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The Latest On COVID-19

In tracking rate of spread of COVID-19, it's encouraging to see that this rate - denoted as R zero or R nought - is falling in China.  This is a testament to the extreme measures that the Chinese government has taken to enforce lockdowns throughout their country once they realized the potential cost of not taking such action.

In South Korea, the number of cases continues to rise, but their death rate from COVID-19 stands at about 0.6 percent, which we can assume is closer to the actual death rate versus WHO's estimate of 3.4 percent, as the South Korean government has been exceptionally responsive in testing many hundreds of thousands of its citizens in a few weeks' time.

The trouble is that the rate of spread and number of cases continue to rise in Iran and Italy.  And as testing efforts increase in lagging countries in Western Europe and North America, reported cases will almost certainly continue to rise quickly.  We can expect numbers to explode in the States in the days ahead as the CDC and FDA overcome regulatory gridlock to have many tens of thousands of tests carried out on those with symptoms of COVID-19.

Based on everything I've read thus far, I still feel that COVID-19 is not lethal to the vast majority of people who do not have pre-existing lung dysfunction.

But for the sake of everyone around us, especially those who have some degree of pumonary dysfunction or weakened immune systems, it's vital that all of us do what we can to mitigate spread, including the following:

1.  Avoid large gatherings.

2.  Avoid unnecessary travel.

3.  Wash hands with soap and water frequently.

Given the nature of viruses and the timeline of SARS, the general expectation is that the novel coronavirus will largely disappear by about the end of April, assuming that there are no anomalies in average monthly temperatures ahead.   Until then, it's prudent to heed the suggestions above and have some non-perishables on hand in the event that a quarantine period becomes necessary.

For those who missed last week's post on suggested supplies to stockpile for general preparedness:


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