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- Just how deadly is this thing and what are the odds you will get it?
- Are we looking at citywide lock-downs such as those that have been instituted in other countries?
- Is it expected to return time and time again and how long before we know?
- If I or someone I know appears to start showing symptoms, what is the best course forward?
- What are the long and short term economic consequences of this outbreak?
This reinforces what is being reported out of Daegu, South Korea where around 1900 Shincheonji Church members have been tested for coronavirus. Of those tested 1,331 had symptoms and approximately 550 did not. Among those 1331 with symptoms, 87.5% were confirmed with the virus but just as troubling is that of those without symptoms, 70% were confirmed with coronavirus. In short, 420 tested positive but asymptomatic and 1,131 tested positive and symptomatic. This means 1,551 infected out of roughly 1900 plays out to an infection rate of 81%.
I'm not panicked but rather have resolved myself to the fact we are living in a world that may never be the same if this virus is as mean as it appears. Our lifestyles were already facing some rapid social adjustments but concerns of being stalked by such a virus are unsettling, to say the least. It does not help that our government has appeared to make an effort to mask the danger of the coronavirus from the American people not to avert panic but to protect the all-important stock market rally. Thus far many Americans are unaware of or under the impression, we have little to fear from this virus. This attempt to deny the threat raises the question of whether economic and political concerns are pushing common sense aside.
On another site a commentator wrote; Indications are that it generally takes a few weeks for the coronavirus to overwhelm someone and lead to death. If it does, which for many it does not, this implies that when we see deaths, those people have had the virus for weeks. If you don't get better after two weeks you may eventually find yourself drowning in your own body fluids quarantined in a hospital. If you do get well after viral pneumonia, the virus most likely has permanently damaged your lungs and might just be hiding there in your respiratory cells, waiting to revisit, maybe more than once. If it returns your survival is even less likely.
This virus is particularly dangerous because, as noted, it may cause no symptoms at all in many carriers of the infection. This has lead to stringent measures being taken both inside and outside of China to stop its spread. In Italy people are being prevented from leaving towns, one wonders how severe the panic will be as this spreads across the globe. Store shelves in some areas are already beginning to empty as those most informed begin to plan ahead and take precautions that they may find themselves in a similar situation. In his press conference, the President sidestepped the question of whether we might lock-down whole cities in America as they have in other countries. We have also seen them pushing back the idea of buying masks because healthcare workers have a greater need for them.
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How long a person should be quarantined and how long the virus can live on different surfaces is still being debated. In truth, we have no idea how far this has spread across the world. Remember, not everyone that may be infected is not being tested. Many countries have few health care facilities, suffer from a shortage of test kits, or have specific guidelines for who gets tested. Here in America, until recently, the CDC would not test a person for the coronavirus unless they had traveled to South Korea, China, or Italy. This includes even those with visible symptoms. Sadly, the CDC has responded with a "wash your hands" campaign.
Slow-moving incompetent overpaid bureaucrats within governments with strong agendas generate and control both the data and the narrative. Whether the goal of a government is to limit panic, deflect criticism from its failings, or simply generate the impression they have control of the situation we pay the price. The fact is, the long latency period before someone shows symptoms makes it is quite possible for someone to be carrying the virus but show no signs whatever when they arrive at the airport and pass through minor screening.
As to the long and short term economic consequences of this outbreak, it is difficult to say. certain sectors of the economy will without a doubt take it squarely on the chin. Businesses involved in things where people gather or move about are in peril. Also, the disruption of production and deliveries will have a massive effect on business. Many small businesses without the financial resources to absorb losses and weather this storm will fail thus intensifying the downturn and exacerbate inequality. Companies will look at ways to shorten or reduce the weaknesses in their supply chains. This will have long-term consequences.