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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: 2) by tizan on Tuesday March 24 2020, @06:18AM (22 children)

    by tizan (3245) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @06:18AM (#974806)

    Test a large fraction of the population and confine those tested positive

    If we had 330 million tests today ...this would be over (mostly)...confine every body positive (assuming it is less than say 30% of the population) and let the others go to work as usual.

    If 40% or more of the population is positive then it might be worthwhile to let go of any confinement...as a large fraction of the positives but can work people are your nurses, doctors, emts etc (as they were in the forefront of the contamination barrier)....confining a large fraction of them is no longer practical or wanted.

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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 24 2020, @06:20AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 24 2020, @06:20AM (#974807)

    Don't fuck with Korean Jesus.

    He busy, with Korean shit.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 24 2020, @08:36AM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 24 2020, @08:36AM (#974853)

    If we had 330 million tests today

    Might as well wish if we didn't have this virus ....

    • (Score: 2) by driverless on Tuesday March 24 2020, @11:13AM (6 children)

      by driverless (4770) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @11:13AM (#974900)

      If we had 330 million tests today

      Might as well wish if we didn't have this virus ....

      While we're wishing, can I add "And a blowjob from Carmen Caliente"? If you're already asking for 330M tests then a single BJ added won't even be noticed by whoever's granting all these wishes.

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday March 24 2020, @11:38AM (5 children)

        by c0lo (156) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @11:38AM (#974906) Journal

        If you're already asking for 330M tests

        Ummm... aren't you forgetting that a negative test at now doesn't guarantee you won't need to be tested in the future again? Maybe multiple times even.

        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by driverless on Tuesday March 24 2020, @11:43AM (4 children)

          by driverless (4770) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @11:43AM (#974908)

          I don't care about negative tests, where's my BJ from Carmen Caliente?

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday March 24 2020, @11:54AM (3 children)

            by c0lo (156) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @11:54AM (#974911) Journal

            Somewhere between those 660M testing kits. Feel free to search for it.

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
            • (Score: 2) by driverless on Tuesday March 24 2020, @11:57AM (2 children)

              by driverless (4770) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @11:57AM (#974912)

              Damn, shoulda worded that wish more carefully. Someone wanna help me with all these testing kits?

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 24 2020, @12:07PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 24 2020, @12:07PM (#974915)

                Someone wanna help me with all these testing kits?

                Not me. I'm only doing kesting tits.

              • (Score: 3, Funny) by fliptop on Tuesday March 24 2020, @01:35PM

                by fliptop (1666) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @01:35PM (#974954) Journal

                Someone wanna help me with all these testing kits?

                I'm glad that's what you want help w/, and not the other request.

                --
                To be oneself, and unafraid whether right or wrong, is more admirable than the easy cowardice of surrender to conformity
  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 24 2020, @02:02PM (12 children)

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @02:02PM (#974964)

    I think you are optimistic - does the test tell if you have already had COVID-19 6 weeks ago and recovered? If so, I think we'd be finding closer to 50% infection rates already.

    --
    Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
    • (Score: 2) by tizan on Tuesday March 24 2020, @06:11PM (2 children)

      by tizan (3245) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @06:11PM (#975129)

      The best numbers we have is from South Korea where they have the largest per capita tests around the hotspot city of Daegu.. The death rate is around 1% so if your estimate if 50% of the population is already contaminated then we should have had a spike in death of around 1 to 1.5 million in the US due to flu like symptoms....but that is only around 14000 so far this flu season...this kind of numbers would have sent the alarms ringing at the CDC long ago.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 24 2020, @06:35PM (1 child)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @06:35PM (#975134)

        1% of what? At-risk subjects who self-presented for treatment? The self-presentation factor skews the data, significantly. The US at-risk population is less than 50 million, how much less? Not every person over 60 is at a 1% risk of death, or maybe they are, we'll know better when it all shakes out. We'd know sooner with a better funded CDC, but that's not our priority, so... now we need a $1T economic bailout.

        By the way, increasing the CDC budget by 10x (+500M) for 100 years ($50B in total) would only have been 5% of the cost of the currently proposed bailout.

        --
        Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 24 2020, @06:41PM

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @06:41PM (#975137)

          Apologies, Google lied to me (implicitly) - presented a table stating that the CDC annual budget for FY 2019 was $55M - which seemed low to me, but who knows after "austerity cutbacks"? - reading deeper, looking for the more sensible number, I come to a budget of ~$1.2B per year, which is still just 0.12% of the cost of the bailout, so - maybe they don't need a $500M funding increase, maybe they might use a $800M funding increase to more than double their effectiveness. Over 100 years (the rough elapsed time since the 1918 flu pandemic) that still would be just 8% of the cost of today's proposed $1T bailout.

          --
          Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
    • (Score: 1) by aebonyne on Tuesday March 24 2020, @08:39PM (8 children)

      by aebonyne (5251) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @08:39PM (#975189) Homepage

      Not sure if other countries have the appropriate test, but the CDC says they don't have such a test yet [cdc.gov]:

      CDC is working to develop a new laboratory test to assist with efforts to determine how much of the U.S. population has been exposed to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.

      The serology test will look for the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections.

      --
      Centralization breaks the internet.
      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday March 24 2020, @10:40PM (7 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday March 24 2020, @10:40PM (#975232)

        specific proteins made in response to infections

        That's the more useful test for pandemic control planning, unfortunately I think we're testing directly for presence of the virus itself - which is useful for the individual diagnosis, but not as great for deciding when it's time to take the ostrich heads out of the sand.

        --
        Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
        • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday March 25 2020, @11:10AM (6 children)

          Dude, you don't need a test for an individual diagnosis, even if there were a cure. The doctors aren't going to treat you for anything else unless you show symptoms that don't match corona right now. Absolute certainty has never been a requirement for a diagnosis.

          --
          My rights don't end where your fear begins.
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday March 25 2020, @02:22PM (5 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday March 25 2020, @02:22PM (#975463)

            The doctors aren't going to treat you for anything else unless you show symptoms that don't match corona right now.

            That's not our friends' (more distant acquaintances, really) experience in Tampa at the moment. 16 year old hospitalized with severe respiratory distress, doctors dragging feet waiting on corona test results. I don't know the details, but they're extremely distraught.

            Absolute certainty has never been a requirement for a diagnosis.

            M.D.'s get the Buzz Lightyear indoctrination for 10 years before they're allowed to practice: "I'm Buzz Lightyear, I'm always sure."

            --
            Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday March 25 2020, @04:02PM (4 children)

              Reckon they should be pushing IV Corona Cure then? Oh, wait... See, zero difference at the moment if it's Corona or some other respiratory disease.

              Yeah, they've got quite a lot of required credit hours of God classes.

              --
              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday March 25 2020, @04:30PM (3 children)

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday March 25 2020, @04:30PM (#975524)

                zero difference at the moment if it's Corona or some other respiratory disease

                That's not what the distraught mother is conveying to my wife - she seems to think her son's care is getting put on hold "wait and see while he gurgles and gasps" while they figure out what his COVID status is. The local news was asking for her contact info, last I heard...

                --
                Україна досі не є частиною Росії. https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/878601.html Слава Україні 🌻
                • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Wednesday March 25 2020, @09:57PM (2 children)

                  Yeah, hysterical mother. She can't control shit and is looking for someone to blame.

                  --
                  My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2020, @02:19AM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 26 2020, @02:19AM (#975688)

                    Possibly, but one would hope that anyone with lung issues gets treatment, regardless of whether any testing is or is not available.
                    We should all hope not to get sick in any form right now. Our governor has ordered dentists to stop practicing. The whole saga is apparently turning me into a Reaganite; it may be a long time before I will ever consider voting Democrat again.

                    • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Thursday March 26 2020, @03:07AM

                      Yup, they don't care what kind of chest crud it is, they're going to treat you if they have the means. Hell, they legally have to.

                      We should all hope not to get sick in any form right now.

                      Honestly, I'd rather get the crap now, get me some antibodies built up, and not have to worry about it anymore. Even being a smoker, it's not very likely to even land me in the hospital, much less kill me. Hell, I may already have it. Hard to tell when it's late March and you have allergies.

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