COVID-19/Coronavirus Discussion Thread (see OP for useful links)

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Kinda late to the party, but I’ll chime in with my 2 cents...

While it cannot be entirely attributed to this phenomenon, I think a large part of how the virus has become what it is is due to the Chinese's far more 'diverse' choice of animals for food. From what I know, the Chinese are quite intrepid when it comes to what is put into their mouth, and the rural parts of the population are willing to consume animals of the type that people of other nationalities simply wouldn't dare to imagine eating, including live mice. Other than the oft-publicised culture of dog-eating, there are a concerning number of videos on the internet that shows Chinese consuming live wild animals, perhaps prepared with only a dipping in the sauce. Eating wild animals is dangerous enough already, but to eat them uncooked? That just significantly increases the risks of being infected with some unknown virus a cure for which is yet to be found.

The way the Chinese are treating infected cases aren't helping things out either. I'm not talking exclusively about the officials (the ones in Hong Kong included), but also about the general public. There is this widely-circulated screenshot of a post on social media made by a mainland resident living in Wuhan which talked about her fleeing from the city after noticing her fever and arriving at Hong Kong, and the resident said that after arriving at HK, she decided to go to an amusement park, saying that only if the fever doesn't go away in a few days will she go to visit the doctor, and there are many more posts of this kind on Weibo. Of course, you can say that they are all made-up and I cannot refute your claim, as no media has reported on such incidents, but given how opaque the disssemination of information in China is, I'm inclined to believe.

(Apologies for the link in Chinese above, but the amount of information available in English on this subject is severely limited if you compare it to that in Chinese...)
 

Dotini

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It is said in Shanghai there is one hospital for every 500,000 people.

The consensus is that the virus will slow global economic activity, mainly by a great reduction in travel, business closures and closed borders. How much is giant guess at the moment. An immediate reduction of Chinese GDP of ~1% or more is already conceded.
 
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TJ13

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So the first human to human spread happened in Chicago.
Woman that was infected got her husband infected too.
Doesn't that say love right there? :lol:

In all seriousness this isn't considered bad when you look at Influenza here in the US that happens every year.
 

TenEightyOne

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In all seriousness this isn't considered bad when you look at Influenza here in the US that happens every year.

Agreed, the real worry is the lack of a vaccine although one presumes that shouldn't take too long. It's most dangerous to older/weaker people and the fatality rate seems about the same as 'flu. The important thing is to contain the spread until vaccination is available.

Still, the press are having a doomsday alert every few minutes.
 

Dotini

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Flash news. A heavy shoe has dropped.

WHO declares global health emergency.

Edit: Tree'd.
 
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While it cannot be entirely attributed to this phenomenon, I think a large part of how the virus has become what it is is due to the Chinese's far more 'diverse' choice of animals for food. From what I know, the Chinese are quite intrepid when it comes to what is put into their mouth, and the rural parts of the population are willing to consume animals of the type that people of other nationalities simply wouldn't dare to imagine eating, including live mice.

You are right, but this kind of behavior is not exclusive to chinese and is only a very small portion of the chinese people. The way you are phrasing seems to suggest that a majority of Chinese eat "diverse". In 1 part of italy they eat fermented cheese with the maggots in them. It is banned from commercial sale, because of health risks.
 

Michael88

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Weird thing is back in the days media was wreaking havoc about H5N1, but now despite china undertaking all serious measures for a ''relatively'' harmless virus that supposedly isn't any worse than the common flu, media is really quiet and playing it down dramatically.

Whats also weird is those articles about Chinese organizing themselves and locking down their villages with blockades and and even makeshift weapons.

That all does not add up. :confused:
 

TenEightyOne

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but now despite china undertaking all serious measures for a ''relatively'' harmless virus that supposedly isn't any worse than the common flu,

In terms of danger to human life it's about the same. The difference is that there's currently no vaccine against it and it spreads quite easily. That's why the precautions are being taken.

Whats also weird is those articles about Chinese organizing themselves and locking down their villages with blockades and and even makeshift weapons.

I don't see that as weird at all. Like 'flu this disease can easily kill the old and infirm.

That all does not add up. :confused:

OMGZ govment crypto-viruz confirms!

I saw earlier today that it doesn't add up for some 4chan users but they're wrong about so much that it's really not worth worrying about.
 

UKMikey

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It's not all bad news as US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announces that the devastating loss of life in Chinese provinces will help accelerate the return of jobs to the United States. Independent.
 

Michael88

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I don't see that as weird at all. Like 'flu this disease can easily kill the old and infirm.

Yeah, but when the flu (even a mutation where vaccines are largely ineffective) hits Europe people don't arm themselves and put up blockades in their towns, the government does not issue curfews, government does not stop air traffic, does not build new facilities for the infected, you don't shut down large industries and the WHO does not call for a worldwide emergency situation. And 150000 people die each year from the common flu, in Europe alone.

You do stuff like that only when a real terrible pandemic happens.

Like I said, stuff does not add up.
 

Adamgp

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The Chicago couple is in isolation at a hospital less than 10 minutes away from me.

At least I know where to go if I start feeling the symptoms.
 

Dotini

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the fatality rate seems about the same as 'flu.

Pardon me, Ten, but I believe one of us has made an important error here that should be cleared up straight away.

If I understand you correctly, you are saying the fatality rate of coronavirus is about the same as the flu. But exactly what do you mean by fatality rate? What do you mean by about the same?

My understanding of fatality rate is perhaps wrong. I believe fatality rate is the ratio of deaths to infections.

Flu Infections: 9-45 million annually since 2010
Flu Deaths: 12,000 - 61,000 annually since 2010

I think the fatality rate calculates out to quite a lot smaller than coronavirus.
 
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Joel

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I saw earlier today that it doesn't add up for some 4chan users but they're wrong about so much that it's really not worth worrying about.
Off the top of my head the same 4chan boards and various conspiracy subreddits were predicting global catastrophe for ebola, swine flu, the attempted coup in Turkey, the Soleimani assassination, the US missile strike in Syria (that was in 2017?!?!), the various US/Iran or US/North Korea sabre-rattling of the past ~arbitrary time period~, and so on. If you just predict doom for every remotely dangerous situation or political crisis you'll eventually be "right" when something bad happens (and when you don't have any real definition of if something bad happens beyond saying "it's happening").

Yeah, but when the flu (even a mutation where vaccines are largely ineffective) hits Europe people don't arm themselves and put up blockades in their towns, the government does not issue curfews, government does not stop air traffic, does not build new facilities for the infected, you don't shut down large industries and the WHO does not call for a worldwide emergency situation. And 150000 people die each year from the common flu, in Europe alone.
Because we have vaccines for the flu and we know what it does (and the most vulnerable are more commonly vaccinated). We don't quarantine towns because it's a common global virus with known risks and there's no practical way to eradicate it or contain its spread through lockdown/quarantines. It's essentially something we've decided is an acceptable risk for normal life to carry on. This is a new virus we don't fully understand, there's no vaccine, and the major outbreak is centered in one region and it's plausible lockdowns could prevent its spread outside Hubei province or China and prevent it from going global.

You do stuff like that only when a real terrible pandemic happens.

Like I said, stuff does not add up.
It's a new virus, we don't know the full impacts of it and all things considered it would be better to stop a virus from becoming a recurring global disease even if it's not a doomsday virus. If the common seasonal flu were a brand new disease that we didn't know much about and we could trace its origin, it's likely similar precautions would be taken if it were possible to control an outbreak and prevent it from spreading globally.

These measures don't mean coronavirus is some apocalyptic virus even if we haven't seen lockdowns like this for other viruses. For example, ebola is far deadlier, but the global pandemic risks weren't the same. Ebola only spreads through bodily fluids, isn't contagious until symptoms appear, the symptoms are usually very obvious and debilitating (so you won't just go about your day normally), and rather morbidly, it tends to kill victims before they can spread the virus much. These factors meant the risk of a global pandemic just wasn't there, so massive travel restrictions weren't necessary or practically effective.

In comparison, coronavirus is nowhere near as deadly as ebola and since the symptoms aren't as serious it doesn't immediately put people in the hospital. They're likely to go about their day as normal as if it's a common cold, and spread the virus through sneezing or coughing. From what we've seen it's probably more deadly than the seasonal flu, probably less deadly than SARS, and far behind something like MERS. For average healthy adults it's not catastrophic and would probably be experienced like the common flu. But for vulnerable populations if this virus is say, 25% less deadly than SARS but spreads faster it could be a dangerous global pandemic while still "only" being around a 5-7.5% mortality rate and not being too serious for average healthy adults.

If I can take a chance to be an armchair virologist (yes I understand this makes me a hypocrite) I would suspect that part of why China is taking this so seriously is because the air quality in Chinese cities is poor so respiratory illness could be more dangerous in China. So the combination of the respiratory illness and the bigger outbreak could make this a significantly more dangerous virus in China in a way it doesn't appear to be outside China (at least for now). That's just my own dumb guy baseless speculation, but it's something I've thought about.
 
3,065
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Hybrid_Tifoso
You are right, but this kind of behavior is not exclusive to chinese and is only a very small portion of the chinese people. The way you are phrasing seems to suggest that a majority of Chinese eat "diverse". In 1 part of italy they eat fermented cheese with the maggots in them. It is banned from commercial sale, because of health risks.
I’m not really sure about that.

I’ve read from an article that some influencers in mainland China have actually built their reputation and fame on teaching others how to breed and cook wild animals, and while that influencer did not commercially sell such wild animals, citing the complicated legal procedures to go through as a reason, other influencers did, and claimed that the rats they sell aren’t enough to meet consumer demand, suggesting that commercial sales of live wild animals for consumption is not banned in China, and also that the phenomenon is not as confined to specific communities as you say. Granted, it may not be a majority of the rural population, but it’s probably large enough to be alarming.

(Again, sorry for the link in Chinese...)
 

TenEightyOne

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My understanding of fatality rate is perhaps wrong. I believe fatality rate is the ratio of deaths to infections.

Flu Infections: 9-45 million annually since 2010
Flu Deaths: 12,000 - 61,000 annually since 2010

I think the fatality rate calculates out to quite a lot smaller than coronavirus.

Taking @baldgye's figure in the previous post the fatality rate is 2%, that is to say that 1 in every 50 people won't survive catching the virus. That's broadly in line with the 1918 flu pandemic which could be called similar due to a lack of vaccination.

More recent flu pandemics demonstrate that vaccination, understanding and control can bring the rate down to 0.1%-0.2% although a varying factor that's difficult to account for is the pre-existing general health of the population.

HN51 had a "real" fatality rate of around 14%-33%. Figures at wiki, the sources for each check out.
 

Touring Mars

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If I understand you correctly, you are saying the fatality rate of coronavirus is about the same as the flu.

I think the fatality rate calculates out to quite a lot smaller than coronavirus.
You need to be careful to be specific here and not try to compare a single virus (e.g. novel coronavirus 2019) to an entire family of viruses ('influenza') which comprises many different strains, each one with different properties. As such, comparisons between current 'flu' deaths and the outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus will only tell you so much - it is probably better to simply focus on the facts that pertain to the current outbreak rather than getting too hung up on comparisons that may not mean much.
 
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Via a Reddit Live Thread
 

Dotini

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So it's misleading to say the coronavirus has about the same fatality rate as the flu.

The fatality rate of coronavirus is maybe 2% (I think really it's higher) and annual fatality rate of flu in the US is about .2%, an order of magnitude lower.
 
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From what I understand, the cases outside of China should be fairly easy to contain and treat. This due to the fact that (at least in the west), we have more resources available and the cases are a couple at a time, so the detective work to track down anyone else who might be infected is far easier (Germany managed to contain two cases before they even showed symptoms).
The problem, seems to be in China, where due to a lack of resource and the sheet scale of the outbreak and contamination, it seems like it will be almost impossible for them to keep on top of it.
 

Dotini

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This is obviously going to play out over weeks and months to come. So we will have the opportunity to chew over many different parts of the ****-storm that now descends over the globe.

I think one of (clearly many) crucial elements is the incubation period of up to 14 days during which the virus may be spread from person to person. Following that is a period during which mild cold or flu symptoms present. Eventually, pneumonia is the killer. Corticosteroids and oxygen can prolong life during this phase. Termination of life might seem to lag infection by perhaps ~one month or more. What do you think, is this reasonable?
 

Touring Mars

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So it's misleading to say the coronavirus has about the same fatality rate as the flu.
It is misleading to compare a single virus with a family of viruses that all have different fatality rates....

Dotini
The fatality rate of coronavirus is maybe 2% (I think really it's higher) and annual fatality rate of flu in the US is about .2%, an order of magnitude lower.
... like you are doing right here.

A better way to discuss these issues is in line with what @TenEightyOne posted above - comparisons between individual strains of viruses, as opposed to talking about 'flu' as if it were a single virus.
 

Dotini

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It is misleading to compare a single virus with a family of viruses that all have different fatality rates....


... like you are doing right here.

A better way to discuss these issues is in line with what @TenEightyOne posted above - comparisons between individual strains of viruses, as opposed to talking about 'flu' as if it were a single virus.
I am referring to the influenza virus that has caused 9-45 million infections in the US annually since 2010. There are lots of good statistics on this. Do you have a problem with that? If so, please explain how we can use facts and data to better understand the real situation posed by novel coronavirus.

Is it misleading to say the 9-45 million annual flu cases in the US have a fatality rate of up to 0.2%? This is the plain fact.

Is it misleading to say the coronavirus appears to have a fatality rate of about 2%? This appears to be a fact so far.

I humbly submit it is incredibly misleading, grossly, unforgivably misleading to say coronavirus has about the same fatality rate as annual US flu when they are clearly an order of magnitude different.
 
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Touring Mars

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I am referring to the influenza virus that has caused 9-45 million infections in the US annually since 2010. There are lots of good statistics on this. Do you have a problem with that? If so, please explain how we can use facts and data to better understand the real situation posed by novel coronavirus.
There are multiple strains of influenza virus - and they all have different characteristics.

Is it misleading to say the 9-45 million annual flu cases in the US have a fatality rate of up to 0.2%? This is the plain fact.
This is true, but the point being that this is the combined total of a number of different strains of the virus, not just one. There are strains of influenza that have much higher fatality rates than 0.2%.

Is it misleading to say the coronavirus appears to have a fatality rate of about 2%? This appears to be a fact so far.
It is not misleading, but again you're not being specific enough - the current outbreak of novel coronavirus 2019 strain (which is an entirely new strain in the human population) has an apparent fatality rate of 2% - but "coronavirus" is also a family of virus strains that probably do not have a total burden of 2% fatalities because, just as in influenza viruses, some strains are worse than others.

I humbly submit it is incredibly misleading, grossly, unforgivably misleading to say coronavirus has about the same fatality rate as annual US flu when they are clearly an order of magnitude different.
I humbly submit that if you want to have a detailed, specific discussion, then you be a bit more specific about what you are saying.

Your comments above are all correct - to a certain extent. But they are not specific enough. You started by comparing "flu" to "coronavirus", but in the case of "flu" you then refer to statistics that pertain to all influenza strains, but when you talk about "coronavirus", you are only referring to the current strain. Let me be clear - you're not wrong, but you could stand to be more correct.
 
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I am referring to the influenza virus that has caused 9-45 million infections in the US annually since 2010. There are lots of good statistics on this. Do you have a problem with that? If so, please explain how we can use facts and data to better understand the real situation posed by novel coronavirus.

Is it misleading to say the 9-45 million annual flu cases in the US have a fatality rate of up to 0.2%? This is the plain fact.

Is it misleading to say the coronavirus appears to have a fatality rate of about 2%? This appears to be a fact so far.

I humbly submit it is incredibly misleading, grossly, unforgivably misleading to say coronavirus has about the same fatality rate as annual US flu when they are clearly an order of magnitude different.

His point was that "the flu/influenza" isn't one virus but a whole family of viruses, including Bird Flu and swine Flu.
If you want to compare "Corona" to "Influenza" you'll have to throw SARS/MERS/2019-nCoV all in the same pot too.
 

Dotini

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Okay, when I say "coronavirus" above, I refer to novel coronavirus which appeared in 2019.

To have a discussion we have to agree on certain points of reality, otherwise why bother.

We need to agree that novel coronavirus of 2019, 2019-nCOV has a higher fatality rate than common annual flu experienced in the US. I request that @TenEightyOne correct his misleading post. I have submitted a report.
 
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Touring Mars

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Okay, when I say "coronavirus" above, I refer to novel coronavirus which appeared in 2019.

To have a discussion we have to agree on certain points of reality, otherwise why bother.

We need to agree that novel coronavirus of 2019, 2019-nCOV has a higher fatality than common annual flu experienced in the US.
No-one is disagreeing with you on that point.

Dotini
I request that @TenEightyOne correct his misleading post.
To be fair, he does clarify his point in a later post.

That point being that the current novel coronavirus outbreak is comparable to previous outbreaks of novel influenza viruses (such as the 1918 flu pandemic involving the H1N1 strain).