This new thread is intended for non-political posts about coronavirus. Please share information that will help other expats in your area and elsewhere in Colombia. This is vital. Share updates on hospitals and other testing locations, business and school closures, government updates, locked down areas, travel restrictions, where to get food, medications and other necessities.
Please also use this thread as a place to support one another in these uncertain and stressful times. There are expats on this forum (many of whom read and don't post) who are living alone and very far from family. A few kind words can make a difference in someone's day. If you want to debate the politics of how the situation is being handled in your country and other countries, PLEASE keep that off of this thread.
I lived in NYC on 9/11 and remember with humbling clarity how people came together at that time. That event changed me forever and thinking of it always bring tears to my eyes, but the kindness of strangers is what I remember most. When you look back at this time one day, you will remember the kindness of strangers. Please be kind.
What places are under quarantine in Colombia now? Here in Medellin, a 5 day quarantine started yesterday, March 20 at 7pm. Looking out my window, people seem mostly to be complying. The street outside my window normally has moderate foot and vehicle traffic; it has mostly empty. It is a ghost town, very eerie and weird, not to mention scary.
I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this, but I'll ask anyway. Are people exempt from going out to buy food or medicine? I'm guessing it's not permitted. The various publications were silent on this, at least what I read.
of course the supermarkets are open...supposedly for absolute necessities.... from what I read, these emergencies should be handled by those under 70 ...for us lucky ones...we are pretty much mandated to stay the heck home..althiugh got a email this morning from Jumbo....Sat and Sun...early opening for pregnant women and us old folk.. All I know for sure is that there is now a gap of one day..Tuesday...where the old quarntine expires and the new 19 day one hasnt started. The stores will be ...impossible
Dont want a million peso fine and even less 7 year ban from Colombia, but I wont be running where there are peole (ebven in normal days ewhere I go there are very few people) so I definitely wont be endangering myself or others.
This is incredible information. that China is 49% O pos blood, and only 25% of their cases of Corona are O pos. Italy is 39% O pos, and Colombia is 61%, so this could really help keep cases down. The USA is 37% so we could be getting hit hard . Peru is 70% O pos, so be interesting to see how it goes..
And it gets worse. Now they are extending the curfew, the toque de queda, for Bogotá such that according to this article those who left Bogotá for the puente festivo (St. Joseph's Day on Monday, March 23, making it a three-day weekend), will not be allowed to return!
This will also be in effect for the departamentos of Cundinamarca, Boyacá and Meta. This was announced this Saturday night by the mayor, Claudia López, in company with President Duque.
The article explains: 'Así, los miles de capitalinos que salieron durante el viernes hacia otros municipios para pasar el puente festivo, no podrán regresar a Bogotá el martes, a menos que tengan una razón "de fuerza mayor".'
"So, the thousands of capital residents who left during Friday for other cities to pass the festive puente, will not be able to return to Bogotá Tuesday, unless they have a reason 'of Force Majeure.'"
The mayor added, "Lo dijimos mil veces no era un puente de turismo, de paseo, era un puente de cuidado", aseguró la Mandataria local.
"We said it a thousand times, it was not a puente for tourism, for an outing, it was a puente of caution."
I understand both sides of the issue. People wanted to be free to enjoy the long weekend, but they were announcing that there would be restrictions and I bet quite a few people had already heard the message that this was not to be taken lightly. Hope those folks planned accordingly, but this is Colombia si I doubt many did.
Over 70 sanctions written in Bga by police day one of quarantine. all in all, dont think thats a high number...for Colombia...In general, decree was heeded. Looks like the Tuesday gap in quarantine coverage has now been filled. Gov of Santander extended the first quarantine thru Tues...not up to Tuesday. Sure its a National thing too. Another good thing..eliminates the mad rush to the stores to "plan" for the next period of isolation. Believe me, even now, dont think Tuesday is the day to hit Jumbo.
We now have...9pm Sun nite...the latest. Starting Mondy Pico y Cedula rules in th supermercados of Florida Giron and probably Bucaramanga....(cant find evidene of the latter but they always go along.) You can now enter to shop only based on the last dugit of your cedula...amounts to shopping 2 days a week. Shades of the Handmaids Tale but I think it will work.
The first three day quarantine has been extended to include all of Tuesday. The "free" Tuesday to go out and shop is no more. New shopping regulations ae in effect for at least the few of us in Greater Bucaramanga...You will be allowed in grocery stores based on the last digit of yourcedula. Looks like people get two days that they can shop per week.
yola....Sorry...all the info I get is from my app to the local paper...Santander info only....The extension of the quarantine thru Tue. was done by the Gov of Santander....I'd check initially your local tv teleantioquia? they should be broadcasting all local pertinent info....
What about if you have a medical condition that can and probably will get worse. What then, just suck it up and suffer. Put yourself in the other persons shoes and keep your opinions to yourself. Say that to people in your home country and post your full name address email and phone number and see how it goes. No compassion gives us other expats a bad name.
I also read in the print paper (El Colombiano) that the quarantine in Antioquia was extended until tomorrow. Then the national quarantine goes into effect.
I went to Exito earlier. The store was mostly empty though the shelves were fairly well-stocked. Sabaneta is a ghost town. I don't recommend going out though unless you have to. I did it for my sanity and just to interact with people, though on a very distant level. Everything I bought was thoroughly wiped down including my phone and anything else I touched.
Here in Poblado, the supermakets that I frequent(Jumbo &n Carulla) are all stocked, pretty well. I just returned from Jumbo and the milk brand that I normally buy was sold out, so I bought another brand. The cheeses were in short supply, and there were maybe 6-8 shoppers in that Jumbo. Stay Well All. Buena Suerte !
Please remember to be kind to one another on this thread. Feel free to engage in more "spirited" debate in other threads, but the point of this thread is to support one another and share important information.
Please re-read the original post. We will be deleting replies that don't adhere to those guidelines.
Again... feel free to have your more contentious discussions on other threads.
I don't understand what is being referred to about me, but I would rather just stay mostly invisible.
On a sort of related note, be extra kind and understanding to those that have no significant others or any support system. You should try to check up on those people. The mental problems are just as difficult to overcome as the physical.
elex. the app iappears on the website www.vangurdia.com..Get messages from the paper almost daily on my phone......you know...dont remember if it was an actual app...maybe just a box to be checked on the website Do you wish to receice updates? or somthing to that effect. ...Just go to the website.
Rionegro just published its pico y cédula we get three days a week with one of them a weekend. 2 cleaning products 3 fruit or veggie items and max 5 kilos of granos which are rice beans lentils etc. no restrictions on beer or chicken wings though...gracias a dios.
Anyone care to predict how and when this will end? Do we really think the quarantine will be over in 19 days in Colombia? Will this change things forever, like traveling? How much worse (if any) will the situation get in Colombia?
Well we could look at worst case, Wuhan, locked down Jan 23 and today saying public transport would be allowed April 8, a lockdown of some 73 days. They locked down hard after it was too late......Colombia seems to be in a fairly good position so far, closed stuff early, got buy in from the population, only time will tell.
The son's friend arrived here from Ibague on March 6, before any situational crisis began. We have been taking in much of the news here but also in Colombia, along with video phone with his parents. Somewhere between the extremes the truth lies. You have to be able to separate the proverbial 'wheat from the chaff!'
When looking at Colombia's Case #'s vs. population compared with a random state in the U.S.A. it looks like this.....Colombia-306 cases w/population-50 million...compared with Tennessee-600 cases w/population-7 million. If you look at the % of cases/population...We all are in a better place as far as the #'s are concerned. Be Well All. Buena Suerte !
I just looked at the John Hopkins coronavirus map and you can see that Covid-19 is everywhere (meaning all states) in the mainland US. Of course there are hot spots but it still appears in areas you wouldn't imagine: Idaho, Montana. N & S Dakota, Nebraska. It's everywhere.-------------------I also recently heard that the virus was found on a cruise ship 17 days after all the passengers had left so that's not good news.----------------Anyone heard anything about Colombia not having sufficient supplies PPE (masks, etc.)?
Scientists in Iceland claim they have found 40 mutations of the coronavirus – and admit seven cases can be traced back to a football match in England. They traced the virus back to three European countries – Austria, Italy, and England.
As I left Jumbo Supermarket this morning, there were a lot of SUV's cruising around(cabin-fever I guess).
Also...here in Medellín the Bus Service and the Metro Service have been reduced by 80%. which crowds a lot of people in a very small space at the Metro Stations, makes them a virus-breeding-ground. That's a big reduction in service. Be Well All. Buena Suerte !
As far as masks go, I have done a lot of reading , Mayo Clinc, Web MD , etc., and the consesus is unless you use a N 95 or later, change them every day and do not touch the surface, and fit them properly, dispose of them properly after use and disenfect anyting that touches them, Surgical masks generally are more dangerous tha not wearing anything.
Reason is you may be in a Virus filled area, you may breathe the virus, but the concetration wont be enough to infect you. But with constant breathing they collect and concentrate on the surfac (of a properly fitted N95) and the surface becomes extremely contaminated.
N95s are very hard to fit- there are whole videos on fitting them, and when you finally get them fuitted right, extremely uncomfortable.
Also, the authorities are trying to disuade mass buying because it creates shortages at hospitals and clinics where they are really neede, not jus for this particular virus
I believe there will have to be 10’s of thousands of cases in Colombia before we see a decline. We are just about up to 400 so it’s picking up and the control measures suck for people who are following them but too many are not.
Hi all, I am a Canadian stranded here in Puerto Colombia. After Air Transat totally botched my return to Canada, from misinformation on their website, to lies and then when I questioned them I was ignored. I was told point blank that my flight was maintained on the 27th and was not cancelled or rerouted, MORONS I am not aware of any cases here, and the grocery stores have line ups but no restrictions so far. Some people are wearing masks while others carry on business as usual, Curfews are in place but mostly ignored and not enforced.
Hi all, I am a Canadian stranded here in Puerto Colombia. After Air Transat totally botched my return to Canada, from misinformation on their website, to lies and then when I questioned them I was ignored. I was told point blank that my flight was maintained on the 27th and was not cancelled or rerouted, MORONS I am not aware of any cases here, and the grocery stores have line ups but no restrictions so far. Some people are wearing masks while others carry on business as usual, Curfews are in place but mostly ignored and not enforced.
Well I for one hope they forget about the fines, mostly because I am one of the ones who has overstayed and could not get a response from migración. I doubt they will be back to work anytime soon and dealing with us “illegals” will probably be low on the list of things to do.
I landed here on my birthday Feb/28. If Air Transh!t had not posted misinformation on their website and e-mailed me that my flight was maintained, and when questioned why they ignored me. It wasn't until my son-in-law called from Canada I was told basically "sorry about your BFL , call the Embassy"
El Expat... Of course. You are protected jogging with a mask to go shopping, right?
Like Jimmy Buffet always said, So where the hell is Margeuritaville any way... It's anywhere you want it to be, BB.
Exercise your civil and inalienable Common Law Rights, OVER martial Law
Ya gonna pussy/wussy out to NOT go for a shop and some exercise?
Bottom line? Your inalienable rights are INALIENABLE. Push the limits of Martial Law. YES, they have all the guns, because the gun-control lobbyists have a bigger and more vocal lobby. And gun owners/proponents do not. PLUS Vatican Maritime Law is only ONE of thr criminal Frauds perpetrated on civil humanity, including Statutory law.
DO THE RESEARCH, yourself, while google/EWEtube have not deleted all of the materials from independent truthers
Masks dont work againstthe virus They only work for sick people spraying thier germs on people, and sick people shouldnt be outide anywat.They just collect bacteria and Virus on the surface.. And if peole dont take them off properly , they conatmnate their fingers.
Only N-95 work,against the virus and they are very dificult to get, very difficult to put on correctly (there are videos on how to do it), are very uncomfortable because they are 2 layer synthetic material, and like all masks, are "single use" , and you have to take them off properly, not toching the front of the mask , and dispose of them like hazardous material.
Also all medical agencies frown on the public using masks, because they create shortages at medical facilities,
I see little kids with tapabocas here, which is the worse thing you can do , because the touch the mask, then touch their face and get infected (In the very remote case there is a Virus in the area and they have been exposed to it), or worse, touch their abuela or abuelo.
All the Colombians have crappy masks of every description. I am sur ethe "highly educated" nurses nd even some doctors are telling them to do it.
Best thing you can do is dwash your hands a lot, stay indoors, and dont touchyour face.
Ignorance reigns supreme.
People should educate themselves on this and other subjects. Go to MAYo Clinic, Webmed,Healthline,WHO and similar websites. Dont believe everything in the MSN and even less in the "Tinfoil hat" websites.
As far as running in the street,I have given up thatidea, too many cops giving penalties and maybe worse. I stick to climbing stairs in my apartment and occaisional trips to buy groceries
Elex.....very true. a good friend of mine who has lived here in Medellín told me this..."There a lot of laws here in Colombia...but not many laws are actually Enforced." And as the years have passed, I have decided that he was quite correct. Most everyone here in Poblado is obeying the stay-in rules.
And yesterday, I was in the lobby, picking up a pkg. and a vehicle from Migración pulled up, the officer got out and inquired if any foreigners were staying here temporarily. No nightly/weekly/monthly rentals are allowed in this bldg. And that's a good thing, right now. Stay Well All. Buena Suerte !
The U.S. may end up with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the industrialized world. This is how it’s going to play out.
Three months ago, no one knew that SARS-CoV-2 existed. Now the virus has spread to almost every country, infecting at least 446,000 people whom we know about, and many more whom we do not. It has crashed economies and broken health-care systems, filled hospitals and emptied public spaces. It has separated people from their workplaces and their friends. It has disrupted modern society on a scale that most living people have never witnessed. Soon, most everyone in the United States will know someone who has been infected. Like World War II or the 9/11 attacks, this pandemic has already imprinted itself upon the nation’s psyche.
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A global pandemic of this scale was inevitable. In recent years, hundreds of health experts have written books, white papers, and op-eds warning of the possibility. Bill Gates has been telling anyone who would listen, including the 18 million viewers of his TED Talk. In 2018, I wrote a story for The Atlantic arguing that America was not ready for the pandemic that would eventually come. In October, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security war-gamed what might happen if a new coronavirus swept the globe. And then one did. Hypotheticals became reality. “What if?” became “Now what?”
So, now what? In the late hours of last Wednesday, which now feels like the distant past, I was talking about the pandemic with a pregnant friend who was days away from her due date. We realized that her child might be one of the first of a new cohort who are born into a society profoundly altered by COVID-19. We decided to call them Generation C.
As we’ll see, Gen C’s lives will be shaped by the choices made in the coming weeks, and by the losses we suffer as a result. But first, a brief reckoning. On the Global Health Security Index, a report card that grades every country on its pandemic preparedness, the United States has a score of 83.5—the world’s highest. Rich, strong, developed, America is supposed to be the readiest of nations. That illusion has been shattered. Despite months of advance warning as the virus spread in other countries, when America was finally tested by COVID-19, it failed.
Anne Applebaum: The coronavirus called America’s bluff
“No matter what, a virus [like SARS-CoV-2] was going to test the resilience of even the most well-equipped health systems,” says Nahid Bhadelia, an infectious-diseases physician at the Boston University School of Medicine. More transmissible and fatal than seasonal influenza, the new coronavirus is also stealthier, spreading from one host to another for several days before triggering obvious symptoms. To contain such a pathogen, nations must develop a test and use it to identify infected people, isolate them, and trace those they’ve had contact with. That is what South Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong did to tremendous effect. It is what the United States did not.
As my colleagues Alexis Madrigal and Robinson Meyer have reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed and distributed a faulty test in February. Independent labs created alternatives, but were mired in bureaucracy from the FDA. In a crucial month when the American caseload shot into the tens of thousands, only hundreds of people were tested. That a biomedical powerhouse like the U.S. should so thoroughly fail to create a very simple diagnostic test was, quite literally, unimaginable. “I’m not aware of any simulations that I or others have run where we [considered] a failure of testing,” says Alexandra Phelan of Georgetown University, who works on legal and policy issues related to infectious diseases.
RELATED STORIES A hand holding an empty vial The 4 Key Reasons the U.S. Is So Behind on Coronavirus Testing How the Coronavirus Became an American Catastrophe This Is How We Can Beat the Coronavirus The testing fiasco was the original sin of America’s pandemic failure, the single flaw that undermined every other countermeasure. If the country could have accurately tracked the spread of the virus, hospitals could have executed their pandemic plans, girding themselves by allocating treatment rooms, ordering extra supplies, tagging in personnel, or assigning specific facilities to deal with COVID-19 cases. None of that happened. Instead, a health-care system that already runs close to full capacity, and that was already challenged by a severe flu season, was suddenly faced with a virus that had been left to spread, untracked, through communities around the country. Overstretched hospitals became overwhelmed. Basic protective equipment, such as masks, gowns, and gloves, began to run out. Beds will soon follow, as will the ventilators that provide oxygen to patients whose lungs are besieged by the virus.
Read: The people ignoring social distancing
With little room to surge during a crisis, America’s health-care system operates on the assumption that unaffected states can help beleaguered ones in an emergency. That ethic works for localized disasters such as hurricanes or wildfires, but not for a pandemic that is now in all 50 states. Cooperation has given way to competition; some worried hospitals have bought out large quantities of supplies, in the way that panicked consumers have bought out toilet paper.
Partly, that’s because the White House is a ghost town of scientific expertise. A pandemic-preparedness office that was part of the National Security Council was dissolved in 2018. On January 28, Luciana Borio, who was part of that team, urged the government to “act now to prevent an American epidemic,” and specifically to work with the private sector to develop fast, easy diagnostic tests. But with the office shuttered, those warnings were published in The Wall Street Journal, rather than spoken into the president’s ear. Instead of springing into action, America sat idle.
Derek Thompson: America is acting like a failed state
Rudderless, blindsided, lethargic, and uncoordinated, America has mishandled the COVID-19 crisis to a substantially worse degree than what every health expert I’ve spoken with had feared. “Much worse,” said Ron Klain, who coordinated the U.S. response to the West African Ebola outbreak in 2014. “Beyond any expectations we had,” said Lauren Sauer, who works on disaster preparedness at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “As an American, I’m horrified,” said Seth Berkley, who heads Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “The U.S. may end up with the worst outbreak in the industrialized world.”
I. The Next Months Having fallen behind, it will be difficult—but not impossible—for the United States to catch up. To an extent, the near-term future is set because COVID-19 is a slow and long illness. People who were infected several days ago will only start showing symptoms now, even if they isolated themselves in the meantime. Some of those people will enter intensive-care units in early April. As of last weekend, the nation had 17,000 confirmed cases, but the actual number was probably somewhere between 60,000 and 245,000. Numbers are now starting to rise exponentially: As of Wednesday morning, the official case count was 54,000, and the actual case count is unknown. Health-care workers are already seeing worrying signs: dwindling equipment, growing numbers of patients, and doctors and nurses who are themselves becoming infected.
Italy and Spain offer grim warnings about the future. Hospitals are out of room, supplies, and staff. Unable to treat or save everyone, doctors have been forced into the unthinkable: rationing care to patients who are most likely to survive, while letting others die. The U.S. has fewer hospital beds per capita than Italy. A study released by a team at Imperial College London concluded that if the pandemic is left unchecked, those beds will all be full by late April. By the end of June, for every available critical-care bed, there will be roughly 15 COVID-19 patients in need of one. By the end of the summer, the pandemic will have directly killed 2.2 million Americans, notwithstanding those who will indirectly die as hospitals are unable to care for the usual slew of heart attacks, strokes, and car accidents. This is the worst-case scenario. To avert it, four things need to happen—and quickly.
Read: All the president’s lies about the coronavirus
The first and most important is to rapidly produce masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment. If health-care workers can’t stay healthy, the rest of the response will collapse. In some places, stockpiles are already so low that doctors are reusing masks between patients, calling for donations from the public, or sewing their own homemade alternatives. These shortages are happening because medical supplies are made-to-order and depend on byzantine international supply chains that are currently straining and snapping. Hubei province in China, the epicenter of the pandemic, was also a manufacturing center of medical masks.
In the U.S., the Strategic National Stockpile—a national larder of medical equipment—is already being deployed, especially to the hardest-hit states. The stockpile is not inexhaustible, but it can buy some time. Donald Trump could use that time to invoke the Defense Production Act, launching a wartime effort in which American manufacturers switch to making medical equipment. But after invoking the act last Wednesday, Trump has failed to actually use it, reportedly due to lobbying from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and heads of major corporations.
Some manufacturers are already rising to the challenge, but their efforts are piecemeal and unevenly distributed. “One day, we’ll wake up to a story of doctors in City X who are operating with bandanas, and a closet in City Y with masks piled into it,” says Ali Khan, the dean of public health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. A “massive logistics and supply-chain operation [is] now needed across the country,” says Thomas Inglesby of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. That can’t be managed by small and inexperienced teams scattered throughout the White House. The solution, he says, is to tag in the Defense Logistics Agency—a 26,000-person group that prepares the U.S. military for overseas operations and that has assisted in past public-health crises, including the 2014 Ebola outbreak.
This agency can also coordinate the second pressing need: a massive rollout of COVID-19 tests. Those tests have been slow to arrive because of five separate shortages: of masks to protect people administering the tests; of nasopharyngeal swabs for collecting viral samples; of extraction kits for pulling the virus’s genetic material out of the samples; of chemical reagents that are part of those kits; and of trained people who can give the tests. Many of these shortages are, again, due to strained supply chains. The U.S. relies on three manufacturers for extraction reagents, providing redundancy in case any of them fails—but all of them failed in the face of unprecedented global demand. Meanwhile, Lombardy, Italy, the hardest-hit place in Europe, houses one of the largest manufacturers of nasopharyngeal swabs.
Read: Why the coronavirus has been so successful
Some shortages are being addressed. The FDA is now moving quickly to approve tests developed by private labs. At least one can deliver results in less than an hour, potentially allowing doctors to know if the patient in front of them has COVID-19. The country “is adding capacity on a daily basis,” says Kelly Wroblewski of the Association of Public Health Laboratories.
On March 6, Trump said that “anyone who wants a test can get a test.” That was (and still is) untrue, and his own officials were quick to correct him. Regardless, anxious people still flooded into hospitals, seeking tests that did not exist. “People wanted to be tested even if they weren’t symptomatic, or if they sat next to someone with a cough,” says Saskia Popescu of George Mason University, who works to prepare hospitals for pandemics. Others just had colds, but doctors still had to use masks to examine them, burning through their already dwindling supplies. “It really stressed the health-care system,” Popescu says. Even now, as capacity expands, tests must be used carefully. The first priority, says Marc Lipsitch of Harvard, is to test health-care workers and hospitalized patients, allowing hospitals to quell any ongoing fires. Only later, once the immediate crisis is slowing, should tests be deployed in a more widespread way. “This isn’t just going to be: Let’s get the tests out there!” Inglesby says.
These measures will take time, during which the pandemic will either accelerate beyond the capacity of the health system or slow to containable levels. Its course—and the nation’s fate—now depends on the third need, which is social distancing. Think of it this way: There are now only two groups of Americans. Group A includes everyone involved in the medical response, whether that’s treating patients, running tests, or manufacturing supplies. Group B includes everyone else, and their job is to buy Group A more time. Group B must now “flatten the curve” by physically isolating themselves from other people to cut off chains of transmission. Given the slow fuse of COVID-19, to forestall the future collapse of the health-care system, these seemingly drastic steps must be taken immediately, before they feel proportionate, and they must continue for several weeks.
Juliette Kayyem: The crisis could last 18 months. Be prepared.
Persuading a country to voluntarily stay at home is not easy, and without clear guidelines from the White House, mayors, governors, and business owners have been forced to take their own steps. Some states have banned large gatherings or closed schools and restaurants. At least 21 have now instituted some form of mandatory quarantine, compelling people to stay at home. And yet many citizens continue to crowd into public spaces.
In these moments, when the good of all hinges on the sacrifices of many, clear coordination matters—the fourth urgent need. The importance of social distancing must be impressed upon a public who must also be reassured and informed. Instead, Trump has repeatedly played down the problem, telling America that “we have it very well under control” when we do not, and that cases were “going to be down to close to zero” when they were rising. In some cases, as with his claims about ubiquitous testing, his misleading gaffes have deepened the crisis. He has even touted unproven medications.
Away from the White House press room, Trump has apparently been listening to Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci has advised every president since Ronald Reagan on new epidemics, and now sits on the COVID-19 task force that meets with Trump roughly every other day. “He’s got his own style, let’s leave it at that,” Fauci told me, “but any kind of recommendation that I have made thus far, the substance of it, he has listened to everything.”
Read: Grocery stores are the coronavirus tipping point
But Trump already seems to be wavering. In recent days, he has signaled that he is prepared to backtrack on social-distancing policies in a bid to protect the economy. Pundits and business leaders have used similar rhetoric, arguing that high-risk people, such as the elderly, could be protected while lower-risk people are allowed to go back to work. Such thinking is seductive, but flawed. It overestimates our ability to assess a person’s risk, and to somehow wall off the ‘high-risk’ people from the rest of society. It underestimates how badly the virus can hit ‘low-risk’ groups, and how thoroughly hospitals will be overwhelmed if even just younger demographics are falling sick.
A recent analysis from the University of Pennsylvania estimated that even if social-distancing measures can reduce infection rates by 95 percent, 960,000 Americans will still need intensive care. There are only about 180,000 ventilators in the U.S. and, more pertinently, only enough respiratory therapists and critical-care staff to safely look after 100,000 ventilated patients. Abandoning social distancing would be foolish. Abandoning it now, when tests and protective equipment are still scarce, would be catastrophic.
Read: America’s hospitals have never experienced anything like this
If Trump stays the course, if Americans adhere to social distancing, if testing can be rolled out, and if enough masks can be produced, there is a chance that the country can still avert the worst predictions about COVID-19, and at least temporarily bring the pandemic under control. No one knows how long that will take, but it won’t be quick. “It could be anywhere from four to six weeks to up to three months,” Fauci said, “but I don’t have great confidence in that range.”
II. The Endgame Even a perfect response won’t end the pandemic. As long as the virus persists somewhere, there’s a chance that one infected traveler will reignite fresh sparks in countries that have already extinguished their fires. This is already happening in China, Singapore, and other Asian countries that briefly seemed to have the virus under control. Under these conditions, there are three possible endgames: one that’s very unlikely, one that’s very dangerous, and one that’s very long.
The first is that every nation manages to simultaneously bring the virus to heel, as with the original SARS in 2003. Given how widespread the coronavirus pandemic is, and how badly many countries are faring, the odds of worldwide synchronous control seem vanishingly small.
The second is that the virus does what past flu pandemics have done: It burns through the world and leaves behind enough immune survivors that it eventually struggles to find viable hosts. This “herd immunity” scenario would be quick, and thus tempting. But it would also come at a terrible cost: SARS-CoV-2 is more transmissible and fatal than the flu, and it would likely leave behind many millions of corpses and a trail of devastated health systems. The United Kingdom initially seemed to consider this herd-immunity strategy, before backtracking when models revealed the dire consequences. The U.S. now seems to be considering it too.
Read: What will you do if you start coughing?
The third scenario is that the world plays a protracted game of whack-a-mole with the virus, stamping out outbreaks here and there until a vaccine can be produced. This is the best option, but also the longest and most complicated.
It depends, for a start, on making a vaccine. If this were a flu pandemic, that would be easier. The world is experienced at making flu vaccines and does so every year. But there are no existing vaccines for coronaviruses—until now, these viruses seemed to cause diseases that were mild or rare—so researchers must start from scratch. The first steps have been impressively quick. Last Monday, a possible vaccine created by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health went into early clinical testing. That marks a 63-day gap between scientists sequencing the virus’s genes for the first time and doctors injecting a vaccine candidate into a person’s arm. “It’s overwhelmingly the world record,” Fauci said.
But it’s also the fastest step among many subsequent slow ones. The initial trial will simply tell researchers if the vaccine seems safe, and if it can actually mobilize the immune system. Researchers will then need to check that it actually prevents infection from SARS-CoV-2. They’ll need to do animal tests and large-scale trials to ensure that the vaccine doesn’t cause severe side effects. They’ll need to work out what dose is required, how many shots people need, if the vaccine works in elderly people, and if it requires other chemicals to boost its effectiveness.
“Even if it works, they don’t have an easy way to manufacture it at a massive scale,” said Seth Berkley of Gavi. That’s because Moderna is using a new approach to vaccination. Existing vaccines work by providing the body with inactivated or fragmented viruses, allowing the immune system to prep its defenses ahead of time. By contrast, Moderna’s vaccine comprises a sliver of SARS-CoV-2’s genetic material—its RNA. The idea is that the body can use this sliver to build its own viral fragments, which would then form the basis of the immune system’s preparations. This approach works in animals, but is unproven in humans. By contrast, French scientists are trying to modify the existing measles vaccine using fragments of the new coronavirus. “The advantage of that is that if we needed hundreds of doses tomorrow, a lot of plants in the world know how to do it,” Berkley said. No matter which strategy is faster, Berkley and others estimate that it will take 12 to 18 months to develop a proven vaccine, and then longer still to make it, ship it, and inject it into people’s arms.
Read: COVID-19 vaccines are coming, but they’re not what you think
It’s likely, then, that the new coronavirus will be a lingering part of American life for at least a year, if not much longer. If the current round of social-distancing measures works, the pandemic may ebb enough for things to return to a semblance of normalcy. Offices could fill and bars could bustle. Schools could reopen and friends could reunite. But as the status quo returns, so too will the virus. This doesn’t mean that society must be on continuous lockdown until 2022. But “we need to be prepared to do multiple periods of social distancing,” says Stephen Kissler of Harvard.
Much about the coming years, including the frequency, duration, and timing of social upheavals, depends on two properties of the virus, both of which are currently unknown. First: seasonality. Coronaviruses tend to be winter infections that wane or disappear in the summer. That may also be true for SARS-CoV-2, but seasonal variations might not sufficiently slow the virus when it has so many immunologically naive hosts to infect. “Much of the world is waiting anxiously to see what—if anything—the summer does to transmission in the Northern Hemisphere,” says Maia Majumder of Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital.
Second: duration of immunity. When people are infected by the milder human coronaviruses that cause cold-like symptoms, they remain immune for less than a year. By contrast, the few who were infected by the original SARS virus, which was far more severe, stayed immune for much longer. Assuming that SARS-CoV-2 lies somewhere in the middle, people who recover from their encounters might be protected for a couple of years. To confirm that, scientists will need to develop accurate serological tests, which look for the antibodies that confer immunity. They’ll also need to confirm that such antibodies actually stop people from catching or spreading the virus. If so, immune citizens can return to work, care for the vulnerable, and anchor the economy during bouts of social distancing.
Scientists can use the periods between those bouts to develop antiviral drugs—although such drugs are rarely panaceas, and come with possible side effects and the risk of resistance. Hospitals can stockpile the necessary supplies. Testing kits can be widely distributed to catch the virus’s return as quickly as possible. There’s no reason that the U.S. should let SARS-CoV-2 catch it unawares again, and thus no reason that social-distancing measures need to be deployed as broadly and heavy-handedly as they now must be. As Aaron E. Carroll and Ashish Jha recently wrote, “We can keep schools and businesses open as much as possible, closing them quickly when suppression fails, then opening them back up again once the infected are identified and isolated. Instead of playing defense, we could play more offense.”
Whether through accumulating herd immunity or the long-awaited arrival of a vaccine, the virus will find spreading explosively more and more difficult. It’s unlikely to disappear entirely. The vaccine may need to be updated as the virus changes, and people may need to get revaccinated on a regular basis, as they currently do for the flu. Models suggest that the virus might simmer around the world, triggering epidemics every few years or so. “But my hope and expectation is that the severity would decline, and there would be less societal upheaval,” Kissler says. In this future, COVID-19 may become like the flu is today—a recurring scourge of winter. Perhaps it will eventually become so mundane that even though a vaccine exists, large swaths of Gen C won’t bother getting it, forgetting how dramatically their world was molded by its absence.
III. The Aftermath The cost of reaching that point, with as few deaths as possible, will be enormous. As my colleague Annie Lowrey wrote, the economy is experiencing a shock “more sudden and severe than anyone alive has ever experienced.” About one in five people in the United States have lost working hours or jobs. Hotels are empty. Airlines are grounding flights. Restaurants and other small businesses are closing. Inequalities will widen: People with low incomes will be hardest-hit by social-distancing measures, and most likely to have the chronic health conditions that increase their risk of severe infections. Diseases have destabilized cities and societies many times over, “but it hasn’t happened in this country in a very long time, or to quite the extent that we’re seeing now,” says Elena Conis, a historian of medicine at UC Berkeley. “We’re far more urban and metropolitan. We have more people traveling great distances and living far from family and work.”
After infections begin ebbing, a secondary pandemic of mental-health problems will follow. At a moment of profound dread and uncertainty, people are being cut off from soothing human contact. Hugs, handshakes, and other social rituals are now tinged with danger. People with anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder are struggling. Elderly people, who are already excluded from much of public life, are being asked to distance themselves even further, deepening their loneliness. Asian people are suffering racist insults, fueled by a president who insists on labeling the new coronavirus the “Chinese virus.” Incidents of domestic violence and child abuse are likely to spike as people are forced to stay in unsafe homes. Children, whose bodies are mostly spared by the virus, may endure mental trauma that stays with them into adulthood.
Read: The kids aren’t all right
After the pandemic, people who recover from COVID-19 might be shunned and stigmatized, as were survivors of Ebola, SARS, and HIV. Health-care workers will take time to heal: One to two years after SARS hit Toronto, people who dealt with the outbreak were still less productive and more likely to be experiencing burnout and post-traumatic stress. People who went through long bouts of quarantine will carry the scars of their experience. “My colleagues in Wuhan note that some people there now refuse to leave their homes and have developed agoraphobia,” says Steven Taylor of the University of British Columbia, who wrote The Psychology of Pandemics.
But “there is also the potential for a much better world after we get through this trauma,” says Richard Danzig of the Center for a New American Security. Already, communities are finding new ways of coming together, even as they must stay apart. Attitudes to health may also change for the better. The rise of HIV and AIDS “completely changed sexual behavior among young people who were coming into sexual maturity at the height of the epidemic,” Conis says. “The use of condoms became normalized. Testing for STDs became mainstream.” Similarly, washing your hands for 20 seconds, a habit that has historically been hard to enshrine even in hospitals, “may be one of those behaviors that we become so accustomed to in the course of this outbreak that we don’t think about them,” Conis adds.
Pandemics can also catalyze social change. People, businesses, and institutions have been remarkably quick to adopt or call for practices that they might once have dragged their heels on, including working from home, conference-calling to accommodate people with disabilities, proper sick leave, and flexible child-care arrangements. “This is the first time in my lifetime that I’ve heard someone say, ‘Oh, if you’re sick, stay home,’” says Adia Benton, an anthropologist at Northwestern University. Perhaps the nation will learn that preparedness isn’t just about masks, vaccines, and tests, but also about fair labor policies and a stable and equal health-care system. Perhaps it will appreciate that health-care workers and public-health specialists compose America’s social immune system, and that this system has been suppressed.
Aspects of America’s identity may need rethinking after COVID-19. Many of the country’s values have seemed to work against it during the pandemic. Its individualism, exceptionalism, and tendency to equate doing whatever you want with an act of resistance meant that when it came time to save lives and stay indoors, some people flocked to bars and clubs. Having internalized years of anti-terrorism messaging following 9/11, Americans resolved to not live in fear. But SARS-CoV-2 has no interest in their terror, only their cells.
Years of isolationist rhetoric had consequences too. Citizens who saw China as a distant, different place, where bats are edible and authoritarianism is acceptable, failed to consider that they would be next or that they wouldn’t be ready. (China’s response to this crisis had its own problems, but that’s for another time.) “People believed the rhetoric that containment would work,” says Wendy Parmet, who studies law and public health at Northeastern University. “We keep them out, and we’ll be okay. When you have a body politic that buys into these ideas of isolationism and ethnonationalism, you’re especially vulnerable when a pandemic hits.”
Graeme Wood: The ‘Chinese virus’ is a test. Don’t fail it.
Veterans of past epidemics have long warned that American society is trapped in a cycle of panic and neglect. After every crisis—anthrax, SARS, flu, Ebola—attention is paid and investments are made. But after short periods of peacetime, memories fade and budgets dwindle. This trend transcends red and blue administrations. When a new normal sets in, the abnormal once again becomes unimaginable. But there is reason to think that COVID-19 might be a disaster that leads to more radical and lasting change.
The other major epidemics of recent decades either barely affected the U.S. (SARS, MERS, Ebola), were milder than expected (H1N1 flu in 2009), or were mostly limited to specific groups of people (Zika, HIV). The COVID-19 pandemic, by contrast, is affecting everyone directly, changing the nature of their everyday life. That distinguishes it not only from other diseases, but also from the other systemic challenges of our time. When an administration prevaricates on climate change, the effects won’t be felt for years, and even then will be hard to parse. It’s different when a president says that everyone can get a test, and one day later, everyone cannot. Pandemics are democratizing experiences. People whose privilege and power would normally shield them from a crisis are facing quarantines, testing positive, and losing loved ones. Senators are falling sick. The consequences of defunding public-health agencies, losing expertise, and stretching hospitals are no longer manifesting as angry opinion pieces, but as faltering lungs.
After 9/11, the world focused on counterterrorism. After COVID-19, attention may shift to public health. Expect to see a spike in funding for virology and vaccinology, a surge in students applying to public-health programs, and more domestic production of medical supplies. Expect pandemics to top the agenda at the United Nations General Assembly. Anthony Fauci is now a household name. “Regular people who think easily about what a policewoman or firefighter does finally get what an epidemiologist does,” says Monica Schoch-Spana, a medical anthropologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
Such changes, in themselves, might protect the world from the next inevitable disease. “The countries that had lived through SARS had a public consciousness about this that allowed them to leap into action,” said Ron Klain, the former Ebola czar. “The most commonly uttered sentence in America at the moment is, ‘I’ve never seen something like this before.’ That wasn’t a sentence anyone in Hong Kong uttered.” For the U.S., and for the world, it’s abundantly, viscerally clear what a pandemic can do.
The lessons that America draws from this experience are hard to predict, especially at a time when online algorithms and partisan broadcasters only serve news that aligns with their audience’s preconceptions. Such dynamics will be pivotal in the coming months, says Ilan Goldenberg, a foreign-policy expert at the Center for a New American Security. “The transitions after World War II or 9/11 were not about a bunch of new ideas,” he says. “The ideas are out there, but the debates will be more acute over the next few months because of the fluidity of the moment and willingness of the American public to accept big, massive changes.”
One could easily conceive of a world in which most of the nation believes that America defeated COVID-19. Despite his many lapses, Trump’s approval rating has surged. Imagine that he succeeds in diverting blame for the crisis to China, casting it as the villain and America as the resilient hero. During the second term of his presidency, the U.S. turns further inward and pulls out of NATO and other international alliances, builds actual and figurative walls, and disinvests in other nations. As Gen C grows up, foreign plagues replace communists and terrorists as the new generational threat.
One could also envisage a future in which America learns a different lesson. A communal spirit, ironically born through social distancing, causes people to turn outward, to neighbors both foreign and domestic. The election of November 2020 becomes a repudiation of “America first” politics. The nation pivots, as it did after World War II, from isolationism to international cooperation. Buoyed by steady investments and an influx of the brightest minds, the health-care workforce surges. Gen C kids write school essays about growing up to be epidemiologists. Public health becomes the centerpiece of foreign policy. The U.S. leads a new global partnership focused on solving challenges like pandemics and climate change.
In 2030, SARS-CoV-3 emerges from nowhere, and is brought to heel within a month.
I think the Atlantic author should have also mentioned that we can all get healthier individually and reduce all illness as a result.
I’ve got a few 3M N95 masks in the plastic that I offered to a nurse, a doctor and a hospital, no one wanted them. I figure I will wait 2 weeks, then they will want them. I’m told the best use for these masks is protecting health care personal, they have the highest risk and society suffers most when they get sick.
This is disappointing. I had taken heart from the lower number of new cases reported in the last two days, but it seems that the number of tests analyzed daily has dropped from almost a thousand to less than 400.
The National Institute of Health (INS) announced that the machine that extracts the RNA broke, so now tests are being analyzed by hand, which is slower. The machine needs parts from Germany and are not currently available. They are considering whether to use university labs or start allowing private labs to test.
I wish I could post the photo as I’m sitting on the beach right now in Norfolk, Virginia and the US Navy hospital ship Comfort is sailing by me on the way to New York, it’s a bit of a sight to see. The last mission of was for five months in Latin America mainly helping Colombia and the Venezuelans as well as the Caribbean. I have to change my trip to Medellin for next month, But will not pick a date yet.
@ yolatengo - an interesting read for sure, lot's of info to digest and more info on the long term effects that no one knows what it will look like.
Also must say there is a lot of finger pointing, huh like trump is solely responsible for it, have to wonder how other presidents/administrations would have handled it???? better, worse, we will never know.
As for me I am staying put in my apartment here in medellin (outside medellin actually) and ride this out.
I need to look at my budget and see if I could last 6 months to a year absent a "life line call home for some help", we will see.
Non N-95s are absolutely useless, for preventing the virus, and only useful to protect other people from your sickness if you have one-in which case you should not be in public, only order domicillio or have someone do shoping for you.
Also the masks concentrate bacteria and viruses on the surface, should not be touched externally, and should be for one time use.
Do you think Colombians follow these rules?
Using a non N-95 mask to stop the virus is like using a grated fence to pan for gold.
Also, people buying up masks cause shortages at medical facilities where they are needed.
Thie best way to protect your self against this aor any other virus is to avoid going out in public, washing your habds frequently, and dont touch your face.
This information is all in the Medical Websites I mentioned.
I am not going to beleaugeur or argue about the point any further. Like my friend says, if 3 billion people are following the same practice due to panic and ignorance, who amI to try to stop them?
I just got a call from a friend in a small town. She was laughing pretty much nonstop. It seems that yesterday she went with her husband to visit her mother and the family members that live together in mom’s house. She did laundry had a nice visit and then at 7 called the taxi to say they were ready to go home. The taxi driver told them that the police had told him to stop driving at 6pm so he couldn’t take them home. It’s only a kilometer so they set out walking, at 7pm, with an armload of laundry. The streets were completely empty, no one out at all, just them and very soon, the police. The first time they got stopped the police told them to go home and drove off. Then, when they made it to the formerly vibrant downtown area, a different pair of police officers came from behind. By now my friend was so scared and upset that she started running. So her husband starts yelling to stop and goes after her and the police are yelling to stop and every window in town opens up and she stops. And the police searched them. They made the husband strip to the waist and went through all of the laundry, holding up all her underwear for the town to see and comment on. She was mortified, her husband was pissed but what do you do, they were actually running from the police. When the ordeal was over they told them to go home and not to go out at night and next time there would be a million peso fine.
She also says the police are stopping traffic in or out of town, the next town over has a few cases and no one wants it in their town. You can still travel but your reason for doing so has to be good enough for the officer in charge. There are no buses running and motos in her town are banned, only taxis and jeeps are allowed. They are still limiting the number of people in the grocery store at one time and all other stores are closed. Some items have a limit on how much you can buy. There is no milk and there is no panela. No panela, she emphasized that.
Anyway, everyone is happy they don’t have covid-19 in their town, yet.
I came back from Ecuador to the U.S. on March 10th. The most problematical place I've been is SFO. It's been over 2 weeks, I have no symptoms.I had to handle some family business in the SF bay area, and that was the first place to voluntarily impose restrictions in the country, so that pretty much dashed the prospects of family business, though I personally lived outside those counties.But I became resigned to undergoing these sacrifices with my own people, besides I have a daughter here. But at that point I arrived, the problem was recognized as almost non existent in the Latin American countries .At first, when I arrived I regretted that I didn't go on to Chile and Argentina, but then when I saw the same Draconian solutions are playing out in parts of Latin America.. And enforcement is more Draconian, and probably even more so for foreigners who thumb their noses at it.I think I'm infinitely better off here.At least for now.
My news feeds in Ecuador pretty much said that first Washington State was ground zero, then California, for 2 weeks it was Washington and California, then just as I got home New York State came on and partly because the major news agencies are all centered in NYC and then of course because of the Metropolitan lifestyle and the rate of infection, New York will be center stage for awhile, as well it should be, as 30% of the people tested are positive. Governor Andrew Cuomo's daily briefings have taken over cable news, and he's become a bit of a media darling who is even getting sort of shameless endorsements from his younger brother, Chris who has a show on CNN. But they are sort of an easy to understand (with graphics) primer about the corona virus where the Presidential addresses have at times have been completely erroneous, and general dissemination of the major networks are unfocused and has left the public at large confused. .
The Atlantic article is really pretty good.The single biggest institutional failure was the CDC's problem in getting out the test, and now they're just they're desperately trying to play catch up. But the rest is a long delay of a President who either believed the virus was a plot of "government deep state" but expressed that it was a Democratic party hoax, probably because he actually believed it and wanted to pose a defiant stand of the government to his political base.And in so doing,. He lost a lot of time in resisting the experts and will undoubtedly be bludgeoned by his political opponents relentlessly in the Fall elections.
Now some of the people on the front lines are starting to die, Just like what we always lament happens in the so called "3rd world countries". We could easily come out of this with the most deaths of any country, In part because we can't get away with the Draconian means the Chinese can employ, and we've lost the chance to be as smart as the South Koreans.
Now we have no choice but to adapt Dick Cheney's words that "deficits don't matter". But of course,as deficits skyrocket, it is entitlements such a Social Security that are the first on the chopping block.
As far as my everyday life, I guess one common denominator that eases the inconvenience is having a car. I'm able to go to the stores which have to be timed to avoid greater lines and I'm able to hike in the solitude of the nearby mountains though it's starting to be more restrictive about State and some County parks and beaches. But in any case, I'll be able to find places to hike. It's a luxury I have as I don't live in the eye of the storm.
1. I am not an epidemiologist...but, I did sleep at a Holiday Inn express last night.
2. There are no cases of confirmed transmission of COVID 19 by touching a contaminated surface or consuming food. Once the virus is on a non host surface it is essentially in a zero growth state. It has to be transferred to a host via a mucos host, mouth, nose, eyes. This statement does not absolutely mean that it has not happened, but, it has not been confirmed. 90% of cases have been confirmed as human to human transmittal.
3. That being said; consider this. A mask designated as an N-95 prevents ONLY 95% of the virus IF fitted perfectly (highly unlikely outside of the medical/safety community).
4. The statement is thrown around that the masks do not prevent catching the COVID 19 virus. This is because the EYES are still exposed. So if one was to wear a mask AND chemical splash goggles for example...It most certainly WOULD greatly reduce the risk. Remember the mask only reduces exposure by 95% at best. SO if one wears a mask in public AND close fitting eye wear, You most certainly WOULD reduce your risk of infection with COVID 19.
5. A well constructed at home mask that is fitted well has an N-rating of about 87 . Id est, it is about 92% as effective as an N-95 store bought mask.
So you guys do what you want. At my house hold no one is allowed to leave until I SAY SO...period. For nothing...period. I am "essential personnel" so I have to travel to work. I only stop for gasoline when I have to and use a non contact form of payment at the pump. Groceries are purchased at the store, paid for online and delivered to the door. They are then stored for three days and then placed in the pantry. Refrigerated items are washed as appropiate and placed in the refrigerator in separate locations and we try to consume them only after three days.
Everyone should be mature and adult and follow these guideline without the need for a nanny state like decree. But unfortunately, maturity and common sense are very rare these days.
Now if all the people who live in the barrio Manrrique, here in Medellín would just stay in their aptos(they are out in the streets in droves). I saw the photos in el Colombiano and was apalled that they were disregarding the quarantine. They are creating more exposure to a large number of persons. .....idiots everywhere in every country. Stay Well All. Buena Suerte !
Thanks NoHeatNoAC.....I have always tried to steer posters away from political posts on this site & will continue to do so. Many Colombia expat sites have been destroyed by the over-political-posting...a good one like PBH was destroyed by political posts, because when it gets political...it gets nasty...and when it gets nasty...it gets messy and sites go downhill really fast after that. So please keep your posts non-political. Buena Suerte !
Just wondering how all this is going to play out in countries where millions live a day to day hand to mouth existence. Meagre incomes that barely support many have dried up. Has anyone seen people wearing red rags? Supposedly it's a sign that they have nothing left to eat and no means to get anything to eat. I don't if this is fact or some urban legend. Regardless, this could turn ugly.
exactly - and there is a thread titled US politics.
once this is all over then information will be available as to which country did better etc. i did hear an interview on a european network an official asked which countries best prepared and handling issues with hospital beds, ventilators, text kits etc- he said America, Germany,Japan and Singapore.
besides italy the scariest prospect i would think is India.
I just read a report that stated the Number of Cases in Ecuador are Dropping dramatically....unverified at this point in time, but maybe there is that Light at the End of The Tunnel. Stay Well All. Buena Suerte !
My friend in a city tells me they are very restricted in going outside. My friend in a small town tells me they are very restricted in going outside. My friend in the country tells me she goes running most days and the kids play out in front of the house.
My life in the states: What JSM says is true, It can be applied to the U.S. as well, The further you are from a major population area the freer you are. I'm in a small town of 10,000 people but within 20 miles as the crow flies there's 200,000 people. There's much less traffic than before but it's not a ghost town. All supermarkets, and most businesses that are essential, you can walk right in. Only in the big box stores (and curiously Trader Joe's)are there lines, . Restaurants that stay open can only do take out, but this has really been a bonanza for the fast food chains.
Lovers hug at the beach. No cop's going to stop them and ask if they're married. If you're on a major freeway. No cop is going to stop and ask you where you're going. I know through extensive travel through Colombia and Ecuador, there is already a climate of frequent police stops and searches. So I wouldn't push any limits there. I'd be curious how those with their own transportation in Colombia are using their vehicles to perform essential functions, or if they are.
Where I am, and from where I've heard from friends in other regions who have adopted the lock down. The populace is compliant, people are moving slower, generally more caring, helpful, and just nicer people, Almost as if they were looking for a chance to take up a cause beyond themselves. But how long this attitude could last is anybody's guess.
People are definitely distancing, but there's not an overly obsession with distance. For example, I was out hiking and came to wonder if I was maybe a little lost, I saw a family on the path, asked the father who instantly showed me the map on his phone.
The movement to voluntarily restriction was a bottom up movement by states and major metropolitan areas that is still spreading. If you live in the sticks, in the U.S. it will be coming to a city near you. Just what that means for you personally is anybody's guess. But it does matter to who you interact with. At first, at the beginning of the lock down, I did see congregation of youth in an outlying area, but upon returning, I haven't more recently.
Pony- Re: India. I agree with you, ever since I met a guy who was hospitalized for altitude (?) sickness over there and was repulsed by the # of cats that were tethered by the beds. He complained and was told they were needed to keep the rats at bay.That's when he noticed he had no cat. "Hey! Where's my cat? I need a cat!"
I had a hip operation in Delhi The bath sink was filled with old fashion moth balls. Stunk and also not healthy Every night I took them out wrapped them in something and tossed into trash Every morning they were there again !
I am pretty sure that I read somewhere on line that a person over the age of 70 can have another person accompany them as an aide. This would make my shopping much easier. Can anyone direct me to an official site that states this? If in fact I did read it
Elex.....After a period of time I feel that the quarantine will basically be ignored(as it is in some poor barrios now)...and it will lead to a big rise in cases...I sure hope I am not right on this one. And after that...in the poorer barrios...with no money nor food, then the looting may begin and after that..Uh Oh. Let's just all Pray & Hope the #'s of cases diminish soon, to avoid all this civil disobedience. Stay Well All, Buena Suerte !
The quarantine will not reduce Corona Virus deaths one bit. It as all about spreading the cases out over a longer time frame so as not to overwhelm the medical system. The number of people under the curve does not change with a flattened curve.
But with a flattened curve, you don't have people dying for lack of good medical treatment. In other words you eliminate the collatteral deaths from the flattened curve. I think it is worth it.
Say you have 100 respirators. If you have 100 people per week for 10 weeks who need a respirator to live then you have enough and everyone lives. That’s 1,000 people total. If all 1,000 need a respirator in one week then you are short 900 respirators and 900 people die.
If we can put off getting sick until September then we will have immune caregivers who know what to expect, with lots of PPE and experience and all the equipment available and maybe some treatments that work. Let’s spread it out a bit.
Meanwhile reduce your risk factors and take you vitamins.
Yep, if there is no vaccine produced, eveny¡tually everyone will get it , if they dont die of something else first
But if you flatten the curve enough, it might take a thousand years for everyone to be infected once.
In S. Korea they are down to 80 cases a day, and they have very stringent testing. Sure, tere are people who dont have symptoms who have it and spread , but for all intents and purpoese , Korea has controlled the rate to around 80 Cases a day for people who get sick to some degree.
52 million people dont have it. 80 cases a day is around 600,000 days , or around 1500 years to infect thewhole population.
If if the actual figure for people that have it and dt necesarily show symptoms,is 10 times the official rate, it will tke 150 years to infect everyone.
In a lot of cases, even if a vaccine is not produced, these viruses mutate and go away by themselves. That is the normal sequence.
Yeah I watch him on TV say it and also you can Google it up. He said it’s most likely and very likely to come again but we will be more prepared this time so not as devastating.. Hopefully Dr. Fauci is wrong, but I also heard the former head of the FDA say the same thing.
There are now 1267 cases in Colombia, after 16 days of lockdown.
Only 25 have died. (so far).
That's pretty remarkable that there are so few. Italy, Spain, the USA were very slow to act, and their numbers are horrific.
Of the 1267 cases, 541 were brought in from other countries. A further 414 were related, such as partners, family, or places where infected people stayed. The remaining 311 are still being studied to ascertain where they caught it.
Country of origin: Colombians 743 Spanish 186 Americans 127 Ecuadorians 29 Mexicans 27 Turkish 16 French 12 Panamanians 11 Brasil 9 Puerto Rican 9 Italian 6 Germans 5 Jamaicans 5 UK 5 London 4 Not Reported 4 Dominica Rep 3 Aruba 2 Spain/Italian 2 Egyptian 2 Venezuelan 2 Cruise ships 1 Spanish/Croatian 1 England 1 Italian/Ukranian 1 Panama 1
Another 50 or so, no data yet.
My conclusions so far, are
1. They were absolutely right to lockdown everyone at home, and early.
2. They were absolutely right to block travel into or out of the country.
3. There are so many countries sent the virus to Colombia, that you can't block only countries where they have an epidemic. We are at risk from any country in the world.
I think we should acknowledge that the authorities did well to act, quickly, and firmly.
VIVA COLOMBIA !!!!!!
(Who want's to go back home? It seems we are all much safer here.).
La Piranha....Eliminating the international air travel was the most important aspect of keeping the numbers down. I criticized the Colombia government and Duque for not doing it earlier...but finally, at least it was done. And yes, I will give kudos to Duque and the Government for ordering the quarantine. It is not fun, but it keeps many people alive.
The direct flight from Madrid to Medellín brought untold #'s of carriers to this area...plus all the many, many direct flights into El Dorado in Bogotá...Wow ! Those flights brought many, many more carriers. I believe that Duque delayed cancelling the flights as Avianca really needed the cashflow. I read this and was amazed. Stay Well. Buena Suerte !
Good points that least so far Colombia does seem to be doing better than many other areas of the world, hopefully that remains the case (and that the statistics relatively accurate).I admit a bit of a surprise if it turns out at the end of all this Colombian statistics accurate and government handled well,
I wonder if the younger age of population a factor, or simply not many enough have been tested to know the true incidence of cases..
See how high the deaths surge in the next couple of weeks and how the stats compare to "Active " Cases. A higher percentage fatality rate indicates a lot more peole have it than the statistics show.
But you have to wait a couple weeks becausa as you know here is more or less the typical time lag for the process
day 0- Person gets infected week 1 to 3 symptoms appear week 2 to week 4 -if symptoms are bad enough-person gets tested week 3 to week 5- Test results come back week 4 to week 6 -cases that are really bad die
You can see the case information you cited updated everyday on this website. It gives a breakdown of demographics, department by department infections, and the current status of each patient (at home, hosptal, intensive care, dead or recuperated). The data can be downloaded to a ,csv. It's better data than I've seen from most US states.
I think the quarantine will Be over next week. I think duque realizes the country cannot sustain the quarantine much longer. That’s my thoughts regardless of weather or not it is the right thing to do. Then I think we will see things get crazy here.
Elderly still in quarantine. I am not clear whether kids would still be in quarantine or just schools closed. Everybody else following hygienic protocols.
I will speculate that some local control will be allowed. The mayor of my town has been a huge supporter of the quarantine - roadblocks, pico y cedula allowing leaving the house only one day a week. I would not be surprised if he would announce that the full quarantine will remain in place here no matter what the federal or department government says.
There is a wildcard, We are going to see a jump in deaths both here and in the US this week, since deaths lag infections, and I think it will scare a lot of people.
What you are saying is true, the Deaths will scare the people, due to ignorance. It will be really hard to explain to people the process of the virus., statistics, mthematics, incubation period, time lar, etc.
Personally, I think since we are all in quarantine already,if at all possible, they should bite th bulleet continue for at least another 8 days , better 2 weeks,to start seeing clear results.
Thn there is the other extreme, that commie mayor of Bogota who thinks people shoild be locked up for 3 months and the government somehow pay for, food, rent, ohh..and afterwards her and Petro are promising free education, better health care, free houses and vcations for everyone, shut down the oil and gas , coal and mining industries, and make up for it by exporting avacados...oh and if the farms arent productive enough, expropriate them..after all , the government is best at that sort of thing, and knows best.
To me...the Big Question is...not how the seniors will deal with this...but how those that live in the strata 1 & 2 barrios deal with it. They actually have not been abiding to the "Quedate en Casa" rules anyway...lots of them out in streets daily and many motos whizzing by, at all hours. That may be the "Real Problem" with the extended-quarantine period. Let's wee how this facet of society reacts, especially in the barrios of Bogotá & Cali(where the stay-at-home rules have been ignored generally. Stay Well All. Buena Suerte !
Elex...when I to to the supermarket(on my appropriate Cedula/Pico/Shopping Days)...since last Saturday I have seen more cars, taxis each day...and just thinking out loud...that tells me that more people are basically ignoring the quarantine. In the strata 1 & 2 barrios in Cali, Bogotá & Medellín....it's been largely ignored anyway..especially after dark..Not in Envigado nor Poblado...it's still quiet...but the #'s of the vehicles is increasing....poco a poco. Stay Well All. Buena Suerte !
I think Elex is getting confused with the Holy Week closures which traditionally occur on the Thursday and Friday. I have not heard anything at national or local level about these holidays applying during the emergency. Nobody will be going to church this year.
Believe the "lockdown " confusion results from the local (Bucaramanga) new pico y cedula rules. the new set up has us all go one day a week to shop..but no one can go out on the weekend...this will last here until the quarantine ends...or someboby gets a brighter idea. Apparantly, you can still order emergency...necessities...and have them delivered...Applies to both groceries and medicines. If anyone needs chapter and verse on this google pico y cedula bucaramanga "Restriction total para Abastecimento presencial, solo podran realizarse domiicilios
Most of el Oriente de Antioquia has 1-day a week, no weekend pico y cedula too.
Frankly, I have a hard time blaming the folks in the barrios for wanting to get out. The average Colombian, if I recall from research I did a few years ago, has 20 sq. meters of living space. That's compared to an average of 60 per person in the USA.
Five years ago, my family of five was living in a 90 sq. meter apartment. I can't imagine how miserable it would be to be there now.
I have read and seen photos of flights that are 90% empty, but the airlines must fly a certain % of their flights in order to receive the "Stimulus $$$". Commercial air travel in the U.S. will return, but it'll be a while, I think...way after the virus is gone. Stay Well All. Buena Suerte !
Quite true. Many times here in Colombia...the COP might not "exactly" end up in the coffers to they were intended. Kinda like the Pesos the Indigenous Population were promised some years ago...they received something like 20% promised". the COP they were "Promised". Stay Well All. Buena Suerte !
Here is an article about some people experiencing reinfection. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-southkorea/south-korea-reports-more-recovered-coronavirus-patients-testing-positive-again-idUSKCN21V0JQ
The bottom line: They don't know what is going on with "reinfections". From the article:
"Officials are still investigating the cause of the apparent relapses. But Jeong Eun-kyeong, director of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC), has said the virus may have been reactivated rather than the patients being re-infected.
Other experts said faulty tests may be playing a role, or remnants of the virus may still be in patients’ systems but not be infectious or of danger to the host or others."
Colombian doctors are threatening mass resignations in the middle of the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic, because they are not being provided with personal safety equipment, are being threatened for speaking publicly about their predicament, and in many cases, being owed several months back wages by hospitals & IPS (Independent Health Providers, or clinics).
“No one can force us to commit suicide.”—Dr. Sergio Isaza
These charges are made by Dr. Sergio Isaza, head of the Colombian Medical Federation, the group representing the interests of Colombian doctors in the country. The doctors oppose Article 9 of Decree 538 of 2020 issued by the Colombian presidency, that seeks to obligate doctors to attend to the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic irrespective of circumstances.
Dr. Sergio Isaza, head of the Colombian Medical Federation (Photo courtesy of the Colombian Medical Federation)
“We are not obligated by a decree, but by the oath we took when we graduated; not under any threat of sanction so the minister must remove that article,” said Dr. Isaza to W Radio in Colombia. Representatives of the federation, accompanied by the Colombian Association of Scientific Societies, The Colombian Medical College, and the Federation of Medical Unions walked out of negotiations with the government when they refused to amend Article 9. That led to a breakdown in relations between the four groups and the newly appointed health minister, Dr. Fernando Ruíz (above right).
21 doctors in Cartagena have already resigned from hospital Clinica San José de Torices. The doctors claim that they have repeatedly and formally asked for basic protective equipment but were ignored
“Doctors must be equipped according to the complexity of the patients they serve: gloves, gowns, masks, hospital clothes; guaranteeing the dressing rooms and that the staff should not go out with the same clothes that they use in the clinic for their home,” said Dr. Isaza. “It is not just that they give us gloves, masks, robes and dresses, because it is something to be expected. That is why the National Government must sanction the EPS (health plan providers) and IPS (clinics and hospitals), and punish those who fail to comply. This must be monitored by the National Health Superintendence, which has done nothing, in addition to the Office of the Attorney General and the Comptroller,“
There is so much speculation, time will tell which measures in terms of timing and level of quarantine worked, whether the concept of herd immunity was a proper guide, whether some lifting of quarantine timed right.
The Protests in the U.S.A. I can understand the reason why....One of the founding principles of the United States is "Freedom, Personal Freedoms" and that has been taught in schools from Day one of the U.S. public school systems. Plus the U.S. residents have much more mobility that Colombians. In the U.S. everyone has a car, right ? Most Colombians doe not have cars, so in this respect...are more compliant to the quarantine-rules. No car=no go. And the "recommended" stay-at-home in the U.S. is recommended...but everyone can just crank up the car and go...right ? Although we know that what Colombia has done in terms of Quarantining has worked, that is just is not possible in the U.S. of A. Personal-Freedom. Stay Well All. Buena Suerte !
Mobility is all relative. Sure most Americans have more cars than they know what to do with but they use them just to drive a quarter mile to the bank and shops and/or sit in jams for hours at a time. Colombians are much more flexible and very much fitter.
The 'right to freedom' is costing the USA and their lousy health system very heavily, with over a third of the worlds infected and rising very rapidly.
Sure they have their freedom, but many are dying for it literally!
tubes...Very true. Let's face it...Colombia has done a very good job of managing this situation. All of us who live here are in a much healthier environment than in our own country. Gotta give a hats-off to the Colombian Government for their decisions. Stay Well All. Buena Suerte !
@sky well let’s see how this whole thing shakes out before we say Colombia has done a good or bad job. Every decision has consequences.. I am interested to see the impact on the economy the choice to lock everyone down has had. I know people will say saving a few boomers outweighs any economic cost but tell that to all the small business owners who may not recover from this shutdown.
I am with you Paco, and Sweden may end up being right if their herd immunity works out. The guy in charge of their program says they may have it in two weeks. All these countries have broken Humpty Dumpty, so now we will see who can put it back together again. Especially, if the virus comes back in the fall.
@matt it seems like the us is doing the same. Almost a million cases and I don’t see numbers plateauing yet. I think people will bit the bullet and just start heading back to work. Already people in Colombia are heading back to work. My neighbor started going back to work so let’s see if we see a spike in cases in Colombia in two or three weeks.
The number of new cases in Colombia "spiked" yesterday...to 320...from 205 the day prior. Hopefully this is the top of the curve & the #'s will drop significantly soon...we all hope & pray. Stay Well All. Buena Suerte !
If you look at the numbers for Ecuador its ridiculous. The day before yesterday they suddennly got a massive spike of several thousand new cases-well off the map--they had to increase the scale of the graph. The new cases from day before yesterday dwarfed anything previously. Kind of like a blue super-giant star against yellow sun and blue dwarfs-
This is after 6 weeks of lock down.
Bottom line I now have any faith in any of the numbers in developing countries like Ecuador and Colombia- ()even less than Chinas numbers -where testing is low and sporadic and data urealiable.
Even less in Mexico- testing even lower and they just recently went into full lock down. Though Mexico is arguably more developed than Ecuador or Colombia, they havent taken this seriously until recently.
The only countries I have any faith in, and apear to be solving or have solved the problem are Korea, Taiwan, Germany and Switzerland.
From the other point of view, I dont see bodies in the streets, and I dont know anybody who has gotten sick from this. As a matter of fact, I only know one person who knows someone who got sick, and they were a couple-pilot and flight attendant who took several long haul international flights and both recovered.
So really, I dont have a clue if this whole crisis is over exagerated with fake news , prognosis ,and data or under exagerated. because of poor data , prognosis testing, and medical facilities.
But the bottom line, the worlds economy and social system cannot afford to be in "Lock Down" indefinitely. So we are going to "Herd Mentality" like it or not.. even if in the worst case scenario, it wipes out 2 or 3 % of the worlds population..because there is no way a vaccine will be developed and mass produced in less than a year. I hope countries have the sense to keep the old and sick isolated and protected.
Elex...From what I've read...the isolation of those infected with the virus seems to be the best method of controlling the spread. the majority of the cases of deaths that I've read about have been with seniors with major health problems: blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, etc.
Whatever method works in controlling this...I hope the countries do it, whatever it takes. Let's all hope & pray this leaves soon. Stay Well All. Buena Suerte!
Elex: If you have no faith in countries like Ecuador and Colombia then you should include the USA and the UK in that list too. Statistics are only as good as the number of tests being performed and virtually all countries are way behind on testing.
Sorry Tubes.with all due rspect I do have more faith in the numbers coming out of the US and UK.
Just look at the number of test cases per million, that is just one obvious indicator.
Colombia still hasnt solved the problem of the tests being shipped to Bogota and waiting 8 days for resulys.
I know you are a little older and have pre- exising conditions, so I hope you do whatever it takes to take care of yourself...Bit as soon as they start relaxing the rules a bit and you can travel and meet people I am going to take the risk and take advanage of it, no mattter what the supposed "statitics say-unless - with obvious precautions and observance of the real life situtaton
i think you are not considering the calibre of the civil service and transparency issues- even in normal times it is hardly imaginable the level of reliability of Colombian government reports approach the level of the UK or the USA.
even the UK has had some reported issues such as whether national statistics have been including care home deaths in a timely manner.
colombians seem to struggle with basic safety and health standards even in normal times.
having said that the statistics to date from colombia a pleasant surprise so low. have no idea why unless something to do with climate or diet or incompetence in reporting.
Transparency is certainly an issue with China and Iran but nobody else has anything to gain by falsifying the figures. If there are any flaws in the Colombian statistics it comes from the same shortage of testing that affects almost every country.
Having trustworthy ministers is of prime importance otherwise people just do not listen. Duque has been very lucid with his daily briefings and has not once even hinted at anything as ridiculous as injecting disinfectant! The UK lost a lot of time and credibility with their prime minister in intensive care.
I do disagree with you that Colombians struggle with basic safety and health standards. They have an excellent universal (if a bit bureaucratic) health service which certainly beats the run-down UK service for waiting times.
Tubes look at the Worldometer Coronoa virus site and look at the real numbers and then tell me who has the twisted convoluted logic.
US- almost 17,000 per million tests
UK Almost 10.000
Ecuador about 3000
Colombia about 1700
Also look at the strange anomoly in Ecuador on 24th where they suddenly got 11,000 cases in one day. More than total previous cases. Looks even goofier than what China did.
I am not, nor ever have,in any way saying the actual situation in Colombia is as bad as in the US or UK at this point in time (although Ecuador is a different case). But that is due to geographic and social isolation, and early implementation of travel bans, border closings and total lock down. As far as testing , accuracy of the number of deaths and active cases, though things are obviously still better in Colombia, and though the accuracy of the numbers in the UK and US are far from perfect, and worse than Switzerland, Korea and Germany,they still obviously have a much better handle on what is happening than in Colombia and a lot of other developing countries. Which shows to go you how little you can believe the Colombian numbers. Maybe they are OK. Maybe they are high. Maybe they are low.
Like I have always said,and will repeat again, I have never had any great admiration for Trump, but anyone that has watched the full briefing and still believes the MSN story that he went out and told people to Inject lysol into thier bodies is brain washed beyond the point of no return.
Having said that, I agree Trump should just shut up on this topic and let the doctors do the talking, cause whatever he says, the press will just gaslight him anyway, and the Trump Derangement Syndrome crew will just jump all over it,
Spike it would take me an hour tosummarize- bettr to just watvch the first 20 minutes.
Basically these guys are using actaul test data statstics from heir testig in their county in California and extrapolating to the total population to say the infection rate is much, much greater than the recorded data shows, a large portion of the population is infecte,and so the lethalness of the virus is no worse than the flu , and why are we shutting down the economy and ignoring other economic, health and social issues by doing this.
I dont agree with them that you can extrapolate the test data to the general population, because they are testing peole who apear to have symptoms, so obviously you would have a higher proportion in the actual test dat than in the general population.
But It still makes sense that way more people in the general poulation have the ickness than the number of people indicated by the tests.. I would guse at least 20 times as high, Which reduces the fatality rate substantially.
They also made the point that the previous models where wildly pessimistic of the number of deaths which would occur up totis point, based on modelling, and the actual data shows a different situation.
They also made the point that this is the first time in history where they have quarantined healthy people on such a large scale. Usually only the sick peopl are quarantined.
At anyrate, it is pretty obvious to everyone we cannot keep everyone locked down for 2 years until we find a Vaccine (if we ever do),
ElEx. "I would guess". I wish people wouldn't do that. Only in hindsight will we know what the correct action was/ should have been. Since each state seems to be doing their own thing, some will get it right (luck?common sense?statistics) and some won't. Interesting case study.
It appears that many, many more people have antibodies than the positive tests would indicate. The death rate for infected people appears to be 0.1 to 0.2% Of course all is preliminary and could be found to be errors but it does look more hopeful.
True no Heat etc., but the same is true for Canada, except for specific cities, which supposedly has 10 times the rate per person as Colombia, and if you watch the video, in parts of California, which also suposedly has a much higher rate.
Like I said, ther is no evidence of people dieing in the streeets here, but I bet the actual rates of both cases with serious symptoms and deaths is much higher than the official stats indicate, and you might suddenly get a sudden "surge" like in Ecuador.. basically I dont think they really have any confidence that the epidemic has peaked here or when it will peak. Test samples and data base is too small and erratic.
“What they did in Taiwan was similar to the Wuhan activities” This statement appears to be false. Office buildings, restaurants, shopping malls and cafes remained open. School holidays were extended 3 weeks, then schools reopened.
Here is what informed people have observed and reported.
“When the first few cases of coronavirus emerged here in late January/ early February it was clear that the Taiwanese Government were prepared. The response was rapid.”
“Taiwan learned from their mistakes during the 2003 SARS experience, Wang said, and put in place a public health emergency response mechanism that enabled experienced officials to quickly recognize the crisis at hand and respond with efficient, culturally sensitive policies that helped contain the spread and significantly minimize deaths.” —Jason Wang, pediatrician and director of the Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention at Stanford University
This is about that 50 minute clip from the California clinic guys about Covid.
Thanks El Ex, That's interesting, but it is no surprise that they are not experiencing a rise in the ER where they work, because Kern County is largely out in the desert. The biggest city in rural Kern County and the only place with a major hospital is Bakersfield and the county's death rate is the lowest in the state. It could be easier for them to say this because they haven't paid any heavy dues. But in fairness, there are some people on the front lines who have come to similar conclusions..
I think you're right about the beginning being the best. At about 15:00 he started losing me never to come back because goes into his merely anecdotal stuff about the socially increased drug abuse, child abuse not supported by statistics and data, though it does makes some sense, I just wish he'd stick to facts.
It tuns out now they've been reprimanded by the "Deep State" Kern County Public Health Department. They're arguing to open up right away. Like there's some absolute great urgency. Why? Most counties in California are opening up on MONDAY anyway. (I know in L.A. it's been extended to the 13th.) El Ex you've obviously got a nose for political controversy as I can also see by your subsequent political comment.
No offense, but these guys at least to me, are probably a couple of bozos out to make a name for themselves, though I don't question their data. Here's a guy, not quite as spooked, with a bit more on the ball whose done a little walking the walk. https://youtu.be/Lze-rMYLf2E
Right now, from what we know, the first case in the U.S., was in Northern California and from China, and the New York epidemic has come from Europe. As for the L.A. study mentioned by Mattinfolk, an earlier random study of people without symptoms in the SF Bay Area also show a higher rate of asymptomatic, people with corona antibodies as well. But the death rate is very low in California, and to be clear, the rate of infection among total tests taken is the lowest of the top 10 states. (link below) We'll see if that changes, as the number of those tested has been low. Some have credited this to their early quarantine, in which the SF Bay Area was the first in the nation. and then Southern California which was slower to shelter in place and the rate is considerably higher than the North. Some don't believe it's because of the early quarantine, but what would be the other reason? that California just has a healthier lifestyle and generally better immune systems than the rest of the country? I know a few people here might have a problem with that too. jej jej!
The problem in all this is that each state has different criterion for CV death, some states report CV death solely from respiratory illness. While some report other organ failure as result of CV infection as well. Some didn't count the increased fatalities in nursing homes. Now they're talking about young asymptomatic young people whose first symptom is a stroke! And there is still a lot of inaccuracies in testing. They still know very little about this. They don't know if having antibodies even gives a solid immunity. Is it a stronger immunity if the symptoms were initially greater? How long does it last? Would that be more useful plasma to treat others?
I can see where expats outside of the U.S. could have this sort cable induced binary, political look at this which can be reflected in their responses. I don't think I can know what's going on in Colombia. To listen to the POTUS, you might think that people everywhere are just aching to get out there, but the truth is,things aren't going to be completely back to normal for a long time. The Prime Minister sort of poo pooed it too, and it almost killed him. . This month the U.S. has lost more people than in the entire 10 year Viet Nam War. And this if you consider on March 20th, they had 150 deaths, about the same number of deaths as the S. Koreans.
I'll make a prediction here. Even under the best circumstances, if we start to open up the economy slowly and wisely now, and are reasonably successful. The vast majority of the U.S. .and most of the Industrialized World will still not look back and see the measures taken over the last 6 weeks as an overreaction to some "hoax."
I suspect that we are being fed incorrect information (IF) from every direction. Whether that amounts to being hoodwinked depends on whether or not we believe it and on what the purveyors of the IF were thinking; I often don’t have any insight into that.
But yes, I am often sure that I have been tricked.
I saw New Zealand is claiming after 5 weeks of lockdown they are China virus free, let’s see how that shakes out for them. Hopefully they will be OK and the rest of the world starts to see a decline especially Colombia.
i assume you have been involved in business in Colombia, trying to training and keep Colombians maintaining safety and health standards is not easy. civil servants certainly not well trained so i am unsure why this wouldn't affect their statistics.
as far as relative performance dealing with corona situation my standpoint is after over it will be the time to judge definitively whether UK approach to herd immunity issue which slowed down initial response was worth it,.though so far things seem to be going better in colombia. why i dont know.
there may be some decent hospitals for some in Colombia- there is also a mass of terrible ones. I have had family through marriage deal with conditions I have never seen in USA or UK, my father in law had a treatment necessary, the damn equipment wasn't available in any Colombia hospital The delays in appointments were quiet something, though admittedly a few payments here and there helped accelerate things. .Each to his own view of Colombian health care , I have experienced USA,UK and seen examples of Colombian healthcare, for any serious issue I would certainly not go to Colombian hospital and prefer the NHS- and with not too dissimilar medical outcomes to those in the United States.
Safety standards in Colombia when you can go into any pharmacy and get any medicine without a prescription. Quality control in manufacturing or food storage ? Sounds like we are talking about different countries..
I admit I have always been baffled that with the corruption, inefficiency and lack standards in Colombia I am supposed to believe the the Colombian heath care system not effected and somehow "world class".
I have mostly successfully avoided the medical systems. I guess my diet, exercise and stress reduction are paying off. But what I am hearing from medical professionals in the US, is that the system is now all about making as much money as possible and service is poor. A couple years ago, I had a hernia surgery in Medellin and I thought it went great, at 1/10 the cost of the US. Check out these rankings: https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/best-healthcare-in-the-world/
Canada's great health system, its a falicy? Sure it's freebut..., Ophthalmologist says, I need to see you in 3 months, except it takes 6 months to get an appointment in Canada, HPTU, next day appointment, not free but less than $100k cop.
As a non-political observation, it appears that Canada's health system is working perfectly during the Covid19 crisis. By provincial mandate, most elective surgeries are cancelled to make room for covid19 patients. Right now there are lots of regular beds and ICU beds waiting and available for Covid19 patients. How much will it cost you if you get Covid19 in Canada? $0.00 for residents of Canada. Canadians are living with a lot less stress than other countries during this crisis as they know they only have to worry about getting better if they catch Covid19.
I think you can say that for a regular "Non emergency"s ituation, an expat in Colombia can get better service than in Britain, the US or even Canada, (due to greed, and bureaucracy and the systems in these countries are being vastly underutilized for no reason other than money), espesc¡ally if you have Prepagada or are willing to pay out of pocket, but even with EPS, sometimes with patience , luck, and knowing how to manage the bureaucracy, and have a lot of luck, as Tubes will attest.
But in an emergency pandemic situation, like what is happening in NYC, Milan , parts of Spain or Guayaquil- that is another issue.
A lot more people in the general population will be left to die in Colombia -just because of lower overall physical capacity of the health care system.
I hope it never gets to that situation. However today, driving around I noticed a lot more people in the streets and in the markets than normal-in close proximity. A few without tapabocas.
Elex... On Tuesday afternoon(2:00-3:00 p.m.) I went out for my jog and I also saw a good number of people out-n-about...lots of joggers and fast walkers(all wearing tapabocas except one idiot). Here in Medellín there are more cars out and lots of motos(guaranteed the majority of motos are not in essential businesses) but they are out...and the number of Rappi food delivery motos are everywhere, their biz is booming ! Stay Well All. Buena Suerte !
Those lists are interesting but like anywhere a lot depends on your location, where a big city will obviously have better resources than a tiny village out in the country.
Germany wins out by sending everybody on a health 'kur' in the country every year but their hospitals have many foreign nurses.
Having lived in the UK, Germany, Italy and Colombia, I still put Colombia at the top of my list. Sure there is too much bureaucracy, some of the EPSs are below par and some hospitals are a bit rough, but heck, if you are on death's bed you don't care about a dripping tap!
Ignoring the huge cost advantages, the big plus point is the well trained local and helpful staff. You are a patient, not just a bed number.
Well we certainly have different opinions. I really can't imagine the idea in general that Colombian medical staff whether doctors or nurses are well trained in comparison to those in the UK,France or Germany for serious illnesses. No offense but that strikes me as bizarre.
They certainly may be more friendly, and it is cheaper, and with less of a technology focus perhaps some differences on patient treatment and diagnosis and time taken with the patient. But the corruption in Colombian academic and other other institutions hardly gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling about how a Colombian doctor has been trained. And nurses forget it, my mother was a registered nurse who worked training nurses in several different countries, so I knew her opinion of what she went through to try to raise standards.
Not to say all doctors not up to par in Colombia, and my wife prefers medical care in Colombia as she feels they are more caring and take better care of patients.
In the end I assume the issue relates to medical outcomes.
i found that number surprising too, but maybe factors in people withot insurance cant afford urgent care centers, and many rural areas may not have easy access.
one interesting thing is in UK private insurance includes policies that simply cover getting faster appointments, private insurance in UK is surprisingly affordable- often can be less than medicare premiums.
US may have trained doctors and equivalent of UK,france or germany, but if people cant afford to go many will simply not get the care they need. unless of course youa re in congress then you get top notch medical care someone else pays for, and the most generous pension arrangements.
"if someone gets COVID real bad, they get treatment , regardless of race, colour, creed, poliy¡tical leaning, or ability to pay."
It is a really good theory but in many countries the Haves tend to turn a blind eye to the Have-nots. When I first moved to the USA I was surprised how many people were sleeping on the sidewalks and parks of San Diego. Poor people would get really angry at me when I asked about welfare checks that I assumed they receive. At least in Colombia you can line-up and get medical treatment even if there is no food in your house.
For those of us here in Colombia, should it become problematic with the spread of CV here we could make our way over to Venezuela as their total casos remains under 400 and total deaths have been stuck at 10 for sometime now.
Concerning the hospitals here in Colombia...A Doctor who lives in my bldg. told me that all the non-essential surgeries were cancelled/postponed at the outset of the virus(so that IF it spread rapidly=there would be rooms to handle the influx of virus-patients), so the hospitals are pretty vacant right now. In fact I read yesterday in El Colombiano that a number of hospitals here in Medellín need additional funding to keep properly-staffed. Stay Well. Buena Suerte !
I work in the elective surgery arena down here and the specialty is one of the most profitable arms of a hospital. We have been basically shut down minus a single digit percentage of our procedures that are non-elective. The only LatAm country that is continuing forward is Mexico, as of a week ago. Hospitals & health insurance providers are going to be punished greatly. However, surgeon rumblings started to gain traction two weeks ago and I would not be surprised to see elective surgeries moving again in 2 weeks. Optimistically it will be August or September until most of the surgeries resume. Patients do not want to go to hospitals right now out of fear. They started up in the US last week and some will be operating Saturdays and Sundays to pull the revenue back in. We are far from seeing the fall-out of everything.
Assuming nations are being honest, Colombia is in the upper tier for developing world at 3,000 per million test done. The Dominican Republic is 4,000, and USA almost 30,000 per million for reference. Brazil and Mexico are around 1,100, so glad not to be there.
Elec...our health care system has worked the way it should. But it definitely isn't perfect! In Canada, we have seen retirement communities decimated! It has been really sad to see.
Allowing the premiers of each province to run things has worked out quite well. Here in Ontario, it has been working extremely well. It also frees up our media hungry PM and gives him the opportunity to do his daily speech alone with cameras running.
The issue for me and many business owners like me, or even working residents for that matter, is the fact that our govt was spending needlessly BEFORE this pandemic. Now, they are giving money away to anyone...and fraud, they dont care. They have said they will "clean that up later". Yah, that will be easy
Am I concerned about health care...not now. What I am concerned with are...
1.) Small businesses like my sisters (2 locations)..going on 10 weeks of closure. Many will not be able to survive even with all the government money. So you take those people out of the equation of working class.
2.) Who is going to pay for all this? Our debt could reach $1 Trillion dollars...or $24k per citizen!!
Eliminating the middle class is a very dangerous thing...especially in an emerging market like Colombia. When the poor rise up...the government usually could give a rat's ass! But when the middle class joins them...then you have some serious shiite on your hands. I was in Bogota when the student protests shut down the city. Trust me, you don't want the trolls from Antifa or similar groups raising office in Colombia. The effects would be irreparable.
As for civil liberties...here in Canada..we should have shut things down ENTIRELY for 3 weeks as our government said "if everyone self-isolates for 3 weeks, the virus would be dead". What would have been worse...3 weeks or 10? Most businesses have been closed for 10 weeks except those deemed essential..you know Liquor/Beer stores and pot shops...you know, true necessities!
Do I think the world should just open up the doors...absolutely not. But every country needed to be on the same page from the beginning but that isn't how the world works. The longer things stay closed in Canada, the more massive the impact it will have on the economy and our citizens. In Colombia...magnify those issues times 10!
"Eliminating the middle class is a very dangerous thing...especially in an emerging market like Colombia"......I might add that the middle class is already almost gone in my once great State of California.
Now nothing more than a sanctuary state with homeless drug addicted trashing the cities of Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Francisco and the like.....
Then we have the silicone valley whose multi-millionaires with some billionaires who live behind high security fenced houses with armed security guards and who bitch about the "wall" being built.
Those Silicon Valley millionaires living in Atherton or Menlo Park are just like that, sheer hypocrites. My kid was in a private school in Menlo Park, and the Priest decided to give a full scholarship for one minority kid per class in the name of diversity - the Priest decided, I am unsure of what evidence, that diversity would improve the school, and that it was the right thing to do to help the poor ( which I understand).
The treatment the mothers gave the mothers of the minority kids on scholarship was quite astonishing to see, patronizing and degrading- especially to the Latina mothers. Add to that the general intolerance in Silicon Valley for different points of view, I certainly wasn't impressed with the millionaires you refer to.
Paco...as I remember...Santiago, Chile had the most violent Social-Protests in S. America early this year...crowds of over a Million. So I guess that they are somewhat more militant than Colombians. There were protests in Bogotá, but the violence was mainly led by Venezuelans...not Colombians and was mostly in barrios that the venecos lived. Stay Well. Buena Suerte !
I know someone posted some info that Moderna had some good news on the development of a potential vaccine and I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade but I also found this article. —-basically the company has not released any real data although investors sure seem to think they are on the right track.
"IF" & "When" ? Someone actually creates a vaccine...How many months/years will it actually take to come to market ? I'm sure the Regulatory Agencies will Fast-Track it, for sure...but it still must be mass-produced in some huge numbers of doses. Stay Well. Buena Suerte !
We are doing some clinical trials here but...results will not happen overnight. It is a lengthy process...cannot approve something to fight one thing if it opens up another issue! They are saying trials will take AT LEAST 6 months...I think it is Dalhousie Univ. that is doing this particular study and trial.
@capndave that’s the problem nobody has a clue who or what to believe. That’s why govt or govt agencies should provide information and let people make their own choices. I would not be surprised if they say tapabocas are no needed next week.
I think you missed the point, the agency used to provide valid, scientifically verified information, for the good of the people everywhere, not just in the USA; which one could use to make informed decisions, the CDC, once a world leader has become another political tool.
i was shocked when I called NYU Medical Center in Manhattan 10 days ago and got an appt with a specialist, which I saw yesterday in Manhattan. My case was not an emergency... got a sonagram the works. Temp checks and masks were must plus lots of screening questions. Great hospital !
We are all in this together, a community bonded by mutual experience and need. I am posting a recent letter I sent to the US consulate in Bogota. Any information about returning to Colombia would be most appreciated.
Dear consular officer:
I am a US citizen and have been stranded in the USA because of the Covid-19 virus pandemic. I seek your assistance in returning to my home and family in Retiro, Antioquia.
I am a semi-retired physician assistant, having resigned from my full time position in emergency medicine as of October 2017. I have enjoyed a fifty year plus career in medicine. I hold active PA licenses in California and New York. I am an Army veteran, having served fifteen months in Korea during the Korean DMZ Conflict in 1968 and 1969.
My wife of twenty years, Ruby, a Colombian national citizen) and I purchased land and built a finca near El Retiro in 2017. I have traveled to the US to help man a rural health family practice clinic in Hollister, California, one to three month contracts, for the past three years.
I hold a three years residents visa and have applied for a five year residents visa. I intend to apply for citizenship in Colombia.
I understand the US Consulate is providing humanitarian flights for US citizens stranded in Colombia to return to the United States. I am seeking the opposite.
My home and all my possessions are in Colombia with my wife and grown daughter, Daniela. I am currently living in a short term rental apartment near in Orlando, Florida. I own no car in the United States and have my groceries delivered by Publix. All my medical insurance and my physicians are located in Colombia. I do have Medicare, but only part A, and thus am required to pay out of pocket for medication and outpatient health care. I draw social security retirement benefits.
At seventy-two years of age, I consider myself to be healthy, but I am required to take medication for hypertension and intermittent atrial fibrillation.
I hold flight reservations with American Airlines to return to Colombia on June 4th, but with the recent border closing extensions by President Duque, I fear those reservations will be cancelled.
If the consulate can arrange for a humanitarian flight for me to return to my home in Colombia and provide me with authorization papers, I will gladly pay required expenses.
Thank you in advance for your most kind assistance. I just want to return home.
Bruce, Since you are marooned near Orlando with nothing to do, If you are an honorably discharged vet look in to signing up with the V.A. with their 10-10-EZ to enroll in to their healthcare system--all you need is an original copy of your DD-214.
Depending on how you are classified will determine how much out of pocket will be your co-pays for drugs, procedures, etc. Still much cheaper than on the outside. regards
i am similiar 782 good health take blood oressure meds came to medellin staying with old navy budy health insurance here trement for cancer came day before the lock down ,, stuck here 40 year old panamanian wife in panama 18 yeras togther neve been apart over a few weeks ,, would give anything to have her here nothing i can do they say lock down til first or august now for no reason the airport got to be the safest place to be
Elex....A guy that I know in Bogotá who happened to be near there on that particular day, observed the violence as it began...and he told me the vennies began the violence and then the locals joined in. That's all I know...It's what I was told. Stay Well. Buena Suerte !
'Seems like everything is back to "Normal" here in Medellín...Santa Fe Mall, Oviedo Mall and all the others are open. Prior to entering: Temp Check, Scan Cedula, Walk on mat(disinfects soles of shoes I guess), Tapabocas required...then Entrance is Granted. Taxis everywhere, bus traffic is normal...lots of people walking on sidewalks. Stay Well. Buena Suerte !
Questioning your Logic....Scenario,your in the Market,everyone is wearing their Mask,Someone on Aisle 3 coughs and your in Aisle 4.the people standing next to this person breaths in his Cough,One cough will not "Soak the mask" of the persons nearby,and you on Aisle 4 are safe.I have YET TO HEAR A COUGH.How many "Coughs does it take to "SOAK a mask,enough to put you at risk?WEAR YOUR MASK. stoneshirt.
Expats talk about some of the biggest challenges they've faced living in Latin America. Whether you're moving to Panama City or Punta del Este, this article is a must read to help you prepare (hint: you'll be much happier if you learn the language) and adjust your expectations (realities: the roads are rough, the pace of life is slower and bureaucracy is unavoidable). Despite all of the challenges, the list of what expats like about life in Latin America far exceeds the challenges.
Expats talk about some of the biggest challenges they've faced living in Latin America. Whether you're moving to Panama City or Punta del Este, this article is a must read to help you prepare (hint:...
An American woman talks about moving to Cali, Colombia to retire with her Colombian husband. She describes how the low cost of living in Colombia has given her a new lease on life. They are traveling throughout Colombia, living in a beautiful new penthouse apartment and enjoying retirement in Colombia.
An American woman talks about moving to Cali, Colombia to retire with her Colombian husband. She describes how the low cost of living in Colombia has given her a new lease on life. They are traveling ...
An expat in Cartago, Colombia has found a little bit of heaven living in Colombia. He appreciates the much lower cost of living and admits he lives like a king in Colombia for $2,000 a month. He advises others moving to Colombia to bring only the necessities and buy furniture there.
An expat in Cartago, Colombia has found a little bit of heaven living in Colombia. He appreciates the much lower cost of living and admits he lives like a king in Colombia for $2,000 a month. He adv...