It's my first post on the HIVE and unfortunately it's not a good post. The global cases of COVID-19 have shot past the 250,000 mark. Around 9:00 PM yesterday it also plunged over 10,000 fatalities.
We have to remember that this virus is one of many running around out there. It's a little more contagious than the flu, running an R0 of approx. 2 to 2.5. That means that each case will infect on average roughly 2.2 people.
The lockdowns, social distancing and advice on washing and refraining from contact are an effort to reduce the R0 (r-nought). This virus is somewhere between the flu and measles in terms of how contagious it is. This is nowhere near as deadly as the 1918 swine flu but about 20-40x that of the typical flu. The fatality rate is sitting at about 4.1% (it's actually all over the place at the moment but seems to be settling at between 2.3% and 4.1%) whereas the flu is about 0.1%. Yeah. Now you get it.
This virus seems to be more devastating in particular to older adults 65 years and above. They seem to be at more at risk of death than other demographics. It's likely to do with how our "adaptive” immune system ages. This is where social distancing comes in to play. It is vital in order to save those that are older and those that are immunocompromised. It also helps to lower that R0 value.
Next, you might think, well, it's not in my neck-of-the-woods. It's all good around here... think again. CDC modelers of the disease estimate that between 100 and 215 million Americans could become infected. They estimate approximately 200K and 1.7 million deaths. That is if the R0 value can not be lowered (i.e. Social distancing does not work and/or a vaccine is not found).
I've been following the numbers using the Bing COVID-19 Tracker. They launched it earlier this week. It's a handy tool and allows you to drill down into each region. You can see the quarter of a million confirmed cases and over 10,000 deaths clearly.
Bing Covid-19 Tracker - +250,000 cases and +10,000 deaths
This screen shot at 20/03/2020 07:00 EST.
It's located at https://www.bing.com/covid - give it a try. It's helpful if you would like to stay on top of the news from the different regions reporting. For instance, if you click on Italy you can see the news and information related to that region. At the time of this post, the deaths in Italy have now surpassed those of China. Iran is not far behind. However, no new active cases are being reported in China. Some light.
This screen shot at 19/03/2020 21:00 EST
I was also curious about the symptoms and how to distinguish them from all the other crap that is floating around out there in the wild. Remember, it is also cold and flu season (no, the flu shot will not help you - but it will help with the flu.) And of course, I came down with a cold(great timing) and was wondering if could it be COVID-19, who wouldn't. Based on the chart below it does not seem like it is, and it's now cleared up(3 days.) Regardless, we are self-isolating at home and limiting our activities as suggested.
"It is clear that you cannot test all Italians - but you can test people close to those who are asymptomatic. We must use asymptomatic cases as an alarm bell to widen our action"
What's not clear is how many people are actually asymptomatic and driving up that R0. There's no way to tell unless we test everyone, which is clearly not feasible.
The message should be clear; isolate, isOLATE, ISOLATE!
This is definitely not medical advice and you should use your own best judgement whether or not you should seek out actual medical advice/attention.
That being said this is the best chart that I've seen on comparison of symptoms between a cold, the flu and COVID-19.
That's all I have at the moment. I hope that it helps to solidify the need for the lock-downs, social distancing and why it's a significant concern. Don't brush it off. We need to zero out the R0.
WELCOME TO THE HIVE
Stay Safe and Stay Healthy and Stay AWAY!