Right now in the UK there are 460 CONFIRMED cases of Wuhan Coronavirus, COVID-19, for each of these there are several other (or even many) unconfirmed, mild or symptom free cases. So wherever you live in the UK (or anywhere in Europe or USA) it is very close to you. On January 23rd China had 571 confirmed cases in Wuhan/Hubei. A week later it had 7,736. Expect similar here.
We are in the UK and USA and most of Europe at the stage where the natural distribution curve goes exponential, nearly vertically. With cases doubling, then doubling again then doubling again.
Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty published a book in 2013, “Pandemics, What Everyone Needs to Know”. Page 3 of its conclusions states:
“What influenza also tells us is that, while viruses that spread via the respiratory route are the most likely cause of some future pandemic, only the most draconian and immediate restrictions on human travel are likely to limit the spread of infection, and then only briefly.”
“Such limitations are likely to be applied quickly if we are faced with a situation in which, for example, more than 30% of those affected develop severe or even fatal consequences. The more dangerous situation may be when mortality rates are in the 1-3% range, causing (ultimately) 70 million to 210 million deaths globally. Such an infection could “get away” before we realised what was happening.”
Which is where we are now.
Your government is not trying to stop you catching the disease. It can’t. The spread is relentless and inevitable. All that government can do, all that government is doing, is to delay the spread of the disease. By promoting and enforcing social distancing. So instead of rising to a sharp peak, the infections are spread out over a longer time frame. This puts less strain on society, on our economy, our infrastructure and on our health service.
It is incredibly important to realise that most people who have this disease won’t realise that they have had it. They will have zero or minimal symptoms. This is good in that they are not coming to harm and herd immunity is being built up. It is bad in that they are still contagious, unknowingly spreading the disease.
Now let’s look at what some individual countries are doing:
UK. We are brilliant at contingency planning. The Government’s pandemic plan has been honed and perfected over many years using the very best science, the very best epidemiology. It was created for pandemic ‘Flu, now it is being applied to Chinese Coronavirus. You can read it by clicking HERE. What this means is that action is taken to smoothly deal with the needs of different stages of the pandemic. Which is what is happening.
Italy. The epidemic there got completely out of control before the authorities even started to realise that it was happening. Now society has broken down with families forced to live with corpses and virtually all economic activity halted. The health system has collapsed. This is what happens when you don’t manage the infection rate with social distancing. The upside is that they will come out of the other side of their epidemic sooner.
South Korea. A bad start when a super spreader attended a religious cult meeting, infecting many people who then took it to the whole country. The Korean government has followed an immense programme of testing. Probably testing more than the rest of the world combined. Then applying strict quarantine. This revealed to them that many victims have no symptoms. It has also flattened the infection curve probably into late spring, when it will become less virulent.
Iran. Much like Italy. A huge failure of governance by an incompetent state. The big difference is that Iran has a very young population whereas Italy has a very old population. And this disease is very ageist. So Italy will have more severe cases and more deaths.
Wuhan. A high death rate because of an ageing population, Vitamin D deficiency and extreme levels of industrial pollution, which means that everyone has a compromised respiratory system. Far more men than women have died because it is mainly the men who smoke in China.
So now lets look at some serious considerations:
- The single action that you can take to protect yourself during this pandemic is to take Vitamin D supplements. We evolved in Africa and are not designed for northern winters. So nearly all of us are Vitamin D deficient at this time of year. And Vitamin D is essential for our immune systems to work.
- The pandemic will slow down when exposed to the heat, UV and humidity of summer. However a pool of infection will survive to return with a vengeance next year (as the 1918 ‘Flu pandemic did). This could become an annual winter event, with new strains each year.
- It really is not a matter of if you will catch this disease, it is a matter of when. Just like the winter colds to which it is related. So going into an extreme hygiene regime is futile, if you have any contact whatsoever with civilisation expect and plan to get it.
- The Chinese have a video of a person in an air conditioned bus infecting another person four and a half metres away. Which pretty much means that all public transport is dangerous. Which is why governments close it down.
- Face masks don’t work to stop you getting infected. Many medical workers using them caught the disease. However wearing one when you are infected helps to reduce the spread.
- Temperature measuring guns don’t work and governments have stopped using them. They give too many false negatives and too many false positives.
- We are lucky in the UK that the Government, industry, the NHS and individuals stockpiled extensively for Brexit. So we carry excessive inventory of most essentials.
The most sensible thing anyone can do right now is to prepare to spend a few weeks confined to their home. A good chance to get things done. Decorating, catching up with movies and books. Learning about something you always wanted to know more about. Playing chess with your family. Eat. Drink.
Also try reading the previous Coronavirus articles on here. They contain much that the mainstream media can’t or won’t tell you.