COVID-19, AKA Coronavirus

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I’ve done two posts related to coronavirus, AKA COVID-19, and I’m sorry to say it’s time for a third. Let me get the basic message down right at the beginning: this is much worse than the mainstream media and government officials are telling you. Here’s why:
COVID-19 is highly infectious. The data from the Diamond Princess cruise ship is extremely valuable, as it was the only truly contained “experiment” we had. Before TPTB decided to repatriate people (the height of stupidity in my opinion), the infection rate was running around 12% to 13%. In 2018, a “bad” flu year, the infection rate for standard influenza was around 7%.
COVID-19 can be transmitted before people know they are sick and after they have apparently recovered. There’s a reason the quarantine periods are increasing. While the available data is hard to obtain, it looks as though the period of possible transmission may be as long as a month after recovery.
COVID-19 is undoubtedly much more widespread than is believed. The way it’s spreading outside China makes this clear. There is no question that pretty much every country in the world has asymptomatic individuals going about their daily activities and shedding the virus left, right and center. Part of the problem is that the symptoms are very similar to standard influenza: fever, cough, headache. The only way to find out for sure is to test specifically for COVID-19. In the US, to take one example, that means the specimens must be sent to the CDC – results take three to five days or more. And many people with flu symptoms aren’t coming in to get tested at all. The data suggests that there are plenty of infected people out there who think they have the flu when they actually have COVID-19. In addition, cases are showing up in people who have not traveled to China or been in contact with anyone who has. Since most of the world has gone right on traveling and holding large gatherings (like Mardi Gras coming up), I don’t think it’s going to get better.
COVID-19 probably has a higher death rate than the official statistics would have you believe. I’m particularly concerned about the data coming out of Iran, which suggests the death rate may be as high as 17%. Now, that may be because they simply haven’t identified all the positive cases, but please note that they started with two cases and two deaths. The latest report is 43 cases and eight deaths. The other worry is that the Iranian form of the virus may be a mutation that makes it more lethal.
Other important points:

  • There is no vaccine and if a vaccine can be developed, it will probably take 12 to 18 months.
  • A flu vaccine will not protect you from COVID-19.
  • You can catch this disease more than once and the second time around is typically much worse.
  • Men seem to be more susceptible by a ratio of five men to three women.
  • Older people (60 and up) are definitely more susceptible, more likely to develop complications and more likely to die. This is probably partly because they are also more likely to have other health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
  • Mixed data on whether smoking increases susceptibility and whether Asians are genetically more susceptible.
  • So what can you do? The two most basic strategies are to bolster your immune system and practice “social distancing.” In other words, don’t travel, don’t go anywhere there are large groups of people (church – South Korea’s outbreak was clearly made worse by a superspreader who went to multiple church services; seminars; Mardi Gras; airports). Do practice good basic hygiene and I recommend you start wearing a mask out in public. Buy or make some elderberry syrup and stock up on vitamin C. Start taking both. Look for other sources of information than the mainstream media. This ain’t over yet and it is unquestionably going to get worse before it gets better.

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    1 Response to COVID-19, AKA Coronavirus

    1. littleleftie says:

      Very sound advice. I agree—the data is under-reported. Getting me some elderberry syrup as soon as I can find it….

      Thanks!

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