Tag: 2019-nCoV

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A friend sent me this link to the article covering the study of hydroxychloroquine (HC) treatment at the VA hospitals, which I commented on a day or two ago. The headline news for the tl;dnr crowd was that there is no benefit to treatment with HC or with HC and azithromycin (AZ) compared to AZ alone, […]

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COVID-19: The Dilemma in Pictures

 

We’d all like this to go away so we can get back to normal life. This is an attempt to show what’s involved graphically. Here’s a chart of what lets the virus expand its human footprint, or causes it to shrink:

COVID-19: The Cold Equations

 

This is my attempt to explain some of the dilemmas of ‘restart’. It pulls together a string of comments I made on this post. (My thanks to @rodin for not only that post but his whole series tracking the pandemic and its implications.) There will be math, but nothing worse than simple algebra. Estimates are sourced with inline links. Qualifications and elaborations are at the bottom in footnotes. Off we go:

1. There is no pre-existing pool of COVID immunity in the population. There’s a theory that COVID arrived here earlier than officially recognized, and was the cause of some of the nastier upper respiratory ‘flus’ of the mid-winter. This has been pretty thoroughly debunked by testing of patient samples that were preserved from that time. See the Twitter stream here (RTWT) with additional discussion here (post 7/ and onward). The CDC has a standing program to collect samples from ‘influenza like illnesses’, see here and here. This is done for flu vaccine planning and evaluation on an annual basis, and predated COVID. So there’s a large pool of existing samples that would have disclosed any earlier infections.* There’s no magic, we have to go on what’s shown by current testing and cases.

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Many have played, or at least heard of, the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon game. The goal is to find a path from the prolific actor to any other Hollywood persona, using six or less links generated by shared credits on films. Bacon seems to have worked with half that industry. And thereby hangs a […]

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The good news is that the worst is likely to be past, nationally, in seven to ten days. The IHME model has been doing a pretty good job of forecasting deaths and resource usage. An update over the weekend has both brought down the count of anticipated deaths nationally, and greatly lowered both the deaths […]

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I’d Like to Pass on the Corona

 

I haven’t seen a post on Ricochet talking specifically about the coronavirus, now known as 2019-nCoV or COVID-19, since Rodin’s post on the 7th. Let me take this opportunity to provide a short update from the other side of the world in Yokohama, Japan. While it’s not China, and not as bad off as China, the way this outbreak is progressing, Yokohama is now, as I’ll explain below, another front in the COVID-19 outbreak. Although I was in the Navy and spent time working in Emergency Management, now I’m just a plain ex-pat enjoying my retirement overseas, so most of what I’ll relate here comes from personal observations and local news sources.

Even with the occasional friction that occurs between China and Japan, Japan remains a favored destination for Chinese travelers. Before the outbreak kicked off, there were tons of Chinese tourists at popular locations across Japan every day. The last time I visited Kyoto a couple of years ago, the big tourist sites, buses, and sidewalks were packed as I had never seen them before. The famous shopping area in Tokyo called Ginza was crowded every day with tour buses and tourists, and while not all of them were Chinese, a vast majority appeared to be. However, starting at about the beginning of this month, Japan’s tourist locations saw traffic dry up. A store owner at Asakusa, one of the most popular sites in Tokyo, just mentioned on a news program that the number of tourists is way down, about 10 percent of normal, or a drop of 90 percent. One of the bigger duty-free stores called Laox, which sells electronics and electrical goods, is decreasing its workforce by 20 percent due to the outbreak.

Although it’s a different scale than China, the number of people in Japan infected with COVID-19 continues to slowly increase, as of today at 63, which I believe is the second highest after China. The first reported case of Japanese who tested positive with COVID-19, but had not visited Wuhan, was a bus driver who had driven a tour group of Chinese from Wuhan a few weeks ago. Soon afterward, a tour guide that had worked on one of his routes was also confirmed to have it. Whether the guide caught it from tourists from China or the driver hasn’t been reported, although this was a big question in the news a couple of weeks ago.