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
I spent some time thinking about this whole problem of you not going outside yesterday, and I noticed you complained that you didn't want to write from home because of distractions. That's understandable, but if those distractions are other people who are going in and out, unless you're locked in a separate room with a separate bathroom, and preparing and eating meals separately, you'd be better off getting out once in a while no matter what.
Also, you mentioned that your daughter works as a nurse at the CLSC, and that she also is going out volunteering to help people. She's either been exposed or will be exposed, and shouldn't be doing that if it involves going into other people's homes. And she should keep away from you.
However, half the population has underlying health conditions, across all age groups. Half the people who have diabetes or high blood pressure don't know it yet, but these are both risk factors, even for 20-somethings.
I'm lucky in that I live alone with my two dogs. The place I volunteer at has gone way past the recommendations, and I approve. While the government says we can allow a certain number of clients in, we don't. We're in lockdown. Volunteers and staff only. Small numbers only. Hand sanitizer on entry and exit, latex gloves after sanitizing hands, keeping a distance from each other.
Nobody is required by the government to stay in 24/7, despite what the web site seems to say. You can go out once in a while for exercise, as long as you keep your distance from other people and don't touch things that others might have touched (or carry hand sanitizer with you).
Most of the population are going to get it no matter what, if the models are correct. One of the things that determines both severity and fatality is the initial viral dose load. People who have been in contact with many infected people come down with a much more severe case, and much higher death rates. So by practicing reasonable social isolation precautions, we can reduce the load when we finally get hit - we may not even notice it. That 80% who get a mild case include a huge chunk of the population who have underlying health conditions, and that includes those who don't even know they have underlying conditions.
So what else can we do to reduce both severity and fatality rates? The #1 factor is whether you smoke or not. Don't smoke, and don't expose yourself to second-hand smoke or other lung irritants.
As for estrogen, the default configuration for all fetuses is female. It's only when the SRY gene kicks and and causes testosterone to be released that you'll see visible sex differentiation. Estrogen improves health, causing the same healing properties for damaged muscle tissue that testosterone and other steroids, but with fewer side effects.
Interesting fact - when men get older, their testosterone level drops, and their estrogen level rises, until it exceeds that of women the same age. As for menopause, it's as unnatural as blue eyes. Blue eyes are from a genetic mutation between 4,000 and 6,000 years ago in a single human. Menopause occurs in humans and two out of ~81 species of whales, and not many other mammals. It's far from the norm, as are the drastic drop in estrogen that comes with it.
Women don't need to use birth control pills that contain progestins - estrace and generic variants have been around for almost 3 decades. Estrogen-only HRT works. It gives both a better quality of life and a longer life. Fewer strokes, fewer heart attacks, what's not to like? Unless you're a smoker, in which case you're fucked anyways, but your body, your choices.
I'm not aware of any countries that ban the use of estrace and it's generic forms. Estrogen by itself can prevent pregnancy, and it's women who are talking to each other and demanding that their doctors end unnecessary periods. Kind of understandable when women experience more than 6 years "waving the red flag."
If males had the same problem, this would have been attended to long ago. Same as if men got pregnant, the morning-after pill would be available at the local beer store along with a case of 24 and a pizza.
Most of that doesn't seem relevant to my post. The active ingredient is Ormeloxifene, here's a link to an article, https://lovematters.in/en/birth-control/types-of-birth-control/saheli-the-only-non-hormonal-birth-control-pill [lovematters.in] .
It's one thing to take hormones in order to bring out of control hormonal fluctuations under control and another to try and completely eliminate them because they're inconvenient. Men also have hormonal fluctuations, it's just not as sever and even there, I'd be hesitant to try and eliminate them as we don't entirely understand the consequences of messing with such a complicated system.
We're not talking birth control here - we're talking ceasing having periods completely, not causing a failure for a fertilized ovum to implant in the uterus. So birth control pills aren't really relevant.