Unbiased Information About CORONAVIRUS
Let me be frank, I am not an expert in medicine but I am good with dissecting the information and finding the core of the issue.
Here it comes… Coronavirus.
Since my readers come from several continents, this information will be valuable to everyone.
There was a lot of changes since doctors in Wuhan, China, noticed a cluster of cases involving mysterious pneumonia-like illness. There are several theories about the virus source (including the conspiracy theories among others):
- It has spread from bats to another species before infecting humans at one of the live-animal markets in China
- It has escaped from the research lab run by the Chinese military
- It has escaped from the research lab run by scientists and funded by various organizations including The Bill Gates foundation, to find the cures for viruses
I intend to believe that the bats were the carriers of the virus.
The entire planet is in the condition of fear due to Covid-19 – a new variation of coronavirus. Yes, it is not the only one known to the scientists. In fact, there are seven variations of a coronavirus to infect humans (including four seasonal types that cause a lot of human suffering), and that one is seventh.
In addition to those four, infections known as SARS and MERS, are also known as a form of coronavirus infections. Here are some short facts:
- SARS caused considerable panic in 2003 and 2004 but the number of cases has faded out.
- MERS was first reported in 2012 is actually deadlier while it is rare.
- Covid-19 was identified by Chinese scientists in December of 2019. It has infected 83,000 people and killed more than 2,800 worldwide (including 60 cases of infection in the U.S. and one death).
- There is no reason for hysteria as the Covid-19 mortality rate is only 1%-2%, It means for 100 infected people 98-99 will survive (!).
- While Covid-19 is 10-20 times deadlier than seasonal flu, SARS is 3 to 4 times deadlier than Covid-19, and MERS is the deadliest, still.
- One of the biggest problems with Covad-19 is the delay in visible infection – up to two weeks. It means that infected people have no indication that they are sick while spreading the virus. Therefore, it is difficult isolating them for treatment and prevent infecting people around them.
The symptoms of the disease:
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A number of biotech companies has announced plans to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Here are some short facts:
- Moderna (MNRA stock ticker) has announced that it has sent the vials to the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases for the clinical study in 20-25 healthy volunteers in April with the results coming in July-August.
- Moderna’s technology is using messenger RNA – a genetic molecule that carries the instructions from DNA to help the body to make proteins to fight the virus.
- Since the Chinese scientists have sequenced the virus and published the results online, many scientists from around the world analyzed the sequence to find the genetic code to induce the immune response to Covid-19.
- Considering a relatively short time since the publication, it is an impressive turnaround that illustrates the potential power of Moderna’s technology.
- It’s early to speculate when the antivirus vaccine will be available in mass-production considering a staggering number of infected people (in China, in particular) and those who want to be vaccinated.
- There are several rivals to Moderna, including CureVac and Inovio pharmaceuticals (stock ticker INO) who are attempting to create a vaccine.
- Many pharmaceutical companies create alliances to study the vaccines and even work on finding the drugs to help those who are infected.
- Gilead (ticker GILD) is testing existing drug remdesivir in China, the one that was developed to fight the Ebola virus.
- The unpleasant fact is that if the vaccine against Covid-19 will be used on humans, it will worsen the immune response to another form of a coronavirus. It is difficult to find a multitude of antivirus that will cover any coronavirus variations (existing and unknown).
The bottom line is the fact that the fear of pandemic damages the economies around the world more than the virus itself considering quite a low death rate (see above). Whether or not global lock-down can stop the virus, the economic impact will be staggering.
All of it has created the stock market panic not seen for a long time, with the Dow Johns Industrial average dropping 1,200 within a day. We have been witnessed a massive sale of stocks due to a simple fact: there were almost no buyers!
The disruptions of services, distribution of intermediate parts (supply chains) for many machineries, electronics, pharmaceutical, food, etc. – all of it was affected by the countries’ measures to prevent spreading of a virus, previously unimaginable:
- A mass quarantine of more than 50 million people in China
- Travel and visa restrictions in more than 70 countries
- Speech-enabled drones operated by the police patrolling the locked-down areas of Wuhan
- Notifying the Uber drivers about the danger of virus-carrying passengers
- A death penalty law for those who are hiding the symptoms of illness in China
- Airlines canceling all flights to China, the world’s second-largest economy, at least, until April
- Thousands of Chinese factories are yet to be reopened
- Several countries have restricted big crowd gathering
Unconfirmed data from Russians about China’s troubles are quite disturbing. They report the disruption of the services in several of the major ports in China due to the shortage of workers. Tons of products including meat, grain, etc. are not being moved (including those from the USA). Just imaging the consequences… Still, I would not rely on their information as it can be fake news.
Anyways, the question is how to avoid being sick?
Here is a shortlist of what to do in order to protect you from getting infected.
- Make a habit to wash your hands with soap for at least 1-2 min right after you came home.
- Make a habit NOT to touch your eyes and mouth with your hands until you wash them with soap.
- Remember that using the disinfecting solution similar to Purell (which is sold on Amazon) is not a substitute for washing hands with soap. The liquid kills the microbes but does NOT remove them from your hands. The dead microbes are the food for those that were not killed. It is still a viable solution when you are in the plane, car, or traveling.
- Remember that getting close to a big crowd of people increases your chances of getting infected.
- At the time of the virus pandemic, it is advisable to wear a mask (N95 type is more reliable) and even light gloves when you are using public transportation.
- The dirtiest subjects are those that are used most often. Among them:
- knobs on the doors
- elevator buttons
- buttons on the ticket kiosks (train, bus, parking) and the vending machines
- faucets and knobs/handles in the public restrooms, and, by the way, don't use driers as they are spreading the humane fleeces in the air
- pens on the boards to fill out the applications and pens to write down the signature (if any) in the shopping centers
- shopping carts
- when traveling by air: adjustable tables and touch screens; adjustable air vents; everything in the toilets including entrance handle, seat handles, and buttons
- when traveling by bus: everything inside including handles
- when traveling by cruise ship: everything mentioned above (the biggest chance to catch the virus is on the cruise ships)
- when traveling by rental car: the steering wheel, all handles, a safety belt insert, the ignition key
Be careful out there. I hope this information was useful. Your comments as always welcome.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is intended to provide information to interested parties. Please excuse any typos. I assure you that I will do my best to correct any errors if they were overlooked.
The WHO and CDC, which infamously incorrectly forecast up to 1.4 million Ebola cases during the 2014 outbreak in which just 11 Americans were infected, again issued similarly dire warnings this week regarding COVID-19, setting into motion a self-reinforcing cycle of media-driven hysteria, rampant conspiracy theories, and investor panic that ultimately sent U.S. equity markets to their worst single week since the financial crisis over a dramatic five days that will likely be studied in behavioral finance and economics courses for decades to come.