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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Coronavirus - Ignore the Talking Heads, Listen to the Scientists & Medical Professionals

(What some would have you believe; note that it apparently stinks to be Hawaii & Alaska)

Preface:  Right off the bat I will confess to the fact that I have a conflict of interest when it comes to this topic.  Specifically, I have a daughter, Dr. Albert, who is a real-life scientist.  This is in addition to my bias against bull$hit, especially as spread by politicians and the opinion media.  On to the post.

* * * * * *

We live in an interesting age, one where truth can attempt to be re-written by a Sharpie and science marginalized because it provides truths that some voters may just as soon not want to hear.  As if ignoring a fact somehow changes it into a fiction.  Anyway, you can find some rational, non-politicized advice from scientists and medical professionals about the coronavirus HERE.   A key point or two is noted directly below.

"A mask that you have never used before and wear all day long, that gets damp, is not going to help you. You may touch it a lot because it is uncomfortable, lowering its effectiveness.
Quite simply, good hand hygiene and face hygiene will protect you from a lot of illnesses, including Covid-19.
    Risk is dependent on exposure. Some people will have an increased risk of infection, such as health care workers caring for patients with Covid-19 and other close contacts. For the general public in the US, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus, the immediate health risk from Covid-19 is considered low at this time."

    This is a serious, nasty business.  As someone with asthma, I dread just getting a cold, as it takes forever for me to kick and inevitably ends up with me taking steroids that make me both bouncy and greasy (which, admittedly, is better than not actually breathing).  Needless to say, I want to limit my exposure to the virus, and quite frankly, you should too, especially if you or a family member is at heightened risk for infection.  Please take this seriously!

    For the record, you will not get good information about the virus from talk radio or any single source, including (unfortunately) the United States government.  I just want to put that out there, in case anyone wants to believe that coronavirus is no worse than the common cold.

    Here are some additional sources of information that are not tainted by the political lens.

    World Health Organization (WHO) Facebook Page

    WHO Webpage

    Coronavirus Live Map (New York Times)

    BBC Coronavirus Tracking (BBC)

    Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Information

    Wall Street Journal, What We Know...

    Center for Disease Control (CDC)*

    Again, please take this seriously by staying informed.  Spend less time listening to politicians and more time listening to scientists and medical professionals.  Have a plan for how you will manage your affairs if, for example, schools and other public places are closed.  Stock up on medications.  Have plenty of extra non-perishable food on hand.  Avoid traveling if at all possible, especially by airplane.

    Mostly though, be careful out there.

    (*) Note that increasingly, it seems that attempts are being made to politicize information coming out of the CDC, including placing Vice President Mike Pence in charge of coronavirus communications (reference HERE). I am not suggesting that CDC information is unreliable, but I am stating that I would not solely rely on medical/scientific communications coming through someone who doesn't have a great track record when it comes to actual science (reference HERE).

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