Coronavirus Epidemic COVID-19 (formerly 2019-nCoV) Mega Thread

Mega Thread for COVID-19 discussions (Description Updated 30/3/20)

For more information about COVID-19. Please use this thread for any general discussions about COVID-19, rather than making a new thread. Also see below for other specific/related threads.

Related links:

Health.gov.au - General information
Coronavirus Australia - Apple App
Coronavirus Australia - Android App

Other Specific Discussion Threads:

Wearing Masks -Wearing Masks 2 - Shops with Masks
Lockdown Activities - Lockdown Tips & Tricks - Lockdown Deals - Lockdown - Entertaining Kids - Shopping List -
Hand Sanitiser - Expired Hand Sanitisers - Cheap Sanitiser
Reporting Price Gougers - Punishing Price Gougers - Retailers & Empty Shelves - Retailers & Empty Shelves 2 - Infected Goods from China - Raising EFTPOS Limits - Amazon US Warehouse Only Re-stocking Medical & Staples - Reselling Lysol Wipes
AMA with a Doctor - Parcel Delays - Buying/Selling Home - - Gym - House Inspections - Private Health Insurance - Energy Providers
Overseas Travel - Singapore Airport Closed - QLD Border Closed - Flying to Closed Country - Flying to NZ - Flying to Tasmania
Hotels.com Refund - 3rd Party OTA Refunds - BYOJet, Aunt Betty Changes/Refunds - Groupon Refund - Travel Insurance - Travel Insurance 2
Schools/Universities - Keeping Kids at Home - Keeping Kids at Home 2
Your Job - Work from Home Companies - Pay Cut - Qantas Staff - Tips to Protecting Yourself (Financially)

Other:

OzBargain's Guide to Self Isolation (Deals & More)
Deals for Healthcare Workers


Mod: Original Description (From Jan 2020):

Placed this in the travel category as it related to travelling to China and, at present, a few affected nations.

Despite control measures put in place by the Chinese government, confirmed cases of COVID-19 are rising rapidly and spreading across the states. As of this post there are 585 confirmed cases and almost 400 suspected cases across 29 states/territories of China. 17 have since lost their lives.

I only know that Sydney has set up health monitoring stations for any Wuhan-Sydney direct flights, but with this spread it may come from anywhere.

Aside from protecting oneself by delaying/cancelling trips to China, what should we do as Australians? Should we be expecting greater monitoring of ones health from other major hubs other than Sydney? Should this be mandated for all flights from China, or just all incoming passengers in general? (This is a standard practice in some airports around the world).

Prevention is better than a cure, but are we in a place to prevent an outbreak?

(Not trying to use fearmongering, just better safe than sorry)

E: As of 25th January, Melbourne has Australia's first confirmed COVID-19 case.
E2: Also 25th January, Sydney has 3 confirmed cases.
E3: Avg incubation period of 10 days. Source:Translation
E4: Asymptomatic infection appears possible (Meaning it is contagious without symptoms).
Another paper thanks to @MissG

Comments

  • +58 votes

    are we in a place to prevent an outbreak?

    I just searched and there are no deals on haz mat suits… so no.

      • -6 votes

        would be nice if you include a brief us (me) in a bit more detail about this virus please

        • +23 votes

          Ok, ill try to keep it brief. The virus is a novel-coronavirus named 2019-nCoV, novel meaning it hasnt been experienced by humans before and thus we have little defence. However, it is a coronavirus, which is similar makeup to SARS, MERS and even the common influenza.

          It reportedly began in early december in Wuhan, Hubei, China from a seafood market that sells live, wild animals. At first it was around 17 or so cases that were directly linked to the market. However, these symptoms took up to 2 weeks to appear (incubation period still unknown). First were hospitalised by late december but no deaths until the last week or two.

          The week starting 12th Jan, many people started to move for CNY, including many leaving Wuhan back home. Today, 25th Jan is actually CNY day. In the last week, cases have been rapidly on the rise and are now up to 1305 cases around China itself. 41 deaths are now reported. This is due to the incubation period lasting about 1-2 weeks.

          Because of this outbreak, Wuhan has been shut since 22nd I believe, and many other cities around China are moving to a level 1 pandemic response. This means that public events are cancelled, directive orders to schools to delay opening and cancel all group gatherings. Public museums and events are closed with no specified date for reopening.

          The virus has been seen in other countries including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, US, France, Australia, with other cases expected to pop up around the world.

          SUMMARY:

          Transmission is known to occur human-to-human via any open exposure, including via the eyes. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, vomiting and difficulty breathing. Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention

          The biggest difficulty in diagnosis is that the coronavirus has been reported to be mild in symptoms and it may not be immediately obvious whether someone has the 2019-nCoV or just the common influenza. On top of this, it may be up to two weeks before someone shows symptoms, in that time it may have infected others.

    • -4 votes

      lol I get hella negged for requesting some decent info tf

    •  

      First, this is a Rather OLD Thread,
      so, here's my (unofficial) update:

      China has (by date this comment) reportedly
      pretty much stopped their COVID-19 spread,
      even closing one of the temporary hospitals
      the build as part of their response to it.

      Europe is the current hot-spot

      USA looks, IMO, to become another one,
      as Trump gave Pence the task of running
      USA's response efforts.

      If I'm right about that, Canada may be
      at risk, as they are undecided about
      Closing their border with USA, just as
      US faces too few being tested, etc. &
      Pence in charge.

      (We go to WHO (not CDC) for updates; of
      course, YMMV, so use who you prefer.)

      A friend in SA told me she's heard SA's
      seen ~19 cases & Zero dead, a/o 15 March

      My Rx:

      1. Enjoy some Warm Comedy (I like CBC
        Radio's Because News, LOL, The Debaters)

      2. Sleep a bit longer than usual

      3. Eat well, omitting Sugar, Fat & Salt

      4. The likes of Zello, Skype or Ham Radio
        to keep in-contact with family & friends

      5. Help or Support someone else (without
        physically touching them)

  • +11 votes

    Tracking tool for the virus might provide interest to some:

    https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.h...

  • +10 votes

    The zombie apocalypse is coming.
    Frankly there is little we can do. Unless there is an inoculation you will get sick, or you won’t.

    • +36 votes

      10 seasons of the walking dead has prepared me for this.

    •  

      Investment tip: prometheia

    •  

      Well, you are wrong there. There is a lot we can do and it is a very simple thing, but the capitalism has to go on, even if it means suicide.
      All every country need to do is put a sign on the window, back in 2 weeks. Sit at home and only hospitalise the sick. But the way this is done, everyone is likely to get infected sooner or later.

  • +5 votes

    We have already taken action to prepare for any identified cases. All states have isolation units, and all GPs have been informed to be alert for the symptoms. The process for testing is in place, and I read that the turnaround times for the test results is to improve shortly.

    I understand that some cases have been identified outside of China, so monitoring incoming flights (from all overseas destinations) is all we could do now. Flights out of Wuhan have ceased.

    In terms of travelling outside of Australia, we just need to be aware and plan accordingly to minimise the risks.

    • +14 votes

      Due to something called the incubation period, I just fear it isnt enough. With a long incubation period which this one seems to have, people can stay healthy for even a week after they take a flight.

      • -7 votes

        Ok, so what you do suggest?

        I didn't see anyone on here having an issue when 83 were dying from measles in Samoa recently.

        • +6 votes

          Any proposals I may think of are financially unviable at the current stage.

          As for Samoa, I believe that is because there is actually a vaccine for measles. There is no vaccine for 2019-nCoV, nor is there one for SARS or MERS which occured the better portion of 2 decades ago.

        •  

          looking back at the end of Jan, obviously Australia wasn't treat this seriously enough.
          We still tried to protect the airline and tourism industry until the last minute by allowing tourists coming here.
          If we swallow the bitter pill and close the borders and put a strict isolation for returning residents, it wouldn't impact other industries too much (hospitality, entertainment, etc.).

          •  

            @Bargain80: There is no stopping this virus. It was coming to Australia no matter what we did. We now just have to ride out the exponential curve and wait for herd immunity to kick in, which will be many months from now.

      • +1 vote

        You fear it is not enough but you are not fear mongering.
        Got it.

        • +2 votes

          Fear mongering would be a headline: Deadly Coronavirus, HAZMAT SUITS NEEDED.

        • +1 vote

          I don't think OP is fear mongering. He clearly has concerns with the Earth's preparedness to deal with a modern pandemic - who the hell wouldn't be concerned. Every new virus that is spread through merely close contact should scare the shit out of everyone. We are obviously more prepared than the past, but these viruses are more potent and resilient to treatment. They are also constantly mutating assisted by modern globalisation. Let's not forget the Spanish Flu killed 200,000 people only 100 years ago.

          Being cautious and education is not fear mongering.

    • +7 votes

      all GPs have been informed to be alert for the symptoms.

      This guy missed the memo…
      https://www.smh.com.au/national/coronavirus-case-confirmed-i...

      "Deputy chief health officer Angie Bone said she was concerned that the man had visited a GP the day before presenting in hospital, but the doctor did not suspect the man had coronavirus despite him having just returned from China."

      • +2 votes

        Classic GP.

        •  

          This sort of thing is truly unforgivable, they all have faxes in their lunchrooms/clinics regarding the virus, symptoms and what to do.

      •  

        we should do one thing that China does and I think it will work well to reduce the spread, which is:
        - get focused message to everyone about the symptom. (I heard two main symptoms are fever and dry cough).
        - Anyone with those two main symptoms (regardless of travel history) should call a hotline, not GP.
        - They should then stay at home and self isolate.
        - Government then send a team to collect swab sample.
        - The test should be expedited (no later than 24 hours)

  • +21 votes

    put all incoming people into quarantine like we do for animals

    • +2 votes

      One curious report I read once was regarding a quarantine measure, where they weighed the economic cost of doing quarantine. Beijing once was quarantined like Wuhan for 60 days during SARS and the outcome of the report said that the quarantine measures were not financially effective to do. Which sounds silly because its just putting a price on the health of the citizens…

      • +4 votes

        Which sounds silly because its just putting a price on the health of the citizens…

        I mean, it sounds scary, but really governments do this all the time.

        e.g. not every town has a trauma centre, not everyone gets free flu vaccine, exhaust stacks for toll roads near schools, I could go on all day.

        To provide a directly relevant example: to quarantine Sydney for a month would cost far in excess of a billion dollars. If all it achieved was preventing a few people in Newcastle and Wollongong getting moderately sick, would it be a good idea to do it?

        (Maybe that money could have bought some new firefighting aircraft, or hospitals)

        • +1 vote

          Money etc can be replaced, life cant

          •  

            @hm: The problem is it quickly leads to 'if it saves only one life, it's worth it'.

            • +4 votes

              @Cluster: Absolutely. We don’t expend money “at all costs” to save a life nowadays. If you live in a refugee camp relatively minor issues can become life threatening due to lack of basic health care. Even in Australia the money for treatment is not infinite, life and death decisions are made every day and money comes into it. They are unlikely to do a heat transplant on a 96 year old, they will probably consider it for someone in their 30s. There is a cost benefit analysis.

              • +4 votes

                @try2bhelpful: that's not true.

                To save Matt Damon who was stuck on Mars, it cost billions and billions. The CNSA gave up their space mission and donated the rocket to NASA to save him. All this for one guy. Imagine that.

            • +1 vote

              @Cluster: what cost do you put on your life

            •  

              @Cluster: Even if it saves one life, it's worth with.
              Try get any polly to tell you otherwise in a recorded interview.

          •  

            @hm: Money can also be used in other ways to save more lives.

            •  

              @abb: True. The biggest outcome for the report which I didnt mention was that it didnt stop the spread, but only delayed it. Once the travel ban lifted it was also spread. Possibly not as much but it is still a concern.

            •  

              @abb: what is money if you are not here

              •  

                @hm: It takes money to keep people alive, if you spend excessive amounts on some people then others die. Everyday from healthcare, road safety, building safety etc etc decisions are made about what is acceptable risk and what is reasonable to spend to minimise risk and harm. you can never reach zero risk but you can very easily exhaust your funds trying to mitigate those risks.

          •  

            @hm: There are seven BILLION reasons why you're wrong. Life gets replaced all the time.

            •  

              @HighAndDry: 7.000.000.001 reason, yes but not your own

              • +2 votes

                @hm: I'm neither naive nor narcissistic enough to think that my life is unique in any practically relevant way, and the same applies to probably 6.9 billion of the 7 billion rest of the people on the planet, if not more.

                Most people have no unique actual impact on the world, maybe only the dozen or so, if not less, people in their immediate social/familial circle.

                •  

                  @HighAndDry: i prefer life to money

                  •  

                    @hm:

                    @HighAndDry: i prefer life to money

                    No I think you prefer some idealised version of reality that simply does not and cannot exist. Life takes money/resources and at some point decisions have to be made where the expenditure of resources is harming the potential well being of others. Everything is a balance, if you spend to much somewhere then something else must suffer, money/resources are not infinite.

                  •  

                    @hm: And this is why you aren't responsible for financial decisions regarding healthcare or insurance.

                    Would a billion dollars be well spent quarantining sydney (even if it saved lives), if that same billion dollars would save more lives spent on welfare, healthcare or medical research?

                    Where do you stop? If someone dies in a workplace accident, what should that be valued at to the family? $100? $100000? A lifetime's salary? The entire value of the company? The GDP of the country?

                    Somewhere, someone has to draw a line in the sand and say "this is what a life is worth".

                    •  

                      @SolidworksError: Ummmmmm you were saying?

                      •  

                        @hm: My point doesn't change at all- in fact, this is exactly my point. It's gotten to the stage where the government has recognised the toll on the medical system, and long term employment/business as wlel as lives lost to be worth taking these steps.

                        If they've made the right call (probably) at the right time (probably not- too late) is a different argument.

                        •  

                          @SolidworksError: I think your point has now changed as your current argument now considers the loss of life vs money

                          •  

                            @hm: That was EXACTLY my point:

                            quote, myself:

                            "Somewhere, someone has to draw a line in the sand and say "this is what a life is worth"."

                            The government has done that finally- $1100 per fortnight per person to keep now unemployed people fed and in a house, closure of tourism, business and travel, etc.

                            Make no mistake, the economic factor weighed (and continues to!) very heavily in their decision making process.

          •  

            @hm:

            Money etc can be replaced, life cant

            7.76 billion and counting Look at how quickly that birth counter is updating…

            Democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive [overpopulation]. Convenience and decency cannot survive [overpopulation]. As we put more and more people onto the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears.

            -Isaac Asimov.

          •  

            @hm:

            Money etc can be replaced, life cant

            geez, be realistic. Projected, towards 8 billion in 2024. Whose life can’t be replaced - yourself and those you like? Narcissism?

          •  

            @hm: Tell that to Boeing ( 737-Max )

      • +1 vote

        Which sounds silly because its just putting a price on the health of the citizens…

        Governments prioritising money over the welfare of the people. Hmm, tell me what's new here.

    •  

      This is more cilivised way to state that.

    • +1 vote

      put all incoming people into quarantine like we do for animals

      Doesn't seem like such a silly idea now does it… if only.

  • +24 votes

    When I was living in China during the first outbreak the schools were told to soak rags in bleach and leave them on the radiators as that would kill the virus. Never mind having to deal with thousands of people spitting everywhere….no that doesn’t spread anything….

    • +1 vote

      What about the side effects of breathing in bleach?

      I suppose the lesser of two evils principle at play here.

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