Two interesting things out of the South China Morning Post this morning. First, the apparent airborne vector for COVID-19 may be able to travel twice as far as the official “safe distance” and stay in the air 30 minutes. If true, very interesting. For now, recommend a grain of salt until this can be verified outside of China. No offense, but anything out of China has to be taken with a grain, or tun, of salt. Two, Asian markets are rebounding this morning as deal hunters go shopping. Not at all unexpected, and what any smart investors should be doing.
A study in courage this morning is this report on why COVID-19 seems to be worse for men than women. Biological males and females are different, who knew!
I will up my recommendation of yesterday, and possibly double-down as well. In the Game of Loads and Vectors, we need to be aggressive to win. Well, the school district I referenced yesterday has shut down ALL schools for two weeks and gone to e-learning. This gives time for things to stabilize and for all schools, busses, etc. to be cleaned and sanitized.
Yesterday, I recommended that this be done state-wide. Today, I will say I think it should be done nation-wide. Yes, it will be something of a hard reset; but, it could just be the firebreak that the coasts (particularly West) need and to keep things from cascading in the interior. This will be politics with a capital P, but it also makes some good epidemiological sense.
For individuals, I continue to recommend hand-washing and good hygiene. I still do not think masks are a good idea for most people unless they have something (other than COVID-19) and don’t want to share/start a panic.
If you are 60+; have smoked and inhaled smoke into your lungs for an extended period of time; currently smoke and inhale smoke into your lungs; have COPD; or, have other underlying health conditions: I strongly urge you not to travel, to limit public exposure, and to take up strict flu protocols. This population is the most susceptible and the population with the worst outcomes for COVID-19. This is also the only population where I would recommend talking with your doctor about the advisability of wearing a mask during limited public exposure.
And, once again, please stop the panic. Yes, this is scary and we don’t know nearly as much about it as we should. That said, the largest reason to slow the outbreak is not to save lives, but to prevent overloading our medical system — which would result in far worse outcomes and many (possibly many many) more deaths. Keep in mind, that while people have died here in the U.S. from COVID-19, the flu has already killed some 20,000 people this season.
The key to this is to stay alert, be informed (which means learning, not reacting to fear mongering and panic-incitement by the politico-media class), and be prepared.
Along those lines, I’ve been meaning to go back and say something about this post by Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, which looked at this article on preparing for COVID-19. Glenn makes the point that:
“This logic, though the author doesn’t quite seem to grasp it, actually applies to all varieties of prepping. The better you can look after yourself and yours, the less of a drain you are on emergency resources. The press wants to treat prepping as selfish, but it’s actually the opposite.”
The media does all it can to portray preparedness and “prepping” in a negative light. Just note the show referenced in the article as one example. Part of this is pure elitism of a media class that lives almost exclusively in the bubbles on the coasts (particularly NYC). Part of it is pure politics, as having prepared, resilient, and self-reliant Citizens runs contrary to enshrining victimhood as a reason to expand government.
Practical preparedness always pays. Not only for you, but for society as a whole. Having larger numbers of people prepared and not a drain also allows more efficient triage in an emergency of any type, as well as a more efficient application of potentially limited resources. All the more reason I need to get back to writing about same and getting the book back underway.
Selfish is not preparation. Selfish is panic buying massive amounts of items, far more than needed, and hoarding them. Selfish is going into work or public places sick, or breaking quarantine to do a public event. Selfish is deliberately encouraging a panic for your own gain.
Don’t be selfish. Be smart, and be prepared.
Use the interactive graphic to keep track of things. Is COVID19 an epidemic? Yes. Is it a Pandemic? Not according to WHO, but most everyone else is saying yes, it is. Is there need for panic? No. Should you be paying attention? Yes. Hell yes. Should you be preparing? Yes, better late than never.
Want to avoid catching COVID19 here in the U.S.? Wash your flippin hands frequently, wash them thoroughly every time you use the bathroom, then follow with hand sanitizer after every washing, use hand sanitizer liberally when you can’t wash on a regular basis. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze, and stay away from those who don’t. Also, keep your bugger hooks out of/away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Do NOT shake hands with anyone, and avoid touching or being touched by strangers. Or your strange friends.
Avoid travel if at all possible. Right now, there is no way I’m going to a trade show, major convention, etc. If you can telecommute, get that set up now. If you have to travel, use lots of hand sanitizer and go to full flu protocols. If you have to use a public restroom, take full precautions including using paper towels and such to handle faucets, doors,etc. Believe it or not, this was highly recommended before now, and major grocery chains have long told employees to use those practices to avoid getting or spreading colds, flu, etc. Not many actually do it, but…
If you own a business, make sure your employees know the above protocols. Have someone who refuses to wash their hands or otherwise follow the protocols? Talk to them, write them up, and if necessary fire them as they now pose a risk of infection to you and your customers. Extreme? Yes, but while the CDC and others are working to slow it down, odds are it is already here and could hit hard and fast. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
I want to reiterate that there is no need for panic, but there is a strong need to be alert, be informed, and be prepared.
Other COVID19/COVID-19/2019-nCoV articles:
COVID-19 9Mar20 The Game Of Loads And Vectors
COVID-19 7Mar20 How To Do It Right If You Have/Have Been Exposed To COVID-19
Quick Additional Thoughts On The Bureaucracy
COVID-19 28Feb20 Reasons To Hope, Reasons To Fear
COVID-19 A Plea To The Politicians (And Media)
COVID19 The Situation In China Gets Even Weirder
COVID19 24Feb20 Raising DEFCON
COVID19 21Feb20: Just Look At The Blooms Dear
Update & Quick Thoughts On Preparedness
Some Quick Thoughts On Coronavirus 2019-nCoV