Author Topic: What are the benefits to YOU of knowing what is going on with coronavirus?  (Read 1728 times)

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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I've just had a heated discussion with a friend about coronavirus knowledge. I think he's got his head in the sand and doesn't have a clue what's coming; he thinks I'm obsessed with various news sites and coronavirus stories/data etc and that it's not going to change his life.

So now I'm curious - what are you all getting out of closely following the coronavirus news? For me it seems like a no brainer to try and know as much as possible about what is going on, but I'll try and break down what it does for me:

- I knew what was coming long enough ago that I did manage to get masks and hand sanitiser, things you can no longer get around here. I didn't have them in my kit.
- I know how my government policies will change based on how overseas gov policies have changed. For instance, the NZ gov outlawed gatherings over 500 a few days ago, and now we're down to 100. I fully expect it to be 10 fairly soon.
- I believe I have a greater awareness of my personal risk than the people who think this is a disease of the elderly.
- I know that the friend in question in this post has no savings and will be unable to work from home. If he thought that this would impact him he would have time to cancel subscriptions etc etc. As it is, I have a fair idea of what is likely coming for him.
- I guess it gives me a sense of control.

Paul der Krake

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Knowing to cancel subscriptions ahead of time is about as significant in the grand scheme of things as whether you get fired at 3pm or 5pm tomorrow.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Knowing to cancel subscriptions ahead of time is about as significant in the grand scheme of things as whether you get fired at 3pm or 5pm tomorrow.

I know he has some sick leave owing. I also know he has a vast array of subscriptions. Saving even one months worth of that cost would make a big difference. Might even be a mortgage payment. So, yeah, it is significant.

Hirondelle

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Because I had a good grip of what was going on around the world, I managed to convince my boyfriend to take a flight home before all borders closed.

Until last weekend he was planning to fly home end of the month as he's an international students but his uni semester still hasn't started (he's in Asia). I told him he better flies earlier because borders are shutting down more and more. He could choose between flights on Mon, Tue and Wed, with the latter being a bit cheaper. I forced him to spend $30 more to take the Tuesday flight. He's home now. The Wednesday flight partially got canceled meaning he would've most likely gotten stuck in an airport somewhere.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Because I had a good grip of what was going on around the world, I managed to convince my boyfriend to take a flight home before all borders closed.

Until last weekend he was planning to fly home end of the month as he's an international students but his uni semester still hasn't started (he's in Asia). I told him he better flies earlier because borders are shutting down more and more. He could choose between flights on Mon, Tue and Wed, with the latter being a bit cheaper. I forced him to spend $30 more to take the Tuesday flight. He's home now. The Wednesday flight partially got canceled meaning he would've most likely gotten stuck in an airport somewhere.

Do you feel like he's taking it less seriously, or just not well informed?

Hirondelle

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Because I had a good grip of what was going on around the world, I managed to convince my boyfriend to take a flight home before all borders closed.

Until last weekend he was planning to fly home end of the month as he's an international students but his uni semester still hasn't started (he's in Asia). I told him he better flies earlier because borders are shutting down more and more. He could choose between flights on Mon, Tue and Wed, with the latter being a bit cheaper. I forced him to spend $30 more to take the Tuesday flight. He's home now. The Wednesday flight partially got canceled meaning he would've most likely gotten stuck in an airport somewhere.

Do you feel like he's taking it less seriously, or just not well informed?

He usually avoiding most news outlet to handle his anxiety. Low information diet basically.

Also, in the country he was in schools had been closed since lunar new year and number of cases had remained low, so he didn't realize how quickly things were exploding in Europe (note; he's not European either so it's not as relevant to him as it is to me). I mean, even I told him a week earlier that flying out at the end of the month should be fine :p. So basically he realized that COVID was there, but he thought he'd be fine flying out a day later, which I think wasn't too unreasonable considering most travel bans have happened very sudden in the last couple of days.

No lack of taking it seriously; he wore a mask during the full travel period and is self-quarantaining at home now.

ReadySetMillionaire

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At this point, I think the news is completely toxic and not doing anybody any good.

I'm the author of a thread in Off-Topic about how bad the Trump administration fucked this up, but okay, I vented, let's move on.  But the media just won't shut the fuck up about Trump Trump Trump Trump.  I DON'T CARE ANYMORE -- how do I keep my one year old safe? What's the latest on tests?  What about treatment?  Any updates on the food supply? I can't seem to find this information anywhere because all anyone can talk about is Trump.

I also think the slow drip of policies being rolled out is just detrimental.  Either we are going to do this or we aren't.  I'm in favor of a shelter in place order so we can dedicate all available resources to testing and then move on. 

So, at this point, I'm basically done paying attention to it.  I'm sure I'll hear about a shelter-in-place order if it happens.  Until then, I'll just practice good hygiene, limit trips to stores, and wait for this to be over.

mistymoney

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as long as he is following whatever guidelines are out there for his area and being safe as can be for self and others - it's a choice to keep up on developments.

there really isn't a lot of new and useful info, tbh.

1) It's deadly, it's highly contagious, it's everywhere.
2) Most cases will be mild/non-severe, older and compromised individuals are at higher risk.
3) there is no treatment against the virus, only go to ER if breathing problems.

We've known this for weeks/months. If you are holed up at home, maybe check what's up in your specific area before venturing out in search of toilet paper so you can understand the risks/take precautions/rethink your outing.

 


GuitarStv

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Well, three weeks ago when the government told me I should keep several weeks of food stocks in store I bought several weeks of food supplies.  Turns out that was a good idea . . . wouldn't have been able to buy enough at the grocery store last weekend to make it through the week.

MaybeBabyMustache

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I was not planning initially to WFH (it was optional, but not required a week or so ago. Time has moved super quickly lately, so can't remember exact details.) My husband was much more up on the news & reminded me that I was at an elevated risk (I have lupus) & convinced me to WFH. Several days later, we were mandated to work from home, and then the government went to "shelter in place". So, I'm not sure that the extra couple of days of WFH saved me from anything in particular, but it certainly didn't hurt.

We also stocked up a bit more than normal on groceries & supplies a few weeks ago. We picked up toilet paper (one package) at Costco, and bought wipes. Now both items are hard to find.

Tester

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I am not staying close to everything.
I look one/day to find out if:
1. Is there a vaccine done (I know it is impossible to be out right now but I still check.
2. Is there a treatment?
3. Any news about locking down more in my area?

That is it.

Yesterday I saw an interesting news about China not getting new infections for one day...

ChickenStash

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I watch the news enough to get the broad strokes - what are the current reasonable precautions, what's locked down so I don't bother going someplace needlessly, are we done yet.

Beyond that, it's just noise.


hops

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Burying your head in the sand is a particularly poor strategy in times of crisis. Paying attention lets us adjust our plans not for ourselves but for our extended families as well, since many of them ignored warnings for weeks and will need our help in the coming weeks to keep themselves or their children fed. I only wish one of the highest-risk couples we're close to had heeded some fairly dire warnings a couple weeks ago not to travel.

erutio

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I need to pay attention because I work at an large hospital.

I'm mainly spending my days now calling patients at home, who mostly are well, but have many questions, so I need to stay informed to answer their questions as best as possible.

I read a little bit of news, but I'm getting most of my information from my doctor networks and group emails.  The kind of information I'm getting from the front line docs is usually 2-3 days ahead of the public news, but paints a very grim picture.  It is also mostly anecdotal, so I don't share it. 

renata ricotta

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What we know about the virus and the best practices to slow the spread sufficiently to avoid catastrophic hospital overwhelm changes daily, if not hourly. It gets more and more stringent. If I was following last week's best practices, I would be avoiding groups only larger than 50/100/250, depending on my area; schools would just be trying to cut down on assemblies; and only those who feel sick or are elderly are advised to stay home. Now 8 million Californians are ordered to shelter in place; schools are unlikely to open again for months; and the evidence suggests that asymptomatic spread by young and healthy people who may never even contract the virus themselves is a major driver of the pandemic.

What was normal behavior last week is dangerous and irresponsible this week. I also normally like to be on a low information diet, but these are not normal times. We are all in serious danger from people who are either uninformed or not taking the information seriously.

By knowing what's going on, now I am acting under the assumption that I am an unknowing silent spreader to vulnerable people I don't even know [EVEN THOUGH I AM YOUNG AND HEALTHY AND UNLIKELY TO NEED HOSPITALIZATION IF SICKENED]. I'm limiting my interactions accordingly. Since Friday evening, I have only: 1) spent time at a friend's house with two others, which I now regret not doing via FaceTime because the information changes that fast; 2) gone to the grocery store once; and 3) stopped by my office for 20 minutes to pick up WFH supplies, which I also regret not doing last week.

I'm still a little concerned about contributing to the pandemic and unknowingly infecting vulnerable strangers because my roommate is still required to go to work. I am therefore still washing my hands thoroughly, as often as I did at the office last week, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces a couple of times per day.

I wouldn't do any of that if it wasn't for knowing what's going on with coronavirus, and being acutely aware of the consequences for failing to take drastic action.

SunnyDays

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By knowing this was likely coming a couple of months ago, I was able to slowly stock up on groceries and hygiene products for myself, my elderly father and my pets.  By doing that and following the recommendations of the health experts that changes almost daily, I didnít contribute to the strain on resources and stayed healthy.  Now, Iím just staying home and relaxing while a lot of others are frantically running around trying to prepare.  Luckily, illness rates are still very low here, as far as can be determined, but if they werenít, many people would be putting themselves at risk by waiting so long to prepare.

Schaefer Light

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Once you understand how the virus is spread and you know the best ways to protect yourself against it, I don't really see the point in keeping up to speed on it.  Nothing they can say is going to make me any safer at this point.  I guess watching the news would have saved me a trip to my local golf course yesterday (as it was shut down along with other city-owned facilities...now I know to go to privately-owned courses ;), but that would have been the only real benefit so far to watching the news each day.

Zikoris

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It was valuable to me to learn about how it spreads, and that we basically just need to stay home and avoid people, because I don't want to kill anyone. It's not intuitive to stay home and avoid people if you're feeling totally fine.

It's also good to know what grocery stores everyone's hitting hard so I can go to other ones with less people and more stock.

CharlesBronzee

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I think you need to be aware of whatís going on so you can be proactive and do what you can to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Although I think you can also fill your mind with too much info and much of it you have no control over anyway.  This is why I try to watch the news only twice a day. That said, I also end up reading a lot on the internet forums. But I try to spend my time in forums where the people tend to be more rational and less emotional, like mmm ;)

Michael in ABQ

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I command about 100 Soldiers, most of whom are in their early 20s. To hear many of them talk a few days ago this is a joke to them and they're more worried about the gym being closed than the fact that their are over 1,000 people a day dying from this worldwide. It's important for me as a leader to be informed so I can shape that message to them that this is a serious situation that requires serious measures to combat.

Also, it helps me to empathize with my family back home who have been staying home for a couple of weeks now with many more weeks or months to come. My wife was ahead of me in recognizing how serious the situation is and this is impacting her back home far more than me.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Right, well my country has just gone into lockdown. I saw this coming weeks ago. I tried to tell some people but they haven't listened. Now I guess it is what it is. My shit is sorted, for the moment. I'm watching the local news of people losing their minds at the supermarket, and about the schools shutting etc. All of this was easily foreseeable, unfortunately. Meanwhile, I'm home relaxing. I'm not sure if I feel sad for the panic-stricken or annoyed at their lack of foresight.

SotI

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By knowing this was likely coming a couple of months ago, I was able to slowly stock up on groceries and hygiene products for myself, my elderly father and my pets.  By doing that and following the recommendations of the health experts that changes almost daily, I didnít contribute to the strain on resources and stayed healthy.  Now, Iím just staying home and relaxing while a lot of others are frantically running around trying to prepare.  Luckily, illness rates are still very low here, as far as can be determined, but if they werenít, many people would be putting themselves at risk by waiting so long to prepare.
Pretty much this (minus the elderly father, but husband in risk group instead).
I do keep up in order to see if we need to take additional action ahead of the (public) curve. Fortunately, we have no debts and my job is secure (for the time being), so protecting our health and that of my extended family is the main aim atm.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2020, 11:50:03 AM by SotI »

Khaetra

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What was normal behavior last week is dangerous and irresponsible this week. I also normally like to be on a low information diet, but these are not normal times. We are all in serious danger from people who are either uninformed or not taking the information seriously.

Exactly.  Information is changing at a rapid pace and in order to stay safe I feel it's very important to keep up to date.

meghan88

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What was normal behavior last week is dangerous and irresponsible this week. I also normally like to be on a low information diet, but these are not normal times. We are all in serious danger from people who are either uninformed or not taking the information seriously.

Exactly.  Information is changing at a rapid pace and in order to stay safe I feel it's very important to keep up to date.

News (ACCURATE news) is crucial.  Misinformation is a cluster.

We went to France in late January after having booked in the summer of 2019.  Feb was great.  In late Feb / early March, we paid more attention to the rumblings and started researching, and canvassing knowledgeable friends and family as to what to do, receiving mixed responses.

Two weeks ago on Monday March 9, we were in France, in a pub, playing trivia.  The global/local news was a bit concerning, but all was relatively normal.

March 12, we were supposed to meet up with friends for lunch.  Via email at 11 AM that day, we got an email that said they were bailing on a hastily-rebooked flight.  They are not the types to over-react.

March 13, we changed flights to come home on March 15, three weeks early.

March 15, the airports were downright creepy because all shops etc. were closed.  The flights were more *normal*, to the immense credit of the airline employees, on all fronts.

March 16, the day after we'd left:  France started its lockdown:  schools, then bars, restaurants and all non-essential businesses closed.  Soon after, no outings unless you have a legit purpose and have an attestation saying why you're outside.  No running/jogging for more than 1-2 km outside, and as long as you remain within 500 m of your residence.

March 23, we're getting to pretty much the same situation on this side of the pond.

The stuff that drives me crazy is the conflicting information and/or misinformation:

- "you get it mainly from touching infected surfaces and then touching your face" vs. "it's airborne and you get it from being in close proximity to someone who has it and breathing in the aerosol/droplets" - I've heard one, the other, or both, from reliable sources
- speculation as to the number of asymptomatic people who are spreading it (2:1?  5:1?)
- "young people don't get really sick" vs. "actually, lots of young people CAN get really sick"
- whether or not you can get re-infected if you've had it once
- how long, and when/what stages, that someone can pass it on
- etc.

And the news that ENRAGES me is the stuff about people deliberately coughing on produce and on police and first responders, or abusing health care workers.  Not to mention the partygoers.  (But what's the answer:  martial law?)

So to answer the OP's question, the benefit was that we were able to make a prudent choice to come back just in time.  In retrospect, perhaps it should've been sooner.

The downside is:
- having to constantly adjust our view, based on the news du jour
- getting riled at the idiocy of some people:  https://www.clickorlando.com/news/local/2020/03/19/dont-do-this-woman-films-herself-licking-toilet-seat-on-flight-to-miami-for-coronavirus-challenge/ etc. etc.