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How has COVID-19 affected you personally?

Discussion in 'Zoo Cafe' started by DelacoursLangur, 6 Mar 2020.

  1. DelacoursLangur

    DelacoursLangur Well-Known Member

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    {Note from mods - this thread split from posts made originally in this thread: COVID-19 effects on zoos and animal conservation}



    I feel I am also obliged to give a quick PSA on personal safety as the virus spreads, particularly for other American zoochatters who have yet to face it. I live in Seattle which is the US epicenter with nearly all of the deaths thus far so I have some insight. Large public gatherings will be cancelled, schools may be cancelled, large employers and public workers may be told to work from home. Stores will sell out of some cleaning agents and hand sanitizers. Some people will freak out and some people will minimize the threat, be neither of those people. Remember the most at risk are the elderly and health compromised, so wash your hands as often as possible to protect them. Oh and dont buy masks on ebay, healthcare workers need them far more than any of us. Here is a quick guide to safety procedures: Advice for public
     
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  2. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    With confirmed cases in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, Connecticut is preparing for the inevitable arrival here. I know my college has already begun preparing to switch all courses to online only in the even that the school must be closed for health safety purposes.
     
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  3. lowland anoa

    lowland anoa Well-Known Member

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    Two of the 5 recently confirmed cases in Scotland are in Fife, the area where Dunfermline is. We’re facing a shortage of hand sanitisers, toilet papers and face masks. People are on their nerves, despite the relatively low death rate of Covid-19.
     
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  4. KevinB

    KevinB Well-Known Member

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    I personally find it very sad that misinformation and panic are hindering measures to control the virus and making materials difficult to get for those who do really need them. Sadly the media aren't exactly helping as they often spread panicky messages without appropriate context, or publish stories and opinions of people who are panicking or overreacting or calling into question what the government is doing about the epidemic and calling for total lock-down. Another thing that irritates me is the lack of concern and the cynicism of some who call this "just a bad flu" or even "natural selection, weeding out of the weak".

    This personal health advice is very important and something that all should do their best to follow up on. Doing these things will definitely help contain this virus, however, it is not a perfect solution. Even in areas where strong quarantines and restrictions have been implemented the number of Covid-19 cases has continued to rise, in some cases strongly. So we must do whatever we can to try and contain it.

    I myself worry the most about public transport and busy train stations, as I have no choice but to use it or be there four days per week. All I can do at this point is do my best to follow these preventive measures and hope for the best. Working from home is not an easy option for me and something I could only do in a pinch or if things get worse, which unfortunately seems likely.

    This virus is highly infectious and transmissible and it is likely it will spread further. I fear the implementation of widespread shutdowns and restrictions like the ones in China, Italy and so on in further places as this virus continues to spread, and the impact of these on the economy, public life and the personal lives of citizens, including myself and my family. I hope we can still contain things enough to avoid lock-downs ,but I am fearing it isn't likely. Even the WHO-chief has given some alarming statements that enough is not being done and that tough measures should be taken. Some highly educated people have predicted absolute worst case scenarios of this virus infecting 40 tot 70% of the world population and killing millions. It is not impossible and I'm not sanguine that we could truly prevent that from happening at this point.

    At this point the question is not if things will get worse with this coronavirus, but how much worse it will be getting. I am afraid the answer to that question is "far, far worse", but I hope it won't. I wish there was some way to know, as all this uncertainty is bothering me a lot.
     
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  5. AmbikaFan

    AmbikaFan Well-Known Member

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    I work in NY, the fourth state to declare a state of emergency for COVID-19. Like Thylo's, my 23-college university has plans for everything from a temporary suspension of certification required for courses conducted online to easing financial aid course-completion requirements, to suspending classes and issuing Incompletes. Fortunately my school has taken very tangible physical precautions, from the installation of 275 hand-sanitizing dispensers, issuing a recipe for making sanitizer at home, extra virucidal cleaning of most-touched surfaces overnight, and complete virucidal wash-down of classrooms over weekends. My school survived the heavily-infected two-foot floodwaters of Hurricane Sandy, so they know how to fight contagion. However, the marked difference then is that we had the help of scores of workers from the NYS Dormitory Authority who left their homes to help save ours. With this, there may be few who are unaffected and able to help others in a large-scale response.
     
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  6. KevinB

    KevinB Well-Known Member

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    The more I read and hear about this coronavirus the more worried and anxious I continue to get. There is a fair amount of media and social media reporting, including from smart people and people who have at least some knowledge on health and disease, arguing that the government agencies and international bodies responsible for human health are ill-prepared and are not able or willing to do enough to combat the coronavirus.

    Another thing that keeps popping up is that the health effects of the coronavirus are likely worse than what is currently being reported and that survives may well be left with permanent damage, as well as that the virus is likely contagious to a higher degree and for longer time periods than we are currently working with in terms of quarantines. There are even some scientific papers starting to be publishes on this now.

    With each passing day and even hour it appears to me all the more likely we are seeing the beginning stages of an all-out, worst case scenario pandemic on the scale of the Spanish Flu, and I fear there is very little we can do to prevent that now, not even with the toughest of measures.

    China truly unleashed a near-perfect pathogen on the world this time. This one will be with us for a while to come and it is almost certain at this point it is going to be extremely bad indeed. We are all in deep doo-doo and we all have plenty of unpleasantness ahead of us.
     
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  7. Buldeo

    Buldeo Well-Known Member

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    The massive exemption for 'medicinal purposes' remains a problem, and with the previous Director General of the WHO convincing the organization to adopt Traditional Chinese Medicine as a way to achieve affordable, global health insurance, it's not going away. That's a political pain point the CCP isn't going to give away.
     
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  8. AmbikaFan

    AmbikaFan Well-Known Member

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    Here is the recipe for homemade hand-sanitizer if you can no longer find any in stores:

    Homemade Hand Sanitizer Ingredients

    1. 2/3 cup 99% rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or ethanol.
    2. 1/3 cup aloe vera gel.
    3. 8-10 drops essential oil, optional (such as lavender, vanilla, peppermint, grapefruit)
    4. bowl and spoon.
    5. funnel.
    6. recycled liquid soap or hand sanitizer bottle
     
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  9. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    For all that there are legitimate criticisms to be made of Chinese consumption of wild animals and poor hygiene standards, this is a deeply problematic and inappropriate statement. China didn’t “unleash” anything and as things stand Chinese people have been by far the greatest number of victims of this epidemic.
     
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  10. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    Then you might think about reducing your daily news intake to calm down; stress and panic won't get you anywhere. Trust me on that; I've personally faced some nasty zoonotic diseases in my line of work, I've survived quite a few potentially lethal situations so far and I'm working with venomous and poisonous species that could easily kill me on a daily basis. I'd be ill-advised to worry all the time, especially about things I can do little about.
    See CGSwan's reply. I don't know how you define "perfection", but if the mortality rate in humans is your criterium, other pathogens, like the fascinating lyssaviruses, filoviruses, the tenacious Bacillus anthracis bacterium or the airborne Paracoccidioides brasiliensis fungus, not to mention increasingly multi-resistent common pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus or Malaria etc. might be even more "perfect". Yet if you also start panicking about them, you might as well just stop living. In general, I'd advise everyone to stick to common sense, follow reasonable health protocols (that you should have also adhered to before COVID-19) and not fall for the fear-mongering some politicians and members of the press seem to spread whenever faced with something they don't understand.
     
  11. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    Well said! The rest of your post was very good as well, but this bit definitely needs repeating. :)
     
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  12. DelacoursLangur

    DelacoursLangur Well-Known Member

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    That is if you can find rubbing alcohol, every store I have tried in Seattle is sold out. Washing your hands is best, but difficult on the go...

    In regards to the questions being raised about often China's willful negligence which so often creates these pandemics, it is certainly a fine line between fair criticism and prejudice, one which we should all be mindful of. As promoters of species conservation it is important we be seen as apolitical (something I personally struggle with particularly in regards to the CCP), so as to not de-legitimize the points we raze.

    It is worth remembering as well that the average Chinese person have very little to do with the wildlife trade, and do not consume any wildlife or wildlife products. It is primarily the wealthy elites who were raised on wildlife consumption and "medicine" during the Mao era who support this uncouth industry. Hence why the CCP supports it so much. (My source for this information is primarily the Vox video above + some additional reading.)
     
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  13. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    I have a personal interest in what's happening with COVID-19 since my wife is a Clinical Nurse Consultant with the NSW Health Counter Disaster Unit in our area of Sydney.

    Mostly their job is to help with planning and coordinating the health responses to disasters - they spent a lot of time writing their pandemic plan in recent years and she was recently involved in coordinating medical resources they deployed to help areas affected by the bushfires.

    My wife is also "clinical", so right now today she is out helping to take swabs of potentially infected patients :eek:

    So while I already work from home full time and there's no real change for me - my wife is at times required to be on the front lines of managing the spread of the infections along with other medical staff.

    Our parents are all in the target zone for much higher risk of a serious infection, so we are advising them to not come and visit us right now (as much as we could use their help) - we don't want to be putting them at risk.
     
  14. Imperator Furiosa

    Imperator Furiosa Well-Known Member

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    We’ve had confirmed cases in Chicago and at the Chicago Comics & Entertainment Expo this year they were taking precautions by limiting physical contact between special guests and attendees. I had the sniffles a couple weeks ago but quite honestly I don’t know if I was sick with anything or if the unusually mild weather is making my allergies go into overdrive. A good friend of mine unfortunately had an important trip to Puerto Rico cancelled due to fears of illness, given that he would have been flying through a major airport.

    I’m not excited to see how this impacts my work given that I work in a public facing position at a major public attraction here. I also have at least one artist alley coming up in the next couple months, possibly a few more if I get off the waitlist for those. I have throat damage so I cough/clear my throat a lot even when I’m not congested...but the public doesn’t necessarily know that. I’m hoping nobody freaks out of acts weird about me doing that, it’s really not something I can control. And I’m definitely not going to be able to explain to everyone that no I’m not sick I have throat damage.

    The mass hysteria is definitely the most frustrating part given that I’ve taken a few medical anthropology/public health courses. For a time I seriously considered pursuing a degree in Public Health but for some reason recovering human remains is much less depressing to me than saying “hey you need to build toilets or else there will be a cholera outbreak” and watching a country do the opposite. I’ve seen a few forecasts where the outcome is similar to H1N1, it’ll get worse before it gets better but it’s not going to be a world ending pandemic. Personally I think that may be a fair prediction, especially given that it seems to only cause very mild symptoms in most patients. A vaccine is in development and could be completed within the next 18 months and drug trials are currently being performed. The likelihood of it mutating into a more severe strain seems to be low. Maybe I’ll apply for a Masters in Public Health this fall just for the heck of it in the fall, it can be my wildcard application. Getting back into regularly reading studies and scientific papers on disease has been welcome in a way.

    As a parting note, I had to report multiple Chinese wildlife part sellers on eBay this evening -_- very cool eBay.
     
  15. DelacoursLangur

    DelacoursLangur Well-Known Member

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    I would love to try my hand at sifting for illegal sellers on ebay, any suggestions for key words? I would imagine most are probably in Mandarin, not so sure my one semester is gonna help me much :D
     
  16. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    It hasn't come to my area so I haven't been affected. Yet. Only thing that has come up is my landlady wanting to stock up on basic supplies in the event of a quarantine. Fine by me, always good to be stocked up for an emergency anyway, so I helped out with that. Easier than hurricane prep, since power and water loss aren't anticipated.

    My landlady is elderly so if an outbreak does occur in our city we'll have to take it pretty seriously. Really hope it doesn't come. Aside from the risk to her, I work an hourly job so if my workplace is closed for quarantine I don't know what I'd do for money.
     
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  17. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    I'm currently unaffected, (benefit of living in a more rural area) and don't expect much overall. Not been much panic here this far and hopefully won't.
    My current take on the situation is akin to @Batto, I'm not worrying about it and keeping a distance from social media. I'm keeping aware of what's going on, and will prepare should necessity require it, but I'm avoiding buying into the hype about it. Worrying over it is a waste of my time, and I'm not going to bother with it unless need be. Just going to observe standard common sense hygiene and take it from there.
     
  18. DelacoursLangur

    DelacoursLangur Well-Known Member

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    Good outlook overall, only thing I would suggest is maybe buying some hand sanitizer while you still can...
     
  19. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    Actually in my city the craze for mask and hand sanitizer is already ending. People no longer line in queue for 4 hours to get 3 mask. However, I must say this is a serious problem and should not be treated like normal. I agree that the people are over-reacted, but the virus is indeed spreading and if not treated properly may lead to irreversible damage to public health.

    I of course have been deeply affected. Schools is paused until after Easter and I need to have online classes. I basically can't go abroad since I'm in HK. Most of the public places are still closed such as museum, libraries and sports center. Although it is now a bit better here, I still think we must all remain good hygienic care.
     
  20. KevinB

    KevinB Well-Known Member

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    I might comment on some other matters later on, but for now, I just some comments on the posts quoted below.

    I apologize if my post suggested that I could be buying into the (sadly popular) conspiracy theories that China deliberately engineered and/or released this virus for nefarious purposes. While this outbreak is definitely the result of negligent and unethical practices, there is no reason at this point to believe there was any deliberate nefarious action, and I did not mean to suggest an accusation of such, although I see why my post could be seen that way.

    While I admit to having a rather large antipathy to the Chinese regime, I also apologize for the lack of compassion towards the Chinese people my post suggested. I might have inadvertently absorbed some of anti-Chinese sentiment that has sprung up with this pandemic and I am sorry for that. I realize that the Chinese people are victims of both this epidemic and their own regime.

    I fully support legitimate criticism of some practices and policies in China as well as the taking of preventive measures during this outbreak, but I will not stand behind a general prejudice against Chinese and other Asian people, and I'm sorry if I implied I might.

    What I meant to say and should have said is that this is a potentially very dangerous and very damaging outbreak that unsurprisingly spilled over from the repulsive wildlife trade in China.

    Thank you for the advice. I have started to try and stay away from newspaper comment sections and I have blocked Twitter, as that seems to be a major hotbed of panic, criticism and conspiracy theories. I am a pretty big news addict though so I don't think I could close myself off from the news. But I'll have to limit my sources somewhat I think.

    I have realized at this point the effects of stress and panic probably aren't going to have a good effect on my mental and physical health and won't help me at all if I were to contract Covid-19, which I still fear I will (and know I have a chance to) but hope I will be able to prevent.

    At this point I am going to try to calm down and relax some and continue with my daily life with as much normalcy as possible as this situation develops.

    What I meant by 'perfect pathogen' is not one that is highly lethal necessarily, but one that spreads easily and is likely to cause large-scale societal and economical disruption. And with Covid-19 we are definitely seeing that, and it is getting worse each day.

    I am doing my best to follow the health advice with regards to Covid-19, but I'm not sure at this point that will be enough to halt this outbreak. But it probably doesn't make sense to be overly worried about further consequences of this pandemic until they happen, apart from awareness and some preparation. At this point we cannot know how it will play out and while I continue to fear becoming closely or personally affected and the playing out of worst case scenarios, I cannot let that control my life at this point.
     
    Last edited: 9 Mar 2020
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