This year of 2020 is seriously bugged. We’re plagued by a virus that seriously impacts the way we’re living our lives. Until there is a cure or vaccine (or both), we have to lead our lives a little differently. What this deadly Coronavirus also reveals is that our human nature is tricky. Suddenly we’re all scientists now, or virus experts or worse yet, we believe the virus has an agenda of its own or it’s a part of some conspiracy or belongs to a certain political party. That’s why I decided to write this blog post to link to scientific research and draw my own conclusions from them so that when anyone asks me about the Coronavirus, I can point them to here. I hope it’s going to be useful to you, too:
- How the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic started
- What we know now about the COVID-19 and the Coronavirus
- My own conclusions about COVID-19 and Coronavirus
- It’s not a time to be skeptical, it’s time to be educated and cautious
- Additional thoughts and recommendations
How the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic started
In the beginning of this year I heard some news about a novel Coronavirus in China, but frankly, I didn’t pay much attention to it. When it started to spread in Europe, I was still skeptical about it until I read this:
This article got me seriously worried. I remember reading it on Wednesday, March 11. It struck me how serious it all was. My kids still went to school normally the next day, but I didn’t let them go there on Friday. On Monday all schools were closed and the lock down started.
It all happened so quickly. My life changed in a matter of days.
As my family learned how to live in a state of complete lock down and saw how many people quickly started dying in Italy, Spain and other parts of the world, we knew this virus was nothing like a typical flu. Worse yet, we didn’t know how long the lock down would last, and then I read this:
After this we knew we had to learn to dance with the Coronavirus. We had to be really cautious because as the lock down was gradually lifted, the new normality kicked in.
We cancelled our air travel plans. We purchased lots of different types of masks and got used to wearing them outdoors. We even sent our kids to school in September and much to my surprise the school is still open. Even our youngest 4-year old goes to Nursery class with a mask.
What we know now about the COVID-19 and the Coronavirus
Now that more than half a year has happened, we know more and just recently via Kottke I read an interesting scientific FAQ about Aerosol spread of the coronavirus:
This FAQ document just confirmed and summarized many other facts I read online about the virus in the past months.
My own conclusions about COVID-19 and Coronavirus
Please read the above-mentioned documents thoroughly and get your own conclusions.
Here are mine:
- Much deadlier than flu. The COVID-19 illness due to infection by the Coronavirus kills more than 10 times the number of people than a seasonal flu as we have no vaccine nor herd immunity to it.
- Asymptomatic people are most dangerous. People who get the virus don’t start developing symptoms until a few days later, while in the same time they are the most contagious. Their contagiousness gets weaker as they develop symptoms. Typically people experience high fever and/or lack of taste or smell and/or shortness of breath and overall fatigue.
- Wash hands often, clean things. Coronavirus doesn’t survive as much time on the surfaces as we initially were made to believe, but we can still get it by touching things and then subsequently our mouths. So we must keep disinfecting hands and things frequently.
- Wear a mask almost everywhere. When we’re indoors but not in our home, we should wear a mask there at all times. When outside but close to other people - same rule. Virus spreads through saliva in the air. Whenever two people are talking, they’re exchanging saliva when not wearing a mask. Wear a mask.
- Avoid indoors, especially not ventilated or crowded. The new data is in - the virus also stays airborne for up to 2 hours in a poorly ventilated room. That’s why there was this report in August about how a single sick woman sitting in a poorly-ventilated Starbucks cafe without a mask got lots of people infected. When indoors with other people, wear a mask!
Practice social distancing, avoid indoors, always wear a mask when near other people and wash hands frequently, because people who show no symptoms might be contagious.
It’s not a time to be skeptical, it’s time to be educated and cautious
This stuff is dead serious. More than 1M people died of COVID-19 worldwide this year. More than 200K just in the USA.
Skeptical in March: OK, but do you know anyone who got really sick?
Skeptical now: OK, but do you know anyone who died?
Well, I know many people who got sick, some of them my close friends. Some of them got through it easily, others had a really tough time and even weeks after couldn’t breathe properly. And I just heard that the priest who wed my mom and dad died of COVID-19 just a few days ago.
This is real and it hits home.
Additional thoughts and recommendations
Again, please read all the articles I linked to above. Use your own good judgement and verify your sources. Don’t listen to politicians - they are not scientists. This is a dumb but deadly virus that has no political agenda.
If you’re a church-attending catholic like me, choose a church that lets you participate outside. Take communion only in your hand and make sure the priest who gives it out to you is wearing a mask. If not, take the communion spiritually. Don’t risk it. God gave you a free will and will not protect you if you act in a stupid way.
Yes, 2020 sucks. This “new normality” blows. We can’t have the good things we’re used to. Travel is limited. There are no parties, concerts or other events. And if they are, you should totally avoid them.
Let me repeat that. Don’t organize parties! Don’t invite people to a party! Don’t accept invites to a party. These situations are always awkward and make people sad but the choice is clear.
We should all choose health now.
I’m optimistic. We’ll deal with this virus at some point. It won’t be like this forever.
We just need to suck it up for now.
Which really… sucks.