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Thread: The COVID-19 Discussion Thread (OTB)

  1. #1
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    The COVID-19 Discussion Thread (OTB)

    If you're looking for a place to discuss non-scientific matters related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you've found it.

    It's understandable that folks want (need) to discuss their concerns, their fears, and the impact the pandemic has had on their lives, including deaths that hit all to close to home, if not in it. However, such discussion has been creeping into several threads, to the point of taking them off topic or disrupting them in other ways. Concerning ways. And, as much as we need to talk about such things, we also need a place to get away from talk of such things, if only for a while. So, we've created this thread as a place for almost all non-scientific discussion of COVID-19. For more sciencey disucssion, please see Disease and pandemics thread (because it's science). Some posts are still appropriate for the threads about trivial or not-so-trivial things that annoy you, amuse you, or make you happy but if there's to be more discussion about it, please do it here. But first, a...

    Warning: Our forum rules still apply here.
    Be polite. No politics. No conspiracy theories.
    No medical advice, ATM medicine, home-brewed cures, or other misinformation.
    There's enough of that going around everywhere.

    We hope this thread is of benefit to you.
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    One of my nephews has COVID-19, but it is a mild case at present. LATE ADD: Talked to my sister, my nephew's wife also has it, but they're okay.
    Last edited by Roger E. Moore; 2020-Apr-14 at 05:32 PM.
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    Glad it's mild.

    Our family had a Zoom meeting on Easter Sunday. That's when it suddenly (!?) dawned on me that we are very affected by COVID-19.

    I posted previously that our youngest started running a fever and had a cough. His doctor told him to isolate unless the symptoms worsened. The fever never got high but after a couple of weeks he still has it. And his SO is running a low fever as well. Since their symptoms are mild they don't qualify for testing. They continue to teach from home.

    Our eldest is the PIO for a small city. He suggested they start a hotline for residents to call with questions or issues. The mayor agreed and assigned running it to him. M-W-F he supervises the call center 7 to 7, along with his usual job. Tu-Th he opens and closes it. Sa-Su the calls are transferred to his cell phone.

    My step-sister is a med tech at an area hospital. She occasionally runs COVID blood tests. She uses a separate negative-pressure room for them just in case.

    One nephew is a firefighter, 24 on and 48 off. No real issues so far, but he told us of the 3 EMTs who were called to a nursing home to help a woman in respiratory distress. While 2 got the equipment out of their shop the third went inside. The woman was in her room on a nebulizer. Which is when the staff told him she probably had COVID. He told the other two EMTs to stay out and gear up while he turned off the nebulizer.

    One niece is a nurse normally assigned to the cardiac ICU. She is currently working the COVID ICU with 22 patients, 17 on ventilators. We asked her how many patients they had discharged. She replied, "Not enough."
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    This has been a rough month. 2 of my uncles passed away at the outset of the outbreak. Neither to COVID-19, but from other health issues. Then my cat died. That was just in the first 2 weeks of this mess.

    My neighbor tested positive for it a week or so ago. I "check in" on her every morning by exchanging waves at the window. I haven't spoken to her in a few days though. Her son also checks in on her.

    In other news, all of my classes are now online, which is problematical. I could write an essay about that.

    Next, it is my turn. I will be creating online materials for my students. We're not sure how this is going to be received. All of my students suffer from autism and require a great amount of support in the classroom. We "go live" on the 20th. I have my fingers crossed. We aren't allowed to use Zoom or anything else (privacy concerns) not normally used in our classrooms, which means we are down to pictures, Word docs and PDFs.
    Solfe

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    I have to find my webcam, since Simon's class is scheduled to have their first Zoom meeting on Friday. My faire boss is convinced that everything is going to open up soon because people will just stop worrying, and he seemed shocked when I said I wouldn't go to large public gatherings until herd immunity or a vaccine made it safe.
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    Maybe we'll eventually deal with reports of coronavirus illnesses and deaths much like reports of traffic accident injuries and deaths are dealt with now. Tragic but not terrifying because we'll be used to them. We could reduce traffic accidents by staying home but we don't. We're not going to stay at home for coronavirus forever.

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    So far all is ok in my family. I have 5 older siblings ranging from 75-85 in age with various health issues but they are all staying at home and still safe at this point. Each of them have kids to do their shopping, leaving everything on doorstep.

  8. #8
    The closets person to that has been tested and came negative was a guy who works on the same boat as the brother in law. The closests cases are in Saint John and Fredericton which are over a hundred kilometers away.
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    I got my $1200 stimulus money this morning. I wonder if they sent them all out at once which might cause large crowds at supermarkets and shortages of everything again. I think I'll detour far away from food sources on my way home from work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
    Maybe we'll eventually deal with reports of coronavirus illnesses and deaths much like reports of traffic accident injuries and deaths are dealt with now. Tragic but not terrifying because we'll be used to them. We could reduce traffic accidents by staying home but we don't. We're not going to stay at home for coronavirus forever.
    I think that could be true if the death rate were comparable to that of influenza. In fact, I think influenza and car accidents are on about the same order of magnitude, and we do consider deaths from influenza as something tragic, something worth getting a seasonal vaccine to prevent (especially if you are in a high risk population), but we don't try to have everyone stay at home. But with the coronavirus death rate so much higher than influenza, I don't think we'll become inured to it.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

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    Not sure if this belongs here or in the CT forum, but apparently US agencies are looking at the possibility that coronavirus started in a Chinese lab and not a market. Ignoring the politics of this but how could researchers determine if a virus originated in a lab vs. the wild?

    The theory is one of multiple being pursued by investigators as they attempt to determine the origin of the coronavirus that has resulted in a pandemic and killed hundreds of thousands. The US does not believe the virus was associated with bioweapons research, and officials noted that the intelligence community is also exploring a range of other theories regarding the origination of the virus, as would typically be the case for high-profile incidents, according to an intelligence source.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Not sure if this belongs here or in the CT forum, but apparently US agencies are looking at the possibility that coronavirus started in a Chinese lab and not a market. Ignoring the politics of this but how could researchers determine if a virus originated in a lab vs. the wild?
    No credible evidence supporting claims of the laboratory engineering of SARS-CoV-2

    You compare the virus to the pool of existing wild coronavirus. Naturally evolved viruses will show randomly scattered point mutations, whereas lab-prepared viruses will show targeted sections of RNA being deleted, replaced or added.
    It's like telling the difference between a document that has errors due to poor OCR scanning, and a document that has been edited to alter its sense.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Ignoring the politics of this ...
    For reasons that must be clear to all, this is impossible. I have nothing further to say.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    No credible evidence supporting claims of the laboratory engineering of SARS-CoV-2

    You compare the virus to the pool of existing wild coronavirus. Naturally evolved viruses will show randomly scattered point mutations, whereas lab-prepared viruses will show targeted sections of RNA being deleted, replaced or added.
    It's like telling the difference between a document that has errors due to poor OCR scanning, and a document that has been edited to alter its sense.

    Grant Hutchison
    Thank you, I was expecting that clues might be in the evolution of the virus. The OCR is a good analogy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by schlaugh View Post
    Not sure if this belongs here or in the CT forum, but apparently US agencies are looking at the possibility that coronavirus started in a Chinese lab and not a market. Ignoring the politics of this but how could researchers determine if a virus originated in a lab vs. the wild?
    To clarify: as far as this thread goes, let's keep the CT stuff out of this thread, as warned in the OP. More broadly, COVID-19 related conspiracy theories are out-of-scope for the CT forum. There are plenty of websites that discuss them with glee and fervor, I'm sure.

    However, I don't see the question posed as being necessarily CTish in nature, as long as one sticks to the nuts and bolts of making that determination...but such medical/bio-science aspects might be more appropriate for discussion in the other thread.
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  16. #16
    While a company in NB will supply half a million tests a week.
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    People immediately jump to thinking “nefarious purpose” when they hear lab. I’d imagine that labs can have legitimate reasons to study viruses.
    Of course, there is no current proof it leaked from one.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    People immediately jump to thinking “nefarious purpose” when they hear lab. I’d imagine that labs can have legitimate reasons to study viruses.
    Of course, there is no current proof it leaked from one.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Please add the modifier “some people.“ I am sure many have only positive association with the word Lab.
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    Quote Originally Posted by profloater View Post
    Please add the modifier “some people.“ I am sure many have only positive association with the word Lab.
    Point taken.


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    My cousin who died was only 56. What a shame.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
    My cousin who died was only 56. What a shame.
    I am 64.7 and that makes me nervous. Not frightened, just... nervous.
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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    NOT the Six O'Clock News

    Here is a link to a good intelligent discussion on coronavirus with N. deG. Tyson et al.:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSjTsInyveE

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    Here is a link to a good intelligent discussion on coronavirus with N. deG. Tyson et al.:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSjTsInyveE
    Given that Tyson's ignorance of medicine doesn't seem to stop him making woefully ill-informed statements about it, I think I'll give that a miss.

    Grant Hutchison

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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Given that Tyson's ignorance of medicine doesn't seem to stop him making woefully ill-informed statements about it, I think I'll give that a miss.

    Grant Hutchison
    I imagine you have a lot of thoughts surrounding this pandemic, given your line of work

    Unfortunately a voice of reason is always needed in these situations. Was depressing seeing how some leaders and people in power were so dismissive of the threat when it was starting out a couple months ago.
    “Of all the sciences cultivated by mankind, Astronomy is acknowledged to be, and undoubtedly is, the most sublime, the most interesting, and the most useful. For, by knowledge derived from this science, not only the bulk of the Earth is discovered, but our very faculties are enlarged with the grandeur of the ideas it conveys, our minds exalted above their low contracted prejudices.” - James Ferguson

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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    People immediately jump to thinking “nefarious purpose” when they hear lab. I’d imagine that labs can have legitimate reasons to study viruses.
    Of course, there is no current proof it leaked from one.
    There is evidence that the viral sequences of the initially infected Wuhan patients did not match those in the bat pathogens specimen collection of the Wuhan Virology Institute, however. See post in the SF thread here.

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    Here, in India, the situation seems controlled but we don't know what will happen from here.

    No medicine is invented for this pandemic disease. So we all have to depend on the precautions like social isolation, washing hands frequently, spraying our nearby areas, working on testing, locking down red zone areas etc....

    Sorry for the highly affected countries like Italy, Spain, USA. And I see according to the latest news something wrong with WHO ... I never expected such things from WHO (very reputed organization).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    I’d imagine that labs can have legitimate reasons to study viruses.
    Yes, I imagine there are. I can think of a couple myself...


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    Quote Originally Posted by John Mendenhall View Post
    Here is a link to a good intelligent discussion on coronavirus with N. deG. Tyson et al.:
    As far as non-astrophysics subjects go, he's just another celebrity.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

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    The facility where I work is a mix of manufacturing and office space. Employees that can work from home are doing so, but some can't due to the nature of the business.
    Management has steadily ramped-up their response to COVID-19 for those who have to work in the facility, and recently announced that they will provide masks (personal masks have been allowed for a while).

    The first batch arrived yesterday and were refused due to "not meeting out standards."
    I wonder what the story was behind the masks' inadequacy; rushed or shoddy production, counterfeit masks?

    I'll probably never find out, but feel a little better knowing my employer didn't just accept them as part of "health protection theater."
    On the downside, they had no masks at all to distribute.
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    Question: A family member is on a TNF inhibitor and wants to know if she is especially vulnerable to COVID-19, being on an immuno-suppressant. Any thoughts here?
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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