- References and related reading will be added to this post later today
A report we read recently is that our country has had 20,000 deaths due to flu (other than COVID 19) this season already. It is not unusual for it to range much higher. Where are the leading media’s perspective reports on that? Is Wuhan coronavirus an add-on to that or ultimately just a different source to what is a typical range of rates, deaths from pneumonia and the like, no matter the viral agent?
The death rate often quoted as regards COVID 19/Wuhan coronavirus will likely go down as it is based on known infections. More testing and the denominator will increase likely reducing the statistical percentage rate.
Other statistically ameliorating factors relate to the gee wiz about how long “COVID 19” can live on surfaces. With all the studies of flu and colds over the years, searching for cures and vaccines, the estimates of how long are a range with greatly decreasing efficacy of the virus with passing minutes.
In all cases viruses of all sorts live longer on non-porous surfaces. Cloth and fabrics and paper leach away their membrane coatings and they die quicker.
However the norovirus, (which is not a coronavirus which are comparatively fragile) cna live for days on non-porous surfaces. The bird flu virus measuring at the outside in days has a comparatively longer efficacy as is said of the COVID 19. But there was not near the panic in those outbreaks. Type A influenza is said to live up to two days. These estimates, including as regards “days” for COVID 19 are at the extremes but that is what gets bandied about. The more mucus surrounding it the likely longer any version will live.
But no matter the virus those in occasional close proximity to fragile people should wear a precautionary paper mask at first sign of respiratory factors of any sort and personnel dealing with the medically fragile should do so at all times automatically during cold and flu season or outbreaks. Simple paper masks are effective against transmittal. In these times as an alternative to shutting down, food personnel should wear a mask as a matter of course as well, we make them wear hairnets! This seems far less disruptive than essentially martial law shutdowns we are seeing being implemented today.
Again, the efficacy of the virus falls rapidly after being released. The “common” cold virus which is another coronavirus seems to live but a few hours on a non-porous surface. Long enough to infect the room full of people who incubate it and become a serious danger to anyone medically compromised, and yet the world survives. The idea is simple: spew no sputum.
Public venues should have a substitute emergency health regime in order to stay open during outbreaks rather than forced closure. That would include wipe down surfaces with a proper disinfectant multiple times daily for quick kill. If public accommodation places of business would do this with increased rigor, thoroughly, to some sort of ISO standard, and personnel wear masks preparing and serving food, businesses should not be required to close.
What about closing schools? Reports commonly indicate that while any human being can be an incubator/transmitter for a period of time, children are not as likely to succumb to the disease or only to a mild extent. We know their hygiene practices are perhaps non-existent at the younger levels and they are in close proximity. It is said that closings are to prevent the children from incubating and carrying the virus to vulnerable people directly, secondarily, tertiary, however. But such transmittals are a factor for any virus outbreak including colds and other flu types. The fragile are just as susceptible to death-dealing complications from colds and other flu viruses.
Are we to close schools every cold and flu season or switch the school year so that there is school in summer (non-flu-season) and vacation in winter (flu and cold season)? Would not the better less-disruptive solution (apart from the argument that what they are learning is largely corruptive or wasted time) be to concentrate on restrictions as regards the medically fragile who are really those who comprise the death rate and who we are rightly endeavoring to save? So if the kids do bring it home to the folks neither the folks nor the kids should be visiting the fragile during an outbreak untested or without transmittal protection.
The same arguments are used as regards bars, meetings, mass transit. In those venues, rather than shut-down orders, why not issue paper masks at every meeting room entrance, bar, mass transit vehicle to “flatten the curve” (see below) instead of shutting so many things down. You can make your own mask with a kerchief. Is it not better, short and long term, to clean up our act, add more vigor to hygiene disciplines in enclosed spaces of all types?
Regarding articles that refer to “flattening the curve” (death rates from epidemics are said to predictably follow a bell curve, either sharper initially or the rate not as sharp but extended over time). A compelling argument for “flatter” is perhaps to allow time for more coping mechanisms and vaccine development. What I am unsure of is whether flattening the curve actually decreases total deaths or extends the time frame somewhat but the same “curve” to be repeated in subsequent years or out breaks, not so with the sharper curve for the same disease. The flatter seems good but are not the mechanisms outlined above better — long-term to prevent outbreaks of all sorts, presuming we are not going to shut down the country every flu season?
The run on grocery stores is just ridiculous. Our food chain supply is predominately US and is not broken. People are buying bottled water, why! – there is no problem with our water supply! Paper products — if it is for increased hygiene around the house or to use as nose wipes that is understandable, but you can wash and reuse cloth for cleaning. A bit of bleach in water is an effective virus disinfectant agent and a gallon will last the duration for home use.
I do fault the dominate liberal media and Democrats as this matter is being weaponized by them to try to bash Trump and is useful to them to create hysteria toward acceptance of more government controls, to create hysteria rather than foster common sense. It is all likely overblown. However, neither position, the real danger or the comparative efficacy of solutions is provable.
However Republicans are going along with too little disclaimer to it all. I understand political expediency, but every extraordinary order has to be with education that there are alternatives that can prevent recurrences and not make us as vulnerable. Why not be clear that much of the response is political, unsure and that more freedom oriented policies ought to be the fallback. That the cure can be worse than the disease.
The pure libertarian ideal of a global economy in all matters should be devastated by this. We are not dealing with honest players elsewhere. Leading nation-states in order to protect their cultures must have essential industries. We should not be dependent on the likes of China for anything. A “war-footing” to the extent of domestic pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacture is appropriate now. However domestic freedoms should be guarded jealously as key to domestic tranquility and physical and emotional health.
References and related reading will be added to this post later today. Regardless, due your own due diligence as regards your response to disease control.