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-   -   Anyone else questioning the extent of "social isolation"? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=891890)

Dinsdale 03-17-2020 01:26 PM

Anyone else questioning the extent of "social isolation"?
 
How seriously are you taking the recommendations to socially isolate?

I'm not suggesting that people simply continue living their lives as normal. I certainly understand the benefit of avoiding large crowds and vulnerable populations.

But I'm wondering what aspects of "normal living" ought to be avoided? For example, this evening I am planning on going to a friend's house where 3 of us will play music. Hearing people talk, I'm wondering if I should ask my 2 friends if they think we should cancel. But I really question whether the risk to us - or society - is more than infinitesimally negligible.

I don't want to suggest that the loss of live from this will be traumatic to many people. But we don't have a good idea exactly what the mortality rate is. And if avoiding crowds/excessive contact, washing hands eliminates the vast majority of risk, how far should we go trying to eliminate the remaining portion?

If we are supposed to avoid crowds exceeding 10 (or 50, or 100), then why hasn't air travel and public transportation been shut down?

I find myself drawing comparisons to 9/11, where IMO we grossly over-reacted to the threat. Feel free to call me irresponsible or whatever if you wish, but I'm really trying to figure out what is a reasonable and responsible approach, balancing between living life as normal, or hoarding and hunkering down like survivalists.

FastDan1 03-17-2020 01:57 PM

Basically not leaving the house unless it's to go out to get necessities. I would normally go out to a bar and/or restaurant several times a week. I can live without that short term. I'll meet up with friends after this blows over.

Mikemike2 03-17-2020 02:02 PM

Excellent OP. I am not sure either. We have a night planned with friends this Saturday for dinner at someone's home - there will be 8 people. It was planned a long time ago. I don't wont to go, my wife definitely wants to go, and it is important to her. Not sure what to do. I also work in an office of 4 people, and don't know if there is any real benefit to working from home. We are all washing our hands, have plenty of space, and are wiping down surfaces, not coming in if sick.

Mikemike2 03-17-2020 02:08 PM

8 friends.

Dinsdale 03-17-2020 02:15 PM

Obvious typos in the OP:

"I don't want to suggest that the loss of liFe from this will [NOT] be traumatic to many people."

Telemark 03-17-2020 02:17 PM

We're not meeting people, shopping, or dealing with others unless it's necessary. We are grocery shopping, driving to the park to go for a run by ourselves, taking walks in the neighborhood, but little else. If you can avoid meeting up with others in person, please do so.

msmith537 03-17-2020 02:29 PM

So this is interesting.

There is enough information about COVID-19 out there to explain to you how the virus works and what it does. And anyone with a sixth grade education in math should be able to read and glean insight from a logarithmic graph of active cases over time and understand what "exponential" means. So I'm not going to bother to repeat it unless I need to.

I guess I'm going to turn the question back to you:
Given what we know about the virus and how it spreads, why do you think there is little risk for you and your friends to get together to play music?
- Are you positive none of you are carrying it? Plenty of people are carrying it who are asymptomatic.
- Do you think that you might be immune? AFAIK, no one is unless they have already recovered from an infection.
- Are betting on if you catch it, the effects won't be that severe? Hopefully you are right


I think what is so insidious about COVID-19 is that it's like a small leak in a big boat. People don't think it's a big deal because it doesn't look that threatening. Until you realize you have nothing to plug it up with. Then the results are just math. It's not like the flu that kills thousands of people a year, but is a small percent of the people who get it. And it's not like Ebola or something that kills quickly and is so terrifying that it generates an immediate response.

Dinsdale 03-17-2020 02:49 PM

Well, I don't know that I simply accept at face value everything I hear from the government - or even health organizations.

I see 2 issues. First, what is needed to reduce the chances of me getting it and, if I do, how bad will the consequences be? Second, what do I owe society to avoid spreading it.

You have access to better information that I do if you understand there to be a clear agreement as to the relative effect of various specific actions/interactions in transmitting the disease. What percentage of the risk do you believe is reduced by hand washing, and avoiding crowds and vulnerable people? To me, the remaining portion poses a legitimate question of potentially diminishing marginal returns. In fact - what is the risk of fatality for people of various ages/health? Until we have universal testing, how will we know?

Another aspect is fatalistic. I've read enough apparently informed opinions suggesting that this bug is out there widely enough, such that it IS going to pass through the population. Our main goal at this point is slowing - not stopping - the spread. My federal workplace has required that I continue coming in to work. And people are allowed to take airplane trips for pleasure. I have a couple of extra bags of rice and lentils in the cabinet, but I have not joined in on the panic buying. So to that extent - yeah, I'm glad I'm reasonably healthy, and that the chances of me personally experiencing dire effects should i be infected is VERY low.

Finally, what are you relying on for advice as to reasonable precautions? The CDC does not say, "Don't go out." They say to avoid close contact. So why would you not go to a friend's house and chat, provided you didn't shake hands or sit next to each other?

Each of us has to draw our own personal lines. I'm certainly not suggesting going out and about and spitting on public handrails...

Aspidistra 03-17-2020 02:52 PM

Essentially, whatever we are doing (on average) right now is not enough, because cases are still increasing exponentially.

The further below average you keep your own social contacts, the more the average goes down.

Some more-high-exposure avenues of infection are remaining open because they're essential to the continuing infrastructure that we do actually need. Some people can't social distance because otherwise they'll go broke. Some things are staying open because people are dumb.

But whatever other people are doing, the more you limit contacts the more you're helping.

Manda JO 03-17-2020 02:54 PM

I will admit that I am kinda on the fence about small gatherings in homes. Public places are right out, because you aren't just sharing the space with the people around you--which could easily be dozens--but also all the people that were there before you and will be there after you. Public encounters make contact tracing impossible, if someone does get sick. But 2-3 visitors in a home are relatively easy to isolate and generally easy to contact if you develop symptoms. But my deep seating Lawful Good nature feels like I should take every possible step, no matter how minor. I have a friend who invited me over to have a drink tomorrow. I am trying to decide what to do.

Those of you who are of the "absolutely not" school, how do you feel about walking with a friend? Like in a park, at least a meter apart?

cmosdes 03-17-2020 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by msmith537 (Post 22195433)
So this is interesting.

There is enough information about COVID-19 out there to explain to you how the virus works and what it does. And anyone with a sixth grade education in math should be able to read and glean insight from a logarithmic graph of active cases over time and understand what "exponential" means. So I'm not going to bother to repeat it unless I need to.

I guess I'm going to turn the question back to you:
Given what we know about the virus and how it spreads, why do you think there is little risk for you and your friends to get together to play music?
- Are you positive none of you are carrying it? Plenty of people are carrying it who are asymptomatic.
- Do you think that you might be immune? AFAIK, no one is unless they have already recovered from an infection.
- Are betting on if you catch it, the effects won't be that severe? Hopefully you are right

Playing music in the same room as an infected and asymptomatic person is no where near a guarantee you will become infected.

The question becomes, really, how infectious is this if someone isn't coughing and sneezing in your direction?

I'm assuming 6' of separation is recommended because that is about how far a sneeze or cough would carry respiratory droplets. And I'm further assuming that would require them to be facing you.

I cannot find any information about transmission of this from someone that is asymptomatic. Do you have any info? I'd really like to learn more about it so I know just where to draw lines.

Dinsdale 03-17-2020 03:05 PM

I posted in another thread, that I just checked the CDC and WHO sites. Neither of them say avoid small social gatherings. They DO say to distance, wash hands, isolate if sick, etc...

I'm not sure if it is a logical fallacy or what, but just because something is good for you doesn't mean that doing more and more is better.

ThelmaLou 03-17-2020 03:11 PM

I'm taking it very seriously. Why? Because the consequences of a miscalculation could be fatal for me. I'm 71, have type 2 diabetes, have had breast cancer, and live alone. I have NO family. I'm not taking any chances. I'm retired and don't need to leave the house, so I'm not. Except to walk my dog. I walk at the local mall just about every day at 7:30 when it opens, but there are only about 5 other walkers and we have NO contact. I'm in and out in about 40 minutes and I don't touch anything.

My regular stuff like church choir and college classes have already been canceled. I've also canceled scheduled get togethers with one or more friends, including my monthly ladies' lunch group, book club, lunch with two different friends, therapist, Pilates class. I don't travel, but a lot of the people I know do, and people can spread the virus while they are still asymptomatic.

There is nothing for me to be gained by doubting the news, the government (even this government), the news reports, the stories from Europe about the exponential increase new cases/deaths. Even if they're all LYING, I can easily adhere to isolation guidelines and be none the worse for wear.

All of this is perfectly reasonable to me. If not to you, YMMV.

ThelmaLou 03-17-2020 03:17 PM

Maybe you should heed this.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ThelmaLou (Post 22194157)
"I'm speaking to you from the future..."
Quote:

10 Days Later: What Italians Wish They Had Known
Mar 16, 2020 | 826 videos
Video by Olmo Parenti

When the Italian media began reporting on the increased community spread of the novel coronavirus across the country, Olmo Parenti, like many Italian citizens, didn’t take the threat of the pandemic too seriously. “My friends and I were almost mocking the few people who believed the issue was serious from the get-go,” Parenti, a young filmmaker, told me.

Just days later, Parenti felt like he was living in a different version of reality—a dystopian one. The number of positive cases had spiked dramatically. The entire country had shut down. The economy took a nosedive. Hospitals, overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, were being forced to make impossible utilitarian decisions: Which critical patients would receive lifesaving artificial ventilation, while the others would effectively be left to die?

Parenti and his friends were disturbed by the fact that they had severely underestimated the situation, a perspective that perhaps contributed to the spread of the virus. “We read in the news that the U.S., England, Germany, and France were all taking the COVID-19 progression just as lightly as we had,” Parenti said. “We decided we had to redeem ourselves in some way.”

Together with other members of his filmmaking collective, Parenti put out a call for citizens across the country to film themselves in quarantine. “We asked them to talk in first person to the camera,” he said, “and give themselves advice based on their own past behavior.”

The resulting film, 10 Days, features messages from dozens of terrified Italians. The videos play as if warnings from the future. Like Parenti, many of the people who submitted quarantine videos chide themselves for not having taken precautionary measures, such as self-isolation and social distancing, as early as they could have.

“This isn’t all bullshit like you thought,” says one young man.

Another woman, who is seen wearing a face mask, admits that she used to make fun of people wearing masks. “The worst-case scenario? That’s exactly what will happen,” she adds.

As though to underscore the importance of quarantine compliance across age groups, a teenager in the video reveals an eye-opening fact: “There are currently kids our age who are intubated and in intensive care.”

Many experts believe that the United States is just 10 days behind the level of severity of the pandemic in Italy. We are at a crucial inflection point, according to the surgeon general, Dr. Jerome Adams, and the time to prepare for what’s coming is now.
....


iamthewalrus(:3= 03-17-2020 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dinsdale (Post 22195310)
If we are supposed to avoid crowds exceeding 10 (or 50, or 100), then why hasn't air travel and public transportation been shut down?

In many places, public transportation is required for essential work to be done, like doctors and nurses getting to work, and stores getting stocked. Air travel is required for people who are not currently at home to get home, and for some essential movement.

It's probable that people will use that transport for nonessential things, but it's still needed for essential reasons.

Quote:

I find myself drawing comparisons to 9/11, where IMO we grossly over-reacted to the threat.
This is precisely the wrong comparison to draw. We did grossly overreact to terrorism, which was always going to be an incredibly rare threat that was far scarier than it's actual direct impact. Viral pandemics are not that.

We won't know if we overreacted for weeks or months or maybe ever. And if we underreact, millions of people will die this year who otherwise wouldn't. But if you look at what's happened in Italy, the cities that shut down a week earlier have done way better.

The right comparison is to the Y2K bug. People got alarmed about it in advance, we sunk tons and tons of work into making sure it wasn't a problem, and then later people said, hey, that wasn't a big deal after all. It only wasn't a big deal because of the effort made.

Please stay home from your social events. Don't just ask your friends if they think you should cancel. That's a way of putting responsibility on them, and is a great way to have 3 or 4 people, all of whom are kind of uncomfortable about meeting but none of whom want to let the others down, end up meeting even though they all think it's kind of a bad idea. Tell them "Guys, I was really looking forward to this, but I think we all need to make some sacrifices to help protect society. I'm looking forward to all getting together when the risk is lower."

People are contagious before they're symptomatic. You have no idea if you already have it.

Manda JO 03-17-2020 03:39 PM

But are those people who went out in public, or are those people who saw a total of 2-5 people outside their immediate family, all in private settings, and everyone in that group is following the same pattern? Exponential works the other way, too: a person in a restaurant can expose 100 people to the virus, and if 50 of those 100 people go to public places and do the same, pretty soon we are off to the races. If my neighbor comes over for a drink, and I never go anywhere, what we are contributing to the total spread is absolutely negligible. There's no where for that to add up to.

I am still really one the fence on this, but I don't think Italy got where they are because of very small scale private social interactions.

Aspidistra 03-17-2020 03:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Manda JO (Post 22195475)
I will admit that I am kinda on the fence about small gatherings in homes. Public places are right out, because you aren't just sharing the space with the people around you--which could easily be dozens--but also all the people that were there before you and will be there after you. Public encounters make contact tracing impossible, if someone does get sick. But 2-3 visitors in a home are relatively easy to isolate and generally easy to contact if you develop symptoms. But my deep seating Lawful Good nature feels like I should take every possible step, no matter how minor. I have a friend who invited me over to have a drink tomorrow. I am trying to decide what to do.

Those of you who are of the "absolutely not" school, how do you feel about walking with a friend? Like in a park, at least a meter apart?

I guess I'm "absolutely not" school for the purpose of this thread ... but all the same, I'm still letting my oldest child go to school until they all close and I had a one-on-one meeting with my supervisor on Monday (that was the last one though). So, y'know, I think a walk outside is one of the safest in-person things I can think of. Way more so than socialising indoors over the course of an evening. But I'd only go for a drink with your friend if they're under 60

naita 03-17-2020 03:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Telemark (Post 22195405)
We're not meeting people, shopping, or dealing with others unless it's necessary. We are grocery shopping, driving to the park to go for a run by ourselves, taking walks in the neighborhood, but little else. If you can avoid meeting up with others in person, please do so.

This

velomont 03-17-2020 03:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Manda JO (Post 22195555)
But are those people who went out in public, or are those people who saw a total of 2-5 people outside their immediate family, all in private settings, and everyone in that group is following the same pattern? Exponential works the other way, too: a person in a restaurant can expose 100 people to the virus, and if 50 of those 100 people go to public places and do the same, pretty soon we are off to the races. If my neighbor comes over for a drink, and I never go anywhere, what we are contributing to the total spread is absolutely negligible. There's no where for that to add up to.

I am still really one the fence on this, but I don't think Italy got where they are because of very small scale private social interactions.

But the issue isn't just if you never go anywhere. There is also the issue that you might be asymptomatic but still carrying and unwittingly give it to your neighbour. And then, as someone upthread said, you're off to the races.

I'm taking music lessons one night a week at a music school in a local mall, but I'm choosing to forego the lessons until I'm satisfied that this thing is finished, not out of fear that I'll necessarily get Covid-19, but also out of fear that I might inadvertently give it to someone else. And if I did get it, and badly enough, and needlessly because of my own carelessness, I would be needlessly wasting badly needed healthcare resources.

Manda JO 03-17-2020 03:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aspidistra (Post 22195556)
I guess I'm "absolutely not" school for the purpose of this thread ... but all the same, I'm still letting my oldest child go to school until they all close and I had a one-on-one meeting with my supervisor on Monday (that was the last one though). So, y'know, I think a walk outside is one of the safest in-person things I can think of. Way more so than socialising indoors over the course of an evening. But I'd only go for a drink with your friend if they're under 60

Friend is younger than me. She's normally a world traveler type, and I think this is killing her. And we teach at the same school, so I sorta think either we both already have it or neither of us do: we are coming out of the same germ pool, so to speak. But I may still cancel, or suggest a walk. It's a mess. I do think something like "no gathering of more than 5, no gathering in public places" seems pretty safe. But, well, I also want to do the socially conscious thing.

Okay, related--if we are only supposed to go out for essentials, which includes groceries, do I have to wait until I am low on literally everything before it's ethical to make a grocery store trip? I mean, I think we could go at least a month on what we have, if we rationed enough that we were always a little hungry and ate a lot of repetitive meals. But I went to the store today and bought the things we like, the things we eat first. My thinking is that I shouldn't be breaking into the true disaster food if I don't need to, because the whole point of having it is to have it if you need it. So, was that unethical and selfish of me? Should we stay in until the cupboards are bare, and learn to love rice and beans?

Kovitlac 03-17-2020 03:55 PM

I'm more or less carrying on the same as I always have. Can't help but avoid restaurants, since they're all closed. Will continue to grab fast food very occasionally. Will continue to go out on walks playing PGo, once the weather warms up a bit more. I don't hang out a ton with friends anyway, but if something like a movie night is scheduled, I wouldn't cancel it. I'm hoping my June flight doesn't get cancelled, and assuming it's not (and that I don't get sick), I'm absolutely going.

I'm far more worried about the effect this will have on the economy than I am of the illness itself. I'm worried about those who are so clearly susceptible to panic growing even more out of control. I do worry about my grandparents and the immunocompromised, and have no plans to visit my grandparents, just in case.

Manda JO 03-17-2020 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by velomont (Post 22195576)
But the issue isn't just if you never go anywhere. There is also the issue that you might be asymptomatic but still carrying and unwittingly give it to your neighbour. And then, as someone upthread said, you're off to the races.

I agree that I am more concerned with spreading it than catching it. But my neighbor is also practicing pretty strict social distancing. He's not going to public places either. He could be lying to me, of course, but I think that's unlikely. So it's not a matter of "and then it's off to the races". If over the next month, I see a total of 10 people (all under 50) in private social settings, and each of them follows the same guidelines (with a lot of overlap), that can't be as impactful as even one of us going to church or the gym or sitting in a restaurant a single time.

The CDC has gone out of their way to encourage people to eat take-out and go to drive thrus. I feel like the amount of contact a small social gathering (2-3 people, private home, observing social distancing) has to be less than the impact of a line cook making food for take-out. ,

blondebear 03-17-2020 04:06 PM

From the Shelter in Place FAQ for Santa Clara County:

Quote:

Can I leave home to visit friends or family members if there is no urgent need?

No. For your safety as well as their safety, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.

Pretty unambiguous for people in my area, I'd say.

blondebear 03-17-2020 04:08 PM

From the Shelter in Place FAQ for Santa Clara County:

Quote:

Q: Can I leave home to visit friends or family members if there is no urgent need?

A: No. For your safety as well as their safety, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.

Pretty clearly stated--for people in my area, anyway.

Dr_Paprika 03-17-2020 04:12 PM

I don’t question the value of social distancing and I don’t question the value of self-isolation of diagnosed cases for those not requiring hospital treatment.

But social distancing in schools could mean not going unless no cough, no fever, no runny nose or other symptoms; reducing visitors; education on keeping your distances; even masks. Stronger options have been taken because people are scared of disturbing trends from parts of the world. It makes sense to “flatten the curve” when there is so little excess emergency capacity - outbreaks over more time. But if it turns out people can be reinfected, this may apply less.

It is not easy to react to an unknown crisis. Politicians don’t want future blame hampering re-election. If things turn out well, they will give themselves credit. If not, they did take bold steps. It’s not unreasonable to take a hiatus for a week or two. And sensibly re-evaluate the situation if this is possible.

But if you had a social gathering of a small group planned, it would be reasonable to continue. Ask people who feel ill to stay home. Understand not all risks are large and not all risks can be mitigated. In perspective, though, risks are small if no one has recently travelled or has current symptoms. The more cautious could wear masks.

This is not meant to be definitive and you should follow local health advice. It does not apply to visiting people at higher risk in institutions.

Manda JO 03-17-2020 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blondebear (Post 22195621)
From the Shelter in Place FAQ for Santa Clara County:



Pretty clearly stated--for people in my area, anyway.


That is unambiguous. My county is in Texas, and we have 28 cases, not the 150+ of Santa Clara. So are shelter in place restrictions appropriate for us? I think maybe, and I will cancel Wednesday, but I don't think it's so black and white that I would feel like someone else, in a region not under a shelter-in-place order, did visit a friend. And if I lived in one of the many places in a America with no reported cases, I would probably feel comfortable meeting in a private home with a friend.

velomont 03-17-2020 04:23 PM

Manda Jo, in case I was coming across as holier-than-thou, I apologize as that wasn't my intent. In fact, up until a couple of days ago I had every intention of going to my lesson, as well as asking my boss how mandatory our new WFH policy, and being annoyed by our city's library closures. But two days ago the "penny dropped".

Thudlow Boink 03-17-2020 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by msmith537 (Post 22195433)
I guess I'm going to turn the question back to you:
Given what we know about the virus and how it spreads, why do you think there is little risk for you and your friends to get together to play music?
- Are you positive none of you are carrying it? Plenty of people are carrying it who are asymptomatic.
- Do you think that you might be immune? AFAIK, no one is unless they have already recovered from an infection.
- Are betting on if you catch it, the effects won't be that severe? Hopefully you are right

There's a fourth possibility. As cmosdes noted, they may believe (rightly or wrongly) that the infection won't inevitably spread from an infected person to and uninfected person just from them being in the same room.

After all, we're being told to wash our hands and cough into our elbows. Why would they tell us that if infection was inevitable no matter what we do?

velomont 03-17-2020 04:30 PM

Additionally, unless we (in North America) do the hard work, there's nothing magic that will guarantee not having an Italian-style health care crisis.

Ravenman 03-17-2020 04:41 PM

The more people who take this seriously, the faster this will come under control.

Why hasn’t air travel been shut down? Because we have coward in charge. And, of course, there’s a big difference between TPTB not shutting down air travel and it being a good idea to travel on planes now.

Let’s remember that in a public health crisis, people aren’t just making decisions for themselves. What each one of us do has an impact on the whole community. In a time like this, let’s not presume we are islands.

FastDan1 03-17-2020 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Manda JO (Post 22195639)
My county is in Texas, and we have 28 cases,

But with the lack of testing, incubation period, and asymptomatic people, the real number is likely much, much higher.

Manda JO 03-17-2020 04:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 22195666)
The more people who take this seriously, the faster this will come under control.

Right, but the question here is if someone who has stopped going out in public at all, who only shops for groceries and observes careful hygiene there, who has cancelled all their doctor appointments and hair appointments and put off maintenance in their car, etc etc, if that person has a beer sitting on a stool in their neighbor's kitchen and vents for an hour or two--from 6 feet away--is that person "not taking this seriously"? There are nuances here. Having a beer in your neighbor's kitchen is not licking the door knobs at the local retirement community.

ThelmaLou 03-17-2020 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FastDan1 (Post 22195681)
But with the lack of testing, incubation period, and asymptomatic people, the real number is likely much, much higher.

This, people! Not showing symptoms might mean not showing symptoms YET.

HMS Irruncible 03-17-2020 05:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dinsdale (Post 22195491)
I'm not sure if it is a logical fallacy or what, but just because something is good for you doesn't mean that doing more and more is better.

No, this is pretty much how infectious diseases work. More isolation is more effective in stopping the spread.

If every single person is isolated from every other person until the disease runs its course for everyone, then the disease disappears. But that harms us all because we depend on each other not just for companionship but for economic interdependence and mutual aid.

The only question is how much we can isolate, and for how long, without doing more harm than the virus itself is doing to us.

Helena330 03-17-2020 05:30 PM

Manda JO, I admire and respect you. But I live in King County, WA, and have been discussing this "nuances" business with people in my city on Facebook for days. "It's a matter of balance!!" No, it isn't. I've lost all patience with the justification. People are dying from this. Even if people "only" get sick, if they take a hospital bed, most likely they took someone else's life. People with other medical emergencies will also die. My local hospital could barely handle emergencies before this crisis. I've done my reading and I don't pretend that I won't get this and I'm immunocompromised. So will my 81-year-old mom. But I would rather get it later after we've ramped up our hospital capacity, our medical supplies, hopefully, medical personnel, and knowledge.

We're doing our part to contain this. My mom hasn't been out for two weeks and I was last out very early last Wednesday morning for groceries. We're sheltering-in-place. It really pisses me off that so many people aren't doing their part.

Would I walk with your neighbor? No, even if I weren't immune-compromised. The asymptomatic spread is too big a risk.

Ravenman 03-17-2020 05:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Manda JO (Post 22195696)
, if that person has a beer sitting on a stool in their neighbor's kitchen and vents for an hour or two--from 6 feet away--is that person "not taking this seriously"?

No. Being six feet away doesn’t really matter if one is touching their doorknobs, corkscrew, tissue boxes, etc. That goes for the host having the virus or the guest having it.

Thudlow Boink 03-17-2020 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 22195761)
Being six feet away doesn’t really matter if one is touching their doorknobs, corkscrew, tissue boxes, etc.

Maybe, maybe not. The CDC says
Quote:

Based on what is currently known about the novel coronavirus and similar coronaviruses that cause SARS and MERS, spread from person-to-person with these viruses happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet). This type of transmission occurs via respiratory droplets. On the other hand, transmission of novel coronavirus to persons from surfaces contaminated with the virus has not been documented. Transmission of coronavirus occurs much more commonly through respiratory droplets than through fomites. Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials.
Which I interpret to mean, even if the coronavirus is on your neighbor's doorknob, we don't know how much of a risk there is of catching it that way. Maybe it's not something to worry about. Maybe it is.

dorvann 03-17-2020 06:00 PM

Having dealt with social anxiety and agoraphobia at my worst, you think I would have an easy time dealing with this. And I have seen others make jokes online about how introverts and shy people mus be having the time of the lives so to speak.

But frankly it's just worse. Granted I isolated myself a lot before to deal with the social anxiety. BUT that was on my own terms. I always had the freedom to go out if I felt up to it. Forced isolation is horrible everyone.

Plus before I didn't have to deal with the shortages of TP and other stuff. So this just horrendous for everyone.

I've talked to my social worker and therapist from my local mental health center over the phone. They really don't anyone going to their offices if isn't absolutely necessary. I worry about the other clients they have because a lot of them have more serious problems then me(i.e. schizophrenia, eating disorders, addiction problems). I suspect the longer this goes on a lot of them will relapse into worse states.

cmosdes 03-17-2020 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamthewalrus(:3= (Post 22195539)
People are contagious before they're symptomatic. You have no idea if you already have it.

While true, the CDC downplays it:

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Manda JO 03-17-2020 06:13 PM

Server hiccup

Stranger On A Train 03-17-2020 06:28 PM

First of all, it should be understood that all of the guidelines about washing hands, keeping a 6 foot/2 meter distance, avoiding gatherings of more than an arbitrary number of people, et cetera, are just general guidance based upon prior experience with public health measures and will in no way guarantee to improve your odds of not being infected. In fact, there are no really good estimates of the behavior and transmissibility of the virus because of the significant delay in some patients between being exposed to SARS-CoV-2 (the coronavirus) and the onset of COVID-19 (the medical nomenclature for the disease that some people suffer). The media and general public continue to conflate the two but in fact there appear to be a substantial number of people who have tested positively for antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus (indicating that they have had a significant viral load) but have exhibited no signs or symptoms of COVID-19. Given how limited testing has been and continues to be, and that it has been restricted to people either exhibiting signs and symptoms or have been in the immediate proximity of COVID-19 sufferers, there is a strong possibility of asymptomatic transmission, and that the incidence in the population of anyone in or near a major population center could be far greater than suggested by public health numbers. It also seems apparent that the virus can be transmitted by aerosol vector as the original SARS-CoV virus responsible for the 2003 Hong Kong outbreak.

Second, while you may not be concerned about the consequences of being exposed to SARS-CoV-2 or contracting the COVID-19 illness, and the people you gather with may be equally indifferent, the reality is that by engaging in unnecessary social contact you may transmit or receive the virus and then transmit it to other people by incidental contact. Even though it is likely that you will eventually come into contact with the virus, the fewer paths it has to spread, the lower overall rate of effective spread (as measured by the R-0 value you have been hearing the talking heads yammering on about in the past few days). Even reducing transmission rates by a factor of two will have a significant impact upon the overall rate of infection which gives more time for people who may have severe reactions to the virus to be distributed in time and thus not overloading our increasingly fragile critical health care systems and underequipped facilities and requiring critical patient triage as has been seen in China, Iran, and Italy. Even shifting the average rate of infection by a week or two across a significant amount of the population allows freeing up beds and respirators for patients in critical need and reducing the case fatality rate due to an avoidable lack of respiration support or other care measures.

Third, you should be concerned about contracting the illness right now because while you may not be in a high risk demographic, it is simply not possible to be assured that some aspect of the viral interaction does not provoke a strong response in you. Respiratory infections can progress from benign to lift-threatening in a matter of hours depending on cofactors, including the presence of previously weakly pathogenic bacteria. There is also the reality that coronaviruses as a class are particularly prone to mutation, and there have in fact been reports of researchers in China reporting evidence of mutation. Since the CDC only started growing the virus in their labs in early February (and it is unclear to the extent they have been able to cultivate multiple samples) the variability that this novel coronavirus, which is previously uncharacterized and strongly suspected to be recently zoonotic (transferred from animal host to human, and therefore has not evolved to co-exist in a human host without reaction as thousands of existing viruses do in every person) is unknown, as is the effectiveness of antibodies developed against one strain in fighting off another. In other words it is possible that you could be infected and develop a resistance to one strain of SARS-CoV-2 only to be infected with a different strain for which you have little or no inherent resistance, as it is with the various families of enteroviruses, coronaviruses, adenoviruses, parainfluenza viruses, and other viruses that cause seasonal colds, or the families of influenza A and B viruses that cause 'the flu'.

And again, the goal of social distancing and isolation is to slow the spread of these viruses. This has a critical effect in addition to blunting the peak rates of COVID-19 illness; it also allows the virus to adapt to be more benign within the population, as well as developing better care measures and (maybe) an effective vaccine. As more virulent strains burn out, more benign strains may become predominate and offer at least some protection to build up immunity even if someone is exposed to a more virulent strain. By participating in the recommended public hygiene and social distancing measures you are helping to blunt the rate of infection giving people with a potentially higher likelihood of contracting a severe case of COVID-19 a better chance, even if in just the aggregate. Or, you can ignore these guidelines and contribute to a situation like that in Italy, where people are dying while waiting just to get into a hospital, or Iran, where satellite images show the excavation of mass grave sites. But realize that by doing this, you are putting people like ThelmaLou at greater risk. The impact may be lost in the aggregation, but the effects are very real and personal to people at high risk for contracting the disease.

By the way, everyone should be absolutely outraged about the public health response to this pandemic and going right up to the top. It is certain that the unwillingness of the Chinese to share information about the extent of the outbreak and their inability to control it has had significant effects on allowing the disease to get a foothold outside of Wuhan (and I'm not convinced that their most recent response to reopen businesses and schools will not result in a mass flareup) but the United States, Japan, and Europe had plenty of warning to at least start a public health informational campaign. In retrospect, completely containing the virus was probably never possible given the long latency period and likelihood of asymptomatic and aerosol transmission, but starting an education campaign about the need for social distancing back in January, giving lead time for businesses and institutions to make plans for remote work and interaction, and otherwise educating and indoctrinating the public in the need for public hygiene measures could have gone a long way toward limiting the rate of spread, and could have been done in a way to minimize public panic. Instead–and in the interests of not making this political I won't name any names, but I think everyone is aware of the biggest and absolute best perpetrators–certain leading figures have spoken to the public in manner and word dismissive of the potential hazard, spreading factually untrue information about how the virus may be spread, and seemingly intentionally undermining the efforts of public health officials to inform the public. This is absolutely criminal negligence of the most absurd kind.

This is not some unexpected threat that came out of nowhere to blindside officials; epidemiologists have been warning about this very type of pandemic for decades as the degree and rate of zoonosis has been better understood. A major motion picture starring all those pretty people you see at the Oscars every year was made by Steven Soderbergh back in 2011 which presented this threat in a very realistic fashion, and popular science books from Richard Preston's The Hot Zone to David Quammen's Spillover have warned about the potential for unconfined zoonotic viruses to emerge into pandemic status in a world in which an infected patient can travel from Singapore to Amsterdam (or Sri Lanka to San Francisco) in a matter of hours with no controls, no truly global medical information network, and health systems that are fragile to these kinds of major health epidemics. There should have been existing plans in place for dealing with a public epidemic which are shared with educations institutions, businesses, and other impacted parties instead of the mad panic of post-equine-barn-door-closing 'directives' which sequentially contradict each other or will have little-to-no effect, and in the case of travel bans and trade restrictions may have a negative effect on the ability of the epidemiological community to effectively communicate. By the point that your pandemic has reached New Zealand there is exactly no point in a blanket travel ban or shutting borders down except to be seen doing something, anything, just make it look like we're not as clueless as the bureaucrats in that Scottish zombie movie with Discount Kate Beckinsale.

As for the o.p., you are presumably an adult and will do as you please, but consider that your actions do have consequences even if they are not personally apparent to you. The guidelines for social distancing aren't crafted just to ensure that you do not get to have a good time; they are the best if belated measures that you can personally take to help retard the spread of an infectious pathogen you can neither see nor restrain. You may not get a medal or public adoration for making a few sacrifices now in your social life, but the decisions that you make in this regard and at this time matter, even if they don't seem meaningful to you.

Stranger

Manda JO 03-17-2020 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ravenman (Post 22195761)
No. Being six feet away doesn’t really matter if one is touching their doorknobs, corkscrew, tissue boxes, etc. That goes for the host having the virus or the guest having it.

But it's not that simple. The chances of my neighbor, who is practicing social distancing, and myself, who is practicing social distancing, having it is very, very low. As we get out into the world, into places that are more traveled, that knob has been touched by dozens or hundreds of people, instead of a handful. The chances of it being contaminated are much higher. Furthermore, if I contaminate it, the chances of me infecting others are much higher. I'm not saying it is an acceptable risk--I don't have the information to judge, and frankly, I don't think anyone else does either--but it's not the same risk, it's not basically identical.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Helena330 (Post 22195755)
Manda JO, I admire and respect you. But I live in King County, WA, and have been discussing this "nuances" business with people in my city on Facebook for days. "It's a matter of balance!!" No, it isn't. I've lost all patience with the justification. People are dying from this. Even if people "only" get sick, if they take a hospital bed, most likely they took someone else's life. People with other medical emergencies will also die. My local hospital could barely handle emergencies before this crisis. I've done my reading and I don't pretend that I won't get this and I'm immunocompromised. So will my 81-year-old mom. But I would rather get it later after we've ramped up our hospital capacity, our medical supplies, hopefully, medical personnel, and knowledge.

We're doing our part to contain this. My mom hasn't been out for two weeks and I was last out very early last Wednesday morning for groceries. We're sheltering-in-place. It really pisses me off that so many people aren't doing their part.

Would I walk with your neighbor? No, even if I weren't immune-compromised. The asymptomatic spread is too big a risk.

I think there is a difference between "social distancing"--which, in my mind, is stay out of public places, don't go to work or school if you can help it--and "shelter in place" which is what they are doing in Santa Clara right now. Shelter in place is definitely no contact outside your household with anyone. In your mind--and this is a sincere question, because I honestly have no opinion--should the whole nation be moving to "shelter in place"?

Also, what do you think about my earlier question about groceries. We are "allowed" out for groceries--but should we be rationing how much we eat and breaking into emergency supplies in order to prevent going back for as many weeks as possible? Because I feel like a single trip to a grocery store--however careful I am--has to risk more people than sitting in a neighbor's kitchen. At the grocery store, I am potentially directly infecting dozens or hundreds and then all of them may infect others. At my neighbors, the initial number is much much smaller--and I can contact him if I develop symptoms.

Ravenman 03-17-2020 06:46 PM

Everybody shut up and listen to Stranger.

needscoffee 03-17-2020 07:10 PM

OP, you DON'T want it to build to where you have a shelter-in-place decree. How do you think it spread so far in all these other cities? It will happen in Chicago, too. Small gatherings spread germs just like large ones. They know that asymptomatic people are spreading the virus just by breathing.There's a ER doc in his 40s here in Seattle area in critical condition - he caught it in the community, not at work.

Fer chrissake, you're the one always going on about people's lack of responsibility and trying to cheat the system. Yet you're putting yourself above everyone else.

I've canceled all my usual activities except for outdoor walks and necessary groceries. I can work from home mostly, although I can go in early to work where I have my own office before anyone else is there and leave before anyone gets there. It's not going to kill me, but doing anything else could kill someone else.

elbows 03-17-2020 08:08 PM

And then you’ll all come back to your wives, after your get together? Is that right?

And if one of you loses a wife, as a result, how will you feel then? Is it so important as to be worth that risk?

Willing to roll the dice for your own self is one thing, but unless you live alone, you’re risking that person’s health too, are you not?

cmosdes 03-17-2020 08:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by needscoffee (Post 22195900)
They know that asymptomatic people are spreading the virus just by breathing.

I hadn't heard that. Wow. When did that happen?

cmosdes 03-17-2020 08:24 PM

duplicate.. timeout malfunction

Manda JO 03-17-2020 08:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by needscoffee (Post 22195900)
I've canceled all my usual activities except for outdoor walks and necessary groceries. I can work from home mostly, although I can go in early to work where I have my own office before anyone else is there and leave before anyone gets there. It's not going to kill me, but doing anything else could kill someone else.

But you're drawing a line, too--you've decided that walking alone outside and getting groceries is acceptable. And I tend to agree with you that those are reasonable precautions. But you've still made a judgment call: you aren't doing the utmost possible to isolate yourself from all other human beings, because at some point it's not worth it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by elbows (Post 22195991)
And then you’ll all come back to your wives, after your get together? Is that right?

And if one of you loses a wife, as a result, how will you feel then? Is it so important as to be worth that risk?

Willing to roll the dice for your own self is one thing, but unless you live alone, you’re risking that person’s health too, are you not?

Well, then, why don't we push people to limit contact at home? Sleep apart, don't eat from the same dish, no affection, constant wiping things down. I think it's because we know that the slight reduction in risk we might gain isn't worth the incredible distress such a policy would cause. And that's okay. But with the larger issue, so much is simply unknown: it's not about high risk or low risk, it's about uncertainty. We just don't know. Which leads to this weird absolutism where people are declaring it socially irresponsible to go to the park and take a walk a meter or more from a friend, but go to the grocery store because they are out of milk, even though they could get by with dry cereal if they needed to.

Again, I'm practicing a severe social isolation. No visits, no visitors. I was on the fence when the thread started about small-scale private visits, but there's been some explicit guidance not to do that in the places that are "shelter in place" ,and I think that's coming in my area if it's not already here.

But I don't think it's crazy to want to discuss, explore, see if we can get a handle on relative risk. It is, if nothing else, super interesting. And I know that some of the most egregious things I have ever seen in my life were things put in place because someone not directly affected thought that everyone else should do something "just in case". Not because they had any strong evidence that it was required or anything, but "just in case" they got in trouble if it was done that way. "Just in case" thinking is what gets us hide-bound bureaucracies that can't adapt to a pandemic, that gives us petrified authorities who take the most conservative course possible "just in case" doing something.

I am still waiting for anyone to tell me if it's acceptable to go to the grocery store if you still have food you could eat. Are y'all eating all your apocalypse food before you go back? I have to be honest, right now I am not planning to. I won't go more than once a week, I will literally take a shower before I leave, touch as few things as possible, and wash again when I come home, but I am not going to live on rick and beans until they are all gone.

Stranger On A Train 03-17-2020 08:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Manda JO (Post 22196043)
...but I am not going to live on rick and beans until they are all gone.

And all Richards across the country breathe a sign of relief.

Stranger

dorvann 03-17-2020 08:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train (Post 22196078)
And all Richards across the country breathe a sign of relief.

Stranger

At least it wasn't dick and beans.


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