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*** OFFICIAL *** COVID-19 CoronaVirus Thread

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16 minutes ago, -fish- said:

How about focusing on misinformation that could actually be harmful instead of judging a 50 page thread by the one post you read?  Once again, you ignore trolling and false statements, but jokes are over the line.  

That would fall under keeping it 10/10 on good information. Thanks in advance. 

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20 minutes ago, Capella said:

Remember when you were complaining about how many reported posts you had to filter through and some of us said that is self-inflicted? 

We try our best to respond to posts that people feel are over the line. It's how we've tried to do things for a long time here. 

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11 minutes ago, top dog said:

My boss just walked in and said, "You are our resident germophob.  I know you have been following this coronovirus thing.  What do you suggest we do to prepare?".  He was only half joking.  Everyday people who weren't worried about this before are starting to see this as a real problem I think.

That's kinda why I made the snapshot poll. Going to do one each week. Will be interesting to see how/if things move. 

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22 minutes ago, JerseyToughGuys said:

In terms of prepping, where do you put your plan on a scale of 1 - 10 where one is doing nothing. 

0 - doing nothing
5 - average person getting 2wks supplies and a mask 
10- TV Show prepper Guy 

I'd say I'm a 6.5 or 7 on that scale with the benefit of being able to lean on a buddy who's an 8.5 or 9 on that scale if things somehow do get bad (which I've stated is very unlikely). 

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On ‎2‎/‎25‎/‎2020 at 2:16 PM, JbizzleMan said:

:mellow: 

Is it time to panic?

Ham bought a Costco and ICON went full-on apocalypse prepper, so I'd say carry on as usual.

Edited by Tom Servo
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44 minutes ago, Joe Bryant said:

Sorry but no. 

All right.  Guess I'll go check out some other threads.  

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16 minutes ago, [icon] said:

0 - doing nothing
5 - average person getting 2wks supplies and a mask 
10- TV Show prepper Guy 

I'd say I'm a 6.5 or 7 on that scale with the benefit of being able to lean on a buddy who's an 8.5 or 9 on that scale if things somehow do get bad (which I've stated is very unlikely). 

You think the average person has gotten two weeks of supplies and a mask?????

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37 minutes ago, JerseyToughGuys said:

It may actually enhance it. Crowds suck.

So does Disneyland

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Just now, BeTheMatch said:

You think the average person has gotten two weeks of supplies and a mask?????

I think as soon as cases start surfacing here (in the next week or two?), yes I think the average person will be out shopping for food and masks. 

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9 minutes ago, Godsbrother said:
34 minutes ago, shadyridr said:

If I am reading this right it sounds like these 83 are not confirmed to have coronavirus.

Right. There are thousands being similarly monitored due to recent travel, etc. California alone has something like ~5,000 people being monitored. It's been a few weeks, so some of these people may be past monitoring by now. 

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Still don't really think the mask thing is going to play well here, it's not part of our culture and doubt people see that as some sort of shield.  

The being told to sit tight for two weeks at home thing, now that will freak people out.   

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16 minutes ago, Tom Servo said:

Ham bought a Costco and ICON went full-on apocalypse prepper, so I'd say carry on as usual.

Buying some masks and 6-8 weeks of food and water is full on apocalypse prepper? Huh.. that bar is a lot lower than I thought :lol: 

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4 minutes ago, culdeus said:

Still don't really think the mask thing is going to play well here, it's not part of our culture and doubt people see that as some sort of shield.  

The being told to sit tight for two weeks at home thing, now that will freak people out.   

As someone who loves watching videos of morons stampeding on Black Friday... I'd be lying if I said Similar videos of procrastinators running each other over to try to get food/water, and #####ing on the news about empty shelves won't provide a chuckle or two. 

Edited by [icon]

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4 minutes ago, [icon] said:

Buying some masks and 6-8 weeks of food and water is full on apocalypse prepper? Huh.. that bar is a lot lower than I thought :lol: 

YES!!

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Got this from our kids school 

——————

Dear Parents,

On behalf of the Superintendent, please be advised that we are aware of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance to schools to prepare contingency plans for the coronavirus-borne disease COVID-19.

Our School District works closely with the Georgia Department of Public Health and local public safety officials whenever there is a public health or safety concern affecting any of our schools.  Our custodial provider is equally dedicated to keeping our schools clean and our children safe with numerous industry best practices in place.

What can you do as a parent?  You can reinforce with your children the importance of every-day good health habits to avoid illnesses including: frequently washing your hands; using a tissue when you sneeze or cough and then throwing it away; keeping your fingers out of your eyes, nose and mouth; not sharing water bottles or similar containers; and staying home when sick.  When children have a fever, they need to stay home from school and be fever free, without the aid of fever-reducing medication, for at least 24 hours before returning to school.

In the event we were to need to close schools, for any reason, our Canvas online learning management system, which our students and teachers have tested for the past year, allows for teaching and learning to continue in these situations.  As we have previously announced, we will be using Canvas on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 for a Digital Learning Day; our schools will be closed that day for safety concerns, as many will be used for Presidential Primary election polling sites.  Canvas is a type of “teleschool” option that CDC officials suggested school systems have in place as a contingency plan.

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8 minutes ago, BeTheMatch said:

You think the average person has gotten two weeks of supplies and a mask?????

amazon market and plenty of other online places to order food from now a days. If you are going to wear a mask then I suggest you also wear nitrile gloves, otherwise the mask is going to be useless.

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5 minutes ago, [icon] said:

Buying some masks and 6-8 weeks of food and water is full on apocalypse prepper? Huh.. that bar is a lot lower than I thought :lol: 

Around here, it absolutely would be to almost any local you'd speak to.

And I think if we're being frank, you're understating your prep quite a bit versus what you've posted in this thread.

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.

Edited by CGRdrJoe
whoops got to the bottom of what I was quoting and it said internet release not auth

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1 minute ago, Doug B said:

Around here, it absolutely would be to almost any local you'd speak to.

And I think if we're being frank, you're understating your prep quite a bit versus what you've posted in this thread.

I guess now we are considering stuff my buddies have stocked as my preps too? Odd, but okay!  

In the interest of reducing the distraction/noise aspect of this thread... Im not going to address questions about myself or my plans going forward. I'll keep to posting disease specific news, and be happy to offer what advice I can to anyone looking for help. 

This thread has gotten off track. Let's see if we can't right that ship. 

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9 minutes ago, CGRdrJoe said:

amazon market and plenty of other online places to order food from now a days. If you are going to wear a mask then I suggest you also wear nitrile gloves, otherwise the mask is going to be useless.

:goodposting: nitrile Gloves are cheap and effective. Using grocery delivery/pickup services are excellent examples of easy social-distancing. 

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I never understood the no jokes take.  Humor is a legit way to deal with the stress of a situation like this.  So long as the humor isn't poking fun at the victims or other posters, what exactly is the problem?  

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23 minutes ago, [icon] said:

Buying some masks and 6-8 weeks of food and water is full on apocalypse prepper? Huh.. that bar is a lot lower than I thought :lol: 

Part of your plan involves hunkering down in a compound with good sight lines, no?

 

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5 minutes ago, JerseyToughGuys said:

Part of your plan involves hunkering down in a compound with good sight lines, no?

 

I've played gears and cod with you gb, you pulled that from teh google, no way you know about it any other way.

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I’m getting some supplies later but not because I’m worried about getting the virus but rather I don’t usually have supplies on hand and if the announcement about a chance of snow is any indication there will be a run on food and water and I may be SOL.

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10 minutes ago, JerseyToughGuys said:

Stage 27: utilize the ammo reload bench because we done ran out of ammo.

🤣🤣

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1 hour ago, General Malaise said:

Because I know when I'm in a panic and at a loss for how to deal with the emergency in front of me, I drop what I'm doing and log into this website for help.  

so we can rule out your a Da Guru alias...

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4 minutes ago, CGRdrJoe said:

I've played gears and cod with you gb, you pulled that from teh google, no way you know about it any other way.

Those words were used by a poster (in earnest) to describe the place he was going to hole up in the event Covid-19 ravages America

Edited by msommer

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39 minutes ago, BeTheMatch said:

You think the average person has gotten two weeks of supplies and a mask?????

no i think he is saying on a scale of 1-10 - an average person that does get 2 weeks of supplies rates a 5 on the scale

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The Washington Post running this piece now -- this is in their Health news section, not Op/Ed. And this is the full title of the article:
 

How to prepare for coronavirus in the U.S. (Spoiler: Not sick? No need to wear a mask.)

 

(spoilered for length, important parts highlighted in red)

There are the exam gloves, the surgical masks, the dubious supplements and the deceptive disinfectants. If unchecked Internet information is any guide, there’s an inexhaustible list of products you should buy to prepare for the spread of coronavirus in the United States — which, according to U.S. health officials, now appears inevitable.

But here’s the thing: The virus may be novel, but you really don’t need to buy anything new or special to brace for it. The Washington Post spoke to epidemiology experts, and they said the most important aspect of preparedness costs nothing at all — calm.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 59 people with the virus in the United States, all but 17 of them evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. But officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they expect to see the number of cases increase as the disease spreads, while also stressing that the immediate risk remains low.

So here’s what doctors, researchers and the CDC say you can do now — and in the event of a future outbreak — to prepare and protect yourself.

‘Don’t panic’

Timothy Brewer is a professor of epidemiology and medicine at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health and its David Geffen School of Medicine, yet his central piece of advice is not exactly medical.

“Don’t panic,” he said. “There’s no value in panicking or telling people to be afraid. Don’t let fear and emotion drive the response to this virus. That can be extremely difficult because it is new and we’re still learning about it, but don’t allow fear of what we don’t know about the virus to overwhelm what we do know.”

Brewer said it’s important to remember that covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is a respiratory disease, as is influenza, and while there’s not a vaccine for it, there are tried-and-true ways to deal with this type of illness — which we will cover here.

Saskia V. Popescu is a senior infection-prevention epidemiologist for a Phoenix-based hospital system. “The most important thing right now is to remain calm,” she said. “Remember, we don’t have that many cases in the U.S., and prevention strategies for this coronavirus are not new. We’ve been doing them for years.”

The basics

A few minutes into a phone call with this reporter, Brewer paused, coughed and then explained himself. “I’m currently recovering from a non-covid respiratory virus,” he said.

But the precautions he took when fighting his influenza-like illness are no different from what people should be doing every day to stave off coronavirus and other respiratory diseases, Brewer said.

You’ve seen the guidance before: Wash your hands regularly. Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze. And when you’re sick, stay home from work or school and drink lots of fluids.

The CDC recommends washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose or sneezing. It also advises not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth and to frequently clean objects and surfaces you touch often.

“These are all things you can do to prevent the spread of pretty much any respiratory virus,” Brewer said.

And for the record, he added, he stayed home sick last week.

“I practiced what I preached,” Brewer said.

Keep the shopping cart light

You probably don’t need to buy anything new, but if you’re already on your way to CVS, Brewer has some advice.

“Don’t go crazy,” he said. “You don’t need to go out and stock up on lots of things.”

And those surgical masks? If you’re not sick, you don’t need to wear them — and you certainly don’t need to buy every box your local pharmacy has in stock.

“The main point of the mask is to keep someone who is infected with the virus from spreading it to others,” Brewer said.

The CDC agrees, writing on its website succinctly: “CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases.”

Common surgical masks block the droplets coming out of a sick person from getting into the air, but they are not tight enough to prevent what’s already in the air from getting in.

There are specialized masks — known as N95 masks because they filter out 95 percent of airborne particles — that are more effective, and some online retailers are sold out of them. But there’s a problem: The masks are difficult to use without training. They must be fitted and tested to work properly.

“If you just buy them at CVS, you’re not going to do all that,” Brewer said. “You’re not going to get it fit-tested, and you’re not going to be wearing it properly, so all you’ve done is spend a lot of money on a very fancy face mask.”

The same goes for exam gloves, Brewer said, which can get contaminated just like our hands. There’s no need for them if you’re washing your hands properly and often, he said.

If you’re itching to buy something, you can stick to the typical respiratory-virus medicine: decongestants, anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen for fevers.

'Practice makes permanent’

Popescu has had a bag packed since she was in graduate school — if she didn’t have one, she said, she would feel like a bad public-health-emergency advocate. That’s because, she said, one of the best things you can do to prepare for any emergency, including a coronavirus outbreak, is put together an emergency kit.

In hers, she has a first-aid kit, flashlights, a space blanket, an external battery for her cellphone, a change of clothes and extra food for her dog. The CDC has a useful checklist for families.

It’s also important to have plans in place in case the outbreak disrupts your daily routines, Popescu said. You should be asking yourself: What if schools close for a week or two? What if there are issues with public transportation? What if I have to work from home or stay at work late?

You should have a plan for child care, for getting to work and for feeding pets, she said.

“A lot of preparedness is planning ahead of time,” Popescu said. “Practice makes permanent. If I have a plan, that means I don’t have to panic.”

And it’s good advice in general, she added, not just in the age of coronavirus.

“This is a good reminder to go through your resources and your plans so that, should it get more serious, you are not taken off guard,” she said. “People think they need to go out and buy stuff, but so much of it is just having a plan.”

Be mindful of where you are

Health officials have stressed keeping your distance from people who are sick, especially when it comes to respiratory viruses.

And because there is no medical solution for coronavirus, preventive steps and awareness are really the best tools at your disposal, said Stanley Perlman, an infectious-disease expert at the University of Iowa.

It is worth considering limiting exposure to large groups, especially during flu season. “Any congregation of people is a setup for spreading an infectious agent,” he said.

But with many eyes glued to smartphones and ears muffled by headphones in confined spaces, such as mass transit, it’s important to look around and see what’s going on, see where everyone’s hands are going and make a mental note to wash up later.

“We remember hand-washing at home but not when we get off a subway or leave the grocery store,” Popescu said. There are other measures to take, such as trying to avoid the middle of a packed train car, she said. And if someone is coughing nearby, do your best to turn away.

But awareness cuts both ways. While the United States is likely to have more coronavirus cases, she said, it is important not to panic. “Just because someone has the sniffles or has a cough, it doesn’t mean they have the coronavirus,” she said. “There are a lot of respiratory viruses.”

Watch what you read

While coronavirus is spreading rapidly, so is misinformation about it. Popescu and other experts call this an “infodemic,” and it can be as harmful as any disease.

Hoaxes, lies and junk science about coronavirus have swirled online since the earliest cases were reported, mostly through social media.

“People are more click-susceptible during these events because there’s more info and people aren’t sure who to trust,” University of Washington researcher Jevin West told The Post this month.

You should ensure you’re staying informed through trustworthy sources, such as the CDC, the World Health Organization and local health departments, Popescu said — not the anonymous user doling out advice in Twitter mentions.

“It can be really easy to go online, buy supplies and freak out and then just stay on Facebook,” she said. “But stay up to date.”

Be kind

On college campuses, at a music conservatory, in Chinese restaurants, among the ranks of a famous dance troupe and on streets every day, Asians have reported a rise in aggressions micro and macro.

As coronavirus has spread, so, too, has anti-Asian prejudice.

The WHO has urged government agencies to do what they can to prevent discrimination against specific populations, since stigmatization can fuel the spread of the outbreak by driving marginalized individuals to hide infection and avoid seeking treatment.

“Remember to not let fear override your common humanity about how you treat other people,” Brewer said. “Just remember we’re all in this together. This is a virus. It does not think. It is not planning. We shouldn’t be blaming our neighbors or our fellow colleagues or people in the community because a virus happens to exist and is spreading.”

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2 minutes ago, Doug B said:

The Washington Post running this piece now -- this is in their Health news section, not Op/Ed. And this is the full title of the article:
 

How to prepare for coronavirus in the U.S. (Spoiler: Not sick? No need to wear a mask.)

 

(spoilered for length, important parts highlighted in red)

 

  Hide contents

There are the exam gloves, the surgical masks, the dubious supplements and the deceptive disinfectants. If unchecked Internet information is any guide, there’s an inexhaustible list of products you should buy to prepare for the spread of coronavirus in the United States — which, according to U.S. health officials, now appears inevitable.

But here’s the thing: The virus may be novel, but you really don’t need to buy anything new or special to brace for it. The Washington Post spoke to epidemiology experts, and they said the most important aspect of preparedness costs nothing at all — calm.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 59 people with the virus in the United States, all but 17 of them evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. But officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they expect to see the number of cases increase as the disease spreads, while also stressing that the immediate risk remains low.

So here’s what doctors, researchers and the CDC say you can do now — and in the event of a future outbreak — to prepare and protect yourself.

‘Don’t panic’

Timothy Brewer is a professor of epidemiology and medicine at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health and its David Geffen School of Medicine, yet his central piece of advice is not exactly medical.

“Don’t panic,” he said. “There’s no value in panicking or telling people to be afraid. Don’t let fear and emotion drive the response to this virus. That can be extremely difficult because it is new and we’re still learning about it, but don’t allow fear of what we don’t know about the virus to overwhelm what we do know.”

Brewer said it’s important to remember that covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is a respiratory disease, as is influenza, and while there’s not a vaccine for it, there are tried-and-true ways to deal with this type of illness — which we will cover here.

Saskia V. Popescu is a senior infection-prevention epidemiologist for a Phoenix-based hospital system. “The most important thing right now is to remain calm,” she said. “Remember, we don’t have that many cases in the U.S., and prevention strategies for this coronavirus are not new. We’ve been doing them for years.”

The basics

A few minutes into a phone call with this reporter, Brewer paused, coughed and then explained himself. “I’m currently recovering from a non-covid respiratory virus,” he said.

But the precautions he took when fighting his influenza-like illness are no different from what people should be doing every day to stave off coronavirus and other respiratory diseases, Brewer said.

You’ve seen the guidance before: Wash your hands regularly. Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze. And when you’re sick, stay home from work or school and drink lots of fluids.

The CDC recommends washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose or sneezing. It also advises not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth and to frequently clean objects and surfaces you touch often.

“These are all things you can do to prevent the spread of pretty much any respiratory virus,” Brewer said.

And for the record, he added, he stayed home sick last week.

“I practiced what I preached,” Brewer said.

Keep the shopping cart light

You probably don’t need to buy anything new, but if you’re already on your way to CVS, Brewer has some advice.

“Don’t go crazy,” he said. “You don’t need to go out and stock up on lots of things.”

And those surgical masks? If you’re not sick, you don’t need to wear them — and you certainly don’t need to buy every box your local pharmacy has in stock.

“The main point of the mask is to keep someone who is infected with the virus from spreading it to others,” Brewer said.

The CDC agrees, writing on its website succinctly: “CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases.”

Common surgical masks block the droplets coming out of a sick person from getting into the air, but they are not tight enough to prevent what’s already in the air from getting in.

There are specialized masks — known as N95 masks because they filter out 95 percent of airborne particles — that are more effective, and some online retailers are sold out of them. But there’s a problem: The masks are difficult to use without training. They must be fitted and tested to work properly.

“If you just buy them at CVS, you’re not going to do all that,” Brewer said. “You’re not going to get it fit-tested, and you’re not going to be wearing it properly, so all you’ve done is spend a lot of money on a very fancy face mask.”

The same goes for exam gloves, Brewer said, which can get contaminated just like our hands. There’s no need for them if you’re washing your hands properly and often, he said.

If you’re itching to buy something, you can stick to the typical respiratory-virus medicine: decongestants, anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen for fevers.

'Practice makes permanent’

Popescu has had a bag packed since she was in graduate school — if she didn’t have one, she said, she would feel like a bad public-health-emergency advocate. That’s because, she said, one of the best things you can do to prepare for any emergency, including a coronavirus outbreak, is put together an emergency kit.

In hers, she has a first-aid kit, flashlights, a space blanket, an external battery for her cellphone, a change of clothes and extra food for her dog. The CDC has a useful checklist for families.

It’s also important to have plans in place in case the outbreak disrupts your daily routines, Popescu said. You should be asking yourself: What if schools close for a week or two? What if there are issues with public transportation? What if I have to work from home or stay at work late?

You should have a plan for child care, for getting to work and for feeding pets, she said.

“A lot of preparedness is planning ahead of time,” Popescu said. “Practice makes permanent. If I have a plan, that means I don’t have to panic.”

And it’s good advice in general, she added, not just in the age of coronavirus.

“This is a good reminder to go through your resources and your plans so that, should it get more serious, you are not taken off guard,” she said. “People think they need to go out and buy stuff, but so much of it is just having a plan.”

Be mindful of where you are

Health officials have stressed keeping your distance from people who are sick, especially when it comes to respiratory viruses.

And because there is no medical solution for coronavirus, preventive steps and awareness are really the best tools at your disposal, said Stanley Perlman, an infectious-disease expert at the University of Iowa.

It is worth considering limiting exposure to large groups, especially during flu season. “Any congregation of people is a setup for spreading an infectious agent,” he said.

But with many eyes glued to smartphones and ears muffled by headphones in confined spaces, such as mass transit, it’s important to look around and see what’s going on, see where everyone’s hands are going and make a mental note to wash up later.

“We remember hand-washing at home but not when we get off a subway or leave the grocery store,” Popescu said. There are other measures to take, such as trying to avoid the middle of a packed train car, she said. And if someone is coughing nearby, do your best to turn away.

But awareness cuts both ways. While the United States is likely to have more coronavirus cases, she said, it is important not to panic. “Just because someone has the sniffles or has a cough, it doesn’t mean they have the coronavirus,” she said. “There are a lot of respiratory viruses.”

Watch what you read

While coronavirus is spreading rapidly, so is misinformation about it. Popescu and other experts call this an “infodemic,” and it can be as harmful as any disease.

Hoaxes, lies and junk science about coronavirus have swirled online since the earliest cases were reported, mostly through social media.

“People are more click-susceptible during these events because there’s more info and people aren’t sure who to trust,” University of Washington researcher Jevin West told The Post this month.

You should ensure you’re staying informed through trustworthy sources, such as the CDC, the World Health Organization and local health departments, Popescu said — not the anonymous user doling out advice in Twitter mentions.

“It can be really easy to go online, buy supplies and freak out and then just stay on Facebook,” she said. “But stay up to date.”

Be kind

On college campuses, at a music conservatory, in Chinese restaurants, among the ranks of a famous dance troupe and on streets every day, Asians have reported a rise in aggressions micro and macro.

As coronavirus has spread, so, too, has anti-Asian prejudice.

The WHO has urged government agencies to do what they can to prevent discrimination against specific populations, since stigmatization can fuel the spread of the outbreak by driving marginalized individuals to hide infection and avoid seeking treatment.

“Remember to not let fear override your common humanity about how you treat other people,” Brewer said. “Just remember we’re all in this together. This is a virus. It does not think. It is not planning. We shouldn’t be blaming our neighbors or our fellow colleagues or people in the community because a virus happens to exist and is spreading.”

 

Thank you. This seems very helpful.

 

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2 minutes ago, Doug B said:

The Washington Post running this piece now -- this is in their Health news section, not Op/Ed. And this is the full title of the article:
 

How to prepare for coronavirus in the U.S. (Spoiler: Not sick? No need to wear a mask.)

 

(spoilered for length, important parts highlighted in red)

 

  Reveal hidden contents

There are the exam gloves, the surgical masks, the dubious supplements and the deceptive disinfectants. If unchecked Internet information is any guide, there’s an inexhaustible list of products you should buy to prepare for the spread of coronavirus in the United States — which, according to U.S. health officials, now appears inevitable.

But here’s the thing: The virus may be novel, but you really don’t need to buy anything new or special to brace for it. The Washington Post spoke to epidemiology experts, and they said the most important aspect of preparedness costs nothing at all — calm.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 59 people with the virus in the United States, all but 17 of them evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. But officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they expect to see the number of cases increase as the disease spreads, while also stressing that the immediate risk remains low.

So here’s what doctors, researchers and the CDC say you can do now — and in the event of a future outbreak — to prepare and protect yourself.

‘Don’t panic’

Timothy Brewer is a professor of epidemiology and medicine at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health and its David Geffen School of Medicine, yet his central piece of advice is not exactly medical.

“Don’t panic,” he said. “There’s no value in panicking or telling people to be afraid. Don’t let fear and emotion drive the response to this virus. That can be extremely difficult because it is new and we’re still learning about it, but don’t allow fear of what we don’t know about the virus to overwhelm what we do know.”

Brewer said it’s important to remember that covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is a respiratory disease, as is influenza, and while there’s not a vaccine for it, there are tried-and-true ways to deal with this type of illness — which we will cover here.

Saskia V. Popescu is a senior infection-prevention epidemiologist for a Phoenix-based hospital system. “The most important thing right now is to remain calm,” she said. “Remember, we don’t have that many cases in the U.S., and prevention strategies for this coronavirus are not new. We’ve been doing them for years.”

The basics

A few minutes into a phone call with this reporter, Brewer paused, coughed and then explained himself. “I’m currently recovering from a non-covid respiratory virus,” he said.

But the precautions he took when fighting his influenza-like illness are no different from what people should be doing every day to stave off coronavirus and other respiratory diseases, Brewer said.

You’ve seen the guidance before: Wash your hands regularly. Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze. And when you’re sick, stay home from work or school and drink lots of fluids.

The CDC recommends washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose or sneezing. It also advises not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth and to frequently clean objects and surfaces you touch often.

“These are all things you can do to prevent the spread of pretty much any respiratory virus,” Brewer said.

And for the record, he added, he stayed home sick last week.

“I practiced what I preached,” Brewer said.

Keep the shopping cart light

You probably don’t need to buy anything new, but if you’re already on your way to CVS, Brewer has some advice.

“Don’t go crazy,” he said. “You don’t need to go out and stock up on lots of things.”

And those surgical masks? If you’re not sick, you don’t need to wear them — and you certainly don’t need to buy every box your local pharmacy has in stock.

“The main point of the mask is to keep someone who is infected with the virus from spreading it to others,” Brewer said.

The CDC agrees, writing on its website succinctly: “CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases.”

Common surgical masks block the droplets coming out of a sick person from getting into the air, but they are not tight enough to prevent what’s already in the air from getting in.

There are specialized masks — known as N95 masks because they filter out 95 percent of airborne particles — that are more effective, and some online retailers are sold out of them. But there’s a problem: The masks are difficult to use without training. They must be fitted and tested to work properly.

“If you just buy them at CVS, you’re not going to do all that,” Brewer said. “You’re not going to get it fit-tested, and you’re not going to be wearing it properly, so all you’ve done is spend a lot of money on a very fancy face mask.”

The same goes for exam gloves, Brewer said, which can get contaminated just like our hands. There’s no need for them if you’re washing your hands properly and often, he said.

If you’re itching to buy something, you can stick to the typical respiratory-virus medicine: decongestants, anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen for fevers.

'Practice makes permanent’

Popescu has had a bag packed since she was in graduate school — if she didn’t have one, she said, she would feel like a bad public-health-emergency advocate. That’s because, she said, one of the best things you can do to prepare for any emergency, including a coronavirus outbreak, is put together an emergency kit.

In hers, she has a first-aid kit, flashlights, a space blanket, an external battery for her cellphone, a change of clothes and extra food for her dog. The CDC has a useful checklist for families.

It’s also important to have plans in place in case the outbreak disrupts your daily routines, Popescu said. You should be asking yourself: What if schools close for a week or two? What if there are issues with public transportation? What if I have to work from home or stay at work late?

You should have a plan for child care, for getting to work and for feeding pets, she said.

“A lot of preparedness is planning ahead of time,” Popescu said. “Practice makes permanent. If I have a plan, that means I don’t have to panic.”

And it’s good advice in general, she added, not just in the age of coronavirus.

“This is a good reminder to go through your resources and your plans so that, should it get more serious, you are not taken off guard,” she said. “People think they need to go out and buy stuff, but so much of it is just having a plan.”

Be mindful of where you are

Health officials have stressed keeping your distance from people who are sick, especially when it comes to respiratory viruses.

And because there is no medical solution for coronavirus, preventive steps and awareness are really the best tools at your disposal, said Stanley Perlman, an infectious-disease expert at the University of Iowa.

It is worth considering limiting exposure to large groups, especially during flu season. “Any congregation of people is a setup for spreading an infectious agent,” he said.

But with many eyes glued to smartphones and ears muffled by headphones in confined spaces, such as mass transit, it’s important to look around and see what’s going on, see where everyone’s hands are going and make a mental note to wash up later.

“We remember hand-washing at home but not when we get off a subway or leave the grocery store,” Popescu said. There are other measures to take, such as trying to avoid the middle of a packed train car, she said. And if someone is coughing nearby, do your best to turn away.

But awareness cuts both ways. While the United States is likely to have more coronavirus cases, she said, it is important not to panic. “Just because someone has the sniffles or has a cough, it doesn’t mean they have the coronavirus,” she said. “There are a lot of respiratory viruses.”

Watch what you read

While coronavirus is spreading rapidly, so is misinformation about it. Popescu and other experts call this an “infodemic,” and it can be as harmful as any disease.

Hoaxes, lies and junk science about coronavirus have swirled online since the earliest cases were reported, mostly through social media.

“People are more click-susceptible during these events because there’s more info and people aren’t sure who to trust,” University of Washington researcher Jevin West told The Post this month.

You should ensure you’re staying informed through trustworthy sources, such as the CDC, the World Health Organization and local health departments, Popescu said — not the anonymous user doling out advice in Twitter mentions.

“It can be really easy to go online, buy supplies and freak out and then just stay on Facebook,” she said. “But stay up to date.”

Be kind

On college campuses, at a music conservatory, in Chinese restaurants, among the ranks of a famous dance troupe and on streets every day, Asians have reported a rise in aggressions micro and macro.

As coronavirus has spread, so, too, has anti-Asian prejudice.

The WHO has urged government agencies to do what they can to prevent discrimination against specific populations, since stigmatization can fuel the spread of the outbreak by driving marginalized individuals to hide infection and avoid seeking treatment.

“Remember to not let fear override your common humanity about how you treat other people,” Brewer said. “Just remember we’re all in this together. This is a virus. It does not think. It is not planning. We shouldn’t be blaming our neighbors or our fellow colleagues or people in the community because a virus happens to exist and is spreading.”

 

So don't do anything, but also listen to the CDC, who is saying have two weeks of food and water and stock up on prescription meds.  

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41 minutes ago, culdeus said:

Still don't really think the mask thing is going to play well here, it's not part of our culture and doubt people see that as some sort of shield.  

The being told to sit tight for two weeks at home thing, now that will freak people out.   

We have an employee on vacation in Singapore this week and have just been told he's going to be working from home for (at least) two weeks after his return this weekend.  The general consensus around here is this is an overreaction.  He can probably be about 80% effective working from home as opposed to here in the office.  Many of those who support the decision are oddly fixated on the fact that some employees have young kids at home (??).  Its apparent very few if any have been following closely.

 

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Sigh... 

i'll ask again… If n95 masks don't offer protection Against being infected by sick people, then why does the CDC demand health care workers wear them as part of PPE when treating sick people? Why did they deem them so important that they asked healthcare practitioners to save expired units rather than discarding them?

Asserting that they are "only useful to stop sick people from getting others sick" is one of the dumbest ongoing myths of this situation... Second only to  "the flu is more dangerous because it's killed more people." :lmao:

Edited by [icon]
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The mask thing seems simple, if you have reasonable certainty that you are not exposed to someone who is sick, or are sick yourself, masks are pointless.  

Wearing one around where people might be sick will only exhaust our supply of masks, and keep them out of the hands of people who are in the above categories (like doctors/nurses)

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Just now, Joe Bryant said:

Thank you. This seems very helpful.

Not going to lie: I kinda needed an excuse to throttle back the prepping I thought I was going to have to do.

...

Different, but related, topic:

I'm following a few COVID-19 threads on a few boards. There are a minority of people out there that are convinced that the U.S. already has around "a few thousand" COVID-19 infections, but it's just that almost no specific testing is being done and thus the COVID cases are "noise" among the usual level of flu/bronchitis/pneumonia patients. If that's true (big "if"), and the number of general "flu-like" deaths doesn't really increase ... maybe the U.S. is somehow absorbing some level of COVID-19 infections without particularly severe effects?

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3 minutes ago, -fish- said:

So don't do anything, but also listen to the CDC, who is saying have two weeks of food and water and stock up on prescription meds.  

What was the CDC’s pre-corona standard disaster prep recommendation? How does the recommendation differ today? 

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1 minute ago, culdeus said:

The mask thing seems simple, if you have reasonable certainty that you are not exposed to someone who is sick, or are sick yourself, masks are pointless.  

Wearing one around where people might be sick will only exhaust our supply of masks, and keep them out of the hands of people who are in the above categories (like doctors/nurses)

Masks being sold at retail to the general public come from an entirely different supply channel than those going to hospitals and doctors offices. Joe six pack using one does not keep it out of the hands of Dr. Bob.

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7 minutes ago, -fish- said:

So don't do anything, but also listen to the CDC, who is saying have two weeks of food and water and stock up on prescription meds.  

This is the CDC's generic emergency-panning advice, isn't it? Can you link to a public directive from the CDC advising these actions in response to COVID-19?

I asked for this in the "Are you preparing?" thread that icon started, but it went ignored. I'm sure that was an oversight in a fast-moving thread ... but I keep seeing these "CDC recommendations" but no one ever sources them. Again, I have seen the CDC's general emergency page with those two-week reccomendations -- but that's not the same thing.

EDIT: And actually ... that article does recommend doing quite a few things. Just not prep purchases of certain items named therein.

Edited by Doug B

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7 minutes ago, [icon] said:

Sigh... 

i'll ask again… If n95 masks don't offer protection Against being infected by sick people, then why does the CDC demand health care workers wear them as part of PPE when treating sick people? Why did they deem them so important that they asked healthcare practitioners to save expired units rather than discarding them?

Asserting that they are "only useful to stop sick people from getting others sick" is one of the dumbest ongoing myths of this situation... Second only to  "the flu is more dangerous because it's killed more people." :lmao:

What’s the source of this? We all know health care professionals don’t slap on masks when you go in for the flu. It just doesn’t happen.

Edited by JerseyToughGuys

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4 minutes ago, culdeus said:

The mask thing seems simple, if you have reasonable certainty that you are not exposed to someone who is sick, or are sick yourself, masks are pointless.  

Wearing one around where people might be sick will only exhaust our supply of masks, and keep them out of the hands of people who are in the above categories (like doctors/nurses)

At some point, going out in public will make it reasonably certain that you are exposed to someone who is sick.  The claim that an N95 mask does not protect from transmission is simply false.   How much protection one offers is up for debate.   At least one recent study concluded that there is no difference between a regular medical mask and a surgical N95 mask, but that either was better than nothing.

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11 minutes ago, Doug B said:

This is the CDC's generic emergency-panning advice, isn't it? Can you link to a public directive from the CDC advising these actions in response to COVID-19?

I asked for this in the "Are you preparing?" thread that icon started, but it went ignored. I'm sure that was an oversight in a fast-moving thread ... but I keep seeing these "CDC recommendations" but no one ever sources them. Again, I have seen the CDC's general emergency page with those two-week reccomendations -- but that's not the same thing.

EDIT: And actually ... that article does recommend doing quite a few things. Just not prep purchases of certain items named therein.

This is CDC's advice in response to any epidemic/pandemic.   They have issued a statement that their instructions for a pandemic, which have been in place since 2005 and were updated a couple years ago, should be applied to this virus.

 

Quote

Dr. Messonnier pointed out that public health organizations in the U.S. already have a basic framework for a pandemic containment strategy.

She directed the public to the CDC’s Community Mitigation Guidelines to Prevent Pandemic Influenza document from 2017, which, she pointed out, contains the key actions that individuals and communities can take in the event that a viral infection should spread widely.

The CDC are currently adapting these existing guidelines specifically to COVID-19.

It should be noted that Community Mitigation Guidelines to Prevent Pandemic Influenza included a recommendation for home quarantine for the incubation period--which for the flu is 3 days.   Here there have been reports of up to 24 days for incubation.   

 

Edited by -fish-

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3 minutes ago, JerseyToughGuys said:

What’s the source of this? We all know health care professionals don’t slap on masks when you go in for the flu. It just doesn’t happen.

CDC website

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8 minutes ago, [icon] said:

Sigh... 

i'll ask again… If n95 masks don't offer protection Against being infected by sick people, then why does the CDC demand health care workers wear them as part of PPE when treating sick people? Why did they deem them so important that they asked healthcare practitioners to save expired units rather than discarding them?

In short: the article was saying the general populace, collectively, will use the n95 masks incorrectly -- won't get them fitted, etc.

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Just now, -fish- said:

This is CDC's advice in response to any epidemic/pandemic.   They have issued a statement that their instructions for a pandemic, which have been in place since 2005 and were updated a couple years ago, should be applied to this virus.

I looked for this yesterday -- I will try again. You never saw this on another website or anything that you can link? Got it via radio or TV?

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4 minutes ago, -fish- said:

This is CDC's advice in response to any epidemic/pandemic.   They have issued a statement that their instructions for a pandemic, which have been in place since 2005 and were updated a couple years ago, should be applied to this virus.

 

More accurate, I believe it’s the generic response that also covers natural disasters.

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Is this it? Or is there something more? 

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/foodwater/prepare.html

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