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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    I feel that we are doing the best we can with Coronavirus but humanity is still too primitive to truly eradicate a pandemic. If Coronavirus hit America in 2070 instead of 2020; what might we do different?

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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    It's impossible to know (if you look at the predictions of most "futurists" they tend to be worse than most SciFi writers), but we can make some semi-educated guesses.

    Mine is, looking at the advances in molecule manipulation we are making now, is that we will be able to map the protein structure of the virus' outside coat and then "3D print" empty copies to use as vaccines - identical for generating the correct antibodies, zero chance of being infectious and someting we may be able to turn around in days rather than months (and if we standarise and quality control the process, the approval for use should be much faster too).

    (I believe the biggest advance needed to achieve this is the ability to map the protein coat of the virus in a timescale of hours or days.)

    There would be a risk of allergic shock (if someone is allergic to the virus they will be allergic to the vaccine) but I think that would be easier to treat than eliminate.

    Other possibilities include having a global opulation that is better educated about what to do and what not to do, but people being peole I think that a longshot!

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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khedrac View Post
    is that we will be able to map the protein structure of the virus' outside coat and then "3D print" empty copies to use as vaccines
    Which is what I think CureVac is trying to do. A mRNA printer unit that's portable is what they're working on for COVID-2019.
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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by sihnfahl View Post
    Which is what I think CureVac is trying to do. A mRNA printer unit that's portable is what they're working on for COVID-2019.
    I thought they might be getting there, which is why I suggested a turnaround of days in 50 years time.

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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    Just look at South Korea and how they managed this pandemic, completely keeping it under control. Massive tests by day zero, a previously educated population that has the basic kits to self-protect and has been taught how to behave, and hospitals ready.



    Without information, you can't make right decisions. Right now nobody knows how many infected are there in Italy... it could be 50K, 500K or a million. Not only the numbers, but who they are.

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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    By then all of america will be uploaded into cybernetic bodies so the only thing we have to worry about are computer viruses which is an entirely different problem. /nod
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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    Our big problem, even at this stage, is information. We don't truly know how many people we are sick, we don't know how many are really recovered, and we don't know what the true death rate is as a result. People who don't know they are sick can spread it, potentially for weeks.

    The big, big, big key on this one is that it started in China instead of in a first-world country. If accurate information had started getting out in December instead of February, it would have made a big difference in helping medical personnel prepare to adequately handle this. It probably also would have gotten quarantine/travel restriction policies online several weeks faster, which is huge.

    A big part of eradicating or slowing the spread of disease is having accurate and timely information, and unfortunately that was not the case on this one. Can't discuss why without going into politics and thus going against forum rules.

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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by J-H View Post
    Our big problem, even at this stage, is information. We don't truly know how many people we are sick, we don't know how many are really recovered, and we don't know what the true death rate is as a result. People who don't know they are sick can spread it, potentially for weeks.

    The big, big, big key on this one is that it started in China instead of in a first-world country. If accurate information had started getting out in December instead of February, it would have made a big difference in helping medical personnel prepare to adequately handle this. It probably also would have gotten quarantine/travel restriction policies online several weeks faster, which is huge.

    A big part of eradicating or slowing the spread of disease is having accurate and timely information, and unfortunately that was not the case on this one. Can't discuss why without going into politics and thus going against forum rules.
    All I'm going to say in response is that I'm not sure why you think it starting anywhere other than China would lead to accurate information being released.

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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBV View Post

    Without information, you can't make right decisions. Right now nobody knows how many infected are there in Italy... it could be 50K, 500K or a million. Not only the numbers, but who they are.
    I am not sure about why they didn't show it in the graph, but 233,761 tests have been performed in Italy. Of these, 53,578 were positive. Of the ill, 4.852 died, and 6.072 got better. Physicians do think that something odd is going on, however, because lethality is just too high, and believe that the disease is probably going wildly underreported.
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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    Without getting too political, I will say that China is only non-"first world" in the more antiquated sense of being aligned with the former USSR, rather than the U.S.A.

    By the more accepted meaning of the term (at least among contemporary lay-people)--China is much closer to a developed country than an undeveloped one. Moreover, in bioinformatics it is arguably taking the lead due to massive government support of the field, coupled with the lack of legal or cultural resistance to massive harvesting and analysis of individual genetic and medical data. The lack of information coming out had nothing to do with China's capability, and everything to do with its particular government and their priorities. In a different country, it might not be an authoritarian government trying to save face and protect its tourism and export based economy, but information could be suppressed or slowed for a number of other reasons. And these reasons might not necessarily be some variation of "this country is bad." I consider a strong tort system generally a good thing, but I could absolutely imagine a scenario where the first to know about a new disease would suppress that information for fear of legal liability. I believe that intellectual property protection is generally a good thing, but it has absolutely lead to situations where the first people to find something new (but unpatentable) decide not to disclose that information so that potential competitors can't start racing them to the first patentable innovations to come out of that information.

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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    I am not sure about why they didn't show it in the graph, but 233,761 tests have been performed in Italy. Of these, 53,578 were positive. Of the ill, 4.852 died, and 6.072 got better. Physicians do think that something odd is going on, however, because lethality is just too high, and believe that the disease is probably going wildly underreported.
    Or Italian doctors are more likely to report a particular death as coronavirus-related when the patient had multiple life-threatening conditions.
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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    Isn't it also the case that the Italian population as a whole is somewhat more skewed toward the elderly than most countries?

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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Khedrac View Post
    Mine is, looking at the advances in molecule manipulation we are making now, is that we will be able to map the protein structure of the virus' outside coat and then "3D print" empty copies to use as vaccines - identical for generating the correct antibodies, zero chance of being infectious and someting we may be able to turn around in days rather than months (and if we standarise and quality control the process, the approval for use should be much faster too).

    (I believe the biggest advance needed to achieve this is the ability to map the protein coat of the virus in a timescale of hours or days.)
    The genetic sequence of COVID-19 was mapped out and was being shared from the 11 Jan 2020 (link) and was finally published on the 11 Feb 2020, after 5 patients were admitted with the disease between the 18th and 29th Dec 2019: Identification of a novel coronavirus causing severe pneumonia in human, Ren et al, 2020.

    We have an atomic level structure map of the spike protein that the virus uses to invade cells (published 03 Mar 20), which is what one of the vaccines currently in clinical trials is targeting.

    So we can get the information very quickly, it's just a matter of figuring what to do with it; target the wrong thing and at best, your vaccine will do nothing; at worst you've given the patient an autoimmune disease.


    That said, the biggest hurdle for getting a new vaccine out isn't technological, it's regulatory. There's at least 2 vaccines that have been developed specifically for corona virus - both at in Phase I clinical trials. Even with the FDA and various other regulatory bodies fast tracking the process and every test and clinical trial going well, it's still 12-18 months before there's enough data to show that the vaccine is safe and effective before it can be officially launched (they also need time to scale up the manufacturing and production, but that typically runs concurrently during the Phase III clinical trial).

    There's a vaccine originally developed for ebola epidemic a while back, that has shown some promise and has gone back into Phase III clinical trials; even that's several months out.


    Back to the original topic, being able to design then manufacture a novel stable capsid without an associated virus genome, is akin to making a missile that you can slot a warhead of your choice into, ie designer bioweapons. That technology is going to be highly regulated or restricted.

    Quote Originally Posted by NotASpiderSwarm View Post
    All I'm going to say in response is that I'm not sure why you think it starting anywhere other than China would lead to accurate information being released.
    Xyril has touched on why the PRC government might release inaccurate information - I'm just going to lay out the evidence for it:

    Dr Li Wenliang and other doctors first reported the virus back on 30 Dec 2019, but were reprimanded by local police and later by the PSB (China's federal police force) for 'severely disturbing the social order': link.

    The PRC government then tried to suppress the news as it wasn't another 'SARS-like epidemic' (link), even initially passing on information to the WHO that it wasn't of concern (can't find a link for this one now) until they realise they couldn't contain it any more at the end of January.
    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2020-03-22 at 05:08 AM.

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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    For something like Covid-19, a simple mudkicker approach would have been far, far superior: Isolate the vulnerable, infect the rest. In other words, put the elderly, the diabetics, the immuno-depressed, the astmathics and so on - all into quarentine. Let everyone else get sick. Get flock immunity. Save everyone.

    For a disease that's actually dangerous - say malaria, or ebola - that wouldn't be wise.

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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    For something like Covid-19, a simple mudkicker approach would have been far, far superior: Isolate the vulnerable, infect the rest. In other words, put the elderly, the diabetics, the immuno-depressed, the astmathics and so on - all into quarentine. Let everyone else get sick. Get flock immunity. Save everyone.
    Good idea! They should also have a marker on them as well to highlight that they're potentially vulnerable, like a little coloured badge to make them easily visible from a 2 metre distance. The more hardcore among them can even get identifying tattoos.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    For a disease that's actually dangerous - say malaria, or ebola - that wouldn't be wise.
    And COVID-19 isn't dangerous? Sure it's not killing the under-65s who are otherwise fit and healthy, but it's certainly causing lung and other organ damage: link.
    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2020-03-22 at 05:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    Or Italian doctors are more likely to report a particular death as coronavirus-related when the patient had multiple life-threatening conditions.
    The dead are there, in completely abnormal numbers, and wouldn't be without the virus. I don't see how else they could report them.

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Isn't it also the case that the Italian population as a whole is somewhat more skewed toward the elderly than most countries?
    IIRC, Italy is second in Europe for both median age and longevity. It means lots of very old, very social people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    And COVID-19 isn't dangerous? Sure it's not killing the under-65s who are otherwise fit and healthy, but it's certainly causing lung and other organ damage: link.
    Italy's so-called "patient one" (more like something around patient 200) was a 38 y.o, otherwise healthy and practicing sport. He ended up in intensive care anyway, and spent a month there.
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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maximum77 View Post
    I feel that we are doing the best we can with Coronavirus but humanity is still too primitive to truly eradicate a pandemic. If Coronavirus hit America in 2070 instead of 2020; what might we do different?
    Well, really, it depends what you mean. We've "eradicated" lots of pandemics before, when humanity was even more primitive. Most pandemics eradicate themselves after a while. In a year or two, once we have a successfully tested vaccine, we'll likely eradicate Covid-19. What do you define as "truly eradicating" a pandemic?

    In any case, a new disease is a problem, because we don't know if the old medicines will work, and new medicines take years to properly test. That will be just as true in 2070 as it is in 2020. Increasingly reliable computer simulations will likely cut down some of the legwork, but I find it unlikely that we'll ever get to a point where we can officially endorse a treatment without actually testing it in live humans. So, even if the virus hit in 2070, or 2700, we likely wouldn't have a specific cure at this point.

    That leaves us with two options: universal cures, or ways to reliably contain the infected. Reliably containing the infected requires quick and reliable testing. So, in the future, assuming we can stop pandemics, we'll likely have some sort of immune-boosting drug that we can break out to temporarily provide those likely to be exposed heightened protection, nanobots capable of seeking out and destroying viruses (though this is probably more science fiction than speculation,) or some way to scan people - even those who are asymptomatic - en masse before they travel. Obviously, these are all extremely difficult things to do.

    The real way to stop a pandemic is to stop an outbreak before it becomes an epidemic, and if you can't do that, you stop an epidemic before it becomes a pandemic. Once it's a pandemic, you're already in big trouble.

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    For something like Covid-19, a simple mudkicker approach would have been far, far superior: Isolate the vulnerable, infect the rest. In other words, put the elderly, the diabetics, the immuno-depressed, the astmathics and so on - all into quarentine. Let everyone else get sick. Get flock immunity. Save everyone.

    For a disease that's actually dangerous - say malaria, or ebola - that wouldn't be wise.
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    Wow, that's... an awful idea.
    First off, even if you got a perfect quarantine, millions would die. A small percentage of even the young and healthy need to be hospitalized and put into the ICU. Even taking out the most at-risk, they couldn't possibly handle the surge. So it fails on even a theoretical level. You could minimize that by trying to spread out the load, but then you're quarantining the vulnerable for a year or more.
    Second, aside from the fact that people need to socialize, you realize that cutting off the most vulnerable people in the world has associated risks for those people? The elderly, diabetics, immuno-depressed, asthmatics, and so on, all need fairly regular care. It's actually pretty important that those people be able to see medical professionals on a regular basis. Not to mention the day-to-day care many of them need. How do you cut off their caretakers, too? Put them in isolation with the vulnerable? Sure, that works, but what about the families of those workers? Someone has to take care of their kids. So you put them into isolation, too. But then, they still need groceries and medications to live, so we need to keep otherwise healthy people at a reasonable distance as they go about their lives...

    Hey, look at that, you just invented social distancing!

    Seriously, no offense, but that's just not a good idea.
    Last edited by Strigon; 2020-03-22 at 09:42 AM.
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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    It's a virus.

    It's not going away.

    Even if you're right - and you're not - there's no way we can wait in isolation until we have a vaccine. So those supposed millions are going to die (or, really, they're not) either way.

    What we're doing now is that we're shutting down society - all of society - to protect a very, very few vulnerable people. That may seem ... benign. But we're spending trillions to save a very, very small number of people, and that money is coming from everyone else who's in need for any other conceivable reason.

    Very, very few is of course relative. I don't agree that globally we may be talking about millions of people. Potentially. Malaria kills 3000 children daily. Covid-19 is on something like day 4, comparatively.

    So if we want to act intelligently about this whole thing - no panic, no fear, just start, level headed rationalism, we protect the weak and let the strong build antibodies. And we move on.

    It's just ... a flu.

    Speaking of ... it's a very mild flu. It has a few tricks under it's sleeve, sure. It spreads quickly, it has a long gestation period, it's highly contagious, and in those susceptible, it seems to be slightly deadlier than other strains. But it's just a flu. 'Just', I should say. My mother died from the flu last year. I have covid-19 right now. I'm not unaffected. I just refuse to be irrational about it.

    Until we start building actual antibodies, we're not doing anything at all except wait.

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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    And COVID-19 isn't dangerous? Sure it's not killing the under-65s who are otherwise fit and healthy, but it's certainly causing lung and other organ damage: link.
    There are currently 2 dead from covid-19 in my area. An elderly woman who was 64 with several underlying lung health problems. The other was A 30 year old in excellent health and physical condition! This virus still kills everyone on all spectrums of life. Yes it has an easier time killing some over others, but the group who seems least at risk still has some risk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    It's a virus.

    It's not going away.

    Even if you're right - and you're not - there's no way we can wait in isolation until we have a vaccine. So those supposed millions are going to die (or, really, they're not) either way.

    What we're doing now is that we're shutting down society - all of society - to protect a very, very few vulnerable people. That may seem ... benign. But we're spending trillions to save a very, very small number of people, and that money is coming from everyone else who's in need for any other conceivable reason.

    Very, very few is of course relative. I don't agree that globally we may be talking about millions of people. Potentially. Malaria kills 3000 children daily. Covid-19 is on something like day 4, comparatively.

    So if we want to act intelligently about this whole thing - no panic, no fear, just start, level headed rationalism, we protect the weak and let the strong build antibodies. And we move on.

    It's just ... a flu.

    Speaking of ... it's a very mild flu. It has a few tricks under it's sleeve, sure. It spreads quickly, it has a long gestation period, it's highly contagious, and in those susceptible, it seems to be slightly deadlier than other strains. But it's just a flu. 'Just', I should say. My mother died from the flu last year. I have covid-19 right now. I'm not unaffected. I just refuse to be irrational about it.

    Until we start building actual antibodies, we're not doing anything at all except wait.
    Do you know what else was "just the flu"? The 1918 flu. A virus so deadly that with just a mere 3% mortality rate, that flu killed more people then the entirety of WW1. Think about that for a second. A 3% death rate killed more people then a 4 year war where you had generals literally throwing men into machine gun meat grinders daily. It was a "War to end all Wars" because so many died and there was so much bloodshed, people didn't want to go to war anymore (I should add *most* people). The generation that fought in WW1 is known as the lost generation because so many men died in WW1.

    Why the Spanish flu fizzled out was because the virus mutated to being more deadly at the end. In fact, it was so deadly at the end it killed the host faster than it could spread, effectively burning it out. And this was an era where people didn't quite know about viruses and how they spread, nor did they have the medical equipment to treat all the symptoms. The covid-19 virus is reported at 3% lethality rate initially (I think the official now is 4%). I think that may actually be higher because we do know about viruses and establishing quarantines. We have modern machines that can help treat the severe pneumonia this virus seems to cause everyone. And unlike the spanish flu that burned itself out, this virus has a 2 week incubation period before it makes the host sick, all the while, the host is spreading the disease to others and not knowing they are a carrier.

    I'm sorry you're infected, but please think rationally. We have a real life situation about this that's very similar about a hundred years ago that caused an extraordinary amount of deaths. I just saw this morning that Italy just reported nearly 900 new deaths since yesterday and the rate is climbing. This is a true pandemic. Being infected, please try to avoid infecting others and take care of yourself as well. If you come down too sick and need to seek medical help, call ahead to the doctor and let them know before heading out, as giving them a heads up can help the doctor's prepare for you.

    Stay safe everyone!
    Last edited by Silverraptor; 2020-03-22 at 11:01 AM.
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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maximum77 View Post
    I feel that we are doing the best we can with Coronavirus but humanity is still too primitive to truly eradicate a pandemic. If Coronavirus hit America in 2070 instead of 2020; what might we do different?
    We beat Smallpox, which killed more people in the 20th century then all wars combined and was worse than Covid in every regard.

    The thing about viruses is they are highly derivative bacteria that evolved to not reproduce for themselves (yes they literally evolved to no longer be technically alive, nature is amazing.) Destroying them isn't that hard, its doing it without hurting ourselves. They are also probably important to us; they rewrite sections of our DNA which gives us a mutational flexibility we would otherwise lack. I'm not sure we want a general anti-viral to stop all pandemics, the loses to our biological flexibility could be dangerous in the longterm.
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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    In 1918 we didn't have 2020 medicine.

    Not saying a real pandemic isn't dangerous - but this ... just isn't it.

    I'm sorry. I know you're hearing the opposite from a bunch of people you have better reason to belive than me. Actually, I'm not saying I'm right and they are wrong. I'm saying there's more than one way to handle an epidemic, and I disagree that this is the right way. Based on ... personal opinion. I'm not a doctor, and I'd be the first to advise anyone to never take medical advise from anyone except doctors.

    However.

    The absolute, undeniable first line of defense against any infection is the immune system. There is no discussing this.

    Right now, we've self-isolated across the globe, and that does only one thing: It slows the spread.

    Nothing. Else.

    Slowing the spread isn't a bad thing. The real danger of covid-19 is that it's unusual pattern creates a bottleneck - it yields a rush of infected, quite possibly millions at the same time, a low percentage of whom need intensive care to survive.

    But we need not slow the spread for everyone. It is, in every way (that I can think of) better to slow the spread for those who actually risk dying. Those who die - almost without exception - are old, or diabetic, of astmathic, or suffer from heart- or circulatory disease .. or similar.

    We should protect those who need protection, and let everyone else get antibodies.

    And yes. There may be a price to pay for that. Traffic kills more people every day than covid-19 does. So does malaria. So does hunger.

    Consider: We could easily feed the world - all the world, everyone everywhere - and treat everyone for malaria for the price we're paying to fight covid-19.

    Oh, I forgot:

    Quote Originally Posted by Silverraptor View Post
    I'm sorry you're infected, but please think rationally.
    Thanks, I'm fine though. As the media will inform you, it's really a very mild flu - unless it's not.
    Last edited by Kaptin Keen; 2020-03-22 at 11:25 AM.

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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    We beat Smallpox, which killed more people in the 20th century then all wars combined and was worse than Covid in every regard.
    Smallpox is different in that we're the only reservoir and once someone has had it, they're largely immune. Coupled with a very intensive, expensive, global and aggressive vaccination campaign, it still took 30 years to eradicate it (dating from the first hemisphere wide vaccination campaign in 1950, to it being declared eradicated in the wild in 1980).

    Compare this to a corona virus, which can undergo both antigenic drift and antigenic shift, plus jump species. While it's less lethal than smallpox and less infectious, this ability to shift its surface antigens and have multiple reservoirs makes corona viruses in general very hard to contain.

    For comparison, COVID-19 has a mortality rate of ~4% (based the figure above) and using data from January and February, had an R0 of 2.35 initially, which has dropped to 1.05 after the lockdowns (link). Coupled with its ~2 week incubation period, people can get far and wide while still being infectious.

    In comparison, smallpox had an overall mortality rate of ~30% (it varied between the different strains with the 'ordinary type-confluent' strain being 50-75% fatal, the 'ordinary-type semi-confluent' being 25-50% and the 'haemorrhagic' type being 90-100%) and an R0 of 3.5 - 6, making it on paper the more dangerous virus, however its 2-4 day incubation period with the lesions being visible after 12-14 days makes it far easier to spot and contain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    In 1918 we didn't have 2020 medicine.

    Not saying a real pandemic isn't dangerous - but this ... just isn't it.

    I'm sorry. I know you're hearing the opposite from a bunch of people you have better reason to belive than me. Actually, I'm not saying I'm right and they are wrong. I'm saying there's more than one way to handle an epidemic, and I disagree that this is the right way. Based on ... personal opinion. I'm not a doctor, and I'd be the first to advise anyone to never take medical advise from anyone except doctors.
    Yet in 2020, despite all the modern medicine and the various restrictions, we still have ~4500 dead in 3 weeks in Italy, alone. What do you think the death toll would be without modern medicine and all the various measures put into place?

    You keep on harping on about 'this is just a flu and not a real pandemic', yet in the very next sentence, you put a disclaimer that this is based on personal opinion and that people should be taking information from doctors and other experts.

    All the experts in this, from doctors to epidemiologists who specialise in the spread of disease, say it's a pandemic, yet you apparently believe your personal opinion is as good as their years of experience, training and actual facts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    We should protect those who need protection, and let everyone else get antibodies.

    And yes. There may be a price to pay for that.
    You might consider it worthwhile to pay this cost. All the experts disagree with you and the people in charge, agree with the experts too.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Consider: We could easily feed the world - all the world, everyone everywhere - and treat everyone for malaria for the price we're paying to fight covid-19.
    If only money was the sole reason that was stopping us from feeding the world and treating malaria.

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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    While I don't imagine that we'll all (or even a significant number of us) will have uploaded by 2070, I do expect that there will be semi-autonomous remote-control "robots" that will allow anybody in quarantine to effectively go out and do their business. Some of the pieces needed for this already exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    Yet in 2020, despite all the modern medicine and the various restrictions, we still have ~4500 dead in 3 weeks in Italy, alone. What do you think the death toll would be without modern medicine and all the various measures put into place?

    You keep on harping on about 'this is just a flu and not a real pandemic', yet in the very next sentence, you put a disclaimer that this is based on personal opinion and that people should be taking information from doctors and other experts.

    All the experts in this, from doctors to epidemiologists who specialise in the spread of disease, say it's a pandemic, yet you apparently believe your personal opinion is as good as their years of experience, training and actual facts.

    You might consider it worthwhile to pay this cost. All the experts disagree with you and the people in charge, agree with the experts too.

    If only money was the sole reason that was stopping us from feeding the world and treating malaria.
    Italy has the oldest population in the world, and just about the lowest number of ICU's in the western world. Bottleneck. Like I said.

    It's an epidemic. We have them yearly. This one is worse, but not by a degree that warrants worldwide panic. Take your information from doctors. Yes. Do you seriously feel entitled to tell me that bars me from having an opionion, or voicing it?

    Not all the experts agree. Not all the people in charge agree.

    Money is the primary reason we don't feed the world - and treat malaria.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    We should protect those who need protection, and let everyone else get antibodies.
    Except you literally cannot do that.
    People still need to be in contact with others. Those with pre-existing health conditions more than others. We could lock them away from society for the next year, but more of them would die preventable deaths from lack of medical care than would die from the disease. Your scenario only works if we can keep them away from every other human on the planet, because according to you, we'll all get it anyway. But these people rely on others to survive - they need medicine, regular check-ups, heck, some of them literally can't get themselves out of bed.

    Your proposed solution is worse than doing nothing in pretty much every way, because it combines the worse aspects of doing nothing with the worst aspects of a lockdown.
    That's all I can think of, at any rate.

    Quote Originally Posted by remetagross View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strigon View Post
    Except you literally cannot do that.
    People still need to be in contact with others. Those with pre-existing health conditions more than others. We could lock them away from society for the next year, but more of them would die preventable deaths from lack of medical care than would die from the disease. Your scenario only works if we can keep them away from every other human on the planet, because according to you, we'll all get it anyway. But these people rely on others to survive - they need medicine, regular check-ups, heck, some of them literally can't get themselves out of bed.

    Your proposed solution is worse than doing nothing in pretty much every way, because it combines the worse aspects of doing nothing with the worst aspects of a lockdown.
    I don't know what to tell you.

    No quarentine is ever 100% effective. But it doesn't need to be. It needs to be mostly ok. A decent level of protection.

    The vast majority of everyone doesn't need quarentine. For almost everyone, covid-19 is a mild infection. And for a few, it's really, really bad. This isn't that different from any other flu, btw. The real difference is in how it spreads. And the real danger is in the bottleneck. In the fact that a lot of people get sick at the same time, and need intensive care.

    What we really need to prevent a situation like in Italy is a slower spread, so capacity will suffice. That's all. Some will die - they always do. Every year, millions of people die from the flu. It's like the third most common cause of death in the western world.

    And then - because the virus isn't going anywhere - we will need flock immunity. Which we only achieve by vaccine, or infection. Vaccine is infection anyways. Kinda.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post

    What we really need to prevent a situation like in Italy is a slower spread, so capacity will suffice. That's all. Some will die - they always do. Every year, millions of people die from the flu. It's like the third most common cause of death in the western world.
    What do you think all those things that are currently being doen are meant to facilitate? "flattening the curve' is basically the medical buzz-word of the year, and that's what all the recommendations for self-isolation are meant to accomplish. No one thinks it'll result in the disease affecting significantly fewer people, just that the rate of infections is reduced enough to not overwhelm the hospitals.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeTess View Post
    What do you think all those things that are currently being doen are meant to facilitate? "flattening the curve' is basically the medical buzz-word of the year, and that's what all the recommendations for self-isolation are meant to accomplish. No one thinks it'll result in the disease affecting significantly fewer people, just that the rate of infections is reduced enough to not overwhelm the hospitals.
    Yes.

    But none of that has any impact on the point I'm trying to raise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Yes.

    But none of that has any impact on the point I'm trying to raise.
    Then what is your point? That we need to protect the vulnerable? Of course we do, and as far as I can tell, most heavily affected countries are taking steps to protect them.

    Is deliberately exposing all the people that aren't in the risk group a good way to do that? Of course it isn't! That's a good way to kill a lot of people that don't need to die, as this disease has proven to be deadly in some cases even to the healthy and young. If it was the only way to stop the disease, I might agree with you as its a case of the lesser of two evils. But that's not the choice we have to make, or all the experts would be telling us this.

    edit: anyway, to get back on track, I'd expect that, since stuff like coronavirus outbreaks will continue to happen every decade or so, it wouldn't surprise me if some sort of big breakthrough in the development of vaccines happens, allowing for the very rapid development of effective and safe vaccines in the future.
    Last edited by DeTess; 2020-03-22 at 02:30 PM.
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    Default Re: How might we stop a pandemic in the future?

    One thing I think we need to do is try to figure out how to revamp our quarantine procedures. What happens when a quarantine is formed and you lock everyone in a certain area is that the disease spreads to the healthy and more and more people get infected in the quarantine zone. This causes a panic among the population there and then quarantine runners start occurring, which risks an infected getting lose from the quarantine. I think there should be a layered quarantined approach. Yes, you cut off the whole area in absolute quarantine like above, but then you expand that zone into different sections with temporary residence to move the "healthy" population out of the absolute quarantined zone into these segmented extra quarantined zone. That allows a chance to get the non-infected out of the hot zone and if you do allow an infected by accident into one of these zones, then it's still contained and not the whole evacuated population is infected. It's still a work in progress on how I think it should be done, but I think it would allow for a better quarantine management instead of draw a circle and assume everyone in that zone will get infected.
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