Now it’s getting personal

I just learned that a woman acquaintance I knew well in high school has lost her husband to COVID-19. It’s odd how the personal connection snaps it all into focus so clearly. I’ve got a lot of connections to people in the Pacific Northwest, where there seems to be a lot of activity by this virus, so I expect to get more sad news in the future.


  1. Ed Seedhouse says

    The virus is clearly out in the wild on your West coast, so your apprehension is clearly appropriate.

    In B.C., which shares it’s southern boundary with your northern one, it’s plainly not going to stay down south forever. We started testing months ago and have done more tests for our 5 million people than your entire country has managed so far, but as of now we have only about 15 confirmed cases. On Vancouver Island where I live there have been no cases reported as yet – maybe being surrounded by water helps? Nah.

    It’s definitely gonna come here too. Just a matter of time.

    I am primed to be one of it’s easiest targets, having Diabetes, high blood pressure, recent open heart surgery and at 76 more than a decade older than you. Unfortunately I doubt that being an atheist will be much of a help.

  2. wzrd1 says

    Condolences to to your acquaintance’s family from ours. We know as well as you do, live long enough, we’ll find acquaintances and even friends on the end of the bell curve that yields deleterious results for that individual. Eventually, we’ll end up on that end of the curve as well.
    Life, nobody gets out of it alive.

    I’ve been discussing COVID-19 with a friend, who is a PhD holding epidemiologist and we agree, determining the R0 for this infection is utterly impossible based upon PRC data and currently remains impossible using US data.
    Both, because suspected mild cases that don’t require hospitalization are sent home without testing, so infection remains unknown.
    Without knowing R0 and the actual severity rates, it’s impossible to get any kind of realistic handle on how the disease is actually spreading and also impossible to predict hospitalization rates or even the actual distribution of the virus.
    To give a relatively recent example, previously, we thought Ebola patients, once their plasma viral load was established to be zero, were considered no longer infectious. Then, someone was bright enough to study fluids from immune privileged tissues and whoopsie, there were entire colonies of live virus! From being blood borne, it was then a potential STD (heaven knows how it could be spread by tears and frankly, there are bigger problems if it’s CSF spread – that’d require major trauma).

    Simply put, we have absolutely no idea how far the virus has spread, how many are ill and spreading the virus via subclinical or non-hospitalized illness or even if some are still potentially contagious after their plasma load is shown to be virus free. Fat lot of good being sputum free if one urinates live virus into the gutter (given the administration’s relaxation on water purity standards, including untreated discharges, yeah).

    Given this administration’s incompetence, all that I can say is a song tagline from Moana, “Hey, it’s OK, it’s OK, we’ll be dead soon…”.
    Thank you, Maui.

  3. says

    Today my school had its first kid with a fever, though the cause is yet unknown. H1N1 has killed 13 in Taiwan, COVID-19 only one. And regular flu season is here.

    Masks, handwashing instruction signs, spray disinfectant and thermometers have become mandatory at all schools and many businesses across Taiwan. I known someone who has been quarantined (close to two weeks now) but likely doesn’t have it. Everybody’s cell phones keep getting dinged daily with updates from the government.

  4. jackal says

    My condolences. So far, COVID-19 seems to be hitting seniors and immunocompromised people especially hard, so it’s a good time to remind people over 65 to get the pneumonia vaccine. People with compromised immune systems or certain respiratory conditions may also be eligible and should talk to their medical providers about getting the vaccine. The vaccine won’t prevent you from getting COVID-19, but it will make you less likely to die from an opportunistic infection.
    This is covered by an epidemiologist (and colleague) in a recent video on what we know about COVID-19.

  5. says

    It’s heee-eeeere!
    When it heads north, I’m right in the path it’s gonna take.
    Y’all know this is gonna hit the homeless the hardest — and nobody’s going to care.