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|Copied from an email from Self Decode|
Hi Carolyn Richardson,
Coronavirus Spreads Like Wildfire
What’s clear about this particular coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is that it spreads much more quickly than the flu. Almost twice the number of people get infected per a coronavirus carrier compared to the flu. Put another way, it’s twice as ‘viral’. On average, a person with the flu will spread it to 1.3 people. For coronavirus, the number is 2.0-2.5. That difference can have an exponential effect in spreading the virus.
One reason that coronavirus is spreading so fast is due to the longer time period that it takes for symptoms to appear, called the incubation period.
The flu virus takes 1-4 days to produce symptoms, whereas this coronavirus takes 1-14 days, or longer in 1% of cases. On average, people experience symptoms 5 days later. The longer it takes to realize that you have coronavirus, the more people you will meet and give the virus to.
This is why social distancing is very important. Even if you feel fine, keeping your distance from people is the only way to lower the chances of spreading the virus.
Even with quarantining and social distancing, the virus will stay around and pose a threat for a while – around 1-2 years – which means large gatherings might not happen for some time. A reasonable portion of the population will end up getting the virus due to how viral it is.
Patients are Flooding Hospitals
The reason why governments across the globe are taking swift and early action is because coronavirus patients are flooding hospitals. Around 2% of people with the flu need to be hospitalized, whereas the number is 19% for COVID-19 patients.
In addition, these patients need to be put in special wards and quarantined so that they don’t spread the virus. The doctors and patients need special equipment such as masks, ventilators, etc…
If we take California as an example, according to recent state data, California has around 72,400 general acute beds, with an occupancy rate of 54%.
The population of California is 40 million people. As of March 20th, modeling predicts that 56% of the population of California will be infected over the next eight weeks, if no serious measures are taken [R].
That means by mid May, 22.4 million people will get coronavirus in California alone if people aren’t forced to distance themselves from one another.
If 19% of the 22.4 million needed to be hospitalised, 4.25M people would require hospitalisation. You don’t have to be a maths wizard to realise that 72,400 beds simply won’t come close to cutting it.
However, serious measures are starting to be taken, which will slow the rate of transmission. This will give governments time to prepare more hospital beds and reduce the number of beds that would otherwise be needed if large numbers of people got the virus within a short period.
The Bind in Developed Democracies
There’s a reason why some countries aren’t seeing a lot of success with ordering their citizens to stay home and quarantine. China is an autocracy and there are different norms there.
There is no concept of privacy and the government can give the death sentence to whomever they want without blinking.
They know what every citizen is up to, and they control them with an iron fist. People are accustomed to a harsher life with strict rules from the government that impinges on their freedom.
In the US, imposing a China-style lockdown and tracking simply won’t fly with the public.
In addition, as opposed to developing countries, citizens of developed countries expect to be taken care of and have a place when they go to the hospital. It’s simply not in the equation for most people to imagine a hospital ever saying, “there is no room, sorry”. We might expect that there’s a wait, or that it may be expensive, but there’s always space in a hospital.
So, this mindset poses a problem to developed western countries who wouldn’t have enough space if too many people get COVID-19 in a short amount of time. It can cause social chaos.
How Israel is Dealing With the Problem
I have been living in Tel Aviv, Israel since February, so I’ve been reading the Israeli news and I’m interested in seeing how they are dealing with the coronavirus situation. That’s also why I am using the country as an example more often than I would if I were living in the US.
Israel was the first country to force travelers to quarantine when entering the country.
Israel especially can’t handle this virus because the hospital bed occupancy rate is already at 94%, which is the highest in the developed world.
If you have to quarantine people, it starts to pose a problem when your occupancy rate is so high.
So, Israel is taking a multipronged approach to reduce the spread of COVID-19:
1) Taking ever more stringent measures by the day to get people to reduce contact, including doing a ‘soft’ lockdown. Not as strict as Italy, but you can theoretically get fined for leaving your home without an ‘approved’ reason.
2) Using anti-terror tracking tools and technology to track every person and send a text to people who came into contact with a coronavirus patient, telling them to quarantine for 2 weeks.
3) Rapidly expanding testing to better identify who has it.
4) Using their intelligence services and other military agencies to help out, including bringing in test kits, and creating ventilators & protective gear.
5) Converting hotels into hospitals.
6) Approving experimental treatments to use in serious cases.
Many of these measures are also being taken by other developed countries, but the approach has varied widely between countries and also between states within the US. You will start to see more countries take the same measures as the virus spreads.
The Most Likely 18 Month Scenario
The most likely scenario, in my opinion, of how countries will deal with this going forward over the next 18 months is as follows:
1) Most countries will keep instituting more stringent conditions until the ‘curve flattens’ and the healthcare system can handle the number of sick people. A growing number will go with an Italy style lockdown.
2) The world will become more isolated, including much less international travel over the next 12 months. More things will ‘go remote’. Some restrictions may remain in place for a prolonged period until the hospital systems get less clogged.
3) People will become more proactive about the health of their immune and respiratory system and be more likely to survive if they do get coronavirus.
4) People will be more conscious about social distancing, hygiene and spreading germs.
5) Countries will adapt and become better equipped to handle more infected patients in hospitals. The summer will also give some reprieve to the hospital system and allow countries to increase equipment and build more hospitals.
6) Experimental treatments that alleviate the conditions will be more common and used to treat patients.
7) Over time, the virus won’t spread as fast because more people will be immune to it.
8) Toilet paper will eventually be fully restored in stores as people run out of space in their house to store it and you won’t have to BYOTP (bring your own toilet paper) when you go to a friends house.
The Imperial College of London did a study on March 16th and came to similar conclusions.
Epidemiologists say that 20 to 60 percent of the world’s adult population could end up catching this virus. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said 70 percent of Germany’s population could become infected.
On the plus side, pollution will likely decline as a result of less travel, which will be good for our immune and respiratory health. In Israel, pollution has already declined by 30%, and we saw big declines in China.
New Personalized Reports Related to COVID-19 for SelfDecode Users
At SelfDecode, we recognize that coronavirus is not going away very soon. That’s why we are already hard at work creating reports and tools that our subscribers will be able to use to combat this virus in the most effective way possible.
We’ve also started releasing SelfHacked posts discussing how healthy behaviors interact with coronavirus and COVID-19.
For example, we released a post discussing if zinc can help with Coronavirus.
It’s our mission to serve our subscribers and make sure your body is ready to meet any challenges that come its way!
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