We can't do it in North America yet because we don't have enough masks, gloves and other PPE.
Example from China: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddx_z1Qtn9w&feature=youtu.be
No one in the US seriously believe this right? You're all behind schedule and the worst have yet to come. As far I understand, there are many places in the US where a lockdown/quarantine hasn't even taken place yet, so count on a couple of months before things get back to normal.
(Public Health England in the UK had a fairly competent, though not totalitarian-level, contact tracing program. They stopped a while back because it became evident that despite their best efforts, the disease was becoming so widespread that it was reaching the limit of their contact tracing resources and most of the infections were probably unknown community spread that couldn't be found via contact tracing anyway. Other countries are likely similar.)
As it stands, my country is still in relatively early stages compared to many others, and contact tracing became unviable as a first defence well over a week ago. Over 60% of our cases are community transmission.
We're still doing contact tracing, it's probably worthwhile, but it's not going to be a major factor in mitigation.
It's largely irrelevant though. As much as it may help a little, this just isn't manageable through contact tracing. While Singapore are being lauded for their CT approach, they've still largely been successful in their efforts due to social distancing (and a culture of widespread adherance), along with things like widespread testing, and effective govt. communication of data.
They just announced it's had 1M installs (in a country of 8.7M) in the last week.
BUT.. not going to happen, this can't even happen perfectly in China where the government can get away with a lot more than any western nation.
I think the two week mark is the bare minimum, ideally you would have two weeks for symptoms to surface, then additional time until you're healthy and then two weeks more. So one month and a bit more.
Which, seems to be the way we're going, as the quarantine here is seemingly continuing.
Seven or eight days after first symptoms infected people either get much worse or not, then some die in the few next days.
So we could see the same death rate of 800, or even a little worse, for the next week or two, that would double the current 6,500 toll. Then it would slow down, but I believe it's too optimist to set the limit in two more weeks to end the quarantine. With more masks and tests maybe we could start working selectively.
What happens is that everything starting Monday is pushed back two weeks. Stock markets close. Non-essential workers stay home. Non-essentially businesses close.
During the two weeks, government pays for everyone's utilities, food, rent, and so on, both for people and companies.
The idea is to as much as possible pause the normal economy for a couple of weeks, and then resume it hopefully pretty much right where it left off, with the government seeing to everyone's needs during the economic pause.
Do this once a year as a readiness exercise, probably trying to time it around when that year's flu season is getting serious so that it may also help reduce the intensity of flu season.
Over the years, the government should over fund this to build up a cushion, so that whenever the next pandemic comes around they have enough to do longer than a two week pause if necessary.
Is it a guarantee that 100.0000000000% of the population will eliminate the virus with their own immune system in three weeks? If one or two people with poor immune systems carry around the virus for one day past the quarantine then we we would very quickly have gotten back to where we started.
It's also implausible to quarantine everyone for the same three week period. Are we just supposed to let anyone with a major health crisis die at home if it happens mid-quarantine? What would we do about the millions of people who require round the clock care in nursing facilities, etc.?
Additionally, I'm willing to bet that if we dedicated 5.8% of worldwide GDP (21 days out of 365) to fighting viruses, the results would be much more successful and less invasive.
But it's summer in the southern hemisphere that time of year...
It’s possibly the best thing we could have done for the people who claim to be ok with the standard of pollution and climate change baked into an oil based civilization. Like pulling your hand out of a warm bath of water it’s been soaking in for a few seconds and plunging it back in the same water feels much warmer.
But then in the next paragraph nonchalantly says "though we don’t yet know if recovering from the disease confers any immunity at all"
I'm not sure sure how articles like these get published.
Even if it were true, there are decisions about strategy and response that must be made now and can't wait for data to come in, and those decisions are being made under the presumption that survivors become immune.
No one is saying this. We do know things about viruses in general, but again, don't have enough data about this particular one to say anything for sure.
Young adults living in cramped share houses in a city aren't going to stay in for the summer or go celibate for the months decision makers are thinking. At least in dense urban areas, there's too much quality of life disparities for long term behavior change like this to be feasible.
IMO Social distancing is to buy a few precious months max for logistics and medical system to prepare. Pretty soon economic stress exceeds fear of the disease. The financial aid package in most of the countries that can afford it leaves a lot of people behind.
"How long will we have to keep social distancing?
Probably for several months. But you might have to do it “over and over again,” since the outbreak could come in waves.
Research by the Imperial College in Great Britain “would suggest you have to institute these kinds of measures for five months, very vigorously,” said Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist at Bellevue Hospital Center.
“And then you may be able to relax for a period. And then you would re-institute as the cases go up again. But we’re basically looking at doing this over and over and over again, even after a five-month period of strict social distancing, in order to curb cases until we have a vaccine.”
Health officials say we’re at least a year away from the first publicly available coronavirus vaccine. In the meantime, they say everyone should avoid large crowds and stay at least 6 feet away from others."
I hope we can relax the lockdown and still get satisfying results (following some Pareto's principle). For instance, avoiding indoor events maybe a good measure. But avoiding people to go exercise outside isn't really needed? Also, hopefully we'll get masks and tests in a near future and that we'll make it easier to contain the virus too.
- The virus becomes seasonal, like the flu
- Like the flu, every year there are new strains (so surviving it doesn’t grant immunity)
- And we’re unable to develop a vaccine for it
Someone please correct me if I’m wrong but this scenario implies that the situation we’re in now becomes the new normal. Every year, we’ll lose an additional percentage of our elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. Medical systems will either be ground down by repeated surges, economies will be ground down by enforced social distancing, or both.
What else would be in the cards?
Personally I assume if it's more than a 6-month ordeal people would accept the losses rather than fundamentally changing the economy as we know it.
Even if it mutates, the immune systems of people who recovered from it this year will still be able to fight it much better next year, because they've learned how to fight that kind of virus. This is why even though the flu mutates every year, it isn't particularly lethal: our bodies have learned how to fight that kind of virus.
If however one were to take the flu to e.g. an uncontacted tribe who'd never encountered influenza before, it'd completely devastate them, much as how viruses from European settlers were estimated to have killed a double-digit percentage of the native American peoples.
People that do survive would be healthier to begin with. There would be more room, and less pollution.
More research put into medicine would help everybody live healthier lives. The economy would be less ecologically harmful allowing nature to flourish. In San Francisco, wild foxes are already starting to wander through the city. Imagine what it would be like after 20 years of this.
Overall, a much better place.
Any opinion that starts with the equivalent of "I'm OK with the deaths of those people because I don't think that they have full value" (referring to someone as a leech on the system is basically just saying that they are worth less as a part of society than the non-leeches) is not one that I hope to see much endorsed.
But I think a lot of people don't know that they don't know. There are lots of problems where the scientific consensus is in, but the will isn't there to implement it—whether due to denial of the science or to fear of the costs. This is a situation where the scientific consensus isn't in; no-one knows for sure—and that's not a state in which the modern person is used to living, or realising they're living.
I think that's generally true, but probably not in this particular case. In any case, the answer of "We don't know" is only three words long and could have been put in the headline, but then it wouldn't have been exploitative clickbait...
This isn't true now or at any point when "humans" were an identifiable concept. We're not solitary animals. If you made everyone live alone, we might well go extinct.
People do vary in how much contact they need with other people. Some people will quickly become mentally ill if they're not getting enough social contact. I'm quite far over at the other end of the spectrum... but after living in China with no social group for several months, a friendly cashier greeting me in English with "Welcome to Lotus" was enough to get a very positive reaction from me.
The grandparent mentions gyms as one of these non-essential institutions, and they or their equivalent are something we need even physiologically. The impacts on health of not being able to get out and move regularly, much less to have serious exercise, are going to worsen the already serious problem of obesity.
Really if we only needed things that were essential to life, each of us could be living in a broom cupboard doing nothing and drinking Soylent for sustenance, but what kind of life would that be?