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Chinese Coronavirus Pandemic
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2020-01-25, 10:52

Sooooo "coronavirus" describes a group of viruses which can affect birds and mammals. There's an epidemiologist who has been laying out an argument about the virulence of the novel coronavirus coming from Wuhan in China - he compares it to the Spanish influenza pandemic from 100 years ago, and suggests it's a much more dangerous outbreak, notably because it's asymptomatic - impossible to spot infected/carriers.

If it's bad enough they'll name this thing at some point. That's probably not very scientific, but it'll happen.



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Steve Jobs ate my cat's watermelon.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-01-25, 12:51

For right now, let's just call it what it is: The FUD virus v9.3, build75812.

These things come along every few years. Chicken flu, pig flu, monkey flu, cats and mice flu, one flu over the coo coo's nest. Don't get me wrong, it's never good when ~50* of the world's 7.5 billion people die from a minor illness Unspeakable Horrible New Thing®. Never good at all. But hardly an "outbreak". When >1 million die, we know we have a problem. 10 million? Get out your masks. 100 million? The end of the world is coming. That thing that happened a hundred years ago affected a terrifying percentage of the world's population. That was 50 million people dead (estimates rise as high as 100 million) and 500 million were infected, or 1 in every 5 humans alive! Comparing this to that is FUD, and nothing more than FUD. (Remember that SARS—the Deadliest Most Scariest Disease Of All Time—claimed a whopping 800 deaths in 2002-2003, which is just barely 49,999,200 shy of the lowest estimate of the Spanish Influenza outbreak of 1918 to which this Wuhan thing is shamelessly being compared**).

*GASP* 0.000000000133333% of the population has died … IT'S AN OUTBREAK! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!

Yeah, let's compare 43 to 50,000,000 as if those two numbers bare any reasonable similarity. But, hey, companies that sell face masks have seen their share prices rise, so there's that. Yay, public panic sends rich-people stocks upward! Hmmmmm …

I'm not saying it can't get bad, I'm just saying that as of right now, it's nothing. Not even a drop. So, don't lose any sleep.

*This number will likely change. As of 1/5/2020 at 12:00 PM MST, the number in the article linked above was ~43 dead in China, and ~63 being watched for maybe possibly but not quite sure symptoms in the U.S. I am not providing a link in this footnote because in the internet age, "journalists" revise their numbers directly in linked articles with zero reference to changes, thus it becomes increasingly difficult to refer back to original numbers. The article in question has already been edited multiple times to reflect "current" numbers, rather than numbers as compared to any given point in the past. This is just lazy journalism at best, and scaremongering at worst.

** Of course, if one of your loved ones is among the dead, then percentages do not matter. But, that still does not make Wuhan*** an outbreak. It is likely that more people died from malaria during the time it took me to type this.

***Oooooo, a footnote within a footnote. And, yes, I'm calling this Wuhan until it has an official title.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!

Last edited by kscherer : 2020-01-25 at 15:07. Reason: Clearing up my thoughts and supporting them with facts.
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Dr. Bobsky
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: UK's most densely packed city. It's not London...
 
2020-01-26, 03:48

ok. Ken.

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PB PM
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2020-01-26, 17:57

I kind of get the feeling that more people will die from mosquito transmitted illnesses this year than this blown out of proportion coronavirus. Just another story to be milked to death, yes pun intended, by the media far beyond what it really is. Over the past few years there has been one thing or another that the media has told us to cower in fear from and not go out. Could this be true this time? Sure, and if it is it's not like there is anything we can do about it, other than be hygienic and not be stupid, but that should be normal.
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chucker
 
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2020-01-26, 20:06

Sure, but the number of cases is low in part BECAUSE of widespread awareness.
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drewprops
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sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2020-01-26, 21:14

Transmission rates are far higher than SARS, the illness is asymptomatic (meaning that the ill and carriers may be impossible to identify), and containment is super, super tough. Also: at least one epidemiologist is losing their shit online.

Bobsky, please step up to the mic.




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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-01-26, 22:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
I kind of get the feeling that more people will die from mosquito transmitted illnesses this year than this blown out of proportion coronavirus. Just another story to be milked to death, yes pun intended, by the media far beyond what it really is. Over the past few years there has been one thing or another that the media has told us to cower in fear from and not go out. Could this be true this time? Sure, and if it is it's not like there is anything we can do about it, other than be hygienic and not be stupid, but that should be normal.
Oh, hell, here in Idaho there's a new mosquito-transmitted virus every spring and it's going to be the end of the world. 5 people get sick, and when the "predictions" fail to materialize all "news" of the "outbreak" goes *POOF*. There's a mosquito on every leaf and nothing ever comes of it? I think it all has more to do with first-to-market click-bait than actual reporting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucker View Post
Sure, but the number of cases is low in part BECAUSE of widespread awareness.
Maybe, but it could also be "not the end of the world as reported".

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewprops View Post
Transmission rates are far higher than SARS, the illness is asymptomatic (meaning that the ill and carriers may be impossible to identify), and containment is super, super tough. Also: at least one epidemiologist is losing their shit online.
As I said above, this could get bad. I'm not taking that away. Where I see a problem is people running around comparing it to the Spanish Influenza outbreak in 1918. I am not a fan of crying wolf! Eventually, people will lose their confidence in both the media and scientists and won't be listening when maybe they should.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!

Last edited by kscherer : 2020-01-26 at 23:08.
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PB PM
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2020-01-27, 00:03

Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherer View Post
Oh, hell, here in Idaho there's a new mosquito-transmitted virus every spring and it's going to be the end of the world. 5 people get sick, and when the "predictions" fail to materialize all "news" of the "outbreak" goes *POOF*. There's a mosquito on every leaf and nothing ever comes of it? I think it all has more to do with first-to-market click-bait than actual reporting.
Are you joking or being honest? If that is real, wow that's sad. News stations sensationalizing things doesn't help anyone, these click bate stories are more of a pandemic than this illness
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kscherer
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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2020-01-27, 00:29

West Nile is Idaho's "bug". A handful of people get it every year, a couple people die. Year after year it's reported as if it's an epidemic. The regular ol' flu kills more people, but "flu" just isn't scary enough. I've stopped reading the articles. It's like an annual copy/paste symposium.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!
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Dr. Bobsky
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: UK's most densely packed city. It's not London...
 
2020-01-27, 03:18

Your being upset over the exaggerated reporting of viral diseases in the press does not mean Wuhan Coronavirus isn’t something to be concerned with.

In other word keep your mind open for the potential that this is far worse than reported. This is a virus that leaped directly from an animal to a human and is now rapidly evolving to its new host. It’s killing people. Spreading asymptotically. And is now on every continent. The CDC and equivalent in other nations don’t lose their shit when things are going great.
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PB PM
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2020-01-27, 11:22

Oddly enough, I don’t know that they are, ‘losing their shit’. Health Canada is still saying that a mass outbreak is very unlikely, and for people not to overly concerned.
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2020-01-27, 17:50

A friend who has been living in China just bugged out and reports that this thing has a 2 week incubation period. Check around to see if that's true.

I will go back and find the epidemiologist on Twitter who has been sounding the alarm.

Let's hope this isn't awful.
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Dr. Bobsky
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: UK's most densely packed city. It's not London...
 
2020-02-26, 17:50

A month later and we've not yet seen the arc...
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drewprops
Magnificent Basturd™
sagacious-d
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2020-02-27, 00:34

Meaning that we have not yet seen the full extent of this beast?



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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-02-27, 00:55

I'm not sold on the hysteria.

Here is a good site charting the virus's path.

Here is an article documenting influenza cases just in the U.S. for 2018/2019.

According to the coronavirus charts, it appears to be plateauing. Granted, other nations have yet to feel the "full" effects, but that does not take away from current facts. China has born the brunt and, naturally, it has spread elsewhere but with thus far less damaging effects. Could China's severe air pollution be a mitigating factor in the high number of deaths? This virus seems to be targeting folks who are more susceptible to lung issues. Is out of control pollution helping the disease spread amongst people who have been exposed to such foul air? And yes, that is a real and very serious question. (Maps tend to indicate that the majority of deaths in China have occured in very densely populated and severely polluted regions.)

The second article (from the Weather Channel) demonstrates that in 2018, ~80,000 Americans died from the flu, while ~15 million were infected with it, and by February 9 of 2019, at least 12,000 had died in just over 1 month! In other words, last year—in January alone—6 times as many people died from the flu just in the United States than the combined total of worldwide cornovirus deaths over that same period.

Here is the CDC's website on 2019/2020 figures over just the past 4 1/2 months. Read that chart carefully! Estimates range from 16,000 to 41,000 dead people from flu just in the United States! In 4 months! That's over 10,000 dead per month! While cornovirus was killing 3,000 people and getting world headlines, the flu killed 10,000 without any more mention than a website no one is bothering to cite!

Why?

Because flu is not scary enough!

Where is the hysteria?

Thus far, cornovirus isn't just small potatoes, it's tiny potatoes. A fly-fart in a world of gassy elephants.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!

Last edited by kscherer : 2020-02-27 at 01:05.
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Dr. Bobsky
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: UK's most densely packed city. It's not London...
 
2020-02-27, 01:17

The mortality rate of the flu is an order of magnitude lower than that of COVID 19. The infecticity of the flu is an order of magnitude lower than COVID 19. We have vaccines for the flu. Your comparison is not adding anything to your understanding of this disease, or the fact that China’s pseudo containment took world wide resources, we don’t have to spare for the world.

Further there is no evidence the rate of death is lower outside of China. The rate in Iran is officially reported at 10%, which is clearly an over estimate, and which is hiding a much larger infection. Mortality rates in Europe seem in the same range as in China.

You’ve got community transmission in the US, Europe, the ME, and soon South America and northern Africa...

Last edited by Dr. Bobsky : 2020-02-27 at 03:57.
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2020-02-27, 08:11

Don't worry about the USA, we've just put an anti-science ideologue at the forefront of our response: None other than VP Mike "pray the coronavirus away" Pence.

So it goes.
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-02-27, 11:21

In the end, the mortality rate of SARS was ~9.5%.

So far, this thing is ~3%.

SARS was going to wipe us off the planet in 2003. But, hey, why change things?

Quote:
People are over-reacting to SARS, creating a worldwide panic that could overwhelm attempts to contain the disease, two of the world's leading virus scientists say. …


… "Obviously, the fear comes from the fact that this is a novel disease. Many aspects of this epidemic are still mysterious," he said. "Fear of SARS is outrunning SARS per se." …


"… The Chinese government was totally irresponsible in covering it up," …


… But while SARS is new and frightening, its impact so far has been minor. In a mild year, influenza and its complications kill an estimated 250,000 people around the world. Malaria kills at least a million, mostly children. …
Etc., etc. I'm pretty sure all of the above quotes were just copy/pasted into the latest media scare-pieces (except that last one, which remains largely ignored because it isn't scary enough.)

Yeah, I admit I don't have a perfect understanding of the virus, but the numbers aren't backing up the panic.

And, yes, governments should cooperate (and have) to help prevent its spread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Bobsky View Post
Your comparison is not adding anything to your understanding of this disease
Bruce, I am no expert on the subject, so I figure I have exactly two options:

1) I can remain ignorant, and panic with the rest of the world;

2) I can do a little research and reading and educate myself so that I do not have to panic with the rest of the world.

I choose option 2. I do not need to have a full "scientific" understanding of the virus to recognize FUD when I see it.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!

Last edited by kscherer : 2020-02-27 at 15:07.
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Dr. Bobsky
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: UK's most densely packed city. It's not London...
 
2020-02-27, 17:56

As I've said to a scientist friend of mine:

This disease is deadlier and more contagious than the flu.
It is far less common.
Only one of these facts can change.

You should be *concerned* about this virus -- it is affecting people you 'know'. For instance, I am not going to be able to see my friend this weekend in London because she lives in Milan and travel restrictions would apply if she got sick. We're not on top of this virus. And yes, 10% mortality rate > 2% mortality rate, but 2% is f-ing high...
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kscherer
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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2020-02-27, 18:09

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Bobsky View Post
And yes, 10% mortality rate > 2% mortality rate, but 2% is f-ing high...
Just as an FYI: In 1918, the death rate of H1N1 (influenza) was about 10%, or ~50 million deaths in ~500 million cases.

Concern and panic are two different things, Bruce.

The common cold concerns me.

If I wasn't "concerned" I wouldn't even bother having the conversation. I am arguing against panic, not concern.

Boise State! … Boise State! … Boise State!

Last edited by kscherer : 2020-02-27 at 23:11.
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709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2020-02-27, 18:51

THE FUTURE: Idaho; 2021; Ken's new job.




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kscherer
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2020-02-27, 19:20

You so funny!

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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Yesterday, 12:12

Finally an article trying to get things into perspective.
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