of it. Covid-19 isn't the worst thing ever, but that also doesn't mean it's totally harmless and we just ignore it. It is neither and it is both. We have to able to juggle 2 balls of "ok this isn't exactly Ebola" with "but we still don't want it to spread, potentially get worse and turn into Ebola".

    I remember reading the Ebola emergency resulted in markedly improved health during the flu season because people "needlessly" obsessed over cleanliness. And it also resulted in the local hospital actually training up an isolation team. Imagine if there'd actually been an Ebola pandemic and we'd needed one?
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2020-03-05 at 07:58 AM.

  19. - Top - End - #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowblizz View Post
    I remember reading the Ebola emergency resulted in markedly improved health during the flu season because people "needlessly" obsessed over cleanliness. And it also resulted in the local hospital actually training up an isolation team. Imagine if there'd actually been an Ebola pandemic and we'd needed one?
    This is the other thing, of course. Panic-buying face-masks is a bad idea, but a lot of the measures people are taking (wash hands, don't touch stuff that might be infected, wash hands again, don't go out if you're ill, wash your damn hands already) are just reasonable measures that people should be taking anyway, epidemic or no epidemic.

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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    'Welcome to Prepper's Paradise: helping you get ready for the imminent SHTF since 1994!' *wry smirk*

    I'll admit, I'm a bit of a prepper; the sane, reality-based type, that is. Keep a week's worth of food in reserve, own some basic tools, first-aid kit etc, have a set of warm/waterproof 'travel clothes' / sturdy footwear / rucksack etc. The name of the game being; simply to have a bit of 'resilience' in my life so I can take 'minor hiccups' in my stride. The sort of things I suspect the likes of FEMA and their counterparts would advise anyone to do [actually, I've done more than UKGov has advised me to, according to their site].

    But I can see what you mean; if you've invested so much in your apocalyptic dreams and that you'll be some god-king in the Brave New World afterwards you'll look for any sign to justify your screwed-up world-view. But I was more thinking of the folk who have been panic-buying stuff now. While this is purely anecdotal, I think most of these folks are male and it's allowing them to RP the character 'Manly Man Preparing For The Crisis' with relative ease - perhaps allowing the buyer to ignore the fact they're a pudgy middle-aged office worker in Swindon who'd fail assembling a flat-pack shelf unit or basic fire-making. *another wry smirk*
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    'Welcome to Prepper's Paradise: helping you get ready for the imminent SHTF since 1994!' *wry smirk*

    I'll admit, I'm a bit of a prepper; the sane, reality-based type, that is. Keep a week's worth of food in reserve, own some basic tools, first-aid kit etc, have a set of warm/waterproof 'travel clothes' / sturdy footwear / rucksack etc. The name of the game being; simply to have a bit of 'resilience' in my life so I can take 'minor hiccups' in my stride. The sort of things I suspect the likes of FEMA and their counterparts would advise anyone to do [actually, I've done more than UKGov has advised me to, according to their site].
    Being totally unprepared isn't good. I know right now the official response here is don't expect authorities to do anything for 3 days. As in they will be busy sorting out the truly helpless. Last year we had a bad storm that knocked out the powergrid for the rural parts (and literally every road had a tree over it somewhere) and the worst hit places didn't get power back for a week.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    But I can see what you mean; if you've invested so much in your apocalyptic dreams and that you'll be some god-king in the Brave New World afterwards you'll look for any sign to justify your screwed-up world-view. But I was more thinking of the folk who have been panic-buying stuff now. While this is purely anecdotal, I think most of these folks are male and it's allowing them to RP the character 'Manly Man Preparing For The Crisis' with relative ease - perhaps allowing the buyer to ignore the fact they're a pudgy middle-aged office worker in Swindon who'd fail assembling a flat-pack shelf unit or basic fire-making. *another wry smirk*
    Well my anecdotal evidence is it's mainly women. But my sample size is admittedly 1. But I've watched news showing stores completely emptied, as in completely. There can't be that much stuff you might actually use on the shelves. 99% of the buyers, are going to buy stuff that fills their storage spaces and goes bad. It's good for GNP, but that's about it. Basically people are uselessly stockpiling because other people are stockpiling. There's no thought or consideration behind it.

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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    'Welcome to Prepper's Paradise: helping you get ready for the imminent SHTF since 1994!' *wry smirk*

    I'll admit, I'm a bit of a prepper; the sane, reality-based type, that is.
    By sheer amount of supplies, I'm probably the less sane sort, but I don't think I'm actually being too unreasonable because most of the effort I make is recreational and/or makes sense financially. I do a lot of backcountry camping, pack rafting, and hunting/fishing, so equipping/practicing to "bug out" is basically fun for me, and since I'm financially more stable than most of the friends who live near me now, I'm happy to own a lot of the equipment we use. I have enough storage space that stocking up on things like rice and other non-perishable foods, toilet paper, toothpaste, and ammunition isn't a huge burden (space-wise), and stocking up when stuff is on sale saves me money in the long run. (I probably have a few years worth of toothpaste thanks to CVS/Duane Reade free/nearly-free after rebate stuff and at least two unopened 36-packs of TP from a ridiculously good Costco sale a while back.)


    Keep a week's worth of food in reserve, own some basic tools, first-aid kit etc, have a set of warm/waterproof 'travel clothes' / sturdy footwear / rucksack etc. The name of the game being; simply to have a bit of 'resilience' in my life so I can take 'minor hiccups' in my stride. The sort of things I suspect the likes of FEMA and their counterparts would advise anyone to do [actually, I've done more than UKGov has advised me to, according to their site].
    For this particularly emergency, I would say probably keep a bit more around (double the incubation/quarantine period if possible.) I honestly don't see this turning into World War Z or anything like that, but I think a plausible worst-case-scenario would be that things get bad enough that you'd want to self-quarantine as much as possible until that first big wave of new infections starts to die down.

    Honestly, the logistical aspects (buying enough supplies, taking precautions when you're out) of this crisis aren't that much of a challenge for most folks. You're probably not going to need to know how to hunt and gather to survive out in the wild, or make your bay window into a sniper's nest, or use Bear Grylls' pee as a source of hydration. I think the biggest challenges will be financial: Most people won't have a job that will let them work from home or enough savings to say, "This is getting too dicey, I'm going to take a week off just to be safe." Plus, a lot of the folks who make the least and are the least likely to have substantial savings work the kinds of customer-facing service jobs put them at a higher risk of exposure.
    Last edited by Xyril; 2020-03-09 at 03:53 PM.

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    Well, 'reasonable' is subjective. I live in a small flat in the UK Home Counties, so I neither have the space to store large amounts of 'extra stuff' or, to be frank much to prepare for - I don't even live in an area where it's possible to flood. 'Loss of utilities' is the main risk here; the longest we've had here is perhaps ~50 hours. However, I do live live rather close to a large chemical plant which it's possible a leak or - god forbid - an explosion could cause me to either be evacuated or stuck in my home, putting duct tape around the window-seals [this almost happened to me in '04 - I would have been evacuated if I hadn't by chance 'self-evacuated' the night before.]

    The 'lack of reserves' is a double-whammy for folk - not only are they forced to continue working during 'the Emergency' they're also the ones who can't afford to lay-in some extra supplies. Their situation could also be compounded by the others clearing the shelves meaning they have to visit more shops trying to get in their usual stuff - an example can be the panic-buying of hand sanitiser; now they're all gone, "Trish of Bristol" can't keep her hands clean while touching cash, basket handles, stock etc while working in the supermarket. And she can't afford to take time off either. Nor - as far as I can tell - supermarkets put in any precautions regarding this. And the UKGov's response to this issue has been nil. [Not political, but public health issue].

    The worst part is that - if we use the stats of the ship Diamond Princess as a baseline [the best-studied case so far] some ~44% of 'the diseased' show no symptoms. This will be very important when we officially move from 'containment' to 'delay' phases.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    And the UKGov's response to this issue has been nil. [Not political, but public health issue].
    Hang on, the Public Health Agency, specifically PH England's been putting out stuff at least daily regarding Covid-19 since the 24th Jan, not to mention the stuff that the NHS, DHSC, etc has been putting out.

    I can't get into the specific UKGov's response here due to forum rules, but they have put one out (a quick google search shows an action plan, along with some interesting stats on selected global 'flu epidemics and pandemics of the last 100 years); it hasn't been picked up that much by the media.

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    Apologies; I meant 'nil action' in regards to just the situation Xyril mentioned and I elaborated; that the low-paid/zero-hours/freelance segment of British workers [perhaps in other countries too] cannot afford to take time off to, say self-isolate. Leading to a "Trish of Bristol" situation; she should have self-isolated, but due to financial pressures she went to work anyway and promptly infected dozens of others*.

    I'm watching UKGov's pronouncements on this aspect closely; for I genuinely feel this is the gaping hole in the national effort to contain/delay the spread and unless it's closed, we'll have a pandemic soon enough. Specially as it seems upto 45% of people can be carriers of it without any symptoms.

    *A lot of the workers in UK elderly care homes are in this position. 'Nuff said.

    [Again, not intending this to be a political debate, merely a public health one]
    Last edited by Mr Blobby; 2020-03-09 at 07:06 PM.
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  26. - Top - End - #56
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    Somehow doubt Italy would literally throw the doors shut on the entire country for something that is just the flu.

    It's real ugly at the heart of the outbreak in the region of Milan - there is a post on reddit from a doctor in Belgrano, translated into English, which makes for seriously chilling reading. Overwhelmed ER, ward after ward converted to ICU beds in effect. That's also consistent with how other health care providers around the world are gearing up for this virus. And no, this wasn't a case of "incompetent barely-first-world-health-service-is-to-blame", that's in a hospital that had lead time to prepare and cleared out multiple wards ahead of an increase in COVID-19 cases. It's in the region of Milan, one of the richest cities in the world, with one of the best health care systems in the world.

    The problem is not the lethality of the virus itself, the problem is its communicability and what that implies for the number of people who'll get it. And the fact it has a higher complications rate than the flu.

    How this thing kills (if you exclude the scary research out of China which suggest some vectors of the virus cause encephalitis and that's how it kills you) is when it has worked its way down the windpipe and infects the lungs directly. What follows is, in essence, pneumonia in both lungs: the alveoli in the lungs fill with mucus and pus, and can't function, thus making it impossible to breathe. That's what causes the symptom of shortness of breath reported in the condition. It's also the symptom that invariably drives you to the hospital because you can't treat the lungs directly.

    When that happens, because there are few antivirals that seem to do anything to it, and there is no cure for it, so the treatment is simple: sedation and intubation, i.e. put you in a hospital bed and literally stick a pipe down your throat so your body can get oxygen. Ventilators are worth their weight in gold. And sometimes even that isn't enough, which is when they wheel out the ECMO machine: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a device that literally pulls the blood from your body, oxygenates it, and then puts it back into your body so your lungs can try to heal.

    The problem being: most if not all of these procedures require -- quite apart from the quarantining aspect, which is its own problem -- that you are housed in an Intensive Care Unit, of which there are comparatively few across the entire health system. The ICU is normally reserved for people who are literally at death's door. They required better trained nurses and a much larger workforce than a general hospital ward. And because COVID is so communicable, it raises the number of cases that need an ICU to far beyond what a normal health service can take. If you cannot get access to an ICU, and you suffer the mentioned complications, you are, in essence, dead. Indeed one of the biggest regrets Chinese doctors have about their response to the virus is that they didn't treat aggressively with invasive ventilator intervention when the patient showed low blood oxygen levels.

    There have been statistical models done which suggest that, assuming a doubling of COVID cases every 5 days -- i.e. just continuing the growth rate we are already seeing from the virus -- there will literally not be a hospital bed left unoccupied in the US by early May 2020. As in, two months from now. That's the horror of exponential growth. (If you count the China cases, the doubling rate goes down significantly to doubling every 19 days. That number only is raised because China instituted aggressive lockdowns against the virus. And that analysis is just assuming the known, confirmed cases worldwide, which is not accurate.) The rate of growth could be a point or two off, and all that does is change the date of total healthcare collapse by days or weeks.

    The US Surgeon General announced in the previous 24 hours that they are moving from "containment phase" to "mitigation phase". That's significant because health care systems see pandemics in two phases: the containment, where you can track all cases back to Patient Zero, and follow the infection chain ... and the pandemic phase, where you can no longer track the cases back, i.e. the manner in which infection took place is unknown, i.e.e. containment has failed and all you can try to do is mitigate the spread, i.e.e. social distancing, aggressive quarantining protocols.

    This is not just a 'bad case of the flu'. It might be, if our health care systems were infinitely resourced. They're not; so a lot of people are going to die. Predominantly the elderly, yes. Children seem to be fighting off the virus at the moment. But the not-so-old are just as vulnerable; the doctor who first tried to whistleblow the seriousness of the virus in China dropped dead of COVID-19 himself, presumably after working himself to the point where his immune system was compromised. Also at risk are otherwise healthy older people with underlying conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, of which there are hordes in the West. So for goodness sake, don't be complacent about this condition. Wash your damn hands, stay away from mass gatherings, and be careful around your elderly parents.

  27. - Top - End - #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    Apologies; I meant 'nil action' in regards to just the situation Xyril mentioned and I elaborated; that the low-paid/zero-hours/freelance segment of British workers [perhaps in other countries too] cannot afford to take time off to, say self-isolate. Leading to a "Trish of Bristol" situation; she should have self-isolated, but due to financial pressures she went to work anyway and promptly infected dozens of others*.

    I'm watching UKGov's pronouncements on this aspect closely; for I genuinely feel this is the gaping hole in the national effort to contain/delay the spread and unless it's closed, we'll have a pandemic soon enough. Specially as it seems upto 45% of people can be carriers of it without any symptoms.

    *A lot of the workers in UK elderly care homes are in this position. 'Nuff said.

    [Again, not intending this to be a political debate, merely a public health one]
    I would suggest that having the government create and enforce policies that allow people living just above the poverty line to take a hit like that is both beyond the scope of what is reasonable to expect on such short notice, and what the forum rules actually allow us to talk about. Since its not even a problem specific to the coronavirus, its probably for the best that we all agree that it sucks that many people don't feel like they can afford to take a prolonged sick leave and move to a different topic.
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    The Mod on the Silver Mountain: Regardless of how politics may entwine with reactions to COVID-19, please give politics the widest possible berth.
    Last edited by Peelee; 2020-03-09 at 11:05 PM.
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    *Looks to the Mountain*

    Can we have clarification on the 'no politics' rule in this case, Hallowed Ones? For the strictest interpretation of this means we can't discuss any govt response etc whatsoever...
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blobby View Post
    *Looks to the Mountain*

    Can we have clarification on the 'no politics' rule in this case, Hallowed Ones? For the strictest interpretation of this means we can't discuss any govt response etc whatsoever...
    Sheriff: Yes, steer clear of discussions of government actions, policies, etc.

    And please don't try to mitigate the posting of inappropriate topics by saying, "I don't mean this in a political way" or "the Forum Rules don't allow me to say more, but I'll say this much" or whatever. Just give the topics a wide berth. If that means this isn't the place for a full discussion of the topic, so be it.

    Last edited by Roland St. Jude; 2020-03-10 at 07:33 AM.
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