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Too late! Coronavirus placebo already sold out

No masks at local CVS

Shortly before 2:30 p.m., Tim found this scene in Cambridge.

Bad news for last-minute plague-preppers at the Galleria mall CVS.

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Comments

My only regret is that I didn’t take that tumble with Mary-Lou that one time I had the chance — what was I thinking!? — but at least I ate my way around the planet, never wore sweatpants to a funeral, and quashed my angry-Masshole driving habits in my late 30s. (My then-girlfriend said my transition from polite, mild-mannered adult to lead-footed, red-faced, finger-pegging, braying donkey behind the wheel was terrifying. One of the better changes I’ve made for love.)

Humanity had a pretty good run. I suspect most of the planet’s other life-forms won’t miss us much. Maybe the rats and mosquitoes and cockroaches for a bit, but they’ll adapt. It’s all good.

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Well, for most it is really just a bad cold, and for some it is lethal. But that lethal stuff is rare.

If it were even as deadly as SARS, it wouldn't spread this fast.

Take a deep breath, get a flu shot, practice washing your hands, and call your state reps and officers and ask them all to remind employers and school districts that policies that encourage or require people to come to school or work when sick will be severely punished.

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in this NY Times piece https://nyti.ms/2vmSuIP by a reporter who lived with her family in China and didn’t flee through the 2003 SARS crisis.

Don’t panic, and unless you have a stack of N95 respirators, which CVS doesn’t carry, don’t bother with masks.

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...N95 respirators, which CVS doesn’t carry...

They do. When I was picking up a script there last week, there were boxes of N95 masks on top of the pickup counter. This week, that's empty space. Home Depot also normally carries them.

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The purpose of the paper masks has always been to keep the wearer from infecting others, not to keep the wearer safe from infection.

For that purpose, as a courtesy to others if you have any reason to expect you may have been exposed or are currently symptomatic, a mask WILL in fact reduce the amount of virus you spray around if you must go out.

If you're presently healthy, that breath-moistened paper is just trapping aerosolized infectious particles closer to your mouth and nose. It will probably still discourage you from touching your face-holes with your filthy diseased fingers though. So it depends on the transmission method.

So calling them "placebo masks" rubs me the wrong way a little. If you're feeling off but have to venture to the pharmacy, say, please do wear one. If you're fine, yes, the panic-buying is dumb.

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The purpose of the paper masks has always been to keep the wearer from infecting others, not to keep the wearer safe from infection.

If that were true, healthy doctors and nurses would not bother to wear them. I'm with you on not liking the "placebo" label. They may not be the complete protection people hope for, but they're certainly better than nothing.

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If it were even as deadly as SARS, it wouldn't spread this fast.

Why? Because it would be killing people off faster than they could travel to spread it? I know that would have been true in the 1500s, but is that really still true in the modern age?

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If a virus hammers its victims such that they can't go anywhere or do anything, it won't spread very fast.

If a virus is mild, and taking a handful of ibuprofen kills the symptoms, someone will go to work, to school, on a trip, etc. and infect people.

Here's a good article that explains this: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-01-29/viral-sweet-spot-rais...

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Ok but onset time isn't the same thing as deadliness. Something that leaves people asymptomatic but contagious for potentially weeks before eventually killing them is pretty much the worst-case scenario.

See: HIV.

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We don't know yet how serious the other effects are. That is, no it probably won't kill you right away, but will it turn into pneumonia? Will it make you sick enough that you can't take care of your kids, for everyday things like making lunch, let alone if they catch it too?

Also, yes get a flu shot, but for this virus that's like saying "get your MMR vaccine"--it's absolutely good advice, but it won't affect your risks from this disease.

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You are very, very unlikely to get this disease. Tens of thousands of people die each year of the flu in the US, and millions are hospitalized or affected. A flu shot will prevent you from getting the flu, or greatly reduce the effects if you do get the flu.

If you have health anxieties, get a flu shot.

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We can't act like this is some space-born organism hatched from an asteroid crater and say "WE JUST DONT KNOW YET!!!!".

It's the flu.

Wash your hands, keep your bathroom clean, don't go to China, and if you feel sick go to the doctor.

This will all seem like the swine flu scare from the 70s in a months time.

I am, however, interested in what the current administration (lol) will suggest that people do to stay safe?

Wonder if a Tamiflu cash grab a-la-Rumsfeld is in the works?

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From Science News, which generally has good quality science/health reporting.
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/new-coronavirus-outbreak-your-most-p...

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You have to give some respect to a virus that started out as a lowly chicken-nuisance, and is now on its way to bringing down the mightiest species of all, and reigning supreme over the world. Must be that work ethic.

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I don't think the Galleria Mall is considered Kendall Square. In fact there's a shuttle from the mall to take you TO Kendall Square. I consider the Galleria "Lechmere area". After all, it's on the grounds of what used to be the legendary Lechmere Sales.

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systems with the massive floor speakers at Lechmere the minute I had my first job back in the day. So thrilling!

Nowadays I have my TV speaker bar and sub-woofer, plus a couple of Beats Pills I move around my place for everything, don’t miss that dishwasher-sized rig are all. A small Wi-Fi-enabled Bose standalone box in one room that I won in a work holiday raffle and barely use. The march of technology!

(Call it Greater Kendall Square. Lechmere is just a T stop to the kids these days.)

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That's one of the very few CVS stores without a pharmacy counter.

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Which Galleria? When my then-11-year-old son talked us into going to a supposed Pokemon Tournament (yes, years ago) at "the Cambridge Galleria," we visited at least 3 places with that name. On foot. In the rain. The "Cambridgeside Galleria" was one of them. Another was outside Harvard Square. Tragically, none of them had any Pokemon events.

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CambridgeSide officially dropped "Galleria" from their name a couple of years ago, though lots of people (including me) still use it in casual conversation.

The building at 57 JFK Street in Harvard Square, containing Staples and a few other shops and restaurants, is called the Crimson Galeria (with one "l").

Where's the third one?

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The Longwood Galleria (a big food court) is on the corner of Longwood and Brookline Aves (In Boston.)

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Just say "Galleria," and you create a mass of confusion.

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It was somewhere within a long walk from Cambridgeside, where we started. The one on JFK used to be a parking garage, yes? Still had the ramps from one level to the next, when I was there last.

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The Garage is another small shopping mall and food court on the other side of JFK Street, and is indeed a converted parking garage.

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In the early days of the Harvard Square Garage as a mall, it housed the Cambridge Performance Center, a short lived music club that only lasted about a year in 1974. Patti Smith played there before she had a band in what was essentially a musical poetry reading. Waylon Jennings played there when nobody had heard of him north of the Mason-Dixon Line. Surprisingly, Badfinger played there when they were still popular enough to fill a much bigger place. The Crimson Galeria across the street was home to the Janus Cinema, an art movie house. I saw Bob Dylan's "Renaldo and Clara" movie there in 1978. All four hours of it. To make matters more confusing, the Galeria had a place called the Record Garage which sold mostly musical instruments and a few records. It was a favorite hangout of local musicians back in the day.

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I believe that cult heroes Big Star also played at the Cambridge Performance Center (before my time, but I used to have a bootleg).

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I give up :-). OK, I originally called it "Harvard Square," but that's just because I saw "Galleria" and for some reason thought "Garage," so that's on me, but then somebody said, nah, that's Kendall, so I fixed it (or so I thought). So I've just changed it to "Cambridge," because I know even less about Cambridge neighborhood lines than Boston ones.

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Yes, Kendall square. The Cambridgeside Galleria mall in the Kendall Sq area.

I suppose I could have said East Cambridge but that's too general, or Lechmere, but that's not an actual neighborhood.

That whole area is an outcropping of Kendall Square.

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Notice how huge China is. Flights come and go from a number of cities.

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Airlines are cancelling flights to (and from) China. The last bunch included American Airlines. My wife is supposed to fly home from Beijing on Sunday. We hope they'll let her.*

* No, she has not been exposed to anyone with symptoms, and yes, she's taking all precautions.

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unless you're already sick, or a medical professional.

What you need to do is wash your goddamn hands.

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But you might get the flu, which has killed 8,200 people in the US alone since October. CVS *does* have flu shots.

So far, 170 people have died of Coronavirus, all in China, which is roughly the number of people killed each year by bee stings.

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Just not the one that's causing all the panic. Coronaviruses are fairly widespread and nothing new. It's just that, like the flu, some strains are worse than others.

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In fact, the Flu IS a coronavirus.

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Can you provide a reference for this?

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I swear I read something that said the common cold and flu were also coronaviruses. Now I can't find it, so it must have been a fever dream.

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(though only *some* cold viruses are coronaviruses)

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making pronouncements that can be disproven by a quick trip to Wikipedia.

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Assuming one can take at face value the Chinese Statistics
The Corona_Virus_Wuhan officially now known as “2019-nCoV”

Here are the numbers as reported by the media essentially over the past week:

  1. incidence about 1200 -- deaths about 40
  2. incidence about 2000 -- deaths about 80
  3. incidence about 4000 -- deaths about 100
  4. incidence about 6000 -- deaths about 120
  5. incidence about 8000 -- deaths about 150

Most recent update [AM today] 7700 cases about 170 deaths
Note to date vast majority of infections and all of the deaths have been in mainland China nearly all in Wuhan and other parts of Hubei Province

5 cases in US identified and about 100 people being evaluated by CDC with a number already found not to be infected + 195 passengers who were evacuated from Wuhan China on flight which just landed in CA

Just looking at the numbers incidence doubles every few days
BUT -- the death rate has dropped from just above 3% to about 2% over that period

Note: CDC 2019 Novel Coronavirus briefing on-going now
Nancy Messonnier, M.D., Director, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

Note: she said [during the conference] they have no human-human infections in the US yet -- she does expect that there will be some from close contacts to 5 currently known to be infected people in the US

transcript soon available on CDC website
novel coronavirus webpage

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The big problem is that they are based on testing. This is a novel virus, which was only discovered when they sampled the most extreme cases. Now they can do PCR, but the technological state of testing for this virus means that pretty much only people who are hospitalized, and people who die will be tested.

That means that you count close to 100% of the deaths while counting a much tinier - like 1 or 10% or even 0.01% - of the potentially infected people.

If you don't have a good estimate of incidence in the community, you get massive inflation of the case-fatality rate. In the meantime, until there is a means of estimating the community level incidence, those statistics will be extremely unstable.

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