Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Men: "Do you have to shave your beard for COVID-19?" You do for N95 masks to fit (what about anything else?)

Do You Have to Shave Your Beard for COVID-19?”,  by critical care physician Mike Hansen.

He says, well, no, but if you need an N95 mask for work as a health care worker, you do, because the mask can’t fit over a beard.  Small mustaches’s may be OK.  He goes through a CDC document naming all the styles from the “Dollars” Italian westerns.

Given all the attention not just to vigorous hand-washing, two things come to mind. First, most things an ordinary person touches are with the undersides of the fingers and palms.  So it sounds like common sense they should get attention first, rather harmless.  The rest of it, of course, is the incredible tedium of putting on and taking off all the space-suit gear. I can recall a particular scene in “The Andromeda Strain”.  Can body hair hold virus?  Well, no, it’s actually dead, but the roots in the skin are very alive. Sone day there will be a virus that holds them (at least there is in my sci-fi novel “Angel’s Brother”).  This gets a lot more sensitive for men (Caucasians) than just the beard.
You have to trim your fingernails, too.  That doesn’t mean anything to most people.  But a woman who worked at the election in early March had trouble with one of the machines because of long decorative fingernails and she didn’t want to give them up.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

"The Coronavirus Is Not a Black Swan", video with Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The Coronavirus Is Not a Black Swan” with Nassim Nicholas Taleb speaking on Bloomberg.

The channel is N N Taleb’s Probability Moocs.  Taleb is a professor of Risk Engineering at CUNY, I believe, and author of the 2018 book “Skin in the Game”.

Taleb here instead calls it a “white swan” because we could have anticipated and prepared for it.
But nobody – not even the science fiction writers – connected the dots about how it could suddenly become so devastating. 

We could have realized that a coronavirus like this could be bizarre.  

Friday, March 27, 2020

"An Alarmist Take on the Coronavirus" based on a new mathematical paper from Regenberg in Germany

Arvin Ash renders “An Alarmist Take on the Coronavirus  SARS-Cov2, leading to COVID-19 disease.

He appeals to the mathematics of Daniel Regenberg in Berlin, Germany, who made this short introductory video.

Regenberg wrote a long paper on Medium “The Algebra of Death” which is similar to Tomas Peuyo’s (Books blog, March 13). 

This is a worst case scenario and the big question is whether social distancing which, in most areas of the US has been in effect since about March 16, will start to make more difference.  It had better.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

"How Virus 'Exploded'" according to a doctor in northern Italy

Video, “Italian Doctor on How Virus ‘Exploded’; Having Coronavirus and How to Fight It”.

There were almost 900 more deaths today.

It seems to have broken out first in a nursing home in Bergamo.

She suggests virus spread was concentrated heavily in specific areas, maybe by contamination, as well as overwhelming problems for health care workers to avoid becoming infected. She does say there were many mild cases, and some people worked when they had trivial symptoms.

She says some people in ICU were 45-50 years old, not everyone is old.

She says she works from home while she recovers and feels OK.

She expects the peak next week.

The interview comes form Channel 4 News in Britain.

However a “From Home to Rome” site indicates that many of the deaths were not directly from the virus but from secondary complications associated with pre-existing conditions.  The virus has largely remained in the north as for deadly cases, according to this site.
NBC News reported today that the ICU cases are increasingly younger.

By Mykola Berkash, CC BY 3.0, Link

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

"Typhoid Mary: The Bringer of Disease and Death": we had thought about quarantine at all for a half century

Typhoid Mary: The Bringer of Disease and Death”, on the Biographics channel (19 minutes).

This is the story of Mary Mallon, a renegade cook who infected over 50 people with typhoid fever, while being "immune" herself, and winding up spending the last decades of her life (dying at 69 in 1938) in quarantine despite her lack of symptoms, after deliberately working as a cook after ordered not to.
This is certainly a story about the “morality” of the quarantine issue. 

Monday, March 09, 2020

"Spanish Flu: A Warning from History", from Cambridge University

Spanish Flu: A Warning from History”, from Cambridge University.
Mary Dobson and David Smith speak. 
They discuss how the H1N1 virus may have started in Kansas and spread to troops before the end of WW1.  The second wave around 1920 was much steeper.  It apparently had infected swine or other animals and adapted to the human host by random mutation evolution in an unusual way. 
This virus attacked young adults, and many died of the cytokine storms rather than the virus itself, and often it was sudden.  People would cough up or vomit blood very suddenly.
The new coronavirus seems to come on more gradually in most serious cases and seems to be much harder on older adults or adults with other health problems.  

Today we have to watch the H5 and H7 avian influenza strains, common in Asia, very carefully for the possibility of developing person-person spread. 

Friday, March 06, 2020

"War is the Appropriate Analogy"

Richard Harchett, Coalition of Economic Preparedness: “Coronavirus: War is the Appropriate Analogy”, speaks in the UK. 
Notice how he discusses personal responsibility, for others who have more risk than “you” do.  In some scenarios, you could be accused of murder or manslaughter if you weren’t careful?

The lack of an adequate health insurance system or paid leave from work certainly matters.  But what about independent contractors?  That's already the quandary journalists have in California.  
Or is this about being willing to experience a collective identity?