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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: 3, Informative) by PiMuNu on Tuesday March 24 2020, @04:51PM (7 children)

    by PiMuNu (3823) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @04:51PM (#975094)

    > panicked on speculation
    > Ordinary seasonal flu infects up to 50 million US citizens and kill up to 50,000.

    No! There is good evidence that this is much more serious than influenza.

    Look at Italy for example. The health care system was overwhelmed by Coronavirus. 6,077 deaths, 3,204 ICU cases. It appears that the number of new cases has only been curtailed by implementing lockdown, with the peak number of new cases arising about two weeks after start of lockdown; without this measure the pandemic is likely to have been considerably worse.

    (The ICU provision in UK is about 5000 with similar population to Italy, I don't know the Italian equivalent number).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_in_Italy [wikipedia.org]

    Note this from the wikipedia article:
    > On 19 March the Army was deployed to the city of Bergamo, the worst hit Italian city by the coronavirus, as the local authorities can no longer process the number of dead residents.

    One could also look at China. They built two new hospitals. They cancelled christmas! (Well Chinese new year which is equivalent).

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  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 24 2020, @05:01PM (5 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @05:01PM (#975098)

    There is good evidence that this is much more serious than influenza.

    And, I agree with that. Overwhelming of the system is indeed a valid concern, and we should be implementing some form of social distancing controls.

    They cancelled christmas!

    And we closed Disney World. Appropriate, IMO.

    DOOM! DOOM! End of Days! Locked in your home for 8 months! That is beyond premature, and highly improbable, based on the available data.

    --
    🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Wednesday March 25 2020, @07:36AM (4 children)

      by MostCynical (2589) on Wednesday March 25 2020, @07:36AM (#975364) Journal
      --
      "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday March 25 2020, @02:18PM (3 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday March 25 2020, @02:18PM (#975462)

        At this point, everything published everywhere, including this post by me, is propaganda pushing the author and publishers' agendae.

        What I take away from the article you linked is:

        Strong coronavirus measures today should only last a few weeks

        not 8 months.

        --
        🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Thursday March 26 2020, @02:27AM (2 children)

          by MostCynical (2589) on Thursday March 26 2020, @02:27AM (#975693) Journal

          but also only if 80% of people isolate.

          if it is only 70%, it could go on until September, or beyond [smh.com.au]

          --
          "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday March 26 2020, @01:54PM (1 child)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday March 26 2020, @01:54PM (#975855)

            I believe the isolation will go on just about as long as it serves other political aims... sure, we're "saving lives," but that's far from the only thing going on now.

            --
            🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2020, @03:03PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2020, @03:03PM (#975904)

              The experiment is done in part to determine what the length of time is they can hold the people under house arrest on the basis of fear. It will take people with money and influence to put an end to it.

              Landlords are just not being paid rent while businesses are shut down. Big finance has properties mortgaged and the proceeds invested elsewhere. If the value of the underlying assets drops, they'll be hit with margin calls.

              Right now, the moneyed class is waiting for what bailouts the government may provide. With sustenance, they can keep the pot from boiling over in the near future. The resulting inflation hurts everybody, so it's just a cost of being in business to them.

              The working class is also waiting for their government checks, but the speculated amounts on the order of one time payments of $1500 per adult won't last long. Eventually many of them that are now stuck in front of the TV cowering in fear and calling the police on their neighbors who are going to the park are going to have their bank accounts touch zero. That is the point the politicians will try to stay away from. People going on the streets, clamoring for a reopening of the economy, is antithetical to US social control doctrine.

              Trump spoke out that "we cannot shut down the nation just because some people may get sick and die", and set an end day of Easter for the state of emergency. Yeah, politicians words don't mean much, but Trump is a businessman. He also has the power to make the decision.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 24 2020, @09:56PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 24 2020, @09:56PM (#975218)

    Their officials said that to the media themselves.
    That by definition is more than number of deaths FROM coronavirus.
    When, at the same time, those with weak symptoms or asymptomatic are not tested at all, you can produce a Lovecraftian horror from any flu epidemic.
    You want realistic numbers, you look at Germany.