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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday March 17 2020, @11:52AM   Printer-friendly
from the sudden-impact dept.

A lot has already happened this year. SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2) which can cause COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease 2019) has been making headlines shortly after it was first reported. The first cases were reported to WHO (World Health Organization) on 2019-12-31. The virus spread. It began as an epidemic in China . The world watched apprehensively. Reports surfaced of cases in other countries and the the apprehension grew. For many folk, it turned to fear when it was upgraded to a pandemic: WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 11 March 2020: "We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic."

We have seen increasing efforts to stem the spread of the disease. Efforts have run the gamut. Closing of borders. Cancellation of sporting events. Conferences cancelled. Churches and other places of worship also closed. Schools closed. Panic buying of household goods and supplies. Supply chain disruptions affecting manufacturers. Restaurant, bars, and other such establishments closed. Work-from-home policies established and enacted.

The changes have been many, widespread, and continuing.

Reading about all the ways that "other people" have been affected is one thing. It seems different, somehow, when it hits closer to home and affects us directly. With many of our usual social activities curtailed or cancelled, it is easy to begin isolating and lose perspective. SoylentNews arose from a troubled period (the SlashCott) and a community has formed from that challenging period.

How have you been affected? Have you been infected? Had a family member or friend who was? Helped neighbors who are struggling? Hunkering down and isolating? (In a basement is optional.) Are you suddenly working from home and finding it challenging to manage your time? Still working on site, but now have a faster commute due to all the other people staying home? Catching up on watching TV shows? Reading more SoylentNews? How has your life changed?

From a somewhat different perspective, how have others helped you to cope... and how have you been able to help others? One of the potential impacts of social distancing is isolation and depression. I count myself fortunate, indeed, to have served this site for over 6 years and for all the people I have gotten to know, here. For those who may not be aware, SoylentNews has its own IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server. Feel free to drop in to #Soylent and just say "Hi!"

Social distancing is permanent when you're dead. So, practice good hygiene and stay safe.

Previously (oldest first):
China Battles Coronavirus Outbreak: All the Latest Updates
2019-nCoV Coronavirus Story Roundup
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Roundup
Coronavirus Roundup
Coronavirus Roundup (Feb. 17)
Roundup of Stories about the SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus and COVID-19 Disease
COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 - CoronaVirus) Roundup
CoronaVirus (SARS-CoV-2) Roundup 2020-03-12
Working from Home: Lessons Learned Over 20 Years


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  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 17 2020, @12:57PM (27 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 17 2020, @12:57PM (#972165)

    totally fatal

    Wife read me a hero story about the ex chief of the New York fire department or some such who "met an untimely death at the hand of COVID-19, despite never having been exposed nor travelling out of the country..." Well, said hero - who did some pretty kick-ass high risk stuff in his life - was: 84 years old, with kidney failure and COPD, and lived in flipping New York (as if he couldn't have been accidentally exposed on the street...) I'd hardly call that an untimely death, even if COVID-19 was the trigger, it sounds like regular flu would have taken him down just as easily.

    As for myself, we had a houseguest from Oregon (flew out of SEATAC) last week, young guy who's home with some chills and fever now - don't know if he caught something on the way to us, or on the way home - and thanks to US levels of testing capability we have no idea what he has either. I've had bodyaches since he arrived, but... one of the purposes of his trip was to help us spread 15 tons of gravel on the driveway and I did a lot of raking in that job so... not really sure about these body aches, they seem like they might be viral, or maybe I'm just old and tired.

    --
    Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://www.newsweek.com/russian-state-tv-ukraine-war-dirty-bomb-putin-1754428
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  • (Score: 1, Troll) by khallow on Tuesday March 17 2020, @01:09PM (26 children)

    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 17 2020, @01:09PM (#972176) Journal

    and thanks to US levels of testing capability we have no idea what he has either.

    If you're that concerned, get him and you tested. Because US levels of testing do allow for that.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 17 2020, @01:22PM (18 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 17 2020, @01:22PM (#972183)

      Think, for a few moments, about the two possible futures: 1) pursue testing, and 2) ignore the testing "option."

      Under 1) what will be involved in getting the test? Start with exposure to the healthcare system and increased risk of both catching and passing on COVID-19 - not to mention considerable time, effort, and possibly expense. Test comes back negative, the whole thing was a negative exercise for the tested. Test comes back positive, the tested go into isolation, possibly enforced in some manner that is inconvenient and/or expensive, for 2+ weeks.

      Under 2) we're basically in self-imposed isolation for the next 2+ weeks anyway, Oregon kid lives in the boonies on a farm with one other person, and we're normally hermits in the city so stopping trips out for groceries and work meetings isn't hard at all. School is cancelled, so our major exposure vector has been cut off anyway.

      Who, exactly, benefits from the effort of seeking testing? More accurate statistics would be nice, but I personally don't gain any value from becoming one of those rare, accurate sampling points.

      --
      Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://www.newsweek.com/russian-state-tv-ukraine-war-dirty-bomb-putin-1754428
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:21PM (16 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:21PM (#972257)

        The problem is that the Trump administration gutted the cdc in order to partially fund those billionaire tax cuts.

        I likely had it about the time that it first showed up in Washington, but I hadn't been to China and there was no testing available. I definitely would have been tested if it happened now, but that ship has sailed.

        We don't really know how many cases there are, I just know I had extreme fatigue, a fever and difficulty breathing. Could be it, but without testing, there's no way to know for sure.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:48PM (2 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:48PM (#972281)

          So why do you care now?

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:58PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @03:58PM (#972291)

            What makes you think I didn't care at the time? This was when the first reported case in the US had just happened and testing wasn't available. Nor was there the current level of public awareness of what the specific symptoms were. There was one known case and apart from living in Seattle and working near Everett, I had no reason to believe that it had already gotten to people around me. I know now that a cough is one of the less reliable symptoms, the fever + cold is a much better indicator that it's time to call a doctor and maybe get tested.

            From my perspective, it was a severe cold, albeit a weird one or possibly mild flu, but without testing being available, I couldn't afford to take the weeks off that would have been recommended, on the off chance that it was covid-19, not just a bad cold.

            It's easy to judge, but the reality is that in cases like this, we don't always have a lot of choices. I have nowhere near enough sick hours accrued in order to just take that kind of time off in case I've got a new virus, without at least having a positive test.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @04:54PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @04:54PM (#972324)

            As far as cutting the agencies go, of course I cared at the time. It's just that there were so many things that got gutted at the same time, the Democrats are up to their elbows in it and the GOP hasn't been listening no matter how many people complained.

            We don't all have the time and money to take off work to go protest when our elected officials refuse to do their jobs. The best we can do is vote them out of office. But, even then, they're the ones that are rigging elections so that they don't face any serious opposition.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by Ethanol-fueled on Tuesday March 17 2020, @11:18PM (12 children)

          by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Tuesday March 17 2020, @11:18PM (#972537) Homepage

          Trump gutted the CDC because Obama transformed it into an organization that was concerned with pandemics to an organization that was instead concerned with dumb bullshit like school bullying and trans rights. Perhaps it could be rebuilt after a good housecleaning, so to speak.

          • (Score: 0, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @11:52PM (11 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @11:52PM (#972556)

            There's a special place in hell for people like you. There has been an epidemic of mass murder in the US and the CDC was the premier agency tasked with epidemiology. They've got some of the best.

            The fact that tools like you don't care, doesn't mean it wasn't the right thing to do. You and the GOP know perfectly well that the firearms and lack of regulations are the primary issues, which is why you oppose actually studying the problem. If guns weren't the problem, then what's the harm in studying it?

            What's more, if that were the issue, Trump could just appoint a head that would focus on the goal of studying diseases and epidemics, but he didn't do that. He cut funding. Tools like you are going to have even more blood on your hands as a result of this.

            • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday March 18 2020, @01:40AM (9 children)

              by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 18 2020, @01:40AM (#972588) Journal

              There has been an epidemic of mass murder and the CDC was the premier agency tasked with epidemiology.

              What epidemic? Definitely warrants a funding cut there, particularly since the FBI is the premier agency for that particular epidemiology.

              • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @04:08AM (8 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @04:08AM (#972638)

                You people keep claiming it's a mental illness problem or really anything other than the guns problem. Which would make it something the CDC should be involved in. You can't have it both ways, either it's a mental health problem, in which case the CDC should investigate it, or it's a guns problem, in which case we should have better and more regulations.

                The CDC is a completely reasonable place to study the problem. The real problem you degenerates have is that you don't want any research to be done because you know full well that the problem is the guns and related gear, not that Americans are worse people than in other parts of the world.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday March 18 2020, @10:35AM (7 children)

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 18 2020, @10:35AM (#972694) Journal

                  You people keep claiming it's a mental illness problem or really anything other than the guns problem.

                  Well, yes. What's it to you?

                  Which would make it something the CDC should be involved in.

                  Why? Even if we were to grant the claim that is most medical, most mental illness doesn't come from an identifiable disease. Thus, that removes the pretext for involving the CDC.

                  You can't have it both ways, either it's a mental health problem, in which case the CDC should investigate it, or it's a guns problem, in which case we should have better and more regulations.

                  False dilemma. It's more a public policy problem. Most mass murder comes from the criminalization of recreational drugs.

                  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @02:23PM (5 children)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @02:23PM (#972758)

                    What it is is that you're a fucking hypocrite and people like you are why this continues to go on. You people claim, without any evidence, that this is not a guns thing, it's a mental health thing, but then refuse to allow any research that might uncover what's going on there. It's not just that you object to the CDC conducting the research, shitbags like you also refuse to allow any other government agency to investigate either and refuse to do anything that might help the situation.

                    Despite the troll mods I've received, the reality is that shitheads like you are why this continues, other countries suffer from mental illness and stress, in some cases at higher rates, but no country has as many mass murders as we do in the US. Japan has years where they have a total of 11 deaths from firearms of all types. That includes, suicide, accident and murder. In the US, suicides alone number well into the tens of thousands. Even if you adjust for the relative sizes of the populations of both countries, the rates in the US are multiple orders of magnitude higher. But, no, we can't conduct any studies, even though we know that guns are a large part of the problem. Other countries have taken steps to curtail their mass murder problems and have had good results by restricting access.

                    • (Score: 2, Funny) by khallow on Wednesday March 18 2020, @02:59PM (1 child)

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 18 2020, @02:59PM (#972768) Journal
                      What's the CDC going to do here? Vaccinate us against guns?
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @04:50PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @04:50PM (#972812)

                        Hey, sterilizing Republicans may be a good idea in the long run but is definitely not something I can get on board with. They are still human, no matter how much Fox tries to turn them into zombies.

                    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday March 18 2020, @06:21PM (2 children)

                      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 18 2020, @06:21PM (#972859) Journal
                      I notice also that you don't talk about guns, but rather things like demographics and mental illness. That indicates to me that we don't need studies from the CDC to determine that you need more clue.
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @09:28PM (1 child)

                        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @09:28PM (#972920)

                        Learn to read. We know that the biggest difference between us and other developed countries is the guns and relative lack of regulation about who can own them. Japan has a total of 11 gun related fatalities in typical years. Most cities in the U.S. have more.

                        But we can't conduct meaningful research to completely nail it down because of mouth breathers like you. If it's not the guns like morons like you think, then why not allow the research to be done?

                        Not that that's why funding was cut, funding to all agencies was cut.

                        • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday March 18 2020, @11:27PM

                          by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 18 2020, @11:27PM (#972964) Journal

                          We know that the biggest difference between us and other developed countries is the guns

                          Perhaps you should learn to read what you wrote. As you said earlier, the biggest difference is a moderately higher death rate from firearm deaths, most which has absolutely nothing to do with the alleged "epidemic of mass murder" (which in turn doesn't make us safer during real emergencies like the present coronavirus genuine epidemic).

                          But we can't conduct meaningful research to completely nail it down because of mouth breathers like you. If it's not the guns like morons like you think, then why not allow the research to be done?

                          We conduct plenty of such meaningful research. You just choose to ignore it. Perhaps because that research doesn't confirm your biases.

                          Not that that's why funding was cut, funding to all agencies was cut.

                          Typical problem when too much is spent. And IMHO an indication that we have bigger problems than guns.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 21 2020, @08:08PM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 21 2020, @08:08PM (#973912)

                    Most mass murder comes from the criminalization of recreational drugs.

                    Of all the stupid things khallow has said, this has to be the stupidest. Aurora? El Paso? Ideology, wacko right-wing nut-job racist ideology. That, and graduate school.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @01:43AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @01:43AM (#972591)

              lawl

      • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Tuesday March 17 2020, @11:35PM

        by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday March 17 2020, @11:35PM (#972545) Journal
        Option 3 - go to China. Test results in 2-4 hours, and they seem to have it under control now with the sort of tracking/testing regime the US won't be able to do ever because people would refuse.
        --
        SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by DeathMonkey on Tuesday March 17 2020, @05:54PM (1 child)

      by DeathMonkey (1380) on Tuesday March 17 2020, @05:54PM (#972365) Journal

      I have a friend who tried to get tested. Presented with a very high fever and difficulty breathing. He's under 50, though, so they sent him home and told him to self quarantine.

      They absolutely are not testing anyone who asks despite Trumps lies to the contrary.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @06:28PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 17 2020, @06:28PM (#972390)

        They have limited test kits because Trump gutted the cdc for spending cuts. I'm not sure why in this instance there was no test done, but here's a real shortage and the lab might not have gotten a result in time to make a difference.

    • (Score: 2) by edIII on Wednesday March 18 2020, @04:20AM (4 children)

      by edIII (791) on Wednesday March 18 2020, @04:20AM (#972643)

      Are you being sarcastic or serious? I've heard from official sources that our testing capacity isn't anywhere near what it needs to be. Certainly not that you can get tested out of concern.

      If you're serious, citation please.

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday March 18 2020, @10:37AM (3 children)

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 18 2020, @10:37AM (#972695) Journal

        Are you being sarcastic or serious? I've heard from official sources that our testing capacity isn't anywhere near what it needs to be.

        When has that been an excuse to not even try?

        • (Score: 2) by edIII on Wednesday March 18 2020, @07:38PM (2 children)

          by edIII (791) on Wednesday March 18 2020, @07:38PM (#972885)

          I'm not interested in excuses, just facts about testing availability.

          Everything I'm hearing leads me to believe that people who need testing, are not getting the testing. A lot of stories of people who believe they're sick, or that somebody else is, and they can't get the tests done even though they're in hospitals, clinics, etc. There is a lot of talk about backlog.

          Bottom line, is if you think you may be sick, self-isolate. That also requires testing at some point, and I'm not hearing that people are getting tested nearly as easily as the administration lies would lead you to believe. The top guy in the White House says that testing is inadequate and we don't have enough tests, in stark contrast to the Orange Anus's claims that the "beautiful" tests are widely available and free.

          My state and local government (California) is constantly saying that don't have the testing kits the administration says that they have. A lot of people contradicting each other instead of providing cohesive leadership, and the only anecdotal evidence I can collect around me paints a grim ass picture of inadequate testing.

          So if you have any official news I can use as a citation regarding the availability of the testing kits, please share. I'm not interested in blame, just pure facts regarding the numbers of testing kits, how many will be produced in a month, how many on hand, per state, etc.

          That information seems to be on lockdown, and all we get is bullshit theater from above.

          --
          Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @09:31PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 18 2020, @09:31PM (#972921)

            Must be nice to be rich. For most Americans that's not a viable option. Using sick days requires a doctor's note and most people don't have $400 in savings if they don't have sick days to use.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday March 18 2020, @11:29PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 18 2020, @11:29PM (#972965) Journal

            I'm not interested in excuses, just facts about testing availability.

            One such fact is that the person in question didn't try to get tested.