A Short Note On Coronavirus COVID-19 By Walrus.


I attended a private briefing today on the Wuhan Coronavirus (the virus) that I think I should share with the Committee. This information is as reliable and accurate as it gets. I should have taken notes. I apologise in advance for errors and omissions.

The timeline of the discovery of Covid -19 was detailed. I can't remember all the dates but more about that later. The alarm was raised by a Chinese doctor in Wuhan reporting via Promed (the infectious disease bulletin board) of some 50 "anomalous pneumonia" cases clustered in the Wuhan wet market (fish and edible animals) on or about December 31.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) was notified the same day. It is understood that known causes (SARS, etc.) had been ruled out. The "index case" was reportedly identified on December 1.

Samples were obtained from China in the first few days of January by an Australian laboratory specializing in identification of new virii (note: this would have required the negotiation of a materials transfer agreement to protect  future access to IP, etc..)  Tests in China and perhaps elsewhere failed to identify the virus but the Australian lab had developed wide spectrum specialised tests and identified it as a Coronavirus. Further testing was done by a world expert on SARS  and others  who couldn't identify it as an existing type. On or about 10th January the researchers in Australia and elsewhere  concluded it was a new virus.  On 14 January China introduced temperature scanning. This was very fast work by China and the researchers.

The Australian lab sequenced the virus and from samples received on 24 Jan announced on 29 Jan that they were successfully growing the virus in vitro. Samples have been sent to other researchers around the world for confirmation and further work.

Comment: The virology timeline dates I saw indicated a very tightly linked set of actions by China, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and researchers once the alarm was raised.. By that I mean that China and the WHO responded and acted almost immediately – within one or two days, as new information was received and have and still are actively and openly communicating and assisting with further research.

In my opinion, such openness, honesty and actions are totally inconsistent with any of the multitude of conspiracy theories currently advanced.

So much for the virology…….

On the epidemiological front, there is also interesting news. The first is researcher opinion that this virus has probably been circulating at least in November and possibly in October.   It is also believed that the mathematical models show that there are perhaps Ten times the cases world wide than are officially recorded. This partly because some cases are asymptomatic and currently available tests indicate false negative results. This is good news for the case fatality rate if proven because it is ten times less lethal than we currently estimate.

The researchers believe that the virus originated in Bats (notorious RNA Coronavirus carriers) and then infected Wuhan wet market produce – Pangolins, which then infected people. The initial cases were a group of men in the Wuhan wet market -which is also the cause of the error that the virus attacks men more than women, there are few female market workers. The apparent evidence for this is that large quantities of the virus have been found on the trading floor of another Wuhan wet market – the original Wuhan wet market was perhaps disinfected and its now demolished. (So much for the "bio weapon" BS.)

The best prevention against getting this virus is simple: WASH YOUR HANDS REGULARLY AND DON'T TOUCH YOUR FACE. The virus lived on surfaces for at least Nine  days. Things like public door handles, lift buttons, stair rails, supermarket trolleys, etc. that are touched by thousands of people daily are going to in all probability carry the virus. The virus can't get through dry skin, but if you rub your eye or suchlike the virus can get at your living tissue. Faeces may also be a route. Clean toilets. Mask are a waste of time and money except in special .

This entry was posted in Walrus. Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to A Short Note On Coronavirus COVID-19 By Walrus.

  1. b says:

    “Tests in China and perhaps elsewhere failed to identify the virus but the Australian lab had developed wide spectrum specialised tests and identified it as a Coronavirus. ”
    A nice Aussie hero story but contradicted by evidence.
    This is from January 11:
    China releases genetic data on new coronavirus, now deadly

    In quickly moving developments last night, health officials from Wuhan, China, posted a novel coronavirus (nCoV) pneumonia outbreak update, which scaled back the number of cases to 41 and noted the first death, and researchers from China released the genetic sequence of the nCoV.
    And this morning the World Health Organization (WHO) released several interim guidance documents, including advice on travel, lab testing, and medical evaluation.
    Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, said he’s pleased to see that health officials and scientists in China have released as much information as they have.

    Chinese scientist were first to identify and sequence the virus.
    29 of the 41 first cases were related to the wet market in Wuhan but the very first case had no relation at all to that market.
    While the market was the first ‘cluster’ of cases it was not the source of the outbreak.

  2. LondonBob says:

    Any mention of the impact of weather? Outbreaks are happening in the northern hemisphere in places where we are emerging from winter but there have been very few cases in places like Australia, Thailand, HK, Singapore where you would expect there to be outbreaks first.

  3. confusedponderer says:

    Just to add some bad news about it … (a bad habit, I know) … yesterday I read that there has been a case with COVID-19 being transmitted from a human to a dog.
    More entertaining is likely that Trump has declared that, because of COVID-19, he hasn’t touched his face in three weeks. It is unknown whether rested his chin on his hand when saying that. He surely takes his unwanted hygiene advise to the rest of the world serious.
    Trump has also declared that he will, sort of generous, donate a quarter of his annual presidential salary to research of the COVID-19 virus – that is, 100.000 $. Wow.
    Now, it’s not as if he isn’t getting some of that back – after all there was that “golf club some person protection visit thing” with a the secret service bill demanding some 5000 $ just for the booze consumed during the weekend. It means just 20 visits there and he’s “clean”, strictly rhetorically
    That said, just to put that in the right perspective: Trump says he is so rich that he cannot count all that money. Now, there is another man in the US who has a reputation of being really really rich, a more quiet person though.
    That’s this Mr. Bill Gates. He has iirc declared he’d donate 100 million $ for the research of the corona virus, 1000x as much as Trump, and, amusingly, likely what Gates earns in iirc ~ 4,5 days.
    And even more amusing, there is an unspeakable Schlager singer here in Germany who yesterday shared his wisdom with the media, saying – sadly no joke – that of the real daft dumbies he is the most intelligent. Alas.

  4. JJackson says:

    Thanks Walrus
    SST has wondered into an area I do know about and I would be happy to answer any questions or provide links to data you need.
    A couple of minor points.
    The first sequence (WH01) was created in China but up loaded to virologica by an Australian colleague who had an account there at their request, not that that matters.
    Pangolins are unlikely to have been the intermediate host. Random genetic mutations occur at a reasonably steady rate and in RNA viruses (flu, COVID) this is very fast. The MRCA (most recent common ancestor) for covid can be calculated as being a few months old but the MRCA for SL betaCOV bat sequences, and the pangolins, is a few decades ago so there is likely to be a genetic reservoir we have not found yet that accounts for missing time period.
    Re the 10 times as many unreported cases I would not put too much faith in the submerged portion bringing down the CFR substantially. As the Hubei cases have fallen from 2000+ per day to 1 or 2 hundred they have had capacity to widen their testing to contacts and very mild suspect cases. Sadly they are not seeing the hoped for asymptomatic population. Serology tests will give a more accurate answer, and are underway, but are not performed until a month or more post infection to allow time for antibody build up.
    I wrote a much more detailed explanation of the Epidemiology, testing system, virology etc. here (posted 1st Jan) and two follow ups as the situation changed first to a downward trend in China and again, recently, as cases outside China moved into an exponential phase currently doubling once every 6 days (graph in current WHO update link below).
    This one is to the WHO daily situation reports with graphs & tables giving updates by country.

  5. Ulenspiegel says:

    “The researchers believe that the virus originated in Bats (notorious RNA Coronavirus carriers) and then infected Wuhan wet market produce – Pangolins, which then infected people. ”
    That is according to experts very likely not true. The Pangolin story is complete bogus, the original source still unclear.

  6. Serge says:

    Worrying thing about one of the first Israeli cases is that he tested positive in Japan, was “fully recovered” and tested negative, then back in Israel became “reinfected” and tested positive again.

  7. JJackson says:

    As we do not have a full seasons data we do not know. The bat virus does seem to show some seasonality. As you say it seems to be doing fine in both hemispheres but his is not unusual in a novel pathogen as the advantage gained in no one having any immunity is out weighing the seasonal effect.
    Epidemiological all the first cluster contact information points to the market being the common denominator but there is no smoking gun. WH01, the first sequence, is genetically distinct from all other sequences and had no decedents.
    The virus in Italy has no significant genetic changes, are no Iranian sequences yet but several new ones are added daily (176 whole genomes at GISAID this morning). The exponential growth will due to poor containment leading to late treatment in an unprepared environment. The spike is covered in some detail in the virology section linked to in my first post.
    Israel has reported 15 case 3 new yesterday.

  8. J says:

    COVID19 also can infect the victim through a person’s eyes. The sphere you want to avoid is up to 6 feet away from a known victim or one you suspect has/is a carrier of COVID19.
    The commercial masks that have been flying off store shelves worldwide are a waste of time and money, they’re nothing more than expensive rags. Now if you’ve got the personal funds for a full up HAZMAT suit, go for it.
    Cleanliness is one’s best armor.

  9. walrus says:

    J Jackson, I saw an image of dead Pangolins, laid out for sale,together with the verbal comment that the place was swimming in virus. Liquids from dead animals were loaded with the virus. That is what we know.
    I know not of virology, but I do know what I heard from an unimpeachable source regarding cases and CFR. I do know that there has been a concerted international effort since 31 Dec to get on top of this thing. This was laid out today although I may have not described it correctly.
    Charlotte – don’t worry. None of your concerns are real. The “HIV insertions” are a bad joke – like saying ” my boat has a propeller, aircraft have propellers, therefore my boat is an aircraft”, hundreds of virii have minute chunks in common.
    London Bob – the weather effect is described as open warm airy piazzas versus pokey humid overheated rooms in winter. The infectivity isn’t expected to change but in summer people spread out.
    B, you are a malicious nationalistic, unhelpful, idiot. The press release you mention is dated 11 January. I told you the researchers made their discovery of the new virus on 10 January as a result of very fast work by a number of researchers including the dutch experts on SARS. The initial key to this was the Australian wide spectrum tests which are purposely designed to identify the TYPE of virus. They were brought in by WHO precisely to settle this matter. The rest of the existing coronavirus tests are specific to individual virii and showed nothing.
    They also sequenced it and got it growing in culture by 29 Jan. The electron microscope images were shown. I don’t have time to explain or reveal sources, or get into a length contest. Suffice to say, you are way out of your league and your comment is both wrong and unhelpful, I also told you my recollection isn’t perfect.

  10. walrus says:

    There will be no further comments from me.

  11. Calvin Keeler says:

    Thank you Walrus. Well done. As a molecular virologist who studies avian coronaviruses, I too have been following this situation closely. One potentially positive finding is that there are two genetic forms of the virus (L and S). The early cases in China seem to have been caused by the L type, which appears to be more pathogenic. The S form (which actually predates the L form) is less aggressive and is the form is starting to be seen more frequently (30%). Also, encouraging to see clinical trials starting in China and Minnesota on a possible treatment, a nucleotide analogue that interferes with the virally encoded RNA dependent RNA polymerase. (Actually developed for Ebola and shown to have efficacy against SARS and MERS in animal models.)

  12. English Outsider says:

    Walrus, with reference to J’s comment about masks – and in the best tradition of unsupported anecdotal evidence, so very much at the other end of the scale from your briefing – I’m told that pharmacists here in England are saying the masks are only useful if worn by an infected person in order to prevent transmission to others.
    Except of course if someone knows they’re infected they shouldn’t be wandering around anyway. Maybe to avoid infecting carers etc. But from what you relate about the virus hanging about on surfaces, maybe gloves are more to the point.
    Thank you for your account, and for taking the trouble to set it out. I don’t expect your people had the time to look at broad trends, but in your view are we going to have to expect these world wide epidemics to occur regularly?

  13. Kenneth Alonso, MD says:

    The S spike in this virus is not found in any other coronavirus (thus, novel).
    As reported from Scripps, it is possible this novelty did arrive from passage to another host not identified or that it arose from serial passage in many hosts in a short time frame and reflects an expected evolutionary thread.
    However, the possibility of genetic engineering cannot be discarded based on the objective evidence presented to date.

  14. d74 says:

    Charlotte Danan, I propose another explanation and a conclusion. They seem serious, though as speculative as your website.
    Israel has a long experience in fighting a special virus: the Arab virus without crown.
    It has therefore fought against the corona with the success that 70 years of experience gives.
    If the good Israeli figures are confirmed, Israel will have added preventive explosives (shells, rockets, etc.) to a hitherto rather poor anti-corona arsenal.

  15. Amir says:

    Iranian government sent millions of masks & disinfectants to China when the Wuhan outbreak became public; leaving Iran with depleted stocks. That might have not contributed to the outbreak in Iran but surely is hindering the treatment: http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/02/03/617788/www.presstv.tv
    For those who want a non-Iranian source:

  16. j. casey says:

    Thank you for the report. One question: Isn’t a three-species jump — bats to pangolin to human — in such short a time highly improbable, to put it mildly, perhaps unprecedented?

  17. anon says:

    Thanks for info.great advice.shortage of toilet paper and hand sanitizer in Australia.I am wearing rubber gloves coated with vaseline.Be prepared is my motto.

  18. Brendan says:

    Has anyone read this, and can comment on any possible relation to what is going on now? “A SARS-like cluster of circulating bat coronaviruses shows potential for human emergence” – https://www.nature.com/articles/nm.3985
    Walrus, that was a pretty micro-aggressive attack on b. He never used any ad hominem attacks on you, but just posted what he believes is contradictory evidence. Have you investigated the claims presented at that private meeting, or did you just accept it as gospel like most people did with the weapons of mass destruction that was presented by experts?

  19. blue peacock says:

    Isn’t there a national pandemic plan? It is not that this is not a possibility when even Netflix has a show about it.
    It seems the CDC, NIH and the health care system in general is caught flat-footed as if they are surprised and didn’t have a plan to execute. It looks like another Katrina moment highlighting an unprecedented level of incompetence.
    This begs the question where the trillions of dollars in annual healthcare expenditures including funding of ever growing national institutions goes?

  20. D says:

    Update: …”ADM Brett P. Giroir, M.D., a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), reported today that the mortality rate of the coronavirus is likely between 0.1% and 1%.
    That would put it somewhere between being comparable to the flu and up to six times more lethal, but nowhere near the mortality rate that’s been reported thus far.
    The reason it is now believed by medical professionals who are examining the data that the mortality rate is lower than reported is because there are likely many more people infected than what’s publicly known.
    The disease is turning out to be so mild in some that they do not display symptoms before their body beats it. Others get mildly ill and do not go to the doctor at all. …”

  21. fanto says:

    My grandfather died in late 1917 of Spanish Flue, in prime of his life, early 40s, was healthy and robust. He died within 3 days of onset of symptoms. The story that it affected the young and healthy, robust male individuals I heard from my both parents, and other sources confirm this anecdotal observation that people between 20-40 years of age were the most victims.
    the current COVID-19 pandemic has different “profile”, seemingly.

  22. Bobo says:

    You stimulated a good discussion and I learned a lot and Thanks to those with the technical expertise that chimed in, as usual SST brings in the best.
    Now the 1,000th, 10,000th and 100,000th case in the USA is just around the corner. We all know our government agencies are slow to get going but the momentum is happening thus have faith and stay safe.

  23. Terence Gore says:

    mortality rate best estimates between .1 and 1%
    as per Adm. Brett Giroir asst secretary at HHS

  24. Terence Gore says:

    Whatever you do don’t touch your face!!!

  25. Fred says:

    Our “career professionals” know best. Just look at the jack#@@ who let the folks fly back from Japan did on his owm “executive authority”; just like LTC Vindman, they know best.

  26. Stephen Wiggins says:

    “One question: Isn’t a three-species jump — bats to pangolin to human — in such short a time highly improbable, to put it mildly, perhaps unprecedented?”
    Hendra virus – Flying foxes to horses to humans, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henipavirus

  27. Antoinetta III says:

    I have an old US Navy Mark-IV gas-mask lying somewhere about. Would this be any protection against the virus?
    Antoinetta III

  28. JJackson says:

    Blue peacock
    US pandemic plan https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=2ahUKEwjn1uTTsojoAhXRVsAKHSryDfEQFjABegQIDBAE&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fflu%2Fpandemic-resources%2Fpdf%2Fpan-flu-report-2017v2.pdf&usg=AOvVaw2F8rwLZ6fLnsWrBqVTY3mw
    Once community transmission starts it is normal to have an epidemic growth phase. This is due to the virus circulating below the radar prior to identification of the first case. The second gen cases will start appearing after one incubation cycle (3-14 days) and so on for gen 3,4 etc.
    It takes time get your contact tracing up to speed and start isolating carriers before they become infectious. Up to this point it is nothing the authorities can really be blamed for. Too slow on the containment and the clusters just burn out of control and now you can start questioning why your government failed to achieve what the Chinese managed. Italy, S Korea, the US and host of European countries are all in this phase. All the Chinese provinces have been through it but none are in it now. Again see the post which I will re link below as the it covers much of the the epidemiology and testing regime and how they operate to produce the R(0), CFR and CAR.
    Brendan & Dr. Alonso
    See link below as it looks at the Spike protein in some detail including models of the SARS, MERS and COVID S(Spike) proteins
    and a complete table of all the SL bat AA sequences and COVID across S’s RBD (receptor binding domain). There is also a graph plotting the bat sequences and COVID across their entire 30,000 nucleotides so you can see where they vary. In the text I try and explain their significance. It also discusses the ACE2 receptor binding which is in Brendan’s Nature paper. For those of you who who are happy working with sequence data and phylogenetic analysis try the Nextstrain link which is a tool for displaying the GISAID sequence data. it is intuitive. If you are a clinician and happy with drug protein interactions then follow the first link and a few posts down you will find a link to a 80 page pdf which covers the off label use of the drugs currently in trials and how, and where, they interact with their target proteins and how the functionally equivalent COVID domains differ at the sequence and tertiary protein structure level as the Spike undergoes conformational change.
    I have been push gloves for years in the flu season. They do not need to be surgical, leather gloves will do. The problem is virus picked up from hard surfaces are then transferred to the eyes, nose and mouth by your hands. Scratching an itch or rubbing your eyes are subconscious actions and very difficult to train yourself not to do. If you have gloves on then it will become a conscious action as your brain tells you sticking a glove in your eye is not a good idea.
    j casey
    The short time between bats (or pangolins) to COVID, one of this beta CoV’s human versions with SARS and MERS being the others, is 30ish years. For an RNA virus this is plenty of time to make those changes. Sequences from wild animals are rare and take a lot of effort to collect so it is no great surprise that we do not have these missing links. Again discussed in more detail at the link. It is only because they went looking for the source after SARS that we have the bat sequences at all.

  29. different clue says:

    After wearing gloves as a reminder to not touch one’s face, is there a powerful on-contact virus killer one can “wash and scrub” the gloves with when getting ready to take them off and put them down somewhere that is KNOWN to be virus-free?
    Charlotte Danan,
    “Thus, it seems that, in the end, behaves like a neuro-chemical agent, isn´t it…?
    No, it isn’t. In fact, to my purely layman’s amateur science buff mind, it is actually very clear that it ISN’T
    and it DOESN’T.
    Also, it seems both obvious and apparent to me that nobody here ever claimed it WAS a “simple flu” because everybody here knows better than to confuse “influenza” with “coronavirus” to begin with. Everybody except you,
    perhaps? Though if you can offer written proof that somebody here on these threads sought to foster a confusion between coronavirus and a “simple flu”, I will read any written proof that you can show.

  30. turcopolier says:

    The whole “Danan” operation is just a troll factory. I post their thing occasionally for the purpose pf providing foils for you all.

  31. Jack says:

    “Up to this point it is nothing the authorities can really be blamed for.”
    Could the government have done more to test and quarantine those that traveled to China when it was evident there was a problem in China? I’ve heard of several people who have traveled from China, Korea and Italy recently who were neither tested nor quarantined.
    Could CDC have done more to inform the public on precautionary measures when the outbreak was first reported in Wuhan?
    I get my healthcare through Kaiser. As of today I have not received any communication from them on precautionary measures.
    We have the most expensive healthcare system in the world, yet we can’t test at scale. South Korea has tested 160,000 people. We have tested less than 1,500. As I noted earlier, my grandson is a physician at a VA facility. They have zero test kits. Yesterday they were informed that they can’t see any patients unless they test negative. With no testing available at their facility, he can’t see any of his patients.
    To me it looks like a major SNAFU. Massive incompetence. And all kinds of excuses being proffered.

  32. Jack,
    I was wondering what the VA was doing since I have to go to the VA hospital in Richmond in two weeks. I got this email today. Since none of my appointments have been cancelled, I gather the Central Virginia VA system is not stopping patient treatment without the COVID-19 test.
    “Beginning Tuesday, March 9, 2020, at 6:00 a.m., the Central Virginia VA Health Care System will begin screening all guests and employees at select entrances across the facility and our community clinics. All patients coming to the facility for an appointment should plan to arrive approximately one hour early, as we expect some delays in entry to the facility. Additionally, the valet service at our main entrance will cease operation to help mitigate any potential coronavirus transmissions among our Veteran population.
    Please know that our Veterans’ health will remain our top priority as we work to limit the spread of viruses.”
    I imagine the screening will consist of a series of health and travel questions and nothing beyond that unless this initial screening warrants further action. Without the test kits, I don’t know what this further action would entail. I’m going to the Fredericksburg VA clinic on Monday so I’ll let everyone know how the screening goes.

  33. walrus says:

    The current Coronavirus tests produce a lot of false negatives. In addition infected people can be almost asymptomatic. We have a case here today, a doctor (GP) returned from the USA last week with a minor cold that was already resolving.
    He has treated 70+ patients and for curiosity had the test on Thursday even though he did not meet testing criteria – it is positive.
    It’s therefore difficult to see what mass testing would have achieved and in any case I guess it’s now academic.

  34. JJackson says:

    dc re the gloves. Mine are leather and absorbent so I do not use anything. I place them on a window sill by the front door when I come home in the vain hope that the sunshine UV will help (fat chance in the north of England in winter). If they can be wiped then anything with 65%+ alcohol will work. I am not trying to achieve BSL lab conditions just minimizing a common infection route.
    Jack The US is going to get a large spike of cases shortly as until the 28th Feb the CDC had only tested 500 cases. In the UK we used 2500 tests to find 9 positive cases. In a chat between a NY infectious disease specialist to a 1000 MD practice in the NY area, with a virologist, they discussed the current feed back he was getting from Doctors and most of the cases they are fairly sure are going to be CoV are not getting tested due to lack of capacity. NY (and other states) have been allowed to develop their own tests (slight relaxation of the rules) due to the problems CDC have had in getting them a working test. Could the US have done more, I am sure we all could have done better but this is the biggest public heath problem the world has suffered for over a century and it is going to be a steep learning curve for all. It was relatively easy to check everyone coming from Wuhan at the outset but China has a far lower disease burden per cap then most other countries today and is no longer a place you need worry about. Today Italy and Egypt seem to be coming up as the countries exporting cases, tomorrow who knows.

  35. JJackson says:

    All – my apologies the link I provide yesterday was to the 80 page pdf not my 2000 word post which can be found here.

  36. JJackson says:

    TTG re your hospital visit there has been a confirmed case today in a marine from Fort Belvoir with a second presumptive positive in Fairfax. He has been hospitalised but I do not know where. Updates will probably be posted here https://flutrackers.com/forum/forum/-2019-ncov-new-coronavirus/united-states-2019-ncov/virginia-covid-19/834810-1st-case-in-va-confirmed
    Walrus the Dr. in the interview I referenced above also says they are having great difficulty developing an algorithm for doctors to use to decide who to prioritise for testing. The symptoms set matches their normal case load at this time of year. It is only later in disease progression that it begins to diverge by which point they have been shedding virus for days.
    Interview podcast. http://www.microbe.tv/twiv/

  37. JJackson,
    SWMBO heard that on the 11 o’clock news last night and hollered/relayed it to me since I was already upstairs. Our oldest son lives in Alexandria and works on Belvoir. Happily he’s spending the long weekend alone in a cabin in a West Virginia State Park taking part in a HAM competition. He revels in the solitude. The Marine recently returned from overseas and is being treated at the hospital at Belvoir. I don’t know if he will be transferred elsewhere. The Fairfax case is in his 80s and recently returned from a Nile cruise.
    I received an email from my alumni group this morning about “social distancing protocols” being implemented on campus.
    There are no confirmed or suspected cases on campus at this time. In an abundance of caution, the following social distancing protocols were implemented:
    – All public events with 50 or more attendees that include participation of outside individuals are cancelled.
    – All internal seminars with external speakers will be considered on a case-by-case basis with input from an occupational physician and/or the Student Health Center.
    – All Rensselaer community members are asked not to attend large external events in the local area.
    These protocols will remain in place until they are rescinded by the Institute. All classes will continue on a normal schedule.”
    I think a wider use of such social distancing and quarantine procedures would be good way of getting a handle on the spread of COVID-19. I see Italy is starting a drastic and far reaching quarantine. Perhaps we could do something similar. The temporary closure of international air travel might be a good start. Trump could do that in conjunction with closing the northern and southern borders. Of course this would cause economic disruption especially in the travel, hotel and entertainment industries. And that’s the rub. I bet the “powers that be” are perfectly willing to accept thousands of deaths for continued profits. The political and corporate will for risking profits or doing the right thing is very weak. It’s too bad. I think our society would greatly benefit from a little enforced solitude.
    Finally, thanks JJackson and Walrus for your information and comments on this subject.

  38. J says:

    COVID19 has killed the ‘Butcher of Tehran’ Mohammad Haj Abolghasemi, 71, leader of the Basji forces affiliate of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Abolghasemi was an intelligence officer and battalion commander in the Basij. Abolghasemi died Tuesday.

  39. J says:

    China’s COVID19 recovery is ‘all fake,’ whistleblowers and residents claim.

  40. walrus says:

    Thank you to JJackson for his continuing advice. I am now out of my depth technically.
    I am trying to work with some more experienced neighbours and friends to develop and implement our own local “pandemic plan”. Our town council should take the lead but for various good reasons that appears unlikely.

  41. blue peacock says:

    South Korea is the model. They tested aggressively and isolated people. Over 160,000 people tested, identified 7,300 people infected with 50 fatalities.
    Our numbers will be much higher because we haven’t yet started testing large numbers of people. We are not going to be able to start containment until we start testing at scale and isolating those infected even if they’re asymptomatic.
    CDC should have acted the first week of January. In the US politics and media relations play a bigger role than actually getting the job done.

  42. J says:

    Another note of interest, it seems that ‘Sister Mary’ Masoumeh Ebtekar has tested positive with COVID19. Ebtekar first achieved her infamy as “Mary”, the mouthpiece of those who took American hostages and occupied our Embassy in 1979.

Comments are closed.