Thursday, February 27, 2020

Preparing for the inevitable coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak

This is an excellent piece featured at emptywheel.net titled “PREPARING FOR THE INEVITABLE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE 2019 OUTBREAK.” (February 26, 2020/101 Comments/in emptywheel /by Jim White.)

He starts with an “incredibly informative video from the World Health Organization. It gives very good information on the biology of the virus and what’s going on in the outbreak.” (If it does not play for you, go to the [emptywheel link]wheel].)

Later White reviews what he will (and you can) do to stay safe.

… there may well be significant disruptions to everyday life in parts of the US. We of course don’t know when this would occur, or where in the US it would be. But this is a good time to start thinking about how a disruption to moving around for a couple of weeks would affect you. Here in Florida, we regularly have to prepare for a week or more of loss of electricity during hurricane season. Preparing for community control measures would be a bit different. Right now, my thoughts for our household are that I will stockpile a few extra large cuts of meat in the freezer. These are things I’d eventually use anyway, so it won’t hurt to have them around. I’ll increase a few of the pantry items that I wouldn’t otherwise increase until the start of hurricane season. I’ll beef up my supplies for baking bread. If a disruption starts looking more likely locally, I’ll even add some frozen veggies to my stockpile, but for now I’m going to rely mostly on my ongoing CSA supply.

But I’m not going to rush out and buy an N95 respirator facemask. The current recommendations from CDC do not recommend facemasks for the general public. They are only recommended for people who are sick or for those who are caring for someone who is sick. This and the other CDC recommendations for treatment and prevention can be found on this helpful page.

The key thing to remember in trying to avoid catching COVID–19, as described in the video above and on the CDC page linked just above, is to avoid being very close to sick people. The guideline mentioned is six feet. If you see someone who looks symptomatic, it shouldn’t be too hard to stay six feet from them. Also, if the virus is known or suspected to be in the area where you are, be especially careful to keep your hands below your shoulders at all times and to wash your hands frequently if visiting public places. As CDC describes here, transmission is thought primarily to be through aerosol droplets such as sneezes and coughs, but it remains possible that the virus could be picked up by touching contaminated surfaces.

More from the CDC on prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID–19).

Living (and laughing) with the Coronavirus

Olivia Messer, Daily Beast reporter, tells us to Get ready for a serious test of broken American health infrastructure.
She explores alternatives to mass quarantines.

But Trump is not helping either telling us factual information or trying to calm the jittery public.WHO Expert: Trump’s Coronavirus Briefing Was Totally Incoherent.

In the New Yorker, Megan K. Stack, a journalist describes what it is like to be Living with Coronavirus Anxiety in Singapore..
Is Singapore a model of what life will be like when the virus takes hold in the U. S.?

If you need a humor boost, check out this satire by Andy Borowitz at the New Yorker: Trump Plans to Destroy Coronavirus with an Incredibly Mean Tweet.
“Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said that he was already in the process of crafting insults about the virus that would obliterate it once and for all.”

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