March 17, 2020

Do any of you who are reading this actually have Covid-19?

If you do, how are you thinking about yourself? As a person of future immunity who will have a special power to help the rest of us who are trying to help by not getting the disease?

I imagine that, like those of us who are sheltering in place, trying not to get the disease, your early thoughts concentrate on yourself. Take care, weather the storm, hope that you don't decline to the level where you need to consume medical resources or where the pathway to death becomes very real.

But then, wouldn't you think of the future, the other side of the disease, where you are empowered with immunity?

How will the People of Immunity step into the potential to do good in this special era?

114 comments:

Darrell said...

Does Blogger test us?

Ralph L said...

Is this promised immunity absolute?

gilbar said...

back in the end of January, through the middle of Feb
i had EVERY symptom (even the 'surge' and the pneumonia ), but OF COURSE; i didn't have Covid-19
'cause i wasn't exposed to anyone from mainland china

two weeks later, my dad (with whom i hadn't had contact since xMass) had EVERY symptom (even the 'surge' and the pneumonia ), but OF COURSE; he didn't have Covid-19
'cause he wasn't exposed to anyone from mainland china

currently, my sister and BIL (with whom i hadn't had contact since xMass) have EVERY symptom (except the 'surge' and the pneumonia, YET ), but OF COURSE; they don't have Covid-19
'cause they weren't exposed to anyone from mainland china

I'd be SUPER CURIOUS to find out what it would show if MOST of the people in the country were tested

JAFC said...

The woman in the office next to me has it, so I'm waiting to find out.

Browndog said...

I knew "social distancing" would transform into "shelter in place".

Tank said...

Had a sore throat last night. Waiting to see if any other symptoms arrive. So far, no cough or fever.

born01930 said...

The People of Immunity who want to do good go to Boulder, the PoI who have bad intentions go to Vegas.

Fernandistein said...

As a health care provider, HIPAA prohibits me from releasing my own data.

I knew "social distancing" would transform into "shelter in place".

And "shelter in place" is turning into "lockdown".

The first two terms seem prissy, the last one creepy, i.e. when they started applying "lockdown" to schools in addition to prisons, where it belongs.

stevew said...

I don't know. Every cough and sneeze makes me suspicious. My body temperature is steady at its usual level. If I have it I'm asymptomatic.

Good friend of my son & DIL was diagnosed on Saturday. They've not been in physical contact with him for a month or more. He's mid to late 30's. He and his family (wife and two kids) are quarantined.

No war talk among them. Resignation and humor.

Curious George said...

Don't have it, and don't know anyone who does. Haven't talked to anyone who knows someone who does. But great post Althouse, with the coming financial Armageddon, I've thought that those who survive will be those who get sick first and gain immunity. They are the new Superman. I'm sure people like you would pay well to only interface with Those who have made it to the other side.

Fernandistein said...

"coronavirus" "lockdown"

Curious George said...

"stevew said...
I don't know. Every cough and sneeze"

Sneezing isn't a symptonm. Dry steady cough.

Otto said...

As suggested by my son, send a check to your cleaning lady even though you are in confinement, have someone clean your lawn, have meals delivered, etc to support local businesses.

Kevin said...

Were the reality TV generation. We know immunity only lasts until the next episode.

Leslie Graves said...

If I had survived the disease and was immune to it, yes, I would be glad to then be someone who could get out and about and help in ways that folks can’t who are staying at home.

On a different topic, I am bothered that so much of the talk about the impact on people has to do with people who are staying locked down at home. (And good for them.)

I worry about blue collar workers in jobs where their boss cannot tell them, “Hey go home and work from home.” Their boss can’t tell them that because their job requires hands-on labor. These are the folks running the cash registers at the grocery stores, healthcare workers, the people driving trucks and on and on.

If I were one of these people, the fact that my plight has seemingly gone mostly unnoticed by people who are going on Twitter to complain about being lonely and bored and having to deal with having their school-age children home with them would cause me to have very uncharitable reflections on those folks, except I wouldn’t have time to mull over that, since I’d be doing the hands-on work that keeps them alive.

Kevin said...

It hasn’t been proven that people who have recovered have immunity or if they do, how long it lasts. People are assuming so because viruses and antibodies often behave this way, but they don’t always.

Paco Wové said...

Interesting question, given that the Althouse commentariat demographic reputedly skews older and male, and therefore seems like prime partying grounds for Corona-chan. Don't have any symptoms, don't know anyone who does (as of this morning, anyway). Had a brief but mild cold after a bit of airline travel at the end of January, but that's it.

Temujin said...

Consume medical resources?

If I did have it (which I might), and if I had it enough that I was feeling very sick, I doubt that I would be worrying about consuming medical resources. I suspect I would be worrying about getting help. Getting medical care. Which apparently we're now calling consuming medical resources. Sounds so...NIH to me.

Big Mike said...

Do any of you who are reading this actually have Covid-19?

Don’t know, but probably not. I am just getting over a nasty cold but no fever, cough was not a dry cough, and no shortness of breath. Wife had had sinusitis, then also got my cold, but worse. Took her to the doctor, who did not even test her for COVID-19 because — same thing — no fever (well, fever but less than half a degree), productive cough, and no shortness of breath. Maybe we have a very mild case of COVID-19? Doctor seems to think we merely have the normal winter cold. I suspect he’s right.

Next question. Does having a normal cold — also typically caused by a corona virus — provide any degree of inoculation effect for COVID-19? Nothing I’d bet my life on, that’s for sure.

Mary Beth (the commenter) said...

It's funny, I was thinking about just this thing shortly after I woke up this morning. I had a bit of a cough and I briefly wondered what I would be able to do to help out if I was immune when the worst of it hit my area. "Briefly" because I'm pretty sure the cough is from all the flowers blooming here and not from COVID-19.

Browndog said...

First, we have to isolate those with the virus to contain the hot spots. Then, we have to isolate everyone to flatten the curve. Then we have to lock down everyone because everyone is a carrier, and it's the only way to save grandpa.

Everything is on lock down for 2 weeks. Then, just cross April off the calendar, we're into May. Whoops--make that late summer, so strike June and part of July.

Yes, by then we'll be able to come up for air. But don't worry, we'll all pick up right where we left off. In a world that has changed forever.

Jupiter said...

The WaPo has some visual simulations, intended to show how "flattening the curve" might work. They consist of little blue dots, that bounce into each other. At the start, one of them is brown, showing that he has the Plague. When a blue dot bounces off a brown one, he turns brown too. After a dot has been brown for a while, he turns purple, showing that he has recovered. In the control case, they bounce around a lot, and pretty quickly they are almost all brown. With "social distancing" turned on, many are purple while lots of others are still blue.

But I noticed that in all cases, at the end of the simulation, there were no blue dots. They were all purple. Everybody got Plague eventually. I wonder if that is accurate. In the accompanying article, it was pointed out that the simulation would be more accurate if some of the brown dots disappeared, instead of turning purple.

MN Irish said...

It is important to note that there is still widespread influenza activity , as well as RSV, and recently here in Minnesota there has even been a small outbreak of pertussis (91 cases). That's why so many people who think they have coronavirus test negative. Of course the occurrence of all these diseases will be reduced by our current social distancing measures.

RMc said...

Sneezing isn't a symptom.

Yeah, but people don't realize that. I have allergies, and I'm afraid if I sneeze in public, somebody will yell, "Christ on a cracker, he's got it! Shoot 'im, pa, shoot 'im...!!"

YoungHegelian said...

I don't have it now (yet?), but I'm starting that suspect that I was an "early adopter" and that I had it the week of 2/10.

I had the cough, high fever (102.8 for a couple of hours), and was absolutely exhausted, sleeping up to 20 hrs a day. It lasted about a week.

This is actually possible, because one of my clients is a biotech firm, and about 1/3 of the employees on the floor are Chinese. I'm also out & about in Rockville, MD all the time, & Rockville is full of Chinese.

I went to a walk-in on 2/10, right at the beginning of the illness, for some Tamiflu. I tested negative for flu, but the doctor said that it's common for there to be false negatives at the beginning of infection.

When I check the symptoms on-line, I think I has COVID-19. When I listen to the symptoms listed by recovered patients, I don't hear a lot in common. The symptoms listed by the CDC versus those described by patients are quite different.

So, what now? Not much. The only thing a test would tell me is that I have the antibodies. How did I get the antibodies? Did I have the illness & recover? Did I get the infection since 2/15 & shake it off? Or, do I have antibodies and am about to come down with symptoms? Who knows....?

h said...

In my suburban neighborhood of 4-500 families, the local listserve sent out an offer of help to any neighbor who needs it -- for example to run errands for a person or household who is self-isolating. So far, no takers. Somebody ran the numbers here a few days ago: currently 4661 confirmed cases in the population of 335 million. I understand the fear/expectation that the 4661 number is artifically low -- it certainly doesn't count the people who have the virus but are asympomatic (50% of all who have the virus), and probably doesn't count the people who are still waiting out the days !! before their test results come back.

Browndog said...

Yeah, but people don't realize that. I have allergies, and I'm afraid if I sneeze in public, somebody will yell, "Christ on a cracker, he's got it! Shoot 'im, pa, shoot 'im...!!"

This short video rant by a Tennessee nurse about what she just witnessed at the grocery store makes this point. it's also hilarious.

MayBee said...

Leslie Graves said...

I agree, Leslie. I see a lot of middle class and upper middle class people sheltering in place and expecting the "helper" workers to keep working. I mean, it puts a different spin on social distancing. I mean, I'm fine with anyone who keeps working. I would have kept working, but my business was closed by the governor. I suspect our governor is one of the women who wants the Biden VP slot.

clint said...

Same experience as Gilbar and others.

There was a bad chest cold -- fever for a few days, bad cough with shortness of breath that lingers for many weeks -- that started going around back in December and January. Lots of people I know have had it, and seem to be recovered or recovering well.

Was that an early, mild version of this coronavirus? Was it a different coronavirus, or a rhinovirus or a flu? We'll probably never know. A lot of my family was already self-quarantining out of courtesy, not wanting to spread their chest colds to other people.


MayBee said...

Oh and no I don't have it. I had a bit of a sore throat, but no fever. I think I know people who had it earlier this winter, and I was around them all the time.

AllenS said...

I'm not worried. I'm in good health. Later today, I'll leave my bunker and go to the steel distributor and pick up my order.

I used to work in a factory and here's what the situation is like for these workers now. If you think that you have the virus, the company will tell you to go to the doctor and get checked out. If you don't test positive for this virus or any other problem, you will be instructed to get your ass back to work or be fired. If say you tested positive, and are unable to give where you work actual documentation that you have/had the virus, you'll be looking for a new job.

I want everyone to get the fuck back to work, and that includes these rich sports people. Flu outbreaks have been worse than this shit, and we didn't fold like a bunch of pansies and run and hide. This is media hype, because they hate Trump.

Wipe your ass with the last piece of toilet paper that you have, and get the fuck back into society.

Browndog said...

Not to mention this is the worst time of year. Coming off a long winter, not quite spring yet. Cooped up in the house, no fresh air in months (when was the last time you changed your furnace filter?)

Change of season always affects some people's health, mine included. I haven't felt good in a week. If I didn't know i get like this every year at this time I would be certain I have corona virus. Hell, maybe I do.

Big Mike said...

(when was the last time you changed your furnace filter?)

Last Thursday.

Tom said...

I was supposed to travel (by car) to be onsite with a client (big manufacturer). That’s cancelled for the foreseeable future.

Basically, my small business is canceled. We’ve been busy since we opened in 2013. If this lasts a few weeks or even a couple of months, we’ll be okay. If this lasts several months, people like me will start losing houses.

I guess my job search began yesterday.

Birches said...

There's a lady in our congregation tested negative for everything else so they told her to assume she has it. I'm skeptical because if she caught it somehow, half the state must already have it. Either there isn't Mass death like China or Italy or she's just got another virus.

Milo Minderbinder said...

I actually have a watching-the-media-Covid19-hysteria illness. Our daughters in Oregon and Texas have forbidden us to venture outside, bless their little hearts. But, we live in an area with twice as many deer and elk as people. So, spending as much time outside on the deck as possible.
https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/coronavirus-australia-queensland-researchers-find-cure-want-drug-trial/news-story/93e7656da0cff4fc4d2c5e51706accb5

Question of the day: isn't this the perfect time to refinance all US debt for 50 years at 1%?

Rusty said...

Both the kids called to check up on mom and dad.
Here I am worried because they're in Cali.

AllenS said...

Let me go all historical on everyone. Do you know that destroyed the Native American Indians in this country? Disease, that's what. They had never been exposed to measles and all of those other exotic diseases, so they had not built up their immune system to them.

Ok? Share your toilet paper with your neighbor, but not if you have used it.

YoungHegelian said...

A point to remember is that when South Korea recently started broad testing of symptomatic patients, 94% had some other respiratory illness rather than COVID-19.

Browndog said...

Could it be that the government didn't want to test initially because they were afraid of how many people had corona and would panic the nation, and now they don't want to test because it will show how few people have corona now that they have all their controls in place?

rehajm said...

Yeah, but people don't realize that. I have allergies, and I'm afraid if I sneeze in public, somebody will yell, "Christ on a cracker, he's got it! Shoot 'im, pa, shoot 'im...!!"

I rode on a plane last week and over three hours the humans were all silent except for a single cough. A couple trips to the head. Everyone was concerned of being shunned...

...was on the phone with a client when he learned of a confirmed case in his office. Can you catch it over the phone?

rehajm said...

...and get the fuck back into society

This sentiment from AllenS and a few others here is valid. Suddenly mandating a stopping of the global economy for a more than few weeks also has serious consequences to everyone's health.

Michael said...

There will be a lot of sore scratchy throats given it is allergy season. Loads of people will freak out. Loads. Read that there are twelve (12) critical cases in the US. Huge. Swarming the emergency rooms. Shelter. In. Place. Help.

Jersey Fled said...

Best way to check is simply to take your temperature.

No fever, no covid-19

tcrosse said...

This link appears at Instapundit this morning. The point of it is that even if you are self-isolating it's healthy to get outside for some fresh air and sunshine. Or even to take pictures of the sunrise over Lake Mendota.
Get out of the damn house now and then

Tim Wolter said...

Here's the question that so far does not seem to have an answer.

In the US there are always large numbers of viral swabs collected each winter. Some of these are in organized programs. My clinic was a formal "influneza sentinal site" and I swabbed a lot of folks especially the weird and untimely cases. Also of course very mysterious/dramatic deaths get studied closely.

So....what does "look back" sampling say was happening in January? With hopefully accurate tests this is a "knowable" thing.

I have not seen this reported. It would tell us much.

I suspect the arrival in strength of the covid infection has been quite recent. I assume the powers that be know this. What else would persuade the administration to blow up the US economy to counter it?

Probably a form of good news btw. If it has been everywhere for weeks then the next couple of weeks will be Bad JuJu.

Bummer that there has also been late influenza, it muddies the picture a great deal. Ditto for unreliable tests. A bad test is really not better than no test.

TW

JML said...

Good news! I just sneezed. Twice. So far so good! I do have one employee in Phoenix who self quarantined after visits from two friends who got in from a cruise ship who ended up testing positive. No word on his test yet. I'm retiring in two weeks - investments took a hit but my mental health needs to get out of the job. It will be fine though - we get good pinto beans here in New Mexico.

Oso Negro said...

@Browndog - I think there was no widespread testing because there was limited means to do so. The rich and powerful are ones you hear about getting test results. An interesting question is "has anyone on this blog been specifically tested for this virus?"

robother said...

People of Immunity sounds so PC clunky. Not cool at all. Need something hipper: "I've got my Wu on!"

MadisonMan said...

Not me. Not that I know of. I leave the house as often as possible. I claim I'm an introvert, but I need to be out and about too.

daskol said...

My wife and I probably did have it: flu-like symptoms, me for almost a week, her for two days. I say we probably did because shortly after we got sick, and were already self-quarantining out of an abundance of caution a couple of weeks ago, we got word that my wife's colleague was in hospital with pneumonia. A fellow member of her church had tested positive for COVID-19, and she tested positive for COVID-19, so we appear to have been early adopters. Our kids, cooped up with us for almost two weeks already, had no symptoms at all. I'd be happy to take an antibody test to confirm that's what we had, so that we could, if necessary, assist at hospitals or elsewhere people are nervous to help out.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

No. No symptoms. No one that I know has been sick. I haven't heard of anyone being ill in our area.

However, if I were sick and recovered...how do I know I am actually immune and not a carrier. Typhoid Mary if you will. T here are no testing kits available locally.

Immunity would be good. Then I could do chores, shopping, deliver food for others.

We have a elderly friend (ha! older than us )who will be coming back from a 10 vacation in Hawaii. They are landing at LA, then to SF and then driving home. I have given my husband direction that he will NOT be having his regular twice a week breakfast until they have been back for 2 weeks at least and are symptom free. That means NO contact. Use the phone. Obey....Or else.

(Besides. I don't think the 2 restaurants we have in our area are even open anyway.)

tcrosse said...

Weather permitting, which it usually is, my wife and I (both in mid-70's) take about a mile and a half walk every afternoon. Here in our Las Vegas retirement community we can do so without coming within 50 yards of another person. It's a specific against the dreaded Cabin Fever, and helps me keep the old A1C down where it belongs.

wildswan said...

Yeah, but people don't realize that. I have allergies, and I'm afraid if I sneeze in public, somebody will yell, "Christ on a cracker, he's got it! Shoot 'im, pa, shoot 'im...!!"

I had some kind of flu and have taken forever to recover, intermittently having a "dry cough." I admit I am now deathly afraid of coughing in public. Before I leave the house I take a cough drop; and I take a few more with me. And I want to have a sign that says "regular flu cough, not IT, please do not be afraid of me" which I could display if I did cough. Only I know exactly how well that would work.

The kid I know who had corona has finished with fever and cough and all her symptoms but is still in quarantine, and is running around her yard playing and sitting on the car shouting across the fence to her friends.

I am thinking of calling IT WhoaFlu to show determination to end this threat. First, I thought of WuWhoaFlu which has a pleasing singing note but again, I know what would happen next.

Forty-seven days ago President Trump banned flights from China which, in the media, was nationalist, racist and bigoted and literally Hitler until yesterday when Canada and Germany banned flights. Now it's forgotten and, in the media, Trump isn't doing enough.

Static Ping said...

I got a cold about 3 weeks ago and am still nursing it. The symptoms were not any different than the cold I got a year ago or the cold I got two years before that. The "big three" Wuhan Virus symptoms are fever, cough, and trouble breathing. The only thing I got was the cough, and as I understand it the cough is usually dry and mine is not. So I probably don't have it, but it is possible I have a mild case. My work wants me to stay home anyway. I don't disagree with this, but it would have been nice if my coworkers who were coughing up a storm before I got sick had followed the same instructions.

Char Char Binks said...

If I have ChiCom-19, I'm asymptomatic.

Nonapod said...

I had... something a couple weeks ago. Overall if was very mild. Started as a sore throat that went away after a couple days, then I had a fever of 100.6 and stuffyness, but interestingly no cough at all and definitely no pneumonia. I self quaranteened for a bit and have social distanced ever since (which is pretty easy for me). The lack of a cough leads me to suspect that it wasn't Covid-19, but really who knows?

The problem is that the regular flu is also rampant this season, and the flu vaccine was generally no good this year since there was an unexpected strain that broke out. So that makes things rather unclear. As we all know, normally the flu vaccine reduces the likelihood of a person contracting the flu by a great deal, but it doesn't guarantee anything.



Static Ping said...

For the record, I would gladly take the test, if anyone though it useful. However, when I say I don't have a fever they probably wouldn't be interested in doing so.

Robert Cook said...

"...the Althouse commentariat demographic reputedly skews older and male...."

Make that "...older and male crank."

mandrewa said...

Unfortunately, coronaviruses mutate fast, faster than the influenza viruses anyway. So it may be that we don't really get immunity to this. Or the immunity is good only for a few months, and then you are ready to be re-infected again.

Shouting Thomas said...

My GP is director of infection control at the local hospital, as well as head of the Covid-19 response unit for the county.

He gave a video lecture recently on Covid-19.

He said that the vast majority of cases will produce minor or no symptoms, that most people who contract the disease will feel a little off, some will have minor flu symptoms for a couple of days, and most won't realize they had Covid-19.

I had a cough and cold last week. So, yeah, maybe I had Covid-19.

Meade said...

"Unfortunately, coronaviruses mutate fast, faster than the influenza viruses anyway."

That's what I'm afraid of. COVID-20 might already be circulating.

Meade said...

COVID-20a... COVID-20b...

Unknown said...

I think it's already spread throughout Denver. International airport, several month delay in notification, and a rash of sickness in January make it seem likely to me.

Sebastian said...

"How will the People of Immunity step into the potential to do good"

In fact, we need more People of Immunity. That's why the current "rules" don't make sense.

Bob Boyd said...

Make that "...older and male crank."

That's redundant ya big jerk.

Jake said...

I'm not convinced I didn't have it back in January.

Meade said...

I can see becoming a kind of Hiroo Onoda or Teruo Nakamura of WWII — hiding out for 29 years until my commander comes and formally relieves me of my duty.

Francisco D said...

My wife was really sick in February with symptoms matching COVID-19.

There was one night that she could barely breath. I almost took her to the ER, but she has medication used to treat asthma, which she has not experienced for 10 or more years. The medication helped and she recovered after about three weeks. It was far more severe than any flu or cold she has ever had.

She has contact with a lot of HS teenagers and suspects that is where she caught the bug. She believes that she had COVID-19 and the symptoms seem to match. I was less sick for about a week.

Who knows?

elkh1 said...

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/familyhealth/is-it-hay-fever-the-common-cold-or-coronavirus/ar-BB116XdF

Hay fever, cold, or CORVID-19

Mattman26 said...

It's beginning to feel like ManBearPig 2020.

Big scary disease that you (a) may not even notice you have; (b) may have you feeling crappy for a few days and then back to normal; or (c) may land you in the hospital with interstitial pneumonia and you may leave with a toe tag.

Have I covered all the big ones?

You could take "the test," but it's a test that tells you very little that may be useful for you (but may provide a basis for broader societal tea-leaf reading, but then again maybe not).

Let's for sure shut down everything and destroy the country's economic well being, and place enormous economic stresses on those who can least handle them.

Fritz said...

Forgive me if someone above has posted this, but I couldn't wade through it first. Willis Eschenbach, an occasional writer at Watts UP With That has evaluated the data from the Diamond Princess, the first cruise ship quarantined, and has what seems like good news:

Diamond Princess Mysteries

First, despite ample opportunity, 83% of the passengers and crew never got the disease. Age didn't make much difference. So, whether it was the isolation after the problem was discovered or a wide spread natural immunity to the virus, most people were spared. Either is good news for us, and dramatically cuts down the severity of our expectations.

Of those who got the disease 48% had no symptoms. Very young were largely spared symptoms. Starting at 20, many more showed symptoms, but it declined as they got older. Even older people had about a 50% of asymptomatic disease. This is bad for spreading it, but good for having it.



Mattman26 said...

Meade: COVID-20a... COVID-20b...

I think they were calling those numbers at my grocery deli counter yesterday.

mockturtle said...

Francisco D, when tests are more readily available, it might be a good idea for her to get tested for antibodies to the virus which would indicate that she had it. Useful information for her as well as for the researchers and public health community.

Mattman26 said...

Someone somewhere (I believe strongly in attribution) wrote the other day that in light of the myriad difficulties in tracking the basics of the disease (how many cases, rate of need for serious medical intervention, fatality rate), a smart move would be simply to track hospital admissions for pneumonia-related conditions. Any substantial changes as time passes, and any substantial deviations from historic norms, could be presumed to be COVID-19 related. Plus, it would be very informative as to the one thing we're apparently trying to accomplish by shutting down the country, i.e., not overwhelming the medical system's ability to treat those in need.

Phidippus said...

If we change our future behavior because of the virus, that means that the virus has won.

A Nation of free citizens will defy the virus!

Seriously, if one is known to have recovered from COVID-19, it might be nice to donate blood if it is shown that an antibody serum therapy is effective for people who have severe symptoms. I haven't heard of the medical authorities proposing this, which is understandable because so few people are being tested. In fact I don't know if there are any serum therapy trials in progress; there may be.

That doesn't count as a concession to the virus though, because we should be donating blood anyway, unless we're one of those who has led a nasty dirty life and is considered ineligible to donate for that reason.

Francisco D said...

@ mockturtle

Tat is an excellent idea. We are waiting for the wave to crest and the panic to subside.

I wonder how many people have had her symptoms (and my lesser symptoms). The CDC researchers will hopefully sample the population in order to find out the true death rate as well as the extent of contagion and immunity.

Marc said...

The People of Immunity who want to do good go to Boulder, the PoI who have bad intentions go to Vegas.

This made me smile.

mandrewa said...

Thanks Fritz, that is really good news. And Willis Eschenbach is a very clear thinker.

Rick said...

a smart move would be simply to track hospital admissions for pneumonia-related conditions.

Toward the end of January my 13 year old son was sick which eventually turned into pneumonia. Doctors didn't want to give him a chest XRay because this is so unusual in that age group, but it was giving him breathing problems so my wife successfully insisted. We asked the pediatrician to review the Xray in light of the coronavirus since it's now considered a marker.

Robert Cook said...

"That's redundant ya big jerk."

Well, yes, of course. Sometimes I find myself stating the obvious unnecessarily. Thanks.

tim in vermont said...

"I haven't heard of the medical authorities proposing this, which is understandable because so few people are being tested.”

They are working on it as we speak, Johns Hopkins, and corporate players. It’s a way to confer short term immunity and has worked in the past.

Right now, I think the best I can do is avoid getting it for a couple three months, which I don’t think will be that hard. Once things are calm, I expect to go back to work, unless the economy takes off gangbusters, because we are all going to have to pitch in, and my generation looks at going to work, providing services or goods to people, creating jobs, etc, as the true way to help others.

Yancey Ward said...

It was always unlikely that 50% of people will even get infected and show symptoms. The typical findings for influenza infections is about 20-30% have antibodies in the long run specific for a given virus, and that is the upper end. We all, as we live, are exposed to an increbible variety of viruses in the influenza, rhino-, and corona classes, and the viruses all have broad similarities within their families- humans have evolved with them, and we as individuals develop immunity to many specific viruses in these families during our lives. There is certainly a lot of non-specific immunity conferred by previous bouts vs viruses in each of these families- it is probably one of the reasons influenza, rhino-, and coronaviruses in general have such low lethality- this non-specific immunity buys your immune system time to raise a specific antibody response. One of the reasons Ebola and similar filoviruses are so deadly is that, not being so easily transmissible, humans encounter them so infrequently we don't have any broad non-specific antibody resistance to them.

tim in vermont said...

"First, despite ample opportunity, 83% of the passengers and crew never got the disease. “

That’s what I was thinking, that it was confined largely to the crew, who are more jam packed together.

"Of those who got the disease 48% had no symptoms”

That depends on the test. There was a study released saying that some of the tests, due to the peculiar mathematics of testing a population where only a small percentage have what’s being tested for, even if the test is 95% accurate and only gives 5% false positives, if you test everybody and only 5% have it, half of your positive tests are false positive, creating an imaginary cohort of asymptomatic people.

I guess the question is did Eisenbach consider the accuracy of the testing in his analysis. IDK.

Yancey Ward said...

"The People of Immunity who want to do good go to Boulder, the PoI who have bad intentions go to Vegas.

This made me smile."


Me, too. I read that book during a snow break in February 1980, almost exactly 40 years to the day of the first case here in the US.

Bay Area Guy said...

AA asks:

"Do any of you who are reading this actually have Covid-19?"

Well, according to Science, we all have it.

Which means, it's circulating in the population, like the common cold, and not doing much.

PJ57 said...

We are at a lake resort in Texas. My 20 year old son has come down with a fever and cough. Being out of town, it would be hard to find a doctor to order the test. Biggest concern at the moment is being forced to drive from Texas to Illinois as opposed to flying home.

Yancey Ward said...

Aunty Trump,

Several possibilities.

First level: no one had COVID-19, all the tests were false positives. I reject this since there were so many positive tests.

Second level: false positives are 50% of the positives. This means 300+ people had COVID-19. Possible.

So, if you accept, at a minimum, that the second level assumption is the floor, then Eschenbach's analysis holds even more strongly on spread because it means the virus is less effective at infecting people jammed closely together on ship- instead of 18%, it is 9%. The mortalities, though, are more concerning in that case.

Rick said...

a smart move would be simply to track hospital admissions for pneumonia-related conditions.

Toward the end of January my 13 year old son was sick which eventually turned into pneumonia. Doctors didn't want to give him a chest XRay because this is so unusual in that age group, but it was giving him breathing problems so my wife successfully insisted. We asked the pediatrician to review the Xray in light of the coronavirus since it's now considered a marker.

Narr said...

Hey, as long as being old, male, and cranky aren't symptomatic of the ChiComFlu-19 I'm happy.

Knock on wood, but my wife and I have been oddly unaffected so far by our normal winter respiratory issues; and in the brief weather warmups we've had, I've already had some allergic reactions (mild compared to my misery-making childhood allergies).

Some friends have been sick in the last few weeks with colds or flu (or CCF-19?) but so far so good.

ISTR that a lot of medications have "dry cough" as a potential side-effect, at least the ones I take or took.

Narr
We beat Dutch Elm Disease, and we can beat this!

walter said...

Meade said...I can see becoming a kind of Hiroo Onoda or Teruo Nakamura of WWII — hiding out for 29 years until my commander comes and formally relieves me of my duty.
--
Found with a collection of action figures etc.

Is there somewhere to register acronyms..like POI?


From BAG's link:

"Overall, our findings indicate that a large proportion of COVID-19 infections were undocumented prior to the implementation of travel restrictions and other heightened control measures in China on 23 January, and that a large proportion of the total force of infection was mediated through these undocumented infections (Table 1). This high proportion of undocumented infections, many of whom were likely not severely symptomatic, appears to have facilitated the rapid spread of the virus throughout China. Indeed, suppression of the infectiousness of these undocumented cases in model simulations reduces the total number of documented cases and the overall spread of SARS-CoV2 (Fig. 2). In addition, the best-fitting model has a reporting delay of 9 days from initial infectiousness to confirmation; in contrast line-list data for the same 10–23 January period indicates an average 6.6 day delay from initial manifestation of symptoms to confirmation (17). This discrepancy suggests pre-symptomatic shedding may be typical among documented infections. The relative timing of viremia and shedding onset and peak versus symptom onset and peak has been shown to potentially affect outbreak control success (18).

Our findings also indicate that a radical increase in the identification and isolation of currently undocumented infections would be needed to fully control SARS-CoV2."

Arashi said...

Don't have and as far as I know I do not know anyone woh has the ChinaFluDuJour. My sister did have a weird 'flu' late December\early January. but she lives in Vancouver, WA and I ahve not seen her in months.

My best friend, who I see nealry each Friday for lunch also had a weird 'flu' in late December\early January. Both had fever, dry cough that lasted a few days and then went away. He lives and works in Seattle and I live in Sammamish (bedroom community for Microsft, etc. with lots of Chinese folks in residence).

So I may have been exposed to it. But how would I konw for sure? I have not been sick at all and the only issue at the moment is the tree pollen kicking my seasonal allergies into gear as every tree in the are is blooming.

Yancey Ward said...

"Our findings also indicate that a radical increase in the identification and isolation of currently undocumented infections would be needed to fully control SARS-CoV2."

Will never happen....anywhere, even China. The major impulse for most people, to getting symptoms, is going to be to self-isolate now, or conceal their condition while in public, what they already do with influenza. As a practical matter, it isn't even possible to test everyone symptomatic or non-symtomatic- there simply isn't the supply of reagents, equipment, or personnel available. More RT-PCR tests have been run in the last 2 months than were probably run in the last 10 years, and this stuff isn't cheap either.

crescentcityconnection said...

I'm over 60 and thus in a higher risk group but fortunately I've not had any symptoms.
As a lifelong card-carrying introvert the social distancing thing doesn't bother me but I am a bit appalled that certain government officials at the state and local level have seized on this crisis to mandate restrictions on individual rights. I can decide for myself if I need to avoid going to a restaurant , bar or sporting event.

Ann Althouse said...

"In fact, we need more People of Immunity. That's why the current "rules" don't make sense."

Yeah, they don't make sense to *you* ... because you obviously don't understand the problem. Why be so imperious with your pronouncements? Apparently, because you don't know what you don't know.

Listen to the experts and follow their advice.

If you want to say they are wrong, you should study the problem far more deeply.

It doesn't matter whether it makes sense *to you.* You after not studying the question at a competent level.

walter said...

Yes Yancy,
Above that discusses the benefit of other interventions.

Ann Althouse said...

They need to control the number of people who have the disease, and enough are coming down with it to manage without needing to deny hospital care to people who are unable to breathe.

The issue of reopening interaction among people will be managed when we get through this period of control.

The alternative was watching a million or 4 million Americans die right in front of us and not being able to help them.

Ann Althouse said...

Those of you who think you were up for some Great Culling of all the weak people, at what point would you have admitted that you made a horrible mistake?

Ann Althouse said...

"You after not studying the question at a competent level" = You are not studying the question at a competent level.

Jim at said...

In Thurston County, WA - just south of the epicenter of it all - we've been dealing with this for nearly six weeks now.

Five cases. Not five deaths. Not five hospitalizations.

Five cases.

Unknown said...

I, too, had a wicked cold/flu the first week in February. Mild aches, possible slight fever, fatigue...continuing occasional laryngitis even now.

Would love to see a news story on this, as other commenters like myself suspect they might have had this bug ahead of schedule.

tim maguire said...

On the one hand, it feels like the walls are closing in. On the other hand, no one I know has it. No one I know knows anyone who has it, so it also feels unreal.

tim maguire said...

The self-quarantines increasingly remind me of the Edgar Allen Poe story, The Mask of the Red Death

Mark said...

There was something that went around work. I progressed from sneezing to sore throat to sinus congestion to a persistent cough down into chest congestion and persistent cough and a fever along the way. Just when I thought it was over, it just kept hanging on for over a month.

Meanwhile, I have intestinal/bowel issues in any event, so whether the two were connected this time is another question mark. But I did have an elevated white cell count and inflammation markers.

mockturtle said...

Jim, 'only five cases' only means that only five were symptomatic, were at risk [travels, exposure, etc] and happened to be tested. Don't worry, it's likely to mushroom in the days ahead. :-\

stevew said...

This topic of conversation has reached an impasse, with the arguing parties hunkered down in their respective positions. Each uses the available incomplete, and rather worthless, data to advance their argument. Speculation is substituted where facts don't exist. And there are regular appeals to authority - even though those folks don't know any more than we do. It is a new and imperfectly understood illness, after all.

The government has decided to take a precautionary and conservative approach to policy, believing it will save some number of lives. To do so the government has decided that it (we) is willing to sacrifice the economic and financial well being of a great number of our fellow citizens, generally younger, poorer ones.

Disagree if you will, but it should be noted that financial difficulties can be recovered from, death can not.

Mark said...

In Thurston County, WA - just south of the epicenter of it all - we've been dealing with this for nearly six weeks now.
Five cases. Not five deaths. Not five hospitalizations.


Arlington is now reporting 13 cases.

Unknown said...

To answer my own question immediately above, I just saw this article article on Medium which speculates that the 'bug' did indeed arrive here late last year...

https://medium.com/@justin_hart/has-cornavirus-been-here-all-along-13b414a3bea6

mockturtle said...

Don't be Italy!

Mark said...

speculates that the 'bug' did indeed arrive here late last year...

Once the testing gets ramped up, and testing of seemingly healthy people would not be a waste of resources, it might be useful for those people who did get sick this past season to be tested for antibodies to see if, in fact, they have already gotten it.

YoungHegelian said...

Okay, I'm putting on my tin-foil hat here, so treat this post with well-warranted skepticism.

After a day of article reading, which includes the anecdotes here, I now believe that I did have COVID-19 in February, as did many here. I believe that the virus has been in the US since early December, 2019. Indeed, considering the traffic to & from the PRC to the USA, I can't imagine it could be otherwise.

I think the horse is way out of the barn on this, and that further testing will show a plethora of the American population were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic carriers all along. The good news from this is that I suspect numbers will peak earlier than expected. The bad news is that the most vulnerable populations have already or will inexorably be exposed.

It really would be nice is we had good data from somewhere. But, good epidemiological data takes times time to gather & process. There's no way around that.

Expect that our politicians & health officials did the best they could with what they had, but that they're still going to fuck up bigly. Too much caution or too little, who knows? The electorate should in this case be exhorted to consider the moral virtue of "Forgiveness".

Modern man thinks it's all about him & that we get to pick this & pick that,"I want..." and what we do matters in the grand scheme of things. We're wrong. The Fates still rule.

Nichevo said...


The alternative was watching a million or 4 million Americans die right in front of us and not being able to help them.

3/17/20, 1:18 PM
Ann Althouse said...
Those of you who think you were up for some Great Culling of all the weak people, at what point would you have admitted that you made a horrible mistake?




My prior comment addressing this has, curiously, not been posted, so suffice it to say that your remarks above are a nonsense. In the words of Wolfgang Pauli, not even wrong.

Narayanan said...

Ok. Putting on my ghoulsuit.
For serum therapy trials can blood be from dead? Similar to organ donor!?

Nichevo said...

Narayanan, it's kind of like that riddle that asks, after the plane crash, where were the survivors buried? Answer, you don't bury survivors, they're not dead.

The therapy involving serum involves the antibodies created by a surviving patient of the disease. If the disease killed the patient, the patient probably didn't have the antibodies to confer immunity. So unless you are a C-19 survivor who then died in a plane crash, the question does not really apply to you.

Again, serum from dead people is of no use because they died, therefore they were not immune, therefore can supply no antibodies.