Covid-19

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    Covid-19: An introduction and summary

    (March-May 2020)

    • Start with my A timeline of Covid-19.
    • (August 2020): What can the USA do to stop the massacre?
      There is no doubt in my mind that the USA would be faring a lot better (a lot) if Hillary Clinton were president. (Incidentally, coincidence or not, most success stories seem to be associated with female leaders: Germany, Finland, Norway, New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea). First, you need to listen to the scientists, and just stand behind them 100%. Second, you need to understand numbers and mathematical models (which some low-IQ presidents just can't). Third, you need to enact and enforce laws, and crack down on disinformation and conspiracy theories. If the USA did that, most likely there would be a national lockdown of the kind that Italy went through. Italy lowered its daily death toll from more than 1,000 to less than 5. The opposite happened in the USA. Not wearing a facemask in a crowd should be a federal crime, punishable with several years in prison. Social distancing is actually an option: both Asian and European cities are extremely crowded and social distancing is not practical, but they tamed the virus. The biggest problem in the USA from the beginning has been the reluctance to wear a facemask. Then of course the USA needs to have rapid and reliable testing, which (8 months later) still doesn't exist: it took 8 days to get my test result. Obviously it's almost pointless to test people if it takes days to get the result. If you think that the reasonable solution is to let the virus spread and only protect the vulnerables, read below about young people's immunity: we don't really know who is "vulnerable". It could be that everybody is vulnerable as there might be long-term damages even to asymptomatic people.
    • How deadly is Covid-19?
      See this article
    • How long will it take to develop a vaccine?
      See this article
    • Is there any cure/treatment?.
      See this article
    • Are young people immune?
      See this article
    • Does blood type make a difference?
      See this article
    • What tests are available?
      See this article
    • How did it spread in so many places?
      See this article
    • Can it mutate into something even more dangerous?
      See this article
    • How did east Asia contain it?
      See this article
    • What explains the diffent death rates in different countries?
      See this article
    • Are face masks useful?
      See this article
    • Was covid-19 made in a Chinese lab? in a US lab?
      See this article
    • If you catch it and survive it, are you then immune to it?.
      It is too early to know the answer. With most viruses, that is indeed the case. At least for a few months, you are immune. Some people catch the flu every year so obviously that immunity is not a lifelong immunity (if nothing else, because the virus mutates rapidly). In the case of someone who fully recovered from covid-19, it is not clear how long the immunity lasts. Already in January, China reported cases of people getting reinfected. By mid-April, South Korea had counted 116 people who tested positive again after having recovered from covid-19. This could mean several things and we don't know which one is true: the patients were infected again (this would be the worst-case scenario), the virus "reactivated" itself in these patients, or the tests were faulty.
    • How long does the virus survive? Can it be spread by touching objects?
      According to a study by the National Institutes of Health , the virus can remain suspended in the air for up to three hours, and can last four hours on copper, 24 hours on cardboard and two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. But similar coronaviruses can last much longer on surfaces. If covid-19 resembles the SARS and MERS ones, it can last on surfaces for even nine days (Journal of Hospitalization). By comparison, flu viruses normally don't last longer than 48 hours on most surfaces. The good news is the typical disinfectants (like bleach) can kill coronaviruses within a minute. While scientific evidence is still missing, the chances that one touches an object that got a virus from someone who is infected are very low: the infected person needs to sneeze or cough or spit on that object just in the place where you will put your hand. The most likely places would be crowded public transportation that is not frequently sanitized. I would be more concerned about animals than objects: the fur of your dog is an excellent place for a virus to survive a long time.
      The virus can spread via both droplets (which are big assemblies of the virus) and aerosols (which are small droplets). The difference between the two is that droplets are heavy and fall immediately to the floor, whereas aerosols can float in the air for hours, especially in places where there is no ventilation. H.I.V. is not airborne (you don't catch it by breathing), measles is. This one is too: you can catch it just by breathing in a place where an infected person was standing for a few minutes. The more dangerous places are restaurants, movie theaters, churches/mosques/temples, public transportation that doesn't have windows that you can open, offices that don't have windows that you can open, etc. More and more buildings will be required to use ultraviolet light and filtering systems to make sure that aerosols are killed. The safer places are in your own house, where only your family has been breathing, talking, singing, etc, and outdoors (i am not sure that i agree with the governments that closed down beaches and parks).
    • Do animals catch covid? Can they spread covid?
      Yes to both. Dogs and cats, the most common pets, seem to suffer very little but the real concern is whether they can also spread it, and whether they could incubate a more deadly mutation. Covid is due to a zoonotic virus, a virus that was transmitted to humans by an animal. The last thing we want to see is a mutation of this virus spreading to humans via cats or dogs. This is not an unlikely scenario. In November 2020 Denmark decided to exterminate its entire population of mink after humans got infected by a covid mutation coming from mink.
    • Will the virus die out in the summer?
      So far we have zero evidence that this virus doesn't like warm weather. The two worst-hit countries in Europe are Italy and Spain, which are also among the warmest. Hot countries like Ecuador, Peru, Indonesia and Brazil seem to be highly infected although we don't really know their death rates.
    • How will it end?
      See this article

    See also:
    Data on Covid-19 and selected sources,
    Covid-19: How it may change the World,
    The Clown & the Virus,
    The Clown & the Virus - Part 2,
    Trump's Virus,
    Sinophobia & Covid-19,
    Sinophobia & Covid-19 in US Media,
    TM, ®, Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.
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TM, ®, Copyright © 2020 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.