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 (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
We care about the test because, in a lot of cases, this strain is going to look like a normal cold. If we don't test for it then we don't know how prevalent it is or where it's likely to crop up. South Korea has already demonstrated that it's feasible to test hundreds of thousands of people over a relatively short time frame, you just have to care enough to put the resources into it in a timely fashion.
Also, if it's just a normal cold, then there's no reason to quarantine, these are people that could be out and about within a day or two of their symptoms going away. Leaving them untested means that they aren't available to help with whatever might need to be done in the community or just going out to get their own food rather than needing it to be brought to them.
The logistical considerations alone are sufficient to suggest that we need to be testing anybody that has symptoms that could be covid 19.
Yes, because it is a cold virus causing the pneumonia complications. We can rationally assume that a large percentage of the population will get it during the cold season. What do we get from just knowing a closer approximation of the number of people infected? How will that get people back to work again? What does South Korea get from having mass testing?
Have you seen how deadly and contagious this virus is?!!
That did not address any of the points.
Covid 19, damages the respiratory system itself in many cases. This is to a much greater degree than what you'd see with the common cold. The patients that die then tend to get bronchitis or pneumonia. Having had a pneumonia vaccination isn't necessarily enough either.
By knowing the number, we know how many doses of medication we're going to need, we know how many beds we need to try and get ready as well as how much space we need to shoot for expanding. Also, we know how many volunteers we might need for tasks that don't require a lot of medical training, such as disinfecting those facilities and unloading trucks.
At this point, it looks like they may have found a medication that works to treat this particular virus and if we followed your ignorant advice, we'd have no idea how many doses to try and get to treat those cases where the individuals are severely sick, but not so sick as to need to be in a hospital. The more people we can get self-quarantining while the virus runs it's course, the fewer of them we need in the hospital and the more total cases the system can handle without collapsing, but in order to make any of these decisions, you need the best numbers you can get on how many cases there are and where.