COVID-19 is serious for all ages. Treat it like WWII

Today I’d like to post a few updates about COVID-19 which I have gathered from credible sources, as well as some advice also gathered from credible sources.

Summary

  1. Coronavirus causes health impacts requiring hospitalization in a significant percentage of all adult age groups.
  2. Coronavirus also can cause no symptoms at all in many, especially children.
  3. Be serious about social distancing.

COVID-19 is serious for young adults too

According to this report based on a CDC analysis, between 14% and 20% of people aged 20 to 44 require hospitalization due to COVID-19. That’s enough to be taken seriously. See also this CNN story.

Act as if you are a carrier because you may be infected and not even know it, even children

Information on this is somewhat preliminary, but it is certainly known that a certain set of cases is asymptomatic. This article discusses manifestations in children, while this summary of a summary (note: not original research) suggests that 17.9% of people may not even know they are infected.

How serious is this? Serious.

This excellent article by Daniel W. Johnson, MD, is a very good read. Among the points it makes:

  • Anyone that says it’s no big deal is wrong.
  • If we treat this like WWI or WWII and everyone does the right things, we will be harmed but OK. If many but not all people do the right things, we’ll be like Italy. If we blow it off, our health care system and life as we know it will be crippled.
  • If we don’t seriously work to flatten the curve, many lives will be needlessly lost

Advice

I’m going to just copy Dr. Johnson’s advice here:

  1. You and your kids should stay home. This includes not going to church, not going to the gym, not going anywhere.
  2. Do not travel for enjoyment until this is done. Do not travel for work unless your work truly requires it.
  3. Avoid groups of people. Not just crowds, groups. Just be around your immediate family. I think kids should just play with siblings at this point – no play dates, etc.
  4. When you must leave your home (to get groceries, to go to work), maintain a distance of six feet from people. REALLY stay away from people with a cough or who look sick.
  5. When you do get groceries, etc., buy twice as much as you normally do so that you can go to the store half as often. Use hand sanitizer immediately after your transaction, and immediately after you unload the groceries.

I’m not saying people should not go to work. Just don’t leave the house for anything unnecessary, and if you can work from home, do it.

Everyone on this email, besides Mom and Dad, are at low risk for severe disease if/when they contract COVID-19. While this is great, that is not the main point. When young, well people fail to do social distancing and hygiene, they pick up the virus and transmit it to older people who are at higher risk for critical illness or death. So everyone needs to stay home. Even young people.

Tell every person over 60, and every person with significant medical conditions, to avoid being around people. Please do not have your kids visit their grandparents if you can avoid it. FaceTime them.

Our nation is the strongest one in the world. We have been through other extreme challenges and succeeded many times before. We WILL return to normal life. Please take these measures now to flatten the curve, so that we can avoid catastrophe.

I’d also add that many supermarkets offer delivery or pickup options that allow you to get your groceries without entering the store. Some are also offering to let older people shop an hour before the store opens to the general public. These could help you minimize your exposure.

Other helpful links

Here is a Reddit megathread with state-specific unemployment resources.

Scammers are already trying to prey on people. Here are some important tips to avoid being a victim.

Although there are varying opinions, some are recommending avoiding ibuprofen when treating COVID-19.

Bill Gates had some useful advice. Here’s a summary emphasizing the need for good testing.

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