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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: 1) by Sulla on Wednesday March 25 2020, @07:49AM (9 children)

    by Sulla (5173) on Wednesday March 25 2020, @07:49AM (#975367) Journal

    Personally I prefer the current CDC test that comes with false positives to the tests that the WHO and China shared that had false negatives, but thats just me. It took longer, but at least it's accurate. The WHO test was used on that first patient we had up in Washington who they tested multiple times a day and over the course of his two weeks in the hospital the test would switch between positive and negative each time with more tests showing negative than positive.

    --
    Ceterum censeo Sinae esse delendam
  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday March 25 2020, @10:53AM (8 children)

    I don't really see the utility of a test at all aside from tracking outbreak for posterity's sake. Knowing which flavor of crap you feel like isn't going to change that you feel like crap or what you do about it.

    --
    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: 2) by quietus on Wednesday March 25 2020, @07:44PM (7 children)

      by quietus (6328) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday March 25 2020, @07:44PM (#975583) Journal

      Triage. It's also still flu season (over here). A test that can decide in 15 minutes whether an incoming patient has a bad flu (well-known procedure/treatment/medication) or corona will be increasingly valuable as your local ICU dept capacity becomes strained.

      • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday March 25 2020, @09:53PM (6 children)

        Triage.

        Nope. Not even maybe or sort of. An absolute nope. What type of badness is in your system is not part of triage. Triage is all about "is this person going to die soon, a while from now, or never". Also, it is not a "let's wait four hours on a test" process, it's immediate.

        And we already have gerzillions of flu tests to rule out the flu, so that's not a good argument either.

        Lemme splain. If you come in with severe respiratory distress from an illness, they're going to do the exact same things to you whether you have the flu, a nasty cold, or corona because there is no special treatment you get for corona right now and there won't be until they determine whether the malaria meds are effective.

        Now if you come in coughing a bit and running a low fever, you need your ass beat. Unless you have it bad enough to warrant a hospitalization, your ass needs to stay home and take some fucking Robotussin. Taking up time from people who are having real problems and are in real danger is a massive dick move.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 2) by quietus on Thursday March 26 2020, @10:50AM (5 children)

          by quietus (6328) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 26 2020, @10:50AM (#975802) Journal

          Nope. Treatment differs from [severe cases of] the normal flu.

          A number of pharmaceuticals are being used for severe and critically ill patients as potential treatments against SARS-CoV-2, including ribavirin, interferon β-1a, the antiviral combination lopinavir/ritonavir, the antimalarial chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine, the antiviral nucleotide analogue remdesivir and the antiviral favipiravir.

          (source [europa.eu])

          It is important that these treatments are started as soon as possible: that's what triage is all about.

          • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday March 26 2020, @11:11AM (4 children)

            That's nice and all for the EU but the US ain't Slashdot; we don't beta test on the entire nation. If you're not in one of the very small number of places they're testing those drugs, you will not get them.

            --
            My rights don't end where your fear begins.
            • (Score: 2) by quietus on Thursday March 26 2020, @11:34AM (3 children)

              by quietus (6328) Subscriber Badge on Thursday March 26 2020, @11:34AM (#975811) Journal

              The United States alone holds over 45 percent of the world's pharmaceutical market. One assumes that, if push comes to shove, that production capacity can and will be directed as necessary.

              • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Friday March 27 2020, @03:39AM (2 children)

                It has nothing to do with production speed, it has to do with not telling doctors to start giving out drugs to the whole nation without testing them for efficacy and danger first.

                --
                My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2020, @02:00PM (1 child)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 27 2020, @02:00PM (#976296)

                  We Americans like freedom. So your choices are: 1) take the experimental drug and hope it doesn't have any bad effects or 2) remain locked out from work and under house arrest.

                  • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Sunday March 29 2020, @04:38AM

                    Dude, you're not going to find anyone more pro-freedom than me but if the news put out that drinking a cup of bleach would immunize you to corona, half the fucking nation would be dead tomorrow, including a lot of doctors. This is very much a yelling fire in a crowded theater situation.

                    --
                    My rights don't end where your fear begins.