COVID19 can be stopped. China has nearly made it go away completely. China had no new cases even in Hubei yesterday (17th March). It had four cases only on the two previous days - and it's only getting a few cases from other countries.
South Korea has nearly got rid of it, down to less than 100 a day for several days after a peak of over 1000 a day.
China peaked in early February and has been declining ever since.
If you add all cases over the WHO "West Pacific" region of South Korea / Japan / Singapore / Malysia / Indonoesia then it had its peak of cases two weeks ago.
Text on image: China had 0 new cases on 17th March. WHO says question is not whether we can stop it, only if we will!
China peaked 4th Feb
Redefinition of cases spike
South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Phillipines etc Peak around 1st March
Europe & East Med peaking
Americas on the rise
Africa numbers still low
Graphic is from Situation report 57. For more details see my Many Countries Are Stopping COVID19 - Containing Cases Is The Key - Every Day Of Delay Makes It Harder For Countries & The World
This is another article I'm writing to support people we help in the Facebook Doomsday Debunked group, that find us because they get scared, sometimes to the point of feeling suicidal about it, by such stories.
Please share with friends if it helps you - they may be panicking too
SO FAR NOWHERE NEAR TO BEING A MAJOR GLOBAL CAUSE OF DISEASE DEATHS
This is nowhere near a major cause of death from disease. Every year there are far more deaths from AIDS, measles, and flu.
For young people under 40 then 998 out of 1000 of those infected by COVID19 recover.
But we can stop it completely and there is no need for those deaths. For elderly people it gets far worse andn at 90+ only 810 out of 1000 recover.
Infants get only the mildest symptoms and nobody dies under age 10|
It is nowhere near the biggest killer by way of diseases even this year.
- 770 000 people died of AIDS in 2018
- Globally, between 291,000 and 646,000 people die of flu related respiratory disease every year.
- H1N1 kiilled 284,000 people
- 140,000 died of Measles in 2018.
- Ebola killed 11,325 people between 2014 and 2016
- 7,940 died of COVID19 so far as of 18th March 2020
And absolutely we can stop it. It peaked in China on on 4th Feb with no new cases on 17th March even in Hubei. It peaked in the West Pacific on 1st March, it is peaking in Europe right now. If we can get the UK to return to the fold with other European countries we can stop it here too.
Africa is well prepared as they took the WHO alerts very seriously and have been getting ready for this for weeks, and have previous experience in containing Ebola.
In the Americas, then many South American countries have taken it seriously. The US was slow to respond but is now acting promptly.
RAPID ACTION IS ESSENTIAL
Rapid action makes a huge difference. Without any action it doubles every 3-4 days, so between 5 and 10 fold increase in 10 days.
100 cases can become 1,000 in 10 days, 10,000 in 20 days and a million in 40 days.
If you act promptly those 100 cases never rise to more than a few hundred.
If you catch it even earlier then you don't even reach 100.
CONTAINMENT HAS TO BE THE CORE OF ANY STRATEGY
The WHO has emphasized this in ALL their press briefings, and I have watched every one.
What we need is aggressive case finding, contact tracing, and isolation.
Social distancing helps but only as part of a larger strategy with the main focus on isolation of confirmed cases and contacts.
On a personal level you can keep yourself safe by washing your hands thoroughly, and getting out of the habit of touching your face except with thoroughly cleaned hands and keeping a distance from sick people. It just takes practice and you soon just do all this automatically.See:
Everyone who does that is helping to stop the disease, not just for themselves. By breaking the chain of transmission they are protecting others around them too, and the entire world
However it's hard to get enough people to do that to stop it by doing that alone.
This virus mainly spreads through close contact such as families staying with each other or guests of a familiy, or through hospitals, clinics, doctor's surgeries, prisons or old people's homes. You have to keep treating people e.g. for a broken ankle no matter how much social distancing you do and it is not easy to stop people visiting each other at home.
You can only protect those places if you know who has the virus which is why you have to find the cases and contain them.
ENFORCING SELF ISOLATION IN A FREE COUNTRY
You can force people to self isolate by law if they have COVID19 because of the risk of harm to others. But in a free country you can't force them not to vist each other when you don't know if they have the disease,
Act promptly and you don't need lock down. China didn't do lock down outside of Hubei. South Korea and Singapore never did lock downs - some social distancing measures and that’s all.
The lock down just localizes the problem to a particular region. It continues incresing inside that region unless you combine it with isolation. In Wuhan only 0.15% of the population got it. They didn't just let all 11 million be infected.
However if you have let it get that far, it is possible to do lock down in a country that values freedom of speech and liberty. Italy did. You can also force someone to self isolate.
The UK government early on made self isolation of contacts for COVID19 enforceable by law. That is because you are restricting their liberty to protect others from harm. You can't however do it unless you know that they are a risk.
You can't force an entire country to self isolate but you can force individuals who are known to be a risk or even a potential risk to others to self isolate. That is all that is needed if you act promptly with rigorous rapid case finding and contact tracing.
IF WE STAY ALERT IT CAN'T SURGE IN A SECOND PEAK
Having stopped this outbreak once it is not going to happen again. Not unless overwhelmed by cases in the rest of the world.
China now can detect COVID-19 within 3 days of symptoms - because they have educated their population to go to a fever clinic if they get a fever and they have the diagnostic test capacity to test them all.
An outbreak can't start up if a new case is isolated and their contacts all traced before it happens.
According to Nature, modelers Tatem and Lai estimate that China prevented 8 million infections by the end of February with its action.
They also say that if China had started its control measures three weeks earlier then the total number of infections would have been reduced even more to a twentieth of the actual caess at the end of February.
The lesson for the rest of the world is we have to act promptly to stop and contain our outbreaks. Every week of delay, inaction and debate counts.
The graphic is from the latest situation reports.
Data on infants from here
Death rates for other age groups:
Disease mortality figures are from:
See my summary at [quora domain].com/q/duzzmyeobxjljrpq/Deaths-from-Aids-Flu-Measles-far-greater-than-for-COVID-19-COVID19-nearly-over-in-China-and-West-Pacific-COVID-19
The modeling of the effect of the containment on China is described in this Nature article:
SEE ALSO MY ARTICLES
- WHO Safe Hands Challenge - 11 Steps Wash For Thorough Protection From COVID19
- Experts Condemn UK's Response To COVID-19 - We Must Reverse This Now - Detect Mild Cases & Contain Swiftly To Save Lives
- How To Protect Yourself From COVID-19 - And Help Stop The Spread - If Everyone Did This The Epidemic Would Soon Stop
- WHO Declare Covid19 As A Pandemic That CAN BE CONTAINED - Not A Question Of If We CAN But If We WILL Contain It
- Coronavirus Can Be Controlled - No Country Should Allow Uncontrolled Spread - Harms Your Citizens And Other Countries Too - WHO
- China Close To Containing COVID19 - Rest Of World Can Stop It Too Says WHO - Why Isn't This Good News Hitting Headlines?
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Seven tips for dealing with doomsday fears
If you are scared: Seven tips for dealing with doomsday fears which also talks about health professionals and how they can help.
If in the middle of a panic attack, see
- Breathe in and out slowly and deeply to calm a panic attack by Robert Walker on Debunking Doomsday
- Tips from CBT - might help some of you to deal with doomsday anxieties
- STOPP skill
Facebook support group
Facebook group Doomsday Debunked has been set up to help anyone who is scared by these fake doomsdays.
Please read the rules pinned to the head of the group before posting. We have members who are panicking, experiencing the worst day of their life. About a quarter of our members are autistic and some others are manic. The rules are vital to keep it functioning properly.
If you need help
Do message me on Quora or PM me on Facebook if you need help.
There are many others in the group who are available to support scared people via PM and who can also debunk fake Doomsday “news” for you if you get scared of a story and are not sure if it is true. See our debunkers list
If you are suicidal don’t forget there’s always help a phone call away with the List of suicide crisis lines - Wikipedia