Miriam and I are sitting at the large table ensconced at our computers. She is obviously working at home. I am, almost as obviously, not particularly working. There is an incredibly loud screech which repeats. Yes, we have redwoods and other trees around us, home to squirrels and the occasional birds nest. But nothing that sounds like that. What is more, it seems to be coming from inside the living room.
All is quiet for about five minutes, then a few repeats.
Oh, (blinding flash of the obvious), yes. I have a tab on my browser open to this particular YouTube channel.
My plan for today is simple – a few more pages on my paper, some stitching, welcoming Noah home (his flight from San Diego which left at 0715 this morning) had only 18 passengers. I don’t think SouthWest really had to enforce boarding order. Every one had several rows to themselves. If I am really ambitious I will finish clearing off our large table. With this many people in the house + the Eldest who lives close + College Guy, it is reasonable to use a table that easily seats eight.
While many people are banding together, supporting their neighbors and using social media responsibly, there are plenty who aren’t. Which means all of us need to be quiet, but firm. This is NOT a hoax. The disease, with reasonable infectivity (no where near that of measles) is spreading rapidly. If the distancing measures put in place have the intended effect, we will not see it for 14-28 days (two incubation periods). Most people become ill sooner than 14 days, but there is a range.
There are more sources of bad information and rumors than there are accurate. One of the challenges in the rush to share data in the medical community is that the whole peer-review process is being skipped. What this means for all of us is the following:
1) the authors are doing their best to provide what they know in an effort to help educate and further care and treatment of COVID-19 patients
2) no one has checked to see if the methodology (patient selection, lab reporting, etc) used in the “study” meets scientific method, valid analysis or even common sense. This process weeds out a lot of marginal information that does not prove to be valid on a second go.
3) the general press is hungry for anything they can find and report. So a study that may/may nat provide information that is medically valid gets picked up and circulated widely by and to people who have no idea of what really underlies the report.
Example – YOUNG PEOPLE AT RISK FROM CORONA VIRUS!!! the xxxx report (and unfortunately, CDC is partly to blame for this mess) says that XX% of ICU patients are young adults!
Somewhere down in the report, if you read the report and not just the headline and first three paragraphs, you will find that the age grouping for “young” is 20-50 in one report and 20-64 in another.
Hello? I do not consider those in their 30s, 40s, 50s as young adults. They are adult. Period. Normally a young adult is someone in that transition period from secondary school through University to first job. Maybe 18-23/25. I checked this with Miriam who is waiting for a conference call to start. She gave me the above number. I gave her back the age range actually used in the paper. When she was done chocking, her response was – anything about that is AN ADULT.
Perhaps the intention of the wording was to engage the Florida spring break crew – but that is not the job of the scientific community. Our job is to clearly and accurately present the facts as we know them. Grouping individuals into age bands is common. But grouping 30 + years is deceiving. Yes, the numbers are so low as to be not useful for the under 50 (especially if you eliminate the health care providers), but that doesn’t excuse poor analysis and worse writing.
The World diagnosed numbers exceeded 258,800+ by 1600 (GMT) and deaths are now over 10k world wide. This is still fewer than the US alone has had die from Influenza this year. There might be an island out there that is unaffected, but complete disease sparing of anywhere is becoming less and less likely. Even the “ocean floating boat community” which considers itself exempt from most societal constraints is not going to be able to dodge this one – everyone has to dock for supplies sooner or later.
Extra vitamins, anti-malaria drugs, dietary supplements, herbal remedies are not going to magically protect you. Taking care of yourself, avoiding crowds and those that are coughing/ill, and washing your hands are all proven to decrease your chances of disease.
Off-soap box for now!