Things are moving so fast with the coronavirus that it is hard to keep up. One day schools are in session, the next day they’re canceled. Same for sporting events, conferences and the like.

Having said that, there are three known facts in connection with the coronavirus:

1. Life around here is going to very different for a while. Change is here, like it or not.

2. There is much we don’t know about the virus and its fallout. We all face a learning curve to arm ourselves with the knowledge needed to stem its spread.

3. We’re all in this together.

Let’s look at these one by one:

Changes underwayOur daily routines have been turned upside down by the quick spread of this virus. Schools are closed for at least two weeks, putting thousands of families in limbo.

Sporting events were canceled, locally, statewide and nationally. Who would’ve ever thought the NBA would be canceled, the NCAA basketball championships scuttled or high school sports postponed? But it happened.

Many other events in our community were canceled and longtime gathering places, like the Roseburg Senior Center and the Roseburg Library, closed in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

Expect more challenging changes to come. Banks, stores and restaurants may alter the way they do business, at least temporarily, incorporating less face-to-face interactions and more drive-thru options.

The economy could take a hit as people are unable to work, retail business slows and families are more cautious with their spending. The stock market plunged 10% this week and is down 27% since its record high set just last month.

It’s a good bet the stock market will rebound over time. Similarly, patience and an understanding that these changes are necessary will be critical to help things run as smoothly as possible in these trying times.

Learning CurveMost of us had never heard of coronavirus, or COVID-19, a couple of months ago. Now it’s all we hear about. At first, it was someone else’s problem — China, South Korea, Europe. Now it is a pandemic.

We have learned that people who seem to be most vulnerable to the coronavirus are the elderly, those with respiratory problems and those with compromised immune systems.

We also know that the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet) and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

And we now know that it is important to get flu shots, try not to sneeze or cough near people or into our hands, wash our hands carefully and often and avoid touching our eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

But there is much we don’t know, including how widespread this virus is or may become. As of Friday, there were about 1,700 confirmed cases in the U.S. and 41 reported deaths. Worldwide there are about 135,000 confirmed cases — more than 80,000 of those in China — and about 5,000 reported deaths.

Those numbers will grow as the virus spreads and more people are tested. Just how much is anyone’s guess, but experts say millions of people in this country could be infected and tens of thousands could die. Scary predictions to be sure.

We also don’t know how coronavirus will affect our everyday lives. Will people still go to the gym? The movies? Church?

Should they?

We need to figure out these and other questions to help guide our efforts to contain this virus.

Time to uniteThe one thing we can say with certainty is we’re all in this together.

While certain sectors of the public are more vulnerable to coronavirus, it is indiscriminate. Professional basketball players, famous actors and even the family of a Prime Minister have tested positive. No one is immune.

This is one of those times where we need to pull together, to look out after our family, neighbors, church members and work associates.

With schools closed, we should help accommodate these families. With the Roseburg Senior Center closed, it wouldn’t hurt to check in on seniors in the community. Look for opportunities to help, even if it’s a simple smile and hello to someone at the market.

We have much to learn about this virus; our goal is to learn together. We will not sensationalize the news or overreact to events of the day. We will vet information and present the pertinent facts as we gather them.

This outbreak is a significant event in our community and we are committed to being a fundamental source of information about it, an intellectual gathering place. On our website, in print and over our affiliated radio stations we will keep abreast of the latest news, events, cancellations and anything else of import associated with this virus.

We want the information exchange to be two ways. Members of the community often learn of facts before we do, and we want to hear from you. We encourage you to send tips, comments, questions, general observations and whatever else you think is important to us. Information on how to do that is listed below.

These are trying times, with daily events causing concern and uncertainty. This virus is new, not well understood, and therefore scary. We need to stay calm, be deliberate in our actions and remain hopeful.

We as a community and a nation are now keenly aware of this deadly virus and are taking appropriate actions to deal with it.

The tide will turn. We will get through this together.

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(13) comments

Mike

Are Senators and Congressmen selling off all their stocks after being briefed by the Health Department another example of everyone being in this together?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/03/19/reports-burr-loeffler-sold-stocks-ahead-coronavirus-marketcrash/2882006001/

Mike

How can you say we are all in this together when famous actors, athletes, the rich and well connected are being tested for coronavirus while there are people in critical condition at hospitals waiting to get tested?

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/how-one-elite-new-york-medical-provider-got-its-patients-coronavirus-tests/ar-BB11rvdi?li=BBnbcA1

Remember Ignaz Semmelweis

People would panic less if they realize there is a lot they can do to help themselves, without relying on government or doctors.

https://healthimpactnews.com/2020/dr-brownstein-what-to-avoid-and-what-to-take-for-coronavirus/

Dr. Brownstein discusses how smoking (common in Chinese men) makes people more likely to be infected by increasing lung ACE2 receptors that the virus uses to infect cells.

He also discusses how common over the counter meds such as ibuprofen (also boosts infection rate by raising ACE2 receptors) and acetaminophen (wrecks the liver and depletes antioxidants) are dangerous for COVID-19.

He provides an outline of what he is having his patients do to help their own health using inexpensive vitamins that help boost the immune system and fight off the infection.

That article has links to several other good articles with useful information he's written on coronavirus.

if people would apply information like this instead of panic buying of toilet paper, it seems likely the rate of increase in infections and deaths would start to slow down and the economic collapse might be lessened, too.

Mike

Time for us to unite?? In this together?? Easy catch phrases that appear to mean little. If it was true, one of the first steps would be for Douglas County Supervisors to stop hiding behind HIPPA legal jargon and provide “some” information about infected patients to understand whether the rest of us may have been exposed to coronavirus. We don’t need the person’s name or address. But we do need to know where they worked, and stores and restaurants they may have visited several days before they began showing symptoms. Failing to provide this information only causes more fear and panic for the rest of us who wonder whether we may have been expose.

Other states like Washington provide this type of information in addition to occupation and age. How many people will have to die before our ghostlike Douglas County Supervisors do likewise.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/evergreenhealth-doctor-tests-positive-for-coronavirus-in-critical-condition/

Remember Ignaz Semmelweis

Even in socialist California they are revealing locations where people testing positive for COVID-19 virus (i.e. SARS-CoV-2) frequented (such as schools) so that others who frequented the same places can be extra cautious about symptoms that may suggest they are infected.

Invoking HIPPA to hide such information is a clear indication they are hiding something. It would be one thing to say that about home addresses in lightly populated areas where there could be only a few households in a square mile. I can see a privacy concern there, but even so suspect that word would get out to neighbors. But most of the infected are in cities and putting a big dot on a map showing which city or area of a city is not going to isolate it down to even a hundred households, just give an idea that it is nearby, not two hundred miles away in Portland.

Mike

People working together will do little to save lives unless our leaders take further aggressive action to curb the further spread of coronavirus. Similar to Italy, our leaders nationwide initially brushed off coronavirus fears as alarmist and erroneously conflated the deadliness of the common flu with that of coronavirus. 10 days ago, Italy had 3,089 cases, similar to 3,329 cases in the US today. Currently Italy has 27,747 cases with 1,809 deaths. The US is 10 days behind and accelerating towards those numbers.

Italy is currently in an impossible position. Their medical system is overwhelmed. They have too many patients for each one of them to receive adequate care. Doctors and nurses are unable to tend to everybody. They lack machines to ventilate all those gasping for air. In response, the Italian College of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care (SIAARTI) recently published wartime triage guidelines doctors and nurses now follow to allocate treatment. Italy hospitals now only treat patients who have the highest chance of success. Essentially, people over a certain age and/or with underlying medical conditions are being denied treatment. Those who are too old to have a high likelihood of recovery, or who have too low a number of “life-years” left even if they should survive, are being left to die.

How does Oregon compare? Oregon experts now forecast a minimum 75,000 people in Oregon will become infected with coronavirus over the next 60 days. Using studies from China which indicate 15% of infected people will need hospitalization, you come out with over 11,000 people who could need hospital beds. But Oregon only has 6,601 staffed hospital beds in the entire state. Less than a tenth of those are for people who are critically ill. And approximately 64% are already filled with people receiving treatment unrelated to coronavirus. Bottom line, the number of hospital beds in Oregon is less than half what will be needed to treat coronavirus victims. Oregon will need to impose Italy type triage guidelines unless something is done, and is done quickly.

This means our political leaders, heads of business and private associations need to do two things immediately. They need to expand the capacity of Oregon’s intensive-care units and they need to impose draconian quarantines similar to those in Italy and China to slow the spread of the disease and give our medical care community time to treat those needing hospitalization. If Oregonians need to work together, it is to force their leaders to arrest the crisis before the impossible becomes necessary.

Rise722

So, instead of reading the part about us "all being in this together" some people still want to place blame and call names....yeah, sounds like it's working....

CitizenJoe

As of this morning, we have about 3000 confirmed cases in the US, and 60 deaths. A week ago today, it was 500 cases and 22 deaths. A week ago, we thought the doubling time was a week, but it appears we were optimistic. The first case that we know of appeared in the US on the 19th of January. by the 23rd of January, China had already instituted massive quarantines, and experts were warning that this epidemic would happen here. Nevertheless, a certain person indicated it was just 15 people here, and it would soon go to zero. Lying and happy talk apparently are not strong antiviral agents. In the absence of leadership at the White House, we are all in this together at the local and state level.

CitizenJoe

Also apropos of this theme are Camus' The Plague, and this nice Vox article referencing that novel: https://www.vox.com/2020/3/13/21172237/coronavirus-covid-19-albert-camus-the-plague

CitizenJoe

Yesterday--24 hours ago--it was 3000 cases in U.S. Now (Johns Hopkins) it's 3813, but that is still likely a monster lowball. Epidemiologists suggest maybe it's 1% of population, if there are lots of cases of community transmission. So, maybe 3 million undiagnosed, untested infections, doubling every 4-7 days. Carl Zimmer reports a nice natural experiment in Italy: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9xKyxHgZoK/

Mike

Try this link. It is updated more often than John Hopkins website and gives a little different information with graphs.

https://www.worldometers.info

CitizenJoe

Mike, thanks.

Mike

The last portion of the link is /coronavirus/#countries.

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