March 5th 2020
I have been trying hard to keep away from the world, but it does keep insisting on my interaction. So I have turned down a tempting social invitation. I think the experts are right on this one, there is now no way to keep this particular virus contained. As the UK steps up its battle plan to "delay". Meanwhile, BoJo has reversed yesterday's decision not to release daily reports.
This morning the bins were emptied, I shall go out later when its quiet, gloves donned to fetch it in. A large amount of post came. I honestly didn't know what to do with it. Can the virus be transmitted this way? The BBC stated the virus could stay on surfaces for a few hours. Yet I have also heard a few days? I sprayed it with disinfectant, feeling thoroughly unarmed with decent information.
The post included a pair of goggles. The virus can be spread through touching your nose, mouth or eyes. Eye protection and a face mask seem to provide ultimate in protection. Sounds better than a gas mask or Tesco carrier bag at any rate.
I continue to see a lot of messages that we shouldn't be buying/using face masks. Hubby tells me residents can buy them at the post office in South Korea. Read between the lines - the UK doesn't have enough of them. I will have to seek out a video showing me how to put one on properly. I don't know how, or if, they can be sterilised at home. I don't have many, so they are being saved for when I really need them.
I do know at some point I will venture out to collect medicines. I have a blood test due and a hospital appointment. There are already a few hospitals in the UK where outbreaks have occurred. Most hospitals are putting out that they are well prepared for an outbreak. However, there have been a number of doctors working within critical care who say the complete opposite.
I hope I am over reacting, I hope this will all be over in a week or three. The tenor of most articles in the mainstream that I read lean towards this conclusion. I learnt today that many North Americans were quarantined due to the swine flu pandemic. This would undoubtedly make them less likely to accept the proposition that this may be a lot worse. Comparisons to the flu are still being made despite comprehensive reasons why it isn't like the flu.
This is a brand new virus for starters. Resultingly there are currently more questions than answers. Rate of contagion? Asymptomatic transmission? Case fatality rate? Sufficient international data is simply not available yet to draw accurate conclusions. Chinese experience does heavily imply that government intervention can dramatically influence the disease's progression.
Other pandemics have come and gone and haven't had much impact on most people's lives. Therefore, it can be difficult to see when something different has come along. China has taken extraordinary measures to fight this virus. Yet despite knowing this virus was coming the UK government does not seem to have adopted best practice. Top of this list is having an informed public.
This weekend my daughter is off to a large concert. As a young person looking at the statistics I'm sure she is not unduly worried about this virus or believe it will impact her life in any way. However, according to research it is the younger population of the UK who is likely to be the driver of an outbreak due to high social interaction rates. Currently children have shown a markedly lower illness rate. Why is this? Are they still carriers? More questions without answers as yet.
I was reading an old interview today with the first Brit to get the virus back in November. He was young, healthy and working as an English teacher in Wuhan. He drank hot toddys to help him overcome a virus that he described as hitting him like a train. Now I'm glad I remembered I do have some whiskey from Christmas in the back of the cupboard. He's still in Wuhan, which is still under lock down. Although there are indications they may have passed the peak, we can hope so.
In UK news panic buying begins as pasta, rice and pot noodles fly off the shelves. The government refused Flybe a bailout and has now gone bankrupt. Business Insider reports UK parliament could be closed for 5 months. However, a government minister was quick to reassure the public "there was no plans". Given that they've been granted an above inflation pay rise today an extended holiday probably wouldn't sit very well with voters.
C-virus cases have now reached 116 in the UK and there has been the first death - an elderly person with an underlying health condition.
Watched Chris Martenson's podcast. He talked about a recent study looking into two mutations of the virus - coded L and S. (Check out the podcast for a more scientific description. Basically, the L type is the more aggressive and the S type milder. Could this explain differences in symptom severity and contagiousness? Again more questions, but this could be a significant finding.