Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Coronavirus 2019n-CoV: Are You Paying Attention?

 

I have been watching the chart below:

The Coronavirus has been raging in China since sometime in December 2019. We’re now over 30,000 cases and over 500 deaths. What seems to be established at this point is that persons without symptoms can be a source of contagion and the exposure to symptoms period is about 13 days. They are still trying to calculate the N factor, which is how many people will get sick in the future for each person who gets sick now. Estimates are a factor between 2 and 4; so basically, they don’t know.

I feel for the Chinese people, but what I have my eye on is where else it is going. Look at the next two screengrabs:

Did you see it? Japan has the most cases outside of mainland China. In the first chart, it shows 46, in the second grabbed a couple of hours later it shows 86! Earlier it was reported that 10 of the “Japanese” cases are actually amongst 3,700 cruise ship passengers quarantined and anchored off Yokahama on the Japanese coast. Oh, joy for those cruisers who will now be onboard and going nowhere for two weeks. Has there been a jump in the number of passengers testing positive for Coronavirus? Similarly, a cruise ship is also quarantined in Civitavecchia on the Italian coast with an ill Chinese couple amongst the 6,000 passengers.

On the first chart, the scale makes the yellow line (outside of mainland China) almost flat. But when will that line start to emulate the rate of growth of the mainland China line? The US has taken action to limit this by quarantining persons coming from China and denying entry to passengers from China who are not US citizens or permanent residents. But we are two or more weeks behind asymptomatic contagion before these restrictions were put in place. So this is something to keep your eye on as February goes on.

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  1. Arahant Member

    We have been keeping a close eye on it in the PIT with our man in Hong Kong reporting frequently.

    • #1
    • February 6, 2020, at 8:25 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  2. Henry Racette Contributor

    Rod, I also have been following the epidemic on the Johns Hopkins site. I confess I don’t understand just what we’re seeing.

    As an aside, I find it odd that today is the first day I’ve noticed the graph substantially differing from the aggregate infection count. It has generally reflected the count pretty well, and I’m surprised that the two aren’t synchronized now.

    But the real puzzle to me is the concentration within China, and the apparent lack of transmission outside of China. Per this evening’s figures, fully 99% of the cases remain confined to China — 70% of those within Hubei province, presumably overwhelmingly within Wuhan itself.

    The reported mortality rate from the disease within Hubei province is about 2.8%, more than ten times the mortality rate of the cases outside of Hubei. (In fact, essentially all coronavirus fatalities have occurred within Hubei province.) What does that mean? Is there something different about the virus inside Hubei? Has there been a major breakdown of care within Hubei? If the latter, do we have any idea what the real level of infection is in the city?

    Given the peculiar concentration of the virus and the vast difference between figures reported from Wuhan versus elsewhere, I wonder how reliable any of the Chinese reporting is on the virus. I also wonder why it has remained so well-contained in the rest of the world.

    It will be interesting to learn just what has gone wrong in public health care, epidemiological reporting, or both, once the crisis is over.

    • #2
    • February 6, 2020, at 8:25 PM PST
    • 13 likes
  3. The Reticulator Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Given the peculiar concentration of the virus and the vast difference between figures reported from Wuhan versus elsewhere, I wonder how reliable any of the Chinese reporting is on the virus. I also wonder why it has remained so well-contained in the rest of the world.

    It will be interesting to learn just what has gone wrong in public health care, epidemiological reporting, or both, once the crisis is over.

    Sometimes the virulence of a new epidemic will decline after being transmitted through the initial series of hosts. Maybe not always, though. (I am not an epidemiologist, nor do I play one on TV.)

    • #3
    • February 6, 2020, at 8:50 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  4. Locke On Member

    I’ve been watching closely. The explanation for the difference in mortality rates among Hubei, elsewhere in China, and other nations is obviously reporting, the only question is which variable is incorrect (if not both). I’m assuming that most other nations’ health services are on it, and the reporting is fairly accurate. Internal to China, I’m guessing that infections are under-reported in Hubei, with only those serious enough to show up for medical treatment being counted (if that), but deaths more or less accurate. The other Chinese provinces are the biggest question – are they more or less fully reporting infections, as with other countries, and therefore the death toll might possible be accurate. Or are they reporting only the most serious cases, in which case the deaths must be low, unless there’s some serious mutation that’s occurred (and occurred consistently in quite a few difference provinces – seems unlikely.)

    The biggest problem is going to be when/if this gets loose in countries without an effective public health infrastructure. I’ve seen published worry pieces about Thailand, Cambodia, and Africa in general.

    • #4
    • February 6, 2020, at 8:51 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  5. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    Strange things on the data again:

    Japan now has only 25 cases with 61 of the 86 from the prior screen grab now be assigned to “Others”.

    • #5
    • February 6, 2020, at 9:07 PM PST
    • Like
  6. Arahant Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Strange things on the data again:

    Japan now has only 25 cases with 61 of the 86 from the prior screen grab now be assigned to “Others”.

    How does that work?

    • #6
    • February 6, 2020, at 9:09 PM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Locke On Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Strange things on the data again:

    Japan now has only 25 cases with 61 of the 86 from the prior screen grab now be assigned to “Others”.

    On a guess, they likely reassigned the patients from the cruise ship in Japan (where it’s moored) to Other. Probably due to political sensitivity in Japan, but then it doesn’t really make sense to put them in the totals for their home countries, since that would give the false impression of infections there. So Other.

    • #7
    • February 6, 2020, at 9:31 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  8. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    The reported mortality rate from the disease within Hubei province is about 2.8%, more than ten times the mortality rate of the cases outside of Hubei. (In fact, essentially all coronavirus fatalities have occurred within Hubei province.) What does that mean?

    Deaths are mainly among the elderly. Most of the people outside Hubei are travelers (business/pleasure/university) and I assume are less likely to be elderly. 

    • #8
    • February 6, 2020, at 10:08 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  9. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Chinese reporting is historically unreliable and there is no reason yet to think that this epidemic is different. So the Chinese part of the graphs is likely to be GIGO.

    The WHO is trying to keep Taiwan out of the loop. China engineered the selection of Ethiopian pol Tedros Adhanom as WHO director. So the WHO is ambivalent at best about best practices.

    • #9
    • February 6, 2020, at 10:13 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  10. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    The reported mortality rate from the disease within Hubei province is about 2.8%, more than ten times the mortality rate of the cases outside of Hubei. (In fact, essentially all coronavirus fatalities have occurred within Hubei province.) What does that mean?

    Deaths are mainly among the elderly. Most of the people outside Hubei are travelers (business/pleasure/university) and I assume are less likely to be elderly.

    @henryracette

    I would also think that since this is a respiratory infection, if someone who lives outside of China, and is therefore unaffected by the tremendous coal burning smog that has ravaged the lungs of those who live in Chinese cities, does come down with the disease, their lungs are in good shape and can rally against the infection.

    My husband and I rarely come down with any type of infections. But in 2018, after spending about six weeks dealing with the heavy duty smoke from our region’s many wildfires gunking up our lungs, we were both as sick as dogs with some respiratory thing-ee it was hard for us to shake. Our malaise lasted a good three weeks. It was also the first time in my life of close to seven decades that I had ever been sick in September.

    • #10
    • February 6, 2020, at 11:58 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  11. Nohaaj Coolidge

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):
    But in 2018, after spending about six weeks dealing with the heavy duty smoke from our region’s many wildfires gunking up our lungs, we were both as sick as dogs with some respiratory thing-ee it was hard for us to shake.

    That is a very astute observation. Each time I visited China for more than a2 week period, my lungs burned, sinuses continuously ran and were irritated, and i developed skin rashes. Add a highly aggressive respiratory infection to those compromised by legendary air pollution, and the resultant death rate is likely to be significantly more than might be found in populations with clean lungs. I also believe the% of smokers in China is quite high. 

    • #11
    • February 7, 2020, at 4:29 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  12. Ontheleftcoast Member

    There are reports of bodies in the streets of Wuhan.

    The NYT reports here (paywall, story quoted here and below)

    The senior Chinese official tasked with coronavirus response reportedly ordered Wuhan authorities to “set up a 24-hour duty system” to prevent further spread of the deadly coronavirus.

    “During these wartime conditions, there must be no deserters,” Sun Chunlan said, “or they will be nailed to the pillar of historical shame forever.”

    The city has raced to comply with the order, erecting makeshift “mass quarantine shelters,” including one in a sports stadium, an exhibition center, and a building complex.

    Wuhan is a city of 11 million people. It has already been on “lockdown” – a shutdown of public transportation, flights, and most usage of roads in and out of the city – for over a week to prevent the virus from spreading in the rest of the country. Local officials in Wuhan enacted the lockdown after an estimated five million people had left the city for the Lunar New Year holiday, according to the city’s mayor, so it is not clear if the measures have successfully stopped the virus from spreading. All 31 Chinese provinces have documented coronavirus cases.

    According to the New York Times, Wuhan residents on Weibo, the highly censored but legal Chinese social media platform, have denounced the camps as frigid and in “very poor condition.”

    “Doctors and nurses were not seen to be taking note of symptoms and distributing medicine,” a Weibo post claimed.

    Wuhan’s lockdown has already caused a shortage of testing kits, hospital beds, and vital medical supplies. Residents have been forced to walk the streets to reach hospitals, but many have been turned away without so much as a test for the virus ravaging the isolated city.

    The building of camps in another region of China may prove alarming to human rights activists that have already been denouncing the Communist Party for years for its use of concentration camps to eliminate the existence of Muslims, particularly ethnic Uyghur Muslims, in far-west Xinjiang province — where coronavirus statistics are a “state secret.” 


    The Daily Mail reports

    A crematorium worker in the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak has revealed the long working hours he and his colleagues are putting in to transfer bodies from hospitals and private homes.

    According to Mr Yun, at least 100 body bags are required every day. The bodies are collected from Wuhan’s three main hospitals plus other small hospitals, as well as private residences.

    ‘Since Jan. 28, 90 percent of our employees are working 24/7 … we couldn’t go back home,’ Mr Yun told The Epoch Times

    ‘We really need more manpower.’ 

    He explained that the funeral homes in Wuhan are struggling to cope with the influx of bodies. ‘Almost all staff at each funeral home in Wuhan are fully equipped, and all Wuhan cremation chambers are working 24 hours,’ he said. 

     

    • #12
    • February 7, 2020, at 5:21 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  13. Spin Coolidge
    Spin Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    All I want to know is if the zombies are coming. Because I’m woefully unprepared. 

    • #13
    • February 7, 2020, at 6:36 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  14. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I feel people should not over analyze this kind of data. I doubt any real insights into the virus will be gained, and the most likely out come is building up a sense of hysteria about the situation. Things seem to be being handled in a reasonable manner so far. Again this doesn’t seem worse than the flu to me. Just more notorious for some reason. 

    • #14
    • February 7, 2020, at 6:38 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  15. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    I feel people should not over analyze this kind of data.

    The screenshots of the data put official Chinese lies on the same level with legitimate data coming out of less politically compromised health authorities in other countries. The non Chinese data definitely doesn’t justify hysteria. It looks as though there really is a serious epidemic in China, and so far it also looks like what China learned from SARS was not to be transparent but how to be non-transparent more effectively. That is an excellent way to incite hysteria elsewhere; whether this is what Xi wants is another question.

    I doubt any real insights into the virus will be gained, and the most likely out come is building up a sense of hysteria about the situation. Things seem to be being handled in a reasonable manner so far. Again this doesn’t seem worse than the flu to me. Just more notorious for some reason.

    Agreed. That said, anticipating supply chain disruption is legitimate, and so is discussion of other aspects of the disease outbreak. For example:

    Sometime in December 2019, Dr. Li Wenliang decided he must act. His clinic in the Hubei province capital, Wuhan, had too many patients with viral pneumonia symptoms. In a private online chat, he warned a few other doctors that analysis indicated a “SARS coronavirus.” The SARS epidemic erupted in 2002 and still embarrasses Beijing.

    On Jan. 1, the local Public Security Bureau arrested Li and seven other doctors, alleging they spread vile rumors. Major Chinese media outlets reported the arrests. Media shaming did its job: repressing information that embarrassed Chinese Communist Party officials. It also short-circuited the sharing of medical data, but in China, the CCP reigns supreme.

    Police released Li Jan. on 3 after he admitted to “illegal acts.” He went back to work combatting the epidemic the regime denied. By Jan. 10, Li and his family had contracted the novel coronavirus.

    Li is alive and now an internet hero. However, the noxious Chinese domestic surveillance system that ignorantly silenced the doctor remains intact.

    Li was a victim of China’s Ministry of Public Security and its Social Credit Rating system. The system accumulates data on individuals using cellphones, video, internet and travel activity, and gossip. Security clerks cull the data for niggling signs of anti-government behavior.

    Dr. Li subsequently died. Austin Bay, who wrote the quoted piece, notes:

    Li’s anti-government behavior was using a private internet chat group to tell a handful of doctors and medical students that he was seeing signs of a viral epidemic.

    • #15
    • February 7, 2020, at 6:52 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  16. Seawriter Contributor

    China is getting hit hard by the coronavirus due to the combination of several factors:

    1. Extreme crowding in urban areas
    2. Inadequate sanitation infrastructure, especially as regard to isolation and disposal of human waste. (Human feces are a transmission vector.) 
    3. Disregard for personal hygiene by a sector of the population (the “lost generation,” the ones sent to the farms during the Great Leap Forward, who believe hand washing is a sign of weakness due to their training back then.) 
    4. Government obstruction of the free flow of information, especially information with the potential to reflect badly on the government.
    5. Over-centralized emergency response (which slows response time).
    6. The Chinese New Years bringing people into crowded public venue, and encouraging travel. (This is where #4 becomes critical – no one realized the potential problems going out in large crowds or travel could cause.)

    Note a lot of these factors combined in the US during the 1918 Influenza. (1, 4. 5. 6 — in the form of military travel and enforced attendance at bond drives.) 

    The only places in the US that I see vulnerable to China-sized contagion are certain US cities with large homeless populations. They have conditions 1-5.

     

     

    • #16
    • February 7, 2020, at 6:56 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  17. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    China is getting hit hard by the coronavirus due to the combination of several factors:

    1. Extreme crowding in urban areas
    2. Inadequate sanitation infrastructure, especially as regard to isolation and disposal of human waste. (Human feces are a transmission vector.)
    3. Disregard for personal hygiene by a sector of the population (the “lost generation,” the ones sent to the farms during the Great Leap Forward, who believe hand washing is a sign of weakness due to their training back then.)
    4. Government obstruction of the free flow of information, especially information with the potential to reflect badly on the government.
    5. Over-centralized emergency response (which slows response time).
    6. The Chinese New Years bringing people into crowded public venue, and encouraging travel. (This is where #4 becomes critical – no one realized the potential problems going out in large crowds or travel could cause.)

    Note a lot of these factors combined in the US during the 1918 Influenza. (1, 4. 5. 6 — in the form of military travel and enforced attendance at bond drives.)

    The only places in the US that I see vulnerable to China-sized contagion are certain US cities with large homeless populations. They have conditions 1-5.

    A lot of BART riders in the SF Bay Area have near daily exposure to homeless riders on the trains and in and around the stations.

     

    • #17
    • February 7, 2020, at 7:06 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  18. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    I feel people should not over analyze this kind of data. I doubt any real insights into the virus will be gained, and the most likely out come is building up a sense of hysteria about the situation. Things seem to be being handled in a reasonable manner so far. Again this doesn’t seem worse than the flu to me. Just more notorious for some reason.

    There is a real economic impact of quarantining 500M people. Germany will definitely go into recession, because China will be buying fewer cars. The death rate is about 20X that of seasonal flu, which matters. 

    • #18
    • February 7, 2020, at 7:24 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  19. Nohaaj Coolidge

    I recall a previous post by a Ricochetti on global warming, and one of the observations or analogies used, was to gauge the severity of a situation by observing how the flight attendants respond to in-air turbulence. Lots of people get nervous when flying when there are little bumps, but if you observe the flight attendants, and they are still serving drinks, smiling, doing their jobs, then it is fairly reasonable to assume all is well. When the flight attendants get into their jump seats and securely fasten their 3 point restraint systems, and have a serious look on their face, then it is a good time to start worrying. Likewise, the official reaction to this virus globally, points towards a very serious issue. The full body suits, the economic shutdown of China’s production, transportation, schools, festivals, movie theaters, the absolute quarantining of cruise ships, the immediate cremation of the dead. These are all steps that point to a situation that deserves sober consideration.

     

    • #19
    • February 7, 2020, at 7:36 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  20. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    I recall a previous post by a Ricochetti on global warming, and one of the observations or analogies used, was to gauge the severity of a situation by observing how the flight attendants respond to in-air turbulence. Lots of people get nervous when flying when there are little bumps, but if you observe the flight attendants, and they are still serving drinks, smiling, doing their jobs, then it is fairly reasonable to assume all is well. When the flight attendants get into their jump seats and securely fasten their 3 point restraint systems, and have a serious look on their face, then it is a good time to start worrying. Likewise, the official reaction to this virus globally, points towards a very serious issue. The full body suits, the economic shutdown of China’s production, transportation, schools, festivals, movie theaters, the absolute quarantining of cruise ships, the immediate cremation of the dead. These are all steps that point to a situation that deserves sober consideration.

    Xi Jinping appointed Premier Li Keqiang to head China’s response to the epidemic. Li is widely thought of as an ally of Xi’s predecessor Hu Jintiao… and as a rival whom Xi defeated in their struggle for power. Without knowing more than that, this makes me think that Xi wants somebody else holding the bag for this. 

     

    • #20
    • February 7, 2020, at 9:12 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  21. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Again this doesn’t seem worse than the flu to me. Just more notorious for some reason. 

    Everyone please take note of these words and similar ones along the lines of “Move along, there’s nothing to see here.” In a month’s time, use them to judge the credibility of the source.

    • #21
    • February 7, 2020, at 9:45 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  22. Unsk Member

    “I would also think that since this is a respiratory infection, if someone who lives outside of China, and is therefore unaffected by the tremendous coal burning smog that has ravaged the lungs of those who live in Chinese cities, does come down with the disease, their lungs are in good shape and can rally against the infection.”

    I have seen similar comments elsewhere. I hope this is true. Others have said that once the cold/flu season ends in the spring transmission may lessen greatly. I hope so. I don’t have much faith in our Obamacare damaged health care system’s ability to deal with a true pandemic, and due to the fact that 80% of pharmaceutical drugs are manufactured in China. 

    “The only places in the US that I see vulnerable to China-sized contagion are certain US cities with large homeless populations. They have conditions 1-5.”

    NYC, LA and several other California cities like San Francisco have the most homeless. These cities also probably have the highest concentration of Chinese Nationals who may have come in contact with those with the disease. Here is LA, the Chinese are everywhere. 

    • #22
    • February 7, 2020, at 10:01 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. Ontheleftcoast Member

    drlorentz (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):
    Again this doesn’t seem worse than the flu to me. Just more notorious for some reason.

    Everyone please take note of these words and similar ones along the lines of “Move along, there’s nothing to see here.” In a month’s time, use them to judge the credibility of the source.

    The fact that the Chinese statistics are unreliable doesn’t mean that there’s no cause for alarm. It means that the Chinese government has been lying about how bad things are. Among other things. Hint: they’re not lying to make things look worse than they really are. We know it’s worse than they’re saying, we just don’t know how much worse.

    “The flu.”

    In the [1918 flu pandemic,] in the U.S., about 28% of the population of 105 million became infected, and 500,000 to 675,000 died (0.48 to 0.64 percent of the population)…

    In 2013, the AIR Worldwide Research and Modeling Group “characterized the historic 1918 pandemic and estimated the effects of a similar pandemic occurring today using the AIR Pandemic Flu Model”. In the model, “a modern day “Spanish flu” event would result in additional life insurance losses of between US$15.3–27.8 billion in the United States alone”, with 188,000–337,000 deaths in the United States.

    The case fatality rate of the 1918 pandemic was probably between 10-20%. I have seen higher estimates than the Modeling Group’s based on the thinking that the critical difference between a potentially lethal case of flu in 1918 and today is our ability to provide life support to the critically ill. Respirators (thanks @drlorentz) are the limiting resource, though in a large scale pandemic medical staff availability would also be a factor. The flu itself was quite lethal in 1918; there were also a lot of secondary bacterial pneumonias. Guess who makes most of the antibiotics used in the US?

    Sooner or later there will be an H1N1 outbreak (or a novel and lethal virus) and the year’s vaccine won’t work. The hope is that some means of producing an effective vaccine for an active epidemic followed by massive production of the vaccine will become possible before that happens.

    • #23
    • February 7, 2020, at 10:16 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  24. Scott R Member
    Scott R Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Whenever the next health scare emerges (Ebola, H1N1, SARS, mad cow, heterosexual AIDS, etc) the first order of business for the layman is to google Michael Fumento and get his take. The guy is money in the bank.

    In a nutshell, his take on Coronavirus: Those graphs will bend downward soon enough, chillax, get your flu shot, wear your seatbelt. We’re good.

    • #24
    • February 7, 2020, at 11:01 AM PST
    • 1 like
  25. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Scott R (View Comment):

    Whenever the next health scare emerges (Ebola, H1N1, SARS, mad cow, heterosexual AIDS, etc) the first order of business for the layman is to google Michael Fumento and get his take. The guy is money in the bank.

    In a nutshell, his take on Coronavirus: Those graphs will bend downward soon enough, chillax, get your flu shot, wear your seatbelt. We’re good.

    After you do that, a useful question to ask yourself is: “who benefits from spreading FUD?”

    • #25
    • February 7, 2020, at 11:20 AM PST
    • 1 like
  26. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    I feel people should not over analyze this kind of data. I doubt any real insights into the virus will be gained, and the most likely out come is building up a sense of hysteria about the situation. Things seem to be being handled in a reasonable manner so far. Again this doesn’t seem worse than the flu to me. Just more notorious for some reason.

    “Guangzhou, the capital of China’s southwestern Guangdong Province and the country’s fifth largest city with nearly 15 million residents, has just joined the ranks of cities imposing a mandatory lockdown on all citizens, effectively trapping residents inside their homes, with only limited permission to venture into the outside world to buy essential supplies.

    The decision means 3 provinces, 60 cities and 400 million people are now facing China’s most-strict level of lockdown as Beijing struggles to contain the coronavirus outbreak as the virus has already spread to more than 2 dozen countries.”

    Yup. Just another version of the seasonal flu. Nothing to see here at all.

    Move along Comrades.

    • #26
    • February 7, 2020, at 11:34 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  27. Henry Racette Contributor

    I will repeat my comment of the other day: with everything going on in Hong Kong, this is a bad time for a distracting and disruptive Chinese epidemic and mobilization of government authority.

    • #27
    • February 7, 2020, at 11:42 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  28. Archibald Campbell Inactive
    Archibald Campbell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’m keeping an eye on it, since I work for a Silicon Valley company that employs a lot of Chinese nationals. The company has ordered self-quarantine for anyone returning to China (14 days of working from home), and banned all travel to China (and discouraged any other international travel generally.) So they’re taking it seriously.

    What’s interesting to me is that the regular old flu killed 61,000 people in the U.S. in 2017, and no one was particularly exercised. 34,200 were estimated killed by the flu last year, as well. I understand that this is a new thing, and so we know less about it, but I’m not going to freak out until there’s something to freak out about. @ontheleftcoast and I will compare notes, and if it is bad where we both are, we will freak out with alacrity, precision, and maximum efficiency.

    • #28
    • February 7, 2020, at 11:44 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  29. Hugh Member

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):
    But in 2018, after spending about six weeks dealing with the heavy duty smoke from our region’s many wildfires gunking up our lungs, we were both as sick as dogs with some respiratory thing-ee it was hard for us to shake.

    That is a very astute observation. Each time I visited China for more than a2 week period, my lungs burned, sinuses continuously ran and were irritated, and i developed skin rashes. Add a highly aggressive respiratory infection to those compromised by legendary air pollution, and the resultant death rate is likely to be significantly more than might be found in populations with clean lungs. I also believe the% of smokers in China is quite high.

    I believe the standing joke is that breathing your air through a cigarette filter is healthier than breathing the air directly.

    (We used to say that about Mexico city in the ’90s as well)

    • #29
    • February 7, 2020, at 1:53 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  30. Arahant Member

    Archibald Campbell (View Comment):
    and if it is bad where we both are, will freak out with alacrity, precision, and maximum efficiency.

    It’s important to have a plan.

    • #30
    • February 7, 2020, at 4:29 PM PST
    • 3 likes