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OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: SteveInMarietta ()
Date: March 18, 2020 04:37PM

I thought I'd share with my fellow Corvair Enthusiasts some perspectives from a biologist on SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that is currently making some news. I've taught Microbiology for 30-some years, and I believe I can provide some insight into the necessity for the severe containment measures before us and why small numbers (like 10%, 1%, 0.1% and even 0.01%) can mean big trouble.

But please first look at these graphs, which show the total number of infections and deaths from the virus:

The numbers for both are increasing exponentially. This means that for everyone who gets infected (serious illness or not) 2 or more people they contact also become infected; and currently the only means at our disposal to slow this is to separate people.

We hear a lot of different numbers associated with the spread of the virus. But even though the numbers may seem small they represent large numbers of people on a national and global scale.

Consider that in 2009 during the most recent influenza epidemic (swine flu), 61 million people in the US alone were infected. This virus caused a relatively mild illness, and a fatality rate of 0.02% (12,500 deaths). This was also a virus for which there exists some natural immunity within the population because of the annual spread of other forms of the flu virus.

Now consider that there is very little if any existing immunity in the population to SARS-CoV-2, that it is currently spreading exponentially, that no vaccine exists, we have limited testing capacity, and that it causes more severe illness than the swine flu. Assume a conservative estimate of 100 million people becoming infected. Let's also use some conservative estimates of the effects - 10% of those infected becoming seriously ill (bedridden, possibly needing hospitalization) and a 0.1% fatality rate. Those numbers out of 100 million infected would be 10 million seriously ill and 100,000 deaths. (The CDC & WHO currently estimate serious illness for 20% and the fatality rate at >1%.)

So for me, because I see and understand the numbers, I personally will not second guess the decision by authorities to impose such serious measures. And even if the eventual effects of the virus are below what is possible, (maybe due to those measures), I understand that we need to respond to risks early enough to prevent the worse case scenarios.
Steve

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Date: March 18, 2020 06:05PM

I have a couple sources of information to add on to this topic:

Coronavirus in the US from the perspective of a critical care doctor

Interactive dashboard allowing you to view cases in all countries.

"Flattening the curve", why staying at home now can save lives

The main take away is this: It's not exactly known how intense this virus is and how long it will be around for, but it would be unwise to throw caution into the wind and have us end up in a situation that is very difficult to handle.


Additional info about the virus:

While the coronavirus has flu-like symptoms, it's not the flu. The coronavirus can lead to further respiratory complications such as pneumonia and bronchitis. There have been previous strains of coronavirus but this one is new and different than the others.

Basic information from national foundation for infectious diseases

Italy is currently the country having the worst issues with the virus. They're at the stage now where they have to make decisions on which people to turn away because there's not enough space. The reason it's hitting so hard is because it spread undetected for so long due to lack of testing/precautions in its early stages. A situation that's seemingly mirrored by the US.

Wash your hands
Avoid contact

Nick

Louisville, KY, US


64 Greenbrier



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/18/2020 06:06PM by TimeMachineParadox.

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: Timothy Shortle ()
Date: March 18, 2020 06:42PM

Thank you Steve and Nick. I have a different perspective on this virus than I did even a week ago. I do believe IT IS REAL. So I am keeping more of my distance as well as washing my hands more often. I hope we as a people can beat this.

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: flamingchariots ()
Date: March 18, 2020 06:52PM

Yes, thanks for the info.
Actual proof always is more important than opinions.

Kevin
Medina, OH

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: playerpage ()
Date: March 18, 2020 11:22PM

Thank you. Appreciated.

____________________________________________

Eric C. Player, Porterville, CA, USA (Seriously! It's the USA out here!)
MEMBER: CORSA National, Central Coast CORSA, South Coast CORSA, Vintage CORSA, Sfba CORSA, and the San Joaquin Valley Corvair Club.
THEN:
1965 Monza 110, Canary Yellow
1965 Corsa 180 Turbo, Red
1966 Monza 110, Purple
1967 Monza 140, Red
1966 500 110, Black; nicknamed "Shadow"
1965 Monza 110, Camaro Yellow; nicknamed "Silver"
NOW:
1966 Corsa 180 Turbo, Blue; nicknamed "Bluvair"

"He cautioned me not to take notes. It would not have helped if I had, as he would start a paragraph with, 'It is therefore obvious. . .'
and go on from there to matters which may have been obvious to him and God but to no one else."
-- Robert A. Heinlein, character of Daniel B. Davis, 'The Door Into Summer.'

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: FLSteve ()
Date: March 19, 2020 07:45AM

The test that were finally given to the sick on Monday will post results today. China might say the number have gone down but we will see a HUGE increase in the next few days.

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Date: March 19, 2020 09:19AM

The real issue, which we're starting to encounter here in Canada, is not the lethality of the virus but instead the increased burden on the healthcare system caused by both infected and uninfected people.

Our system was threadbare before this all kicked off, and now even a slight increase in patients threatens to crash the whole thing.

Canadian 1961 #00214, 700 4DR 80HP/PG
Saskatoon, SK, Canada

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: isucorvair ()
Date: March 19, 2020 09:44AM

As someone who is currently on forced quarantine...I will tell you that it is HARD to get tested (unless you are famous).

I highly believe I have Influenza A - was exposed to it with my daughter diagnosed last week.

No doctor will see me, or refer me to mobile testing, as I am not in a high-risk demographic (or famous).

If testing was available to more people, I guarantee there would be more cases.

So, here I sit, working from home for 14 days.

Eric P.
DeWitt, IA

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: SteveInMarietta ()
Date: March 19, 2020 10:18AM

Of all the deficiencies in the US response, unavailability of testing most critically undermined the ability to implement site specific containment. It's too late for that now; but continued lack of testing is now heightening frustration and fear.

Eric, I hope the time posses quickly and all turns out well.
Steve

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: pvholgado ()
Date: March 19, 2020 10:23AM

So thankful for a rational explanation of the seriousness of this issue. To many people still believe it is a hoax created by one political party to discredit the other- Stay well - stay safe.

"A sign of great intelligence is being able to say 'I don't know'"


1966 Corsa Turbo Coupe current being "refurbished"
Located 25 miles East of Rochester, NY

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: MattNall ()
Date: March 19, 2020 10:38AM

pvholgado Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Too many people still believe it is a hoax
=======================================================


I doubt that... we have over 100 deaths now...

I believe many "Feel" we are "over-reacting"

I was at the local casino the day before the State closed them for a week here.. No cases in this county.

Every other machine was turned off...and still those same ladies came up and hung all over me!!! LOL!!

MODERATOR
Sea Mountain, between Charleston Harbor and Coos Bay! SW Oregon Coast
Click HERE for My Website...Click HERE for My TechPages!
..............................110-PG.................................................Webered-Turbo

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: Spectre ()
Date: March 19, 2020 11:04AM

OK has closed all the casinos, and restaurants are take out or drive-thru only. Malls, theaters, etc are closed. My wife works for Boeing, and they all went home Monday to start teleworking. A lot of the civilian workforce where I work is now teleworking. My project can't telework due to the nature of what we work on. We may still get sent home, we just don't know yet. I am fortunate enough to know my paycheck will not be interrupted if I am sent home.

David Clamp


1965 Corsa convertible - 140 4spd/3.55/AM-FM

2013 Mustang GT convertible - 5.0, 6spd auto, Procharger i-1

2003 Miata SE - 6spd manual (wife's toy)

"Victory is mine!" - SG

Norman, OK

<a href="[www.wunderground.com] src="[weathersticker.wunderground.com]; alt="Click for Norman, Oklahoma Forecast" height="90" width="160"></a>



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/19/2020 11:11AM by Spectre.

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: March 19, 2020 11:51AM

Thanks Steve for the well thought out explanation.

Since this new virus is very contagious the practical thing to do is to avoid close contact with people which will slow the spread of this virus until a vaccine is available.

A number of my friends have been told not to come to work and many are working from home. So far all are being paid. No hysteria from them or their employers, just a pragmatic attitude to get through this.

In many areas grocery stores are thoughtfully allowing folks over 55 (seems to be the most common age limit used) shop in stores before the general public is admitted. Days and hours vary so check your local stores.

On a humorous note: A grumpy buddy who has survived three divorces told me "I have been self isolating for years since I don't like people" - LOL.

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: mikeycee ()
Date: March 19, 2020 12:43PM

Too many people really "work" for a living. They get sent home they starve. Those I really feel sorry for. The kind of jobs a lot of us had when we were younger....no work no eat. eye rolling smiley Mike

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: Caraholic4life ()
Date: March 19, 2020 12:59PM

On the "Flip Side", I work for a local State Transportation Agency where I am considered an "Essential Employee".
As such, I am required to show up at work unless I feel that I am showing symptoms.
Should I elect to stay home, or even if I get sent home with the suspicion of being sick, I am required to present a Doctor's note before I would be permitted back on the job.
Any time I take off from work if I am sick, or if members of my family are sick, will be paid from my accrued vacation and sick days.
IF I have a scheduled vacation coming up, it is possible they could deny me the time off if they feel they want or need me at work.

What am I doing on a daily basis....I go to work, am careful about where I go and who I am near and wash my hands regularly.
At the end of the work day I drive home and stay there until such time I need to go back to work.
On Friday evening upon arrival home, I generally stay in the house until Monday morning when I drive to work.
In other words, my daily routine has not changed much.

1962 95 F.C. Van
1965 Monza Coupe
Westminster, Maryland

MID ENG enthusiast &
prior Kelmark owner.

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: 66vairman ()
Date: March 19, 2020 01:49PM

Around here local governments and charities are working together to deliver meals to those who can't get out, or don't have the money for food.

Congress and the Prez. are working on one time payments, extended unemployment, or both.

It will be tough, but nobody should starve.

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: jetcat ()
Date: March 19, 2020 03:30PM

I'm also in self, not forced, quarantine with mild flu symptoms. After a visit to my physician Tuesday, he did not test me because clinically I didn't "match" the COVID 19 symptoms. Personally, I think it's not good sign when any 67 year old person with flu symptoms is not an automatic test. Really, anyone, anywhere with flu symptoms eventhough unlikely COVID 19. I think it shows how far behind we are at the moment.

BTW, not famous.



sucorvair Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As someone who is currently on forced quarantine...I will tell you that it is HARD to get tested (unless you are famous).
>
> I highly believe I have Influenza A - was exposed to it with my daughter diagnosed last week.
>
> No doctor will see me, or refer me to mobile testing, as I am not in a high-risk demographic (or famous).
>
> If testing was available to more people, I guarantee there would be more cases.
>
> So, here I sit, working from home for 14 days.
>
> Eric P.
> DeWitt, IA

Bob
Paso Robles, CA

Central Coast Corsa
1966 Turbo Corsa convertible
1966 Corsa 140 coupe but now with 110hp heads.

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: FLSteve ()
Date: March 19, 2020 03:46PM

And you never know if you had it or not because the test was not given.

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: joelsplace ()
Date: March 19, 2020 04:12PM

What would you differently if you knew you had it?

Some local governments are limiting hours businesses can open. I guess they have figured out what hours the virus is active and make sure everyone is at home during those hours.

Joel
Northlake, TX
5 Ultravans, 114 Corvairs and counting...

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Re: OT-About the coronavirus from a biologist
Posted by: SteveInMarietta ()
Date: March 19, 2020 04:19PM

If I knew (or suspected) I had it, I would self-quarantine immediately. I would not want to infect anyone else.
Steve

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