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Having listened to several experts on TV explaining the rationale behind the UK policy of allowing mass gatherings and sporting fixtures that attract huge crowds (including a big horse-racing event in Cheltenham currently still under way) to continue - which is completely out on a limb with the rest of Western Europe, including Eire -, it is evident that what the government is trying to do now is not to stop people catching the virus, but rather to slow down the rate of transmission while trying to protect the vulnerable - by developing 'herd immunity' in the healthy, younger population.

That is, allowing most of the population - eventually - to become infected in a gradual fashion, because we cannot prevent it, but we can try to slow it. 70 - 80% is the figure being thrown around. Merkel was right on target.

"If you suppress something very, very hard, when you release those measures it bounces back and it bounces back at the wrong time. Our aim is to try and reduce the peak, broaden the peak, not suppress it completely.
Because the vast majority of people get a mild illness, our aim is to build up some kind of herd immunity so more people are immune to this disease and we reduce the transmission, at the same time we protect those who are most vulnerable to it.
" - UK Chief Scientific Adviser

So, we are playing a waiting game, waiting for the right time before curtailing mass gatherings and closing schools prior to causing wholesale disruption by a complete lockdown. Life goes on, you can still book for classical concerts for the coming weeks, football has been cancelled for the foreseeable future because some clubs have Covid-19 within their ranks, all school trips abroad have been stopped, >70s are advised not to go on cruises.........



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I get the feeling that a LOT of people have gotten/have it already and just don't know it. It's very suspicious that the only people who seem to get it (in my area anyway) are those with pre-existing medical conditions. The other day a teenager from a very rural town, far from anything, was diagnosed. They have no idea how he got it since he hasn't traveled and no one he knows is sick. Oh, and he has pre-existing medical conditions.

My daughter came home from school last week with a cough and a fever. We called the doctor who thought we were crazy for even considering that it could be coronavirus. I followed their advice to watch it and call again if she wasn't getting better in 3 days. She was. Then I followed the advice sent out by her school and sent her back to school when she hadn't had a fever or vomited (she never vomited) for 24 hours. She's still coughing a week later, but says she feels fine. My husband has also been coughing for about a week, but otherwise feels pretty ok. Cold? Flu? Coronavirus? We'll never know.

I do think I'll send a message to our piano teacher and offer to do skype lessons for the next week or so. She's older, and I don't know what kind of health issues she or her husband might have.

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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia

From this study it would appear that old folks need not be worried, unless they suffer from quite a few things already


Oh... you must be young. How many old folks don't suffer from several things? It is, afterall, how people die : the body doesn't work anymore. I don't know anyone over 80 not on some kind of medication.

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Originally Posted by wszxbcl
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia

From this study it would appear that old folks need not be worried, unless they suffer from quite a few things already


Oh... you must be young. How many old folks don't suffer from several things? It is, afterall, how people die : the body doesn't work anymore. I don't know anyone over 80 not on some kind of medication.


Maybe it is a cultural thing. I do know people above that age who are not on medication.

By the way, I'm approaching mid-50's, so not that young.

Another bit of knowledge of less than global importance: an 80 year old man died in Denmark today; he was apparently infected. As far as I know, the cause of death was heart failure (he had a prior heart condition).


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Those under 40 are not getting a free pass on COVID-19 either. In fact, just yesterday it was reported that the Italian Patient Zero, a 38-year old many with no major health conditions, only just started breathing on his own after three weeks. I suppose it could have been worse for him.


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Those under 40 are not getting a free pass on COVID-19 either. In fact, just yesterday it was reported that the Italian Patient Zero, a 38-year old many with no major health conditions, only just started breathing on his own after three weeks. I suppose it could have been worse for him.


I heard about him...this is what scares me.

Boris Johnson said many families will lose loved ones before their time...

That was really hard to hear. When you talk about statistics and 1% or 2% or even 7 or 8% death rate, it's not so difficult to swallow. They're just numbers. When you say families will lose loved ones, it really hits home.

That's also why I roll my eyes when people start talking about numbers and statistics like it's the be all and end all. Like if the death rate is only 1%, everything's good. It's not. Every lost life was a loved one to someone.

Last edited by WeakLeftHand; 03/13/20 11:36 AM.

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1% of 60% is a lot of people.

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I can't help but fear that Johnson, the UK PM is being cavalier. The NHS is close to capacity as it is and the UK doesn't seem to be doing anything like enough to flatten the curve for the health system to cope. As a consequence a large number of people who would survive with the appropriate care, like Italy's patient Zero who needed medical help to breathe will not have that care provided to them.

It is a dangerous game he is playing.

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Please bear in mind that many of those who will die as a consequence of Coronoi virus would have died due to other causes anyway within a short amount of time. Those who are already weakened by diseases are more at risk to complications from additional infectious diseases, whether these be Corona, the flu, or any number of other nasty viral or bacterial diseases.

We will only know in hindsight how large a death toll Corona will cause; it may well turn out to be undetectable.


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As a male over 50 with cardiovascular disease I have risks https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/

I would very much prefer if I do get the virus, which is likely based on our prime ministers approach that the health system at the same time is not overwhelmed as Italy's has been. The overloaded Italian health system has meant a large number of deaths that would have been avoided if it had been operating within capacity. The UK health system has far less spare capacity than the Italian system did prior to the start of the infection entering Italy.

Though I've made this personal, by highlighting my own personal risks, what I hope is to do is highlight the very real additional risk that the UK and US approach results in compared to say countries like South Korea and Singapore.

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Hi Kevin
Given the exponential increase in cases in the US, and the small number of tests being done, I have decided to self-quarantine myself: vacation cancelled, all groceries delivered and absolutely nothing outside the four walls of my house. I will continue this until this over.

Take care of yourself and assume the government will not be diligent.


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Originally Posted by KevinM
I can't help but fear that Johnson, the UK PM is being cavalier. The NHS is close to capacity as it is and the UK doesn't seem to be doing anything like enough to flatten the curve for the health system to cope. As a consequence a large number of people who would survive with the appropriate care, like Italy's patient Zero who needed medical help to breathe will not have that care provided to them.

It is a dangerous game he is playing.

I can't help but think of the phrase, "keeping a stiff upper lip."

He's decided to seek "herd immunity" to COVID-19 by having 60% of UK citizens come down with it. How is it to be part of the herd?


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"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Those under 40 are not getting a free pass on COVID-19 either. In fact, just yesterday it was reported that the Italian Patient Zero, a 38-year old many with no major health conditions, only just started breathing on his own after three weeks. I suppose it could have been worse for him.


I heard about him...this is what scares me.

Boris Johnson said many families will lose loved ones before their time...

That was really hard to hear. When you talk about statistics and 1% or 2% or even 7 or 8% death rate, it's not so difficult to swallow. They're just numbers. When you say families will lose loved ones, it really hits home.

That's also why I roll my eyes when people start talking about numbers and statistics like it's the be all and end all. Like if the death rate is only 1%, everything's good. It's not. Every lost life was a loved one to someone.

When the healthcare system becomes overloaded, as in Italy, doctors have to make hard decisions. At least Italian Patient Zero recieved oxygen and a ventilator when he needed it. As a lot of victims of COVID-19 in Italy have discovered, this is not always a given. Typically, the elder patients or those with complication are among the first sacrificed when there are equipment shortages, so the scarce equipment may go to those with a best chance of survival, and the others are left to die. Medical ethics in action.


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"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
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Originally Posted by johnstaf
1% of 60% is a lot of people.


Furthermore it doesn't mean that for the remaining 99% of the 60% it would be a walk in the park.


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Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia
Originally Posted by wszxbcl
Originally Posted by QuasiUnaFantasia

From this study it would appear that old folks need not be worried, unless they suffer from quite a few things already


Oh... you must be young. How many old folks don't suffer from several things? It is, afterall, how people die : the body doesn't work anymore. I don't know anyone over 80 not on some kind of medication.


Maybe it is a cultural thing. I do know people above that age who are not on medication.

By the way, I'm approaching mid-50's, so not that young.

Another bit of knowledge of less than global importance: an 80 year old man died in Denmark today; he was apparently infected. As far as I know, the cause of death was heart failure (he had a prior heart condition).


Yes I'm sure there exist some very healthy (for now) old people. And people in your country may be overall healthier than rest of the world. But still Danes do die and not live forever, right? The main mechanism for dying is disease, organ failure. That's why old people as a group are necessarily less healthy, is all I'm saying.

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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Oh boy, the wife of our prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has tested positive for Covid-19. She just came back from London, UK. There is so much BREAKING NEWS my brain is going to explode.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coron...au-tests-positive-for-covid-19-1.4850159


I'm a day late on this. So she was in the UK? They're in Ottawa. I'm in Ottawa. But nowhere near where the politicians hobnob. But we're still being careful. Taking steps like everyone else.

Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
The March Break in much of North American may turn out to be a few weeks longer as people are told to take an extra few weeks off.


March break extended here, I heard. I don't have kids anymore. Grandchild is 3 though.

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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Oh boy, the wife of our prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has tested positive for Covid-19. She just came back from London, UK. There is so much BREAKING NEWS my brain is going to explode.

https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coron...au-tests-positive-for-covid-19-1.4850159


I'm a day late on this. So she was in the UK? They're in Ottawa. I'm in Ottawa. But nowhere near where the politicians hobnob. But we're still being careful. Taking steps like everyone else.

Originally Posted by thepianoplayer416
The March Break in much of North American may turn out to be a few weeks longer as people are told to take an extra few weeks off.


March break extended here, I heard. I don't have kids anymore. Grandchild is 3 though.


Mrs. Trudeau just returned from the UK where she had speaking engagements and shaking lots of people's hands no doubt.

As of today, practically everything has been shut down. My workplace advised to work from home effective immediately. My sister's workplace is CLOSED until further notice. My piano teacher has cancelled in-person lessons and transferred them to Skype. My swim club is cancelled for now. March break camps for kids are cancelled. And yes, schools closed until April 5th. As a city, we're pretty much closed. Many of us are locking ourselves down. Not taking a chance.


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by KevinM
I can't help but fear that Johnson, the UK PM is being cavalier. The NHS is close to capacity as it is and the UK doesn't seem to be doing anything like enough to flatten the curve for the health system to cope. As a consequence a large number of people who would survive with the appropriate care, like Italy's patient Zero who needed medical help to breathe will not have that care provided to them.

It is a dangerous game he is playing.

I can't help but think of the phrase, "keeping a stiff upper lip."

He's decided to seek "herd immunity" to COVID-19 by having 60% of UK citizens come down with it. How is it to be part of the herd?

Boris has been guided by "the science" throughout, and his two advisers (The Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer) answered most of the questions (and the latter two subsequently went on radio and TV interviews by themselves) put to them by the press when they all appeared together in front of them - three times in the past ten days, if I'm not mistaken, following the COBRA cabinet meetings with them.

I watched all the press conferences, and what they're doing right now makes perfect sense to me. They've accepted that the battle for 'containment' has long been lost (it was probably lost a month ago, in fact, when it became evident that an infected person appeared out of 'nowhere'), there're almost certainly several thousands of people - likely many children - out there scattered throughout the UK who are harbouring the virus without knowing it (on the map, the confirmed infected cases show that), and they are threading a fine line between minimalizing public disruption, protecting the vulnerable (the elderly, the sick, the immunosuppressed), keeping the country afloat and carrying the public with them.

For instance, if schools are closed too early (say, from Monday), parents will have to stop working to look after the children - so what about all the millions of workers in the NHS (and not just nurses, health care assistants and doctors)? Who will staff the hospitals, the care homes etc? OR - grandparents (the elderly, likely with health problems themselves) are roped in to help look after the kids. And kids - especially the teens - will still go out and mix with others, bringing in germs to infect their grandparents. The UK population will not stand for the kind of wholesale lockdown imposed by the Chinese on its citizens for such a long time: we're talking several weeks, if not months........a couple of weeks might just be tolerable, but then what? We saw what happened in Italy - even within a day or two, some people were disregarding the authorities' directives. That's where behavioural science comes in, modelling what is likely to happen within the population of the country.

But as all three admitted in the press conference, we are all in uncharted territory, and no-one knows what is the 'correct' - or best approach for the citizens of each country. (Remember, people in different countries behave very differently: contrast the Italians and the Austrians, for example, even though they are neighbours.)

However, Boris is most certainly not "cavalier" in this pandemic like another politician I could name........


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This situation here in SoCal is what I would expect. Was at the grocery store this morning. Complete Chaos. 9am, no parking, no carts, no paper products. But plenty of food I thought, haha. You need food before toilet paper.

Everybody I work with or works in a similar field is working remote as per request from employers. HIMSS and Epic XGM was canceled. Piano events are being cancelled or postponed, Certificate of Merit. Bach Festival. Girlfriend decided on a Skype lesson last night instead.

But it's all good. Since we are all at home, we can just play piano all day.

Happy Practicing


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We live near Kirkland, Washington, the epicenter of our state’s outbreak. We did our weekly grocery shopping this morning, careful not to touch our faces. The store wasn’t that crowded and there was plenty of everything we needed. We stocked up on a few things that have a long shelf life or items that can be frozen but there was plenty of food. I keep scratching my head over the fact that the entire toilet paper aisle was empty. It makes sense that they were out of hand sanitizer but toilet paper? Covid -19 is not a stomach virus.

The streets are empty. Restaurants and stores are quiet. We’re both seniors so we are staying close to home except when we need necessities. We are entertaining ourselves with scrabble, walks, streaming, picnics, reading and of course, music.

It’s a little confining but really no so bad as long as we are healthy.

Stay well everyone. This will pass.


Best regards,

Deborah
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