Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Folks.

Haven’t seen much discussion on this.

Where we are at

  • brand new virus has made the jump to humans. Probably from bats.
  • this is very similar to SARS or MERS
  • the epicentre is wuhan. A city of 11 million people.
  • official tolls are 700 plus infected, with 41 dead.
  • Wuhan plus a number of other cities, encompassing 30 million people, have been locked down
  • exactly how infectious the virus is, is not clear
  • isolated cases have been found in the UK, the US, Australia, Japan and a number of others
  • the Chinese government is of course treating this with full transparency, so we aren’t relying on guesswork and half baked conjecture…
  • likewise. If the pandemic gathers speed, we can all rely on our governments to respond with rational, science led approaches.

There is some suggestion that carriers can be asymptomatic. There is also info that a 4th generation patient has been identified.

The medic nerds are running models, but with incomplete information the outputs range from “Probably fine eventually” to “catastrophic” depending on the variables.

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Never disrespect the wuhan virus

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My wife is currently in Wuhan with her family celebrating Chinese New Year. If I were a better son-in-law I’d be getting evacuated by plane by the US government from Wuhan tomorrow.*

My wife and I have been living in Taiwan this year but she went back to Wuhan in December to handle some work/business issues and spend CNY with her family.

Shits fucked.

*I actually do spend lots of time in Wuhan with the in-laws and thus usually get a pass for CNY from my wife.

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Throw your hands in the air, never disrespect. WOOHAN, got you all in check.
image

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2.5-5 percent mortality rate. President Trump tweeting that everything is fine. Currently at elevated concern levels.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/2020/01/24/scientists-are-unraveling-chinese-coronavirus-with-unprecedented-speed-openness/

Scientists are racing to stop the new coronavirus by sharing their results in real time around the world. The effort shows how the speed of collaboration has improved with technology.

“The pace is unmatched,” said Karla Satchell, a professor of microbiology-immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “This is really new. Lots of people [in science] still try to hide what they’re doing, don’t want to talk about what they’re doing, and everybody out there is like: This is the case where we don’t worry about egos, we don’t worry about who’s first, we just care about solving the problem. The information flow has been really fast.”

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview that with the viral genome, researchers have started on developing a vaccine. He is “reasonably confident” that a safety study could begin testing it in people within three months.

“The fact that it’s about three months is really, I think, remarkable, because that would be the fastest that we have ever gotten from the time we got the sequence to the time into a human,” Fauci said. “If we can do that, it would be the fastest on the record.”

He cautioned that doesn’t mean a vaccine would be widely available in three months; larger studies would be required to determine both the safety and effectiveness of a vaccine. But it is still science at light speed; during the SARS outbreak, it took 20 months from getting the genome of the virus to the first tests of a vaccine in people.

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This seems so obvious but I haven’t seen it so I had to do it.

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It’s mind-boggling how many old people die during a “normal” flu season.

It’s not when you realize that old people die all the time, because they’re old. Pneumonia often is what finishes many old people off, but they’re usually at the point where they’re going to get finished off by something soon.

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That’s a bacteriophage not a coronavirus

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Artistic license! Have you seen the coronavirus? It looks downright friendly. That phage looks like a demonic robot from War of the Worlds that wants desperately to get up in ya.

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Can we talk about the White Claw virus that’s been spreading in my apartment.

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Photos from inside a hospital.

You may not be willing to share. But what is your wife’s experience?

Is she going to be able to come back? How strict are the travel restrictions?

“In Beijing, five new cases have been confirmed, according to Chinese National Radio, including two patients who had not recently travelled to Hubei, the centre of the outbreak. In all previous cases in the capital, patients had reportedly visited the province.”

As of now she’s quarantined in Wuhan with her family. She’s a PRC national without a foreign passport.

After seeing the news that there’s a charter flight for US citizens in Wuhan tomorrow I kind of wonder what would happen if I was there and said I’m not leaving without my wife (she has a valid US visa). I don’t know how many consular staff there is there (when I lived there consular stuff was all through Guangzhou) but outside of that I can’t imagine there’s more than a few Americans who didn’t get out before this week. To put it bluntly, as an American even if you are staying in China for CNY (you probably aren’t), spending it in Wuhan would be miserable under the best circumstances. I’m sure Superuberbob can back me up on this one.

Supposedly as of 8 hours from now all non-special vehicles are banned from the roads in Wuhan. They’ve already been blocking people leaving by road. Wuhan is a huge city. When my wife and I were dating to get from the area we lived to her parents home took over three hours via bus-metro-bus. Its also a city that is constantly under construction and there are many areas of it that are completely unrecognizable from when I first lived there in 2013.

Wuhan is a city that has swelled as the urban center that Hubei’s countryside have flocked to since the 1980s. It also has the highest university student population in China and a significant population of foreign students from Africa and south Asia. It is also a transport hub connecting central China with Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing. So a great choice for the virus.

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Wow. I don’t even know how I would make that decision. Can you try calling the embassy and asking?

Even if the threat of the virus is overblown. Spending months in lockdown in a panicking city is not going to be fun.

Would your wife want to leave? I assume yes?