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
And your data does not account for those who have no symptoms or only mild symptoms and are never diagnosed. THERE IS NO GOOD DATA YET.
Indeed, the preliminary data is sketchy, at best.
What is your reaction, though, to the 320,000 tested in Guangdong which was a sampling of a much wider cross-section of the general public? Their testing showed much less spread among the general population than some believe has already occurred.
To be honest, I'm not sure what I would make of it. Until I read something that is authoritative about how the data was collected, how the calculations were made, the error bands, and then have the assessment of an expert epidemiologist on what it actually indicates, it is interesting but I do not have enough expertise to make an assessment that is any better than anyone else's.
In Europe, I am pleased that most decisions seem to be science based and there is relatively little politicising, and in some cases no politicising whatsoever, of the steps being taken to combat this pandemic. I assume that the situation is the same for you in Canada. It also seems that our US cousins seem to be slowly realising that political bullshit is not going to save lives and may indeed endanger many people needlessly. As the scientists keep reminding us on the TV, they are working with the best data that they have and they are sharing knowledge and expertise with each other all around the world - but that data is incomplete and there are still many holes in our knowledge.
The UK government made some very good announcements yesterday about financial, business and medical support. There is still much more to be done but at least action is being taken to mitigate the potential problems before they are too great to manage or it is too late to take action.
I live in France and, over the last 7 days or so, my life has changed considerably as I have discussed elsewhere in this thread. I'll read what I can find, and I have the TV news on in the background all day in case of major or significant developments. But I cannot spend as much time as I would like staying on top of the subject. I'll keep reading your posts though - so please continue with them!
As an aside, the current numbers from JHU are:
7954 / 89915 = 8.85%
... and now 108264 remaining confirmed cases with no known outcomes.
FYI - The youngest person to die from COVID-19 in the UK is a 45 year old male who had motor-neurone disease. He died over the weekend.
As far as I can ascertain, all UK deaths so far had additional health concerns before infection, but I cannot be certain of that as there is incomplete reporting in the public domain.
9867 / (9867 + 84972) = 10.4%
147875 active cases with no known outcome
One additional data point as to general spread in the community...
Here in Alberta we have still been conducting more tests per capita than anywhere else in North America (though thankfully not raw number of tests anymore!). As of Friday we had tested 20360 people, anyone who has shown any possible symptoms or has been exposed to someone known to have the virus has been tested. Thus far, that is one test for every 215 residents. Only 195 cases were found, so less than 1% of those tested have actually been found to be infected.
This mirrors what was found in Guangdong, where it looks like no, it has probably not already spread as widely among the general population asymptomatically as some people are thinking. Now, of course, we haven't tested everyone but if we've tested a whole bunch of likely-to-be-infected people and found less than 1%, it doesn't seem to show there already being a huge undetected infected group that will eventually be found to push the death rate down by an order of magnitude.
I should be more specific...
The testing in Guangdong showed less spread amongst the general population there, but it was more aggressively contained, seemingly earlier "on the curve" than the data suggests that subsequent outbreaks in some other countries have been.
I expect that future after-tests of areas harder hit than China, (like Italy and the US are likely to be for example,) will of course show that a wider cross-section of the population was infected when all is said and done. Does my gut feeling after watching the trends and crunching the numbers tell me that the final numbers will be a real, true, final CFR of 10%? No, not really, (or at least I certainly hope not, :) ) but I think it will be a lot closer to 5% than the 0.5% that some wish.
Unfortunately, though, there is also a decent chance that the distribution is already wide enough that barring a vaccine (and, of course, hoping for no mutations) it will unfortunately quite possibly become a permanently circulated virus, essentially just knocking our average age we can all expect to live to back by at least a few years, especially since most coronaviruses do not generally cause permanent immunity, rather typically 3-6 months to something specific at best, which is why we tend to keep getting those same viral "colds" over and over...
Only time will tell, I suppose. :)
Be safe, and try to stay healthy, all! :)