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posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday March 24 2020, @04:54AM   Printer-friendly
from the lock-em-down dept.

Politicians won't admit it yet, but it's time to prepare—physically and psychologically—for a sudden stop to all life outside your home.

[...] Whether you are reading this in your living room in Vancouver, office in London, or on a subway in New York City, you need to think hard, and fast, about two crucial questions: Where, and with whom, do you want to spend the next six to 12 weeks of your life, hunkered down for the epidemic duration? And what can you do to make that place as safe as possible for yourself and those around you?

Your time to answer those questions is very short—a few days, at most. Airports will close, trains will shut down, gasoline supplies may dwindle, and roadblocks may be set up. Nations are closing their borders, and as the numbers of sick rise, towns, suburbs, even entire counties will try to shut the virus out by blocking travel. Wherever you decide to settle down this week is likely to be the place in which you will be stuck for the duration of your epidemic.

To appreciate what lies ahead for the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the United Kingdom, pay heed to Italy, France, and Germany. The United States, for example, is currently tracking exactly where Italy was about 10 days ago. France and Germany, which track two to five days ahead of the United States, are now revving up measures akin to those taken by Italy, including lockdowns on movement and social activity. In a matter of days, the United States will follow suit.

[...] Once tough location decisions have been made, the household must be readied for a long siege. While panic-buying has led to stockpiles of toilet paper and hand sanitizer, getting through eight months of confinement with others will require a great deal more, both physically and psychologically. This is especially true for households that span generations.

Long-term confinement that includes children undergoing remote schooling and adults trying to work requires designated spaces for each individual, a powerful Internet signal and Wi-Fi router, and a great deal of shared patience. Everybody in the household must understand how the coronavirus is spread, and what steps each should follow to eliminate their personal risk of passing infection to others in the home.

The virus is transmitted by droplets and fomites[*]—it isn't like measles, capable of drifting about in the air for hours. It dehydrates quickly if not inside water, mucus, or fomite droplets. The size of the droplets may be far below what the human eye can see, but they are gravity-sensitive, and will fall from an individual's mouth down, eventually, to the nearest lower surface—table, desk, floor. You do not need to clean upward.

However, a newly published study, backed by the National Institutes of Health, found that the virus survives in "aerosols for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel." This means an uncleaned surface can pose a risk to members of the household for a very long time—a doorknob, tabletop, kitchen counter or stainless steel utensil.

[*] Wikipedia entry on fomites:

any inanimate object that, when contaminated with or exposed to infectious agents (such as pathogenic bacteria, viruses or fungi), can transfer disease to a new host.

[...] In addition to objects in hospital settings, other common fomites for humans are cups, spoons, pencils, bath faucet handles, toilet flush levers, door knobs, light switches, handrails, elevator buttons, television remote controls, pens, touch screens, common-use phones, keyboards, and computer mice, coffeepot handles, countertops, and any other items that may be frequently touched by different people and infrequently cleaned.

Researchers have discovered that smooth (non-porous) surfaces like door knobs transmit bacteria and viruses better than porous materials like paper money because porous, especially fibrous, materials absorb and trap the contagion, making it harder to contract through simple touch. Nonetheless, fomites may include soiled clothes, towels, linens, handkerchiefs, and surgical dressings


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  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 24 2020, @08:36AM (12 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 24 2020, @08:36AM (#974854)

    Good post. I'll also add that a portion of younger people still end up needing to be hospitalized. The first case detected here in Nebraska was a 36 year old woman with underlying health conditions who had traveled to the UK. At last report, she was still in critical condition, but was improving. Younger people can still become seriously ill and account for a substantial portion of those hospitalized in the US and Europe.

    There are conversations about how hospitals might have to prioritize medical treatment like ventilators, generally giving the higher priority to younger patients. It made me quite angry when I read about beaches full of young people on spring break, some of whom were interviewed and didn't seem to care if they were infected. Some even complained that they were inconvenienced by bars and restaurants being closed. A young person who contracts the virus because they refused to voluntarily comply with social distancing might take a ventilator away from an elderly person in an assisted living facility who contracted the virus through absolutely no fault of their own. The governor of Puerto Rico directly said that the reason for the shelter in place order there was because people would not voluntarily engage in social distancing.

    In other words, all of us may have our rights taken away and some people who have tried to comply with social distancing might die because some people are too selfish to voluntarily do the right thing.

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by janrinok on Tuesday March 24 2020, @08:51AM

    by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 24 2020, @08:51AM (#974859) Journal

    The youngest death in the UK from COVID-19 is 18 years old [sky.com], reported on Monday. However, the same source reports that UK deaths "were in vulnerable groups, with underlying health conditions." adding some credence to Runaway's statement.

    --
    It's always my fault...
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 24 2020, @02:00PM (8 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 24 2020, @02:00PM (#974962)

    I'll also add that a portion of younger people still end up needing to be hospitalized.

    Yeah. A small fraction of a percent. I accept those odds.

    In other words, all of us may have our rights taken away and some people who have tried to comply with social distancing might die because some people are too selfish to voluntarily do the right thing.

    Because we disagree with the authoritarian overreaction of the government, we are at fault for further overreaction? "Pray I don't alter the terms further?"
    Fuck you, you authoritarian bootlicker.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by edIII on Tuesday March 24 2020, @09:41PM (7 children)

      by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 24 2020, @09:41PM (#975212)

      Nobodies rights are being taken away. That is an overreaction in of itself.

      Freedom is absolutely wonderful, but it has never meant that one gets to accept odds on behalf of other people. In times of war, and great crisis, it's entirely reasonable for certain measures to be taken.

      You sound like some ignorant fuckwad in World War II, either in England or Germany, that complained, "Fuck you authoritarian bootlickers! I can keep a light on at night! Fuck your Tryanny! I'm walking to the outhouse with a goddamn light so I can see!". Then the village is gone from a bombing run. So what now big man? Willing to accept THOSE odds? That Clark Gable might be 50k ft above you, with a crew ready to take your ass out? All they need is a little light below....

      When we all are enduring the same crisis, it's not an abridgment of rights to demand that you do the things that are necessary for all to survive the crisis. It's not permanent either. You're the reason why this will take longer. Your ignorance and selfishness, combined with conflating rights of movement and expression with the right to run around like Typhoid Mary, will end up with people dead.

      You're an incredible fucking sociopathic asshole to roll dice for other people.

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday March 25 2020, @02:51AM (6 children)

        by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday March 25 2020, @02:51AM (#975303) Homepage

        Copied from a post I made elsewhere:

        Here is what people don’t get: yeah, CV19 is overall no more deadly (and maybe less so) than the flu, which nukes ~30,000 lives a year in the U.S. alone. But with flu we have a long history of good herd immunity built up, from regular exposure and vaccine. With CV19, we have none. Which means if we do nothing to slow the spread -- we’ll get a lifetime worth of serious-to-fatal cases just in the first couple years. (After that, herd immunity will kick in and it’ll be just another seasonal nasty. Might already be so in select regions. But not generally.)

        And THAT is why epidemiologists are freaking out. Yeah, CV19 will probably kill 300,000 people over the next decade, no matter what. BUT -- would you prefer they all died in the next two years? and that many die needlessly due to overloaded health care systems, as is happening in Italy? Cuz that’s what happens if we can’t slow it down. Compared to western Europe, where they initially chose to avoid economic disruption, and too many people are still in "Oh yeah? make me" mode -- the U.S. (of similar area and population) has, on a per capita basis, only a small fraction as many cases, and a TINY fraction as many dead.

        And bodies piled in the streets is a lot worse for the economy than any degree of temporary shutdown.

        We can regrow the economy, especially once we drag our manufacturing back from overseas (and now we’ve the literal incentive from hell). We can take back our civil liberties, as we have after other crises pass. We can’t get the people back. And if the people are gone, so is all their earning power and creativity and culture.

        “Bring out your dead!”

        • (Score: 2) by legont on Wednesday March 25 2020, @03:32AM (4 children)

          by legont (4179) on Wednesday March 25 2020, @03:32AM (#975318)

          According to the research that changed the mind of the Brits, the US will lose 1.1-1.2 million people during the first wave in the best case scenario even with social distancing implemented and all sick treated (wich is currently 8x not the case). https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf [imperial.ac.uk]

          --
          "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Wednesday March 25 2020, @04:08AM

            by Reziac (2489) on Wednesday March 25 2020, @04:08AM (#975328) Homepage

            Could be. We'll see how it goes. It's still early.

          • (Score: 2) by quietus on Wednesday March 25 2020, @07:23PM (2 children)

            by quietus (6328) on Wednesday March 25 2020, @07:23PM (#975577) Journal

            Better read that paper again, and thoroughly. The number you quote is if nothing gets done (it's 2.2 million people, btw). When all NPMs (non-pharmaceutical measures) are implemented, the death toll dramatically goes down. I can't recall the numbers for the US, but for the UK the numbers are 410,000 to 520,000 in case no measures are taken, dependent on infection rate. When all NPMs are implemented, the numbers drop to the tens of thousands, again dependent on infection rate.

            The number 8 you mention, is the estimated number of ICU beds needed: 8 times as much as current surge capacity.

            • (Score: 2) by legont on Thursday March 26 2020, @12:53AM (1 child)

              by legont (4179) on Thursday March 26 2020, @12:53AM (#975657)

              Yes, the number of dead, IF ALL THE MEASURES ARE TAKEN AND ALL THE BEDS ARE PROVIDED AT 8X OF CURRENT CAPACITY, is 410-520,000 for England and 1.1-1.2 millions for the USA.
              2.2 millions is nothing is done.

              --
              "Wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding" - John Kenneth Galbraith.
              • (Score: 2) by quietus on Thursday March 26 2020, @10:43AM

                by quietus (6328) on Thursday March 26 2020, @10:43AM (#975798) Journal

                Nop. Table 4, page 13. Do nothing: 410,000 - 550,000 (UK). PC_CI_HQ_SD: 5,600 - 48,000 deaths.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25 2020, @05:44AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25 2020, @05:44AM (#975344)

          Uh-huh, that herd immunity that makes me need to get an updated flu shot every year.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by sjames on Tuesday March 24 2020, @07:40PM (1 child)

    by sjames (2882) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @07:40PM (#975162) Journal

    And of course, some of those students will take the virus home with them and give it to parents and grandparents. They should be forced to live in the back yard for 2 weeks just to be sure.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25 2020, @12:43AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 25 2020, @12:43AM (#975273)

      Only two weeks?