[News] Coronavirus

A place to discuss the now-global coronavirus outbreak.

Twenty-one states are reporting increased Covid-19 cases as experts warn of a fall surge

The US could see an explosion of Covid-19 cases in the fall and winter as people exercise less caution and spend more time indoors, where there is a greater likelihood of transmission, according to Dr. Chris Murray, director of the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).

Murray says the IHME model shows a "huge surge" expected to take off in October "and accelerate in November and December." The IHME model indicates that the country is currently seeing about 765 daily deaths from Covid-19, but that number could jump to 3,000 daily deaths by late December.

In the doom and gloom, I want people to know there is hope yet if humanity controls its impulses to enjoy entertainment and freedom of movement in a crisis.

In my state of New South Wales, we had virus carriers from interstate creating clusters of community transmission a few months back in the height of winter. We get the odd case here and there but people wear masks here; not perfectly nor all the time but people are being sensible on the whole.

Victoria was in hard lockdown but they've unlocked a few restrictions after containing transmissions to about 20 cases a day.

We may see the interstate borders open up and possibly a trans-Tasman bubble open up with New Zealand by 25 December which would be a boon to both economies.

We still get handfuls of positive cases from international arrivals (mind you, these are repatriated Aussies) each day. But quarantining travellers has helped A LOT in containing transmission.

So to be successful you need a) leadership, b) free and aggressive testing regimes, c) restriction of movement temporarily, and d) trust and commitment from the public. I am not so naive to think we can sustain this forever (all it takes is a few silly fools to undo all the hard efforts) but the body count has surely been minimised as much as practically possible within the available means to the government and public.

My wife thinks she has a sinus infection but to be sure we got tested today. Delaware has free testing centers, including drive-through locations at participating Walgreens. While I appreciate that Delaware has set this up, it took us 3 hours, waiting in line in the car, to get tested. It was a short nasal wipe test. We should hear back in 3-5 days.

Nevin73 wrote:

We should hear back in 3-5 days.

What? Is that normal?
My mother got tested Friday, and got the answer Saturday. Luckily negative.

My brother got tested in Texas in the parking lot of a CVS, heard back within 24 hours (also negative, fortunately.) He's a professor and is getting undue exposure to college-aged children.

It depends on the test and how backed up the labs are, I believe.

Missouri had the wait time extend to over a week on average. It was ridiculous.

My wait time on my 2 tests were about 36 hours and 24 hours.

My son and my friend have both been tested in the past week. From the time we called until he got tested was less than a business day. 15 minutes after arriving at the nearest hospital the test was completed. 36 hours later we had the negative result. Rural medicine in Nova Scotia can be frustrating at times, but they're on the ball with COVID. Total test cost was a 15 minute drive's worth of gas.

Testing has been pretty good here, with most results coming in at 24 hours. I tested twice (negative both occasions) and it took 8 and 10 hours turnaround respectively. What happened was that we had a local cluster so the infrastructure to mass test was set up, then as it got under control, there was less demand.

Sometimes I try to imagine what it must be like to live in a nation with a proper healthcare system.

I was only in Australia for around 11 months, so I'm not qualified to opine on how good of a system it is from America.

My limited impression as an outsider, or how I felt to live in a nation with a system I perceived to be better, was that it was about more than just the healthcare system. Australia was far from perfect and I could tell reading the news and talking to friends that many of the same issues of the reach of government are currently being debated there as they are in the UK and other countries. The perception I had, though, was that the culture seemed to be more settled than we are on the matter of whether or not society should pay for commons.

To me that made a huge psychic difference to be amongst people who, by and large, didn't question the importance of paying for things that other people would benefit from. America doesn't just need universal healthcare. America needs a change in attitude to be a kinder people with more solidarity and humanity.

In MD, for my surgery back in July, it was around 3 or 4 days to hear back, if I recall correctly. That was just my experience, though.

Bloody hell. Last week I was told that I was just not allowed to mix with anyone not of my household (so that’s me, Mrs Sorb and Mini-Sorb) or ‘support bubble’ (my sister-in-law & little nephew) either at our home, their home or anywhere else (including outdoors). A little harsh when it’s just our region and not the whole country but if it stops the accelerating spread of our second wave, then fine.

Now they are announcing that from Wednesday it’ll be legally enforceable, which starts to feel a little draconian, but fine if that’s what takes.

However - it remains perfectly acceptable to go to a pub and sit, indoors, with a load of strangers I don’t know in an environment I can’t control. And if my friends or family just happen to be sat on the table next to mine? Well that’s just coincidence officer, I had no idea they were going to be there. And having walked past several pubs in my local area yesterday afternoon all I can tell you is that it appears there are a lot of house-shares with advanced middle-aged Blokes all living together than I have given this town credit for.

So now I have a very cross Mrs Sorb because she can’t go and see her parents, even if she sits in their garden. However, if we all happened to be in a pub at the same time, then that would be fine.

What a shambles.

But Sorbicol, won’t somebody think of the economy?

DC Malleus wrote:

But Sorbicol, won’t somebody think of the economy?

Believe me, the economic impact of the second complete lockdown we’re currently rushing headlong towards will be considerably worse.

And don’t get me started on Brexit. That’s going to be magnitudes worse than anything Covid is doing.

I am constantly amazed at how bad the ‘fiscally sound’ parties are at looking past their collective noses at the economic consequences of their actions. Like, the projections don’t seem to extend past the current news cycle in most cases. It’s extraordinary that this sort of mismanagement doesn’t sink them, but modern politics is gonna modern politics I guess.

Sorbicol wrote:

And don’t get me started on Brexit. That’s going to be magnitudes worse than anything Covid is doing.

My wife keeps saying that if Trump gets back in, we should move back to England.

I recently told her that if she cared to educate herself about what's going on back in the UK, even the slightest bit, we can have the conversation about all the reasons that's a terrible idea, but until then, she needs to shut the hell up about that.

Indeed. Time to moose up and make yourself appealing to the Poutine and Curling crowd, Americans...

Robear wrote:

Indeed. Time to moose up and make yourself appealing to the Poutine and Curling crowd, Americans...

I hope the choice isn't between Putin and Poutine. Guess I'll find out in ~a month.

That is indeed no choice at all, mon ami...

it's either that or you have to make out with a fish

Dogs are being trained to sniff out COVID-19, and they're better than the tests

There are currently four COVID-19 sniffing dogs at the airport in Helsinki, Finland — part of a state-funded project to screen new arrivals who might be carrying the novel coronavirus.

As The Guardian explains:

The canines were not sniffing the virus itself but rather tell-tale volatile chemicals produced when the virus infects cells, and released by the body.

The chemicals should be produced whether or not an infected person has symptoms, and only if the virus is active – suggesting that unlike current lab techniques, dogs are unlikely to pick up "dead" virus.

According to Harvard Medical School, "the reported rate of false negatives is as low as 2% and as high as 37%." But so far, these COVID-sniffing dogs have locked in an 83% accuracy rate, with a few of them even scoring 100% in early trials.

While the only active COVID-sniffing dogs in Finland, there are trials underway in other countries as well, including Spain, Germany, Australia, Brazil, and Lebanon. Some of these countries use different methods than the Fins — Germany trains its dogs on saliva samples, rather than sweat, for example — but the accuracy rates seem to be fairly consistent. Even better is that the training doesn't seem to be limited to any one dog breed so far. Prof Dominique Grandjean of the national veterinary school of Alfort in France told The Guardian that even "mongrel" breeds with no prior training can learn to sniff out COVID-19 in just 8-10 weeks.

I guess it's time to re-write this Mountain Goats song.

'Any breed could do it': dogs might be a Covid tester's best friend [Nicola Davis / The Guardian]

'Close to 100% accuracy': Helsinki airport uses sniffer dogs to detect Covid [Jon Henley / The Guardian]

These dogs are trained to sniff out the coronavirus. Most have a 100% success rate [Susan Hazel / The Conversation]

Dogs are just wonderful! <3

bekkilyn wrote:

Dogs are just wonderful! <3

Yep. And just another reason we know Trump is a horrible person, he's never owned a dog. Incapable of caring for anyone but himself.

Stele wrote:
bekkilyn wrote:

Dogs are just wonderful! <3

Yep. And just another reason we know Trump is a horrible person, he's never owned a dog

He's got Bill Barr and Lindsey Graham.

And Jim Johnson, and Spicer, and Huckabee Sanders, and, and, and, and, and...

We are so far down the fascist hole right now in Missouri.

Yesterday the state health department announced they would cease announcing new case totals on social media, but touted a new wonderful dashboard.

So, for day one, all they did was say they have gone in and reclassified cases as non-covid, so we had a dat of negative cases. Literally.


Never mind that the total is about 3000 behind where we know they are, due to other sources using the health departments directly. And if you go to their nifty new dashboard, you can't find the new case total, because have a three day delay. So we just have nothing.

And, yes, it is confusing for everyone.

Missouri’s COVID-19 data not ‘accurate depiction’ for Kansas City, local officials say

But data showed Kansas City had 4,852 cases as of Monday — a drop of more than 6,000 from Sunday’s 11,147 cases. Meanwhile Jackson, Clay and Platte counties saw a sharp uptick.

Kansas City’s numbers should include residents within the city regardless of the county they live in, said Kansas City Health Department spokeswoman Michelle Pekarsky.

“There’s a definite problem on the new dashboard,” she said in an email.

The city itself was still reporting cases above 11,000 Monday on its local website.

According to Lisa Cox, spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the new dashboard is using testing result data so some case numbers shifted from Kansas City to surrounding counties. Previously, case investigation data was used.

“We are aware of the data quality issue and are in the process of integrating our testing result and case investigation databases which should resolve many of these geographic errors through a geocoding process we are able to apply to assign it to the proper county or jurisdiction,” she said.

What the health department has done is degrade the information to the point it is useless to use for anything. It is really unbelievable to see this play out.

I just realized that I should replay the Dead Rising games just to see malls and restaurants and other places full of action again.

wow, I can go back and visit the bookstores that were dead even before the Coronavirus!