The coronavirus is not joke and is a major danger. The world will be a different place in two years because of it. We are currently seeing cluster infections that are turning into community spread. Soon the disease will be all over the country and in your city and neighborhood as well. People will die and times will be hard. We must take this seriously and prepare now to avoid personally hard times.
“Hey, who are you to be telling all this stuff?”
First, I am researcher and writer, so this article is a collection of information and advice I’ve seen over the past month from experts. Secondly, I was formerly in law enforcement and worked in emergency operations (disaster stuff). I’ve got a stack of FEMA certificates and have been studying disasters for a long time, so while I’m not an expert, I’m not some uninformed weirdo.
What is it?
The coronavirus disease, known technically as COVID-19, is similar to a cold or flu.
The disease presents like influenza, thus “flu like symptoms.” The specific symptoms are fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The cough is described as a dry cough and a fever, from what I can tell, is present in most cases. Additionally, a fever seems to be what makes it difference than a normal cold.
The disease progresses to shortness of breath and pneumonia. In some cases, the difficulty breathing becomes so bad medical treatment is needed. About 20% of the cases are severe enough to require hospitalization. The symptoms can last for 2-3 weeks after one becomes symptomatic and the second or third week are usually the worst and most deadly.
It kills mainly through pneumonia and right now, is most deadly to people 60 and older. However, many people, usually doctors and nurses, in the 30s have already died from it. Young children seem to have little risk of death or serious infection.
Why is it so dangerous?
3.5% people who receive the infection will die, although doctors believe for healthy young adults the death rate is 1%. By comparison, 1/10th of a percent of people who catch the flu will die; mostly older adults. Those with compromised immune systems or respiratory disorders like asthma are at risk. It is believed to spread through the air, but not great distances.
The disease is dangerous because it seems to spread in people without symptoms for up to two weeks before they get sick. By the time the person is sick, they may have infected a lot of people. Scientists estimate that 80% of the world will have been infected by this time next year. If the infection and death rates hold up, that’s potentially 216 million dead across the world or 9 million dead in the USA alone.
There is no vaccine and one is not expected to be available to the public until late 2021, barring a miracle. No drugs are known to work to stop the virus, although experiments are being conducted with a range of drugs.
Why should I be worried?
What non-medical effects will there be?
What should I do now?
What shouldn’t I do?
Is it a danger now? For those in major urban areas, very much so. In the very short term, you have pretty good odds most people around you are healthy, but the danger with this disease is people don’t have symptoms for such a long time while remaining infectious.
Will wearing a mask help? There are two kinds of masks: surgical and N95. Surgical masks, like doctors wear, are to keep germs from you from getting out. They are poor protectors of you from germs getting into your lungs. N95 dust masks are designed to keep fine particles out and do a much better job of keeping germs out of your lungs, if they fit correct.
When should I wear a mask? If you feel sick (and must go out), wear a mask. When the disease becomes widespread in your area, and you have to go out and be around people, then wear preferably a N95 mask. Be sure to learn how to put on your mask properly and to take it off right. Throw it away after use.
I can’t find masks. Do I need to wear one? You’ll probably be fine without one, though if you have to be around a lot of people when things get bad, a mask will help. Just wash your hands and don’t touch your face. You can find instructions on how to make homemade masks online.
Should I wear gloves? When you go to stores, you can, just remember gloves aren’t magic. Gloves protect your bare hands, but the glove itself picks up germs that can be left elsewhere. Imagine whatever you touch with gloves is dog poop. Do not reuse gloves and learn how to take them off properly
Will the electricity/water go out? Water systems require little maintenance and like electricity, will be a major priority to keep operational. No major utilities failed in 1918 because too many people got sick.
Can we go outside? Yes, just stay away from people. It is recommended you keep 6 feet distance from other people. If you touch things like shared equipment, be sure not to touch your face and wash your hands. The disease isn’t like poison gas creeping along. Feel free to take walks, go hiking, etc.
Can we go to the gym? I wouldn’t. If you do, carefully wipe things down with disinfectant and use a clean towel every time.
What is the government doing? Very little. The CDC screwed up early test kits, so many possible cases haven’t been detected. Tests are just now starting to catch up. Federal officials still haven’t called for drastic closures or quarantines. Nor have they asked the public to start to prepare. It seems the government is trying to avoid a panic, without properly informing people of the reality of the situation, and trying to keep the stock market from crashing.
Sources I Follow on the Topic
YouTube: Dr. John Campbell (evidence based, medical perspective, daily updates)
YouTube: Peak Prosperity (good source for regular news updates)
Raconteur Report (very salty patriotic, gun-owning, ER nurse in So-Cal)
Twitter is also a good source for news and information like this.