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    • I’m in Costa Rica, returning through Atlanta, Los Angeles, and San Jose this Tuesday. But my doc left me a message saying the CDC just updated their guidance to say if you’re over 60 (I am), do not leave the house. My adult children are asking my wife and I to stick to the quarantine and they will buy our groceries. Here in Costa Rica I have 5 kids crawling all over me every day and we’re with wildlife, at restaurants, on zip lines, etc., so this would be quite a change.

      Anyone heard of this new guidance? Doc says the rationale is the U.S. is way behind on testing so no one knows what the situation is.

    • One big question I have is whether it’s really age or health. My wife and I don’t smoke or drink, we eat a whole plant-based diet, we exercise, we take no medications, don’t have high blood pressure, no diabetes or heart disease, excess weight or anything else. I wonder what that does to our risk profile.

    • Chris I'd say health outweighs age in your situation.

      You are much healthier than the average in your age group.

    • Staying at home is the smart thing to do. Th US is seriously dropping the ball with testing people so the number of unknown infections is likely much higher than officials say. And even with extensive testing, you basically get a snapshot of who got infected 10 days ago, so the actual number of infected is probably much higher than the number of known cases. And the number is rising exponentially, doubling every couple of days. For anyone in risky demographics, the only safe solution is to isolate if at all possible.

    • Staying at home for a while, whenever and wherever possible, simply is the smart thing to do, even if you're <60, or the most healthy 60+ that's out there. ;)

      Besides trying to not get Covid-19 at all, the most important thing is to try not getting Covid-19 right now. This video is a great explanation of exponentials, and shows how slowing down the spread even just a little can lead to many less affected people in the end:

      On top of overall numbers, spreading out the disease will also enable the health system to handle all or at least most of the people affected at any given moment.

      Here in Germany, we're currently cancelling most public events, schools are being closed for the next few weeks, organizations are stopping their regular get-togethers. None of this will make Covid-19 go away, but it's one step to hopefully make the situation less serious than it currently is.

    • I have no expertise in the matter, but watching the number of cases in Madrid double day after day (2000 as I write) I do have some thoughts. Your health status means that if you get infected, you probably have a better chance of survival. I don't believe that it means you have less of a chance of getting infected or passing it on to others. In any event, statistics apply to populations, not individuals.

      The healthcare system in Spain is pretty good, but it is overwhelmed. Too many cases to deal with all at once. There is agreement that it's too late for containment, so mitigation is the only strategy. For that to work, we all need to follow the advice of public health officials. I'm sure you've seen this already and understand it, but "flattening the curve" is our best hope. The same number of cases over a longer period of time might be manageable.

      Your odds of surviving a game of Russian Roulette are pretty good. But why play in the first place? My wife and I are both in the high risk category. We're staying home as much as possible. All the museums are closed, public events cancelled, and even though there's no official order yet, the bars and restaurants are also closing. So there's not much to do out there anyway.

    • One big question I have is whether it’s really age or health.

      I’m reminded of the story told by comedian Ron White about an athlete who planned to tie himself to a tree to prove he was in shape enough to survive a hurricane. Ron’s observation was “It’s not that the wind is blowing—it’s WHAT the wind is blowing.”

      The Seattle nursing home cases seem to indicate that if you have a compromised immune system your risk of dying from coronavirus is greater.

      There are individuals under 65 who’s immune system is so weak that they would be at risk. If you already have a respiratory illness than age doesn’t matter.

      I would suspect that you are an outlier for your age group in health, given the obesity rates in this country and how lack of good nutrition and exercise accumulates into a negative impact on health for Boomers.

      But with the Trump administration intentionally withholding information on the spread of the virus, so as not to spook the markets and reduce his chances of re-election, I would suggest caution in relying on current released data to assess one’s relative risk of infection and death. The medical expert who recently put Sean Hannity in his place, and who has testified in Congress, said that the morbidity rate may be as high as 2% or 3% but that even if its 1% that’s 10 times as high as the seasonal flu.

    • @Chris , no matter what age you are, none of us are immune to this virus, so staying away from social interactions is a major way to reduce your risk of infection. This makes you safer, and everyone you come into contact with along the way safer, because you didn't contract the virus.

      You may be correct, that your health and immune system is better than your peers, but this disease is killing folks in their 30s and 40s too, and can be quite deadly in folks our age group.

      I read a story recently about someone who returned from Italy, ended up in the hospital on a ventilator for 13 days and said he felt like he was drowning the entire time, gasping for breath. Not a fun way to spend your vacation from work. He did survive at age 48, barely. He might not have made it with lesser health care. He will gasp again when he receives his bill for care, I suspect.

      I just added a post in the other Sars thread - the long one - reflecting on the mortality rate of Corona compared to the 1918 flu - their lethality rates MAY be closer than we think. No one really knows for sure yet

      So - social distancing helps protect you and other people, helps diminish the burden on the health care system, and gives the doctors and nurses time to learn, and get smarter about treating this illness. And they will get smarter with time.

      In Italy the hospitals are so stressed that nurses who test positive are still being asked to work with other positive patients. Something done only in the gravest emergency.

      You might read up a bit about what is recommended these days for protection as you pass through the TSA sites in each of those airports - a number of TSA personnel have tested positive. I haven't done this, but I have seen the articles on line or somewhere.

    • Thank you all. Great discussion. I don't know why when I wrote this I wasn't thinking that no matter how healthy or my age, being a carrier to infect others would seriously suck no matter what happened to me. 🤧

      From @StephenL : The medical expert who recently put Sean Hannity in his place

      Would that have been Dr. Fauci? He's my new hero, willing to speak science to an issue that has been politicized so heavily no matter the consequences. And his reputation is impeccable.

      Only thing is, what's with the bottled water recommendation?

    • Yes, three TSA workers at the San Jose airport were recently diagnosed.

      I read that same article about the 48-year old guy who was on a school trip in Italy IN FEBRUARY in the WSJ and then texted it to Bay Area family members who were being quite cavalier about the whole thing last week. It was a shocker, to say the least.

      Not to incite panic or anything, but @Chris, the Bay Area seems to be right on the verge of a huge break-out. Be very careful as you re-enter life there in Silicon Valley.

    • Replying to @Chris

      My impression of his comment about bottled water, was more in relation to being prepared for other common disasters like tornado, storm damage, flood etc

      Eg: We all ought to store a week or two worth of safe drinking water. I did not get the impression that he was suggesting the current municipal water supplies are not safe.

      In my home, we have a reverse osmosis filter system for all drinking water, and, in addition, I store about 25 gallons of bottled RO water as well. Most Americans will have 40 or 50 gallons of potable water available in their hot water heater, even if the water pressure and electric power were to fail. I am drinking my RO filtered tap water as I write this.

      I was interested to hear that mail is not thought to be a high risk source of infection. I’ve worried a bit about that, or merchandise via Amazon that probably came from China, but did not bear a Made in blah blah blah tag.

      If I lived in sunny California or Florida, I might expose each side of envelopes to an hour in the sun before handling them. That should significantly reduce any virus on the white paper mail surfaces.

      I must confess to being intrigued by the battery powered UV sanitizing wands on Amazon, but find myself doubting they really are of any use.

    • I think I remember our local hospital touting the use of UV light to sanitize rooms. Supposedly it is very effective. Would love to know if that is really the case, as I just bought a portable wand type one. I plan on trying it out but I don't know how I will know if it is effective or not.

    • @LuckyLady

      I have no doubt that clinical UV wands can pretty effectively sterilyze surfaces, if bright enough, long enough, and short enough wavelength. Really effective ones will give your corneas a sunburn....

      But they are not low powered, long wave UV lights generated by LED bulbs powered by batteries. Nor are they inexpensive, small, or light weight.

      I suggested sunning ones mail on each side in bright sunlight for an hour or two, if one has concerns about the possibility of a viral load on their mail. CDC has assured us this is a low probability.

      Regular sun borne UV light is remarkably effective - if one cultures the surfaces of sun exposed roads or parking lots the amount of bacteria or fungi alive on their surfaces is actually rather small.

      I was involved with some remediation in a health care facility years ago and I would see the colony counts of the agar test plates in rooms, hall ways, office surfaces during remediation - frequently in the ~30,000 - 60,000 on an exposed open plate. A control plate from the parking lot outside the building in sunlight would be 30 colonies, or 50 colonies. But from a wooded garden over 250,000....

      One must know how to intepret test results, or they can easily be misconstrued.

      We all live in a biological stew daily.

      Re my doubts about many UV wands effectiveness - The Federal Trade Commission seems to have doubts as well.

      Further investigation reveals UV-C LEDs that are used for water and air disinfection - typically germacidal UV light is about about 270 or 280 nanometers in wavelength. Most of the LED UV-C emitters I can find are all about 395 nanometers in wavelength - like I said, longer and less energetic from a microbiologic standpoint.

      It turns out I already own one of those UV-C flashlight sterilizers with 51 396 nanometer wavelength LEDs - I bought mine 5 years ago when it was recommended to make pet urine flouresce in carpet - no mention of sterilization then, and having used it, it does make pet urine flouresce, but it is a very weak source of UV light. Maybe - MAYBE - if one exposed a small surface item at a distance of 1 cm for 40 or 50 seconds it would sterilize the surface of a key or something. A toilet seat would easily take half an hour at that rate - Lysol or bleach is faster and much cheaper in terms of sweat equity.

      Just sayin'

    • I'm having a hard problem convincing myself to stay away from the gym but I think that would be smart. I walk everyday outside so at least I can keep that activity without interacting with other people.

      I'm also in the older people age range.

    • I just read an article about it. Bad news - It's not effective. The time and strength of UV needed to disinfect will damage your skin before it has a viable sanitising effect. A battery powered wand won't work on any reasonable time scale.

    • This is the source of my sanity currently: I walk a 2.5 mile loop from my front door every day - alone. Gotta get that Vitamin D, which is not so easy when self-isolating at home.

    • If you're walking out of doors, in sunshine, over 3 meters away from other pedestrians, I think your risk is really pretty low if you are careful about touching hands, surfaces, etc.

      I plan on hiking 5 miles in the morning, around the same lake I've been hiking around for years - but with no one but my spouse and my dog.

    • Well, traveling all day with 5 young kids who touch everything and hang on me through airports like Atlanta is gonna be tricky. We’ve been practicing washing hands, not touching faces, and keeping distance but it’s really hard with kids.

      It’s even hard for adults. You notice at the presser to declare a national emergency, the president shared a mic and shook hands at close range with the head of the CDC, they were touching their faces, etc.

    • This might be helpful to try with your grandkids—or at least the adults.

      Choose a competing behavior.

      Gail Saltz, M.D., an associate professor of psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian Hospital's Weill-Cornell School of Medicineand host of iHeartRadio's Personology podcast, explains that psychiatrists often help patients focus on acceptable counter-behaviors when they need to break an unhealthy habit. If you touch your face unconsciously throughout the day (or the hour), think of another area you can touch without upping your risk of bacteria exposure. "When you feel the urge to touch your face, touch your arm instead, or itch your arm," Dr. Saltz advises. "The point of habit reversal, the treatment for habits, is to pick a competing behavior to do instead — preferably one that's similar, but one that directs you away from the original behavior."

    • Living in WA state I haven't really known what to think or how much isolation I wanted to place myself in. I too am over 60 but very healthy.

      This morning I received a bit of a wake up call. Each March there is a decent sized motorcycle show held at the fairgrounds. This year a friend had purchased space in the swap meet area and I was going to help her run it this weekend. We arrived, unloaded a van and pickup full of things and as the last item was unloaded we hear the announcement that the show was cancelled. It was to open at 2:00 pm. The dealers and other large vendors were allowed to set up yesterday and the swap meet vendors this morning. The buildings were full of new bikes, ATVs, parts, accessories, etc. We were able to check out all the new motorcycles before we loaded back up and left.

      A large motorcycle desert race that usually has about 1000 riders on the starting line cancelled their event right after the President speech a few days ago. That race is held the first part of April so I wondered what happened with the MC Show and why the late cancellation. After I got home I found out the Governor of WA had ordered all the schools K-12 be shut down for over a month and no gatherings over 250 people. All the sports activities, etc. throughout the state have been cancelled and employers are encouraged to allow their employees to work from home if at all possible.

      I'm on the other side of the state from where the virus issues are in my state but I appreciate that the Governor is taking this seriously as well as the is the County officials where I live. I will say I don't like the idea of staying in but if that's what it takes to get this thing slowed down and better yet stopped then that's what needs to happen.

      With that said I am signed up to head to Death Valley for a MC rally and hate the idea that there are no refunds. If I have to suck it up and lose the money I guess that's what I'll have to do. The $100+ isn't worth taking the chance of getting sick. I do love DV though but the campground is heavily packed for the event. From what I understand single sites will have three or four tents in them. As you probably can tell I'm having a difficult time deciding if I should go or not. I suspect my mind will be made up one way or another within a few days.

      Hopefully I have not come in contact with anyone that has been exposed to this virus. I'd hate to expose someone unknowingly. I think I'm talking myself out of going to the rally. :(