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-   -   How concerned are you about this Coronavirus? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=889217)

eenerms 01-29-2020 09:23 AM

How concerned are you about this Coronavirus?
 
Iím pretty concerned. It has a two week incubation period.

pulykamell 01-29-2020 09:42 AM

On a scale of 1-10, right now, about 0. Like, I've honestly not independently thought about it. Only when I see it show up in threads here or hear a passing mention on the radio do I think about it. And that's for about as long as I am reading or hearing about it, and then I go think about dinner or what to watch on Youtube.

monstro 01-29-2020 09:58 AM

I was a little concerned this weekend when I realized that I am ill-prepared for a prolonged illness. So I went to Target and bought a bunch of "sick people food". It will also double as a "shelter in place" kit just in case the virus causes my city to shut down.

I am not too concerned about it, though. Not because I have any doubts about the reports, but because I am the kind of person who only gets worried about stuff when the "stuff" is literally staring me at me in the face.

Sent from my moto x4 using Tapatalk

bordelond 01-29-2020 10:00 AM

Same as pulykamell. Zero.

Media coverage makes everything sounds much worse than it really is. Negativity attracts eyeballs & clicks.

Loach 01-29-2020 10:08 AM

Zero. Right now itís looking a lot like the SARS scare which didnít effect mean at all. Iím glad to see the appropriate people taking action but it doesnít change how I do things.

overlyverbose 01-29-2020 10:13 AM

It's definitely alarming to see the increase in coronavirus, and I'm not looking forward to traveling to Arizona next week (I tend to be prone to random accidents and illnesses, like stingray lancings, eclapmsia, etc.); however, it's really whatever affects you personally, right?

I'm more concerned about influenza at this point. Both my kids' schools have had so many issues with the influenza b strain that I'm surprised they haven't threatened to close schools in the district temporarily. We've already received several mass emails from the school nurses advising us that there has been a huge increase in cases this year.

Jophiel 01-29-2020 10:56 AM

Not at all. Each couple of years seems to have a new pandemic scare that doesn't go anywhere. I'm willing to give credit to the hard working science and medical professionals who nip it in the bud so I'm not saying it's all media hype, but the fact remains that I'm been completely unaffected by the last umpteen diseases to make headlines.

puzzlegal 01-29-2020 11:03 AM

I was extremely worried about SARS, and I still have part of the case of face masks I bought in case it came to my city.

I'm only slightly worried about this one. I still have the face masks, after all. ;)

Mostly I'm less worried because the China and the international medical community seem to have successfully contained SARS and MERS. I'm shocked that they did that, but the evidence is pretty compelling. But I'm still a little worried. Something as communicable as the common cold that kills a large fraction of its victims seems like it could cause a massive pandemic, and even if I were to survive that, it would be pretty damn problematic to my life.

KarlGauss 01-29-2020 11:06 AM

If someone is concerned about this new virus, there is something they can do that will dramatically lessen their chance of getting sick or even dying.

Get vaccinated against influenza!

iamthewalrus(:3= 01-29-2020 11:30 AM

Not particularly. Certainly the transmission and death rate numbers look scary, but those numbers always look scary at the start of a new outbreak. If you don't know there's a newly emerged respiratory virus going around and you get a minor case, you're probably not going to seek medical attention, because the most common ailments are minor respiratory infections, and they almost always just go away. That makes the early death rate look high because total cases are underreported. And of course once people know about it they start taking precautions like avoiding public places and wearing masks when they must, which reduces the spread.

puzzlegal 01-29-2020 11:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KarlGauss (Post 22107991)
If someone is concerned about this new virus, there is something they can do that will dramatically lessen their chance of getting sick or even dying.

Get vaccinated against influenza!

I don't think getting a second flu shot this winter is likely to do me any good...I already wear a seat belt when I drive, too.

Kovitlac 01-29-2020 11:40 AM

I'm really not. It spreads quickly and seems pretty contagious, but last I heard, it hasn't killed very many people (I think in the 20's? All in China, and I believe all or almost all were elderly or very young). Obviously those deaths are still a tragedy, but the flu kills many, many more every single year, and apart from getting my annual vaccine, I don't spend any time worrying about the flu.

The media is making this out to be akin to small pox, and it's far from being anywhere near that bad. I'm not saying we shouldn't be concerned about it at all, but I don't think it's worth worrying about too much unless you're actually in China.

I say that as a coworker who lives in China is visiting, and has been for a week and a half. I'm still not especially concerned because A) he's been here a week and a half already, B) he's not from where the epicenter of the disease is, and C) I'm 31 and in very good health, myself. Even IF I should somehow come down with coronavirus, I have a very good chance of fighting it off.

Velocity 01-29-2020 11:41 AM

I really think it's an overreaction. Far more people die of flu every year. Your chances of contracting this virus, if you're in America, are just about zero. Even in China, your chances are still statistically low. Here in Texas all kinds of events have been canceled and it just seems an overreaction.

Kamino Neko 01-29-2020 11:55 AM

A little...since I have respiratory issues, if I get it, I'm pretty fucked.

On the other hand, my chances of getting it are pretty low, so...not very.

(I've already gotten my flu shot for the year, so I should be good on that front, too.)

slash2k 01-29-2020 12:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kovitlac (Post 22108058)
I'm really not. It spreads quickly and seems pretty contagious, but last I heard, it hasn't killed very many people (I think in the 20's? All in China, and I believe all or almost all were elderly or very young).

Nitpick: as of 29 Jan 2020, 133 confirmed deaths (all in Mainland China). China hasn't released detailed information about all of the dead, but it seems most are older but not necessarily very elderly men, so people in their 50s and 60s, often with comorbidities such as diabetes or heart disease. As of last Friday, the youngest victim was 36; this doesn't seem to be a disease of the very young.

ETA: based on current information, the fatality rate is between two and three percent, which is multiple orders of magnitude higher than the fatality rate for seasonal influenza.

snfaulkner 01-29-2020 12:26 PM

Concerned? Zero

Interested? Maybe a 6 out of 10.

Cheesesteak 01-29-2020 12:33 PM

Concerned? Maybe a 1

At my business, we have ships arrive from China every single week. Some of my coworkers interact directly with the crew, so there is at least an identifiable vector for this virus to get to me.

pendgwen 01-29-2020 12:38 PM

I’m an ER doc so I’m keeping track of it for professional purposes. Both general media reports and the provider information bulletins sent out by our infection control folks. The college students are back this week and I predict that any Asian international students who come down with a cold in the next month will be referred to the ED by student health for further evaluation. Personally I’m not concerned about getting it. I’ll continue to wash my hands at work. I’ll probably be more diligent about wearing a mask when entering the room of a coughing patient and remembering not to touch my face. Which I probably should have been doing anyway since it’s flu season.

Mallard 01-29-2020 12:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KarlGauss (Post 22107991)
If someone is concerned about this new virus, there is something they can do that will dramatically lessen their chance of getting sick or even dying.

Get vaccinated against influenza!

good point. The flu shot will prevent about 25-40% of the bugs out there but I don't think this Corona aboutbreak is one of the bugs it protects against.

Dung Beetle 01-29-2020 12:44 PM

I'm not at all worried about catching it, but I'm paying attention to the news, as this could affect my travel plans in April.

Machine Elf 01-29-2020 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slash2k (Post 22108141)
ETA: based on current information, the fatality rate is between two and three percent, which is multiple orders of magnitude higher than the fatality rate for seasonal influenza.

But the flu is far more widespread, with the net result that it kills 12,000-60,000 people in any given year in the US. And traffic crashes kill another 40,000 (about half of whom WERE wearing their seatbelts).

KarlGauss is right: anyone in the western world who is currently worried about coronavirus should be MUCH more worried about a lot of other things.

Fiveyearlurker 01-29-2020 12:51 PM

2, I guess. There will be a pandemic at some point. But the odds that this is it is probably low for now.

Gatopescado 01-29-2020 12:55 PM

None.

Lamoral 01-29-2020 12:59 PM

People acting like the death toll is high, must have a distorted concept of the population of China.

TroutMan 01-29-2020 12:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by slash2k (Post 22108141)
ETA: based on current information, the fatality rate is between two and three percent, which is multiple orders of magnitude higher than the fatality rate for seasonal influenza.

But there's a reason to doubt that number. The number of people infected is almost certainly much greater than what is being reported, both because people with minor symptoms aren't going to the hospital, and because China probably isn't reporting the most accurate numbers. That means the fatality rate is likely much lower than 2%, perhaps by a few orders of magnitude.

dalej42 01-29-2020 01:08 PM

Not at all. I’ve seen this movie before.

Surreal 01-29-2020 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KarlGauss (Post 22107991)
If someone is concerned about this new virus, there is something they can do that will dramatically lessen their chance of getting sick or even dying.

Get vaccinated against influenza!

Wrong. A Coronavirus vaccine is still probably months away:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/co...day-2020-01-29

overlyverbose 01-29-2020 01:50 PM

Update: shortly after I commented, my son was diagnosed with influenza B. Goddammit.

Loach 01-29-2020 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Surreal (Post 22108314)
Wrong. A Coronavirus vaccine is still probably months away:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/co...day-2020-01-29

Iím willing to bet he knows.

Qadgop the Mercotan 01-29-2020 02:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Surreal (Post 22108314)
Wrong. A Coronavirus vaccine is still probably months away

Whoosh

I agree with KarlGauss, who knows more about battling deadly viruses than anyone else on this board.

scr4 01-29-2020 02:13 PM

It's a good reminder that I should be washing my hands more diligently.

aruvqan 01-29-2020 03:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by monstro (Post 22107828)
I was a little concerned this weekend when I realized that I am ill-prepared for a prolonged illness. So I went to Target and bought a bunch of "sick people food". It will also double as a "shelter in place" kit just in case the virus causes my city to shut down.

I am not too concerned about it, though. Not because I have any doubts about the reports, but because I am the kind of person who only gets worried about stuff when the "stuff" is literally staring me at me in the face.

I have a bunch of 'sick food' made and frozen from the whole cancer kerfluffle - rice congee, with chicken, with pork, with shrimp; barley stew with beef, with pork and with garlic sausage; rischert with pork and with sausage. I also tend to keep pantry staples around - dried legumes [split peas, white beans, kidney beans, lentils] rice [a particularly nice very long grain jasmine and a mochi] flour [wheat, oat, rye, barley] grains [barley, tebbouleh, buckwheat, hatamoshi] spices and herbs, and some fresh stuff [generally I always have potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, garlic and cabbage around] and a bunch of canned tomatoes, assorted boxes of pastas. We would be able to deal with no shopping for fresh for at least 3 or 4 weeks if we didn't mind boring food =)

Quote:

Originally Posted by puzzlegal (Post 22107985)
I was extremely worried about SARS, and I still have part of the case of face masks I bought in case it came to my city.

I'm only slightly worried about this one. I still have the face masks, after all. ;)

Mostly I'm less worried because the China and the international medical community seem to have successfully contained SARS and MERS. I'm shocked that they did that, but the evidence is pretty compelling. But I'm still a little worried. Something as communicable as the common cold that kills a large fraction of its victims seems like it could cause a massive pandemic, and even if I were to survive that, it would be pretty damn problematic to my life.

I still have a double handful of masks left from the cancer thing - we even have a couple masks with both particulate and organic filters, and if I get seriously paranoid a scott air pack =) being industrial is handy sometimes

Quote:

Originally Posted by scr4 (Post 22108437)
It's a good reminder that I should be washing my hands more diligently.

I got into the habit as a young adult [more because I am an inveterate eye rubber and I don't want to smear chemicals into my eyes] but it is easy enough to manage. I carry soap leaves because I don't like the smell of normal rest area soap, and have run into rest areas where they were out of soap [and one rest area in Nevada where they were out of water :eek: I used bottled water from the van]

iamthewalrus(:3= 01-29-2020 03:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lamoral (Post 22108260)
People acting like the death toll is high, must have a distorted concept of the population of China.

The death rate is fairly high, not the death toll. Not sure that "we shouldn't be concerned about new disease until it's killed a significant portion of the most populous country's population" is a super strong argument against alarm.

KarlGauss 01-29-2020 04:34 PM

Here is a free article e-released by the New England Journal of Medicine today. There's a lot of informative 'facts' buried within it.

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2001316

People over 60 who contract it are the ones coming to medical attention. Presumably younger folks who have it simply don't get sick enough to seek it.

Looks like the incubation period is usually less than a week (peaking around 3 days after exposure) but can be as long two weeks or so.

According to the study, on average one person with the illness spreads it to 2.2 people. For SARS the figure was about 3. As noted in the text, until the number is less than 1.0, the 'epidemic' will continue.

And not a lot of hospital workers seem to be getting it, again unlike SARS. Which is nice.

ETA: For the less medically inclined, the tables and graphs, and the discussion section may still be of interest.

N9IWP 01-29-2020 04:43 PM

My alma mater has 6 exchange students who are from that area (none show any symptoms) and some teachers recently visited there
https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/update-coronavirus

But not very concerned (0.5?)

Brian

Bill Door 01-29-2020 05:37 PM

On a scale of 0-10 I'm at a solid zero point nothing. But then, I'm pretty old and have led a rich, full life, so there's that. In fact, I was just discussing with my wife that this might be a good time to take a tourist trip to China. I've spent long periods of time there on business, but other than a couple of long weekends in Shanghai and Beijing I spent all of my time on the job site.

Broomstick 01-29-2020 05:52 PM

Personally, not concerned at this time.

Interested, yes - this has some potential to become a problem outside of Wuhan, but as noted up thread both SARS and MERS were contained and I expect this will be as well.

motu 01-29-2020 06:07 PM

Johns Hopkins Wuhan Coronavirus Tracker

as of 1/29/20,

6,165 confirmed cases world wide

133 deaths

126 recoveries

95 cases outside China, in 19 countries

6,070 cases in China with a population of 1.3+ billion


Not worried, but I'm watching it

China Guy 01-29-2020 09:13 PM

I am somewhat worried because
1) I lived in Shanghai during SARS
2) Company I work for has a factory in Wuhan with 15,000 people. No one has been confirmed. Some folks have a fever that are being monitored, and not able to track all the migrant line workers that went back home
3) My wife and mother in law are coming in a week

That said, this doesn't seem especially contagious. It's a coronavirus as is the common cold. Does not seem overly deadly.

Wash your hands and don't rub your nose and eyes and it is highly unlikely to be spread person to person...

nearwildheaven 01-29-2020 11:13 PM

Am I concerned about the people in the Wuhan area, as fellow citizens of Spaceship Earth? You bet.

Am I worried about myself, or anyone else I know personally, or don't know, in the U.S. getting it? No. I'm more worried about getting influenza despite being vaccinated, and that's not a big concern right now for me.

Asuka 01-30-2020 02:36 AM

I'm more worried about this weekend when I might pick up the deadly Tecatevirus from my local bar.

Fiendish Astronaut 01-30-2020 02:52 AM

Out of interest, how easy is it for this to mutate and for the mortality rate to increase? And if that happens would people who previously got sick with an earlier strain be protected?

Senegoid 01-30-2020 03:53 AM

Story for the paranoid to become even more so:

Coronavirus deaths will surpass SARS in the next 24 hours ó as global virus fears mount, Agence France-Presse, Jan. 29, 2020 as reprinted in Raw Story (which, as usual, gives no link to the original).

pullin 01-30-2020 05:59 AM

I guess I'm at about a 2, when thinking of future spread. We've set aside enough fuel, water, food, and medicine to shelter-in-place for a month if necessary. Which is normal for us, so nothing has changed.

Eldest is flying to London, Bahrain, and Singapore this week, which will put him closer to the outbreak. I talked to him yesterday about some aspects of the trip, but neither of us mentioned the virus. It hasn't reached the point where we've started worrying or discussing it. Don't know how I'll feel in a month, though.

AllShookDown 01-30-2020 06:41 AM

I'm a little concerned. My workplace has a lot of international workers. Just the other day I overheard a Chinese (not sure if she's an American citizen or not) woman in my department talking about how she and her husband had been planning to buy tickets for them and their infant son to visit China until they heard about the CDC warning. I dunno. I think I'd have canceled my plans before that, especially if I were traveling with an infant.

JohnT 01-30-2020 07:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pulykamell (Post 22107798)
On a scale of 1-10, right now, about 0. Like, I've honestly not independently thought about it. Only when I see it show up in threads here or hear a passing mention on the radio do I think about it. And that's for about as long as I am reading or hearing about it, and then I go think about dinner or what to watch on Youtube.

This is me.

DCnDC 01-30-2020 07:26 AM

Zero. These things have always happened, all the time. We just hear about them all now, because 24/7 news.

puzzlegal 01-30-2020 07:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pullin (Post 22109586)
I guess I'm at about a 2, when thinking of future spread. We've set aside enough fuel, water, food, and medicine to shelter-in-place for a month if necessary. Which is normal for us, so nothing has changed.

Eldest is flying to London, Bahrain, and Singapore this week, which will put him closer to the outbreak. I talked to him yesterday about some aspects of the trip, but neither of us mentioned the virus. It hasn't reached the point where we've started worrying or discussing it. Don't know how I'll feel in a month, though.

I intended to set aside food and water for Y2K, but there was no space in my pantry. It was full of flour and cereal and vegetable oil and canned goods and peanut butter and dried legumes. So I decided I didn't need to stockpile food. I did buy a couple of gallons of bottled water for Y2K, which I threw out a couple years later when the bottles were covered with dust.

I'm not worried about my tap water failing. I still have a pantry full of random stuff I might eat. I also think it's very unlikely we will have any reason t shelter at home for this.

Right now I'm slightly worried, but not so worried that I'm going to change my appointment for a routine mammogram at a hospital in the heart of our local China town, coming up in a week. If I'm feeling especially paranoid that day, maybe I'll wear a face mask.

puzzlegal 01-30-2020 07:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DCnDC (Post 22109684)
Zero. These things have always happened, all the time. We just hear about them all now, because 24/7 news.

Actually, these things are way more dangerous now than they used to be because people fly across the world all the time these days. Lots of people, including poor-ish people who might not seek medical care. I'm not especially worried about personally dying from this epidemic -- it has a shortish incubation period, and I think it will be contained.

But I am worried that an epidemic will take out humanity. Or enough of humanity to disrupt the global economy in a big way.

tricoteuse 01-30-2020 08:31 AM

Not worried at all. The governments involved seem to be doing everything they can to keep it from spreading. Besides that I live in a small city and don't know anyone who has been to China within the last few years.


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