GoKunming Forums

Keep Calm and Carry on

herenow (354 posts) • +2

The following from the AP is relevant to my next-to-last post as regards transmission and the potential for a pandemic:


Although the Chinese health minister and others have suggested that the virus is spreading before people get symptoms, data to confirm that has not yet been shared widely beyond China.

“It’s still unclear whether that takes place,” said Malik Peiris, chair in virology at the University of Hong Kong. “The fortunate thing about SARS, if there was anything fortunate, was that transmission did not take place before symptoms,” he said. If it turns out that the new coronavirus can indeed be spread by people who don’t show any symptoms, “a pandemic is a scenario that we have to consider.”


Dazzer (2813 posts) • 0

“a pandemic is a scenario that we have to consider.”
consider yes, but it is by no means certain. a risk assesment looks at likelihood of something happening and the impact if it does. you have to balance the two.

Trumpster (84 posts) • +3


there are many unknowns, including unknown unknowns, should we panic and shutdown entire cities every time we encounter one? Before the current corona virus panic was the avian flu, and before that was MERS, and before that was SARS, in between all of those somewhere was Ebola. New viruses will not stop at the new corona, should this be a precedent then, on how China should react to every new infectious virus?

Having lived in earthquake country for many years, everyone talked about the "Big one" and yet there is no hysteria. What is really needed is preventative measures and not reactive ones that only exacerbate the panic. Unfortunately, people's memories are rather short because after each panic blows over they go back the their old routine as if nothing has happened.

So all I am saying is according to government figures, current diagnosed cases stand at 7700 and deaths at 170, that gives us a mortality rate of 2.2%. As the link I provided earlier stated, both number are likely to be greater but because death is easier to be detected, the true count is not going to be wildly off from the official figure while infection cases are more likely to be much greater because many patients get well on their own before the authorities are even aware of the cases and many more cases that do not result in death are attributed to the flu, therefore, the true mortality rate given the current statistic is going to be much lower. Given such analysis, I can't accept the justification of the measures taken thus far.

At the end of the day the question ultimately is, how much freedom and control are we willing to give up in order to circumvent the unknown. What is the price we are willing to play to "FEEL" safe. And that is for each person to decide for themselves.

JanJal (1097 posts) • 0

Continuing my own post in the other thread, and the theme of migrant workers having hard time getting back to factories.

If the traffic restrictions continue next week and further (and why wouldn't they), all over China there are milllions of migrant workers remaining in their rural homes longer than expected..

Many of these folks left because of poverty, and now they have to feed on lifestock that isn't planned to support this extended presence. Families will have to slaughter more animals than budgeted for, while other problems around pork supply remain as well.

On the plus side, weddings and other feasts are not allowed, so they won't have to feed villagers - or pay local residents, who have remained, for catering.

Thus in rural China there are many indirect consequences, even if nobody in these villages would get sick. Poverty reduction efforts will be impacted as well.

pideh390 (13 posts) • +1

Trumpster wrote: "... the true mortality rate given the current statistic is going to be much lower."

Again, this supposition is misguided.

How LONG does it take for someone contracted with 2019-nCoV to end in death?

The answer: We don't actually know at this point. It could take weeks, even months. Or maybe a cure.

What we do know is that in one week alone, the denominator (confirmed cases) of the morality rate fraction has jumped 6,000.*

The morality rate fraction is:
[deaths / confirmed cases]

Said unknown variable is why the top numerator (deaths) may increase at a slower rate than the rate of increase for the bottom denominator (confirmed cases).

We are still collecting data at this early juncture. It is way too early to make the conjecture that the "true morality rate is going to be much lower."

* www.theguardian.com/[...]

Geezer (1947 posts) • +1

@Trumpster I agree with your logic and conclusion. In fact, my thinking is about the same as yours. I would add in the concept of pre-control vice post-control.

Post-control is easier as it is reactive and demands only fast responses such as quarantine and denial of movement.

Pre-control is a prevention effort requiring a huge push to educate and change hygiene habits. It faces the resistance of centuries cultural knowledge.

Given the current virus is asymptomatic while the victim is contagious for up to 14 days, post-control fails as the R0 factor could be quite high. The R0 factor refers to how many other people one sick person is likely to infect on average. For a discussion of R0 and progression see:

Reliance on traditional medical practices, while less costly, hasn't promoted effective pre-controls (hygiene) and the current post-controls are terribly ineffective.

Fortunately the apparent mortality rate is low so we can hope. I'm guessing there will be a huge number of cases with a low mortality rate.

WASH your hands.

Trumpster (84 posts) • +1


How long does it take for someone to die from the corona virus? The first discovered case was towards the end of December and the first death was recorded sometime mid Januaryish, so I would say currently it is believe you generally develop pneumonia like symptoms within two weeks of showing symptoms if you are to develop it and die soon after if you do not get better.

If you are arguing that the corona virus can kill years after contraction and thus we should be afraid then shouldn't we be equally panicked over lung cancer and cardiovascular disease?

You are worried because 6000 people were infected in a week, but do you know how many people get the flu on a weekly basis? 810 thousand hospitalizations over four months in a flu season averages about 50 thousand cases per week. Are you panicking about the flu yet?

And as you have stated, there are currently many unknowns about this disease, does it make sense to be so fearful that we are paralyzing entire cities and the country based on unknown variables? Especially given what is factually known so far, which is, after 5 weeks of infections only 7800 cases have been diagnosed resulting in 171 deaths.

I now turn you to the definition for hysteria: exaggerated or uncontrollable emotion or excitement, especially among a group of people. How do people react when they hear a Wuhan person is in their midst? How do people react when they hear rumors of someone getting sick? Seems quit fitting, don't you think?

To clear something up, when I said true mortality rate, I also said given the current figures, as in what can be calculated based on past experiences regarding under reporting the numbers as opposed to calculating based on the numbers themselves. I agree, once the epidemic runs its course the the finals tallied, we could have a higher mortality rate than the current 2.2%, but then we also could have a lower one.

herenow (354 posts) • 0

@Trumpster wrote: "there are many unknowns, including unknown unknowns, should we panic and shutdown entire cities every time we encounter one?"

It generally makes sense to shut down cities when the relevant public health experts (e.g., the CDC in the United States) decide that the level of risk is high enough, and that doing so would serve the public interest. (I am not necessarily claiming that this standard has been satisfied in the case of Wuhan.)

You mentioned earthquakes, but I think that hurricanes are a better analogy. When a hurricane is offshore with an uncertain track, then entire cities are essentially shut down and evacuated. Sometimes the hurricane misses the city, but that doesn't mean that evacuation was the wrong decision. And they will typically evacuate again if another hurricane threatens, and that is also not wrong.

@Trumpster wrote: “Before the current corona virus panic was the avian flu, and before that was MERS, and before that was SARS, in between all of those somewhere was Ebola. New viruses will not stop at the new corona, should this be a precedent then, on how China should react to every new infectious virus?”

No. Each virus is different in terms of mortality rate, infectiousness, incubation time, case numbers, geography, etc. And so each one needs to be assessed individually. For example, if we consider the other diseases you mention:
- Ebola, SARS and MERS: People outside of Africa, China and the Middle East didn't need to be overly concerned about these, simply because of the geography of the cases.
- Avian flu: Few people anywhere needed to be overly concerned about this because of the low case numbers, maybe apart from those who visited live poultry markets.

The Wuhan coronavirus appears to have significant mortality rates, SARS-like infectiousness, a relatively long incubation time, and case numbers already in excess of SARS' 9-month total. It is also centered about as close to Kunming as Portland is to Los Angeles (800 miles). Those are the main reasons why I am concerned about it in a way that I never was for other viruses.
(Mortality, infectiousness and incubation links previously given here: www.gokunming.com/[...]
Link for case numbers: www.cnbc.com/[...] )

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