I explain about a possible COVID-19 vaccine and point out that face masks are essentially useless so hoarding is silly but you can substitute rubbing alcohol for hand sanitizers.
All pandemics from the Roman times to the present follow the same basic steps and unfortunately, there is little anyone can do to protect themselves other than avoiding people who have the disease and especially crowds.
This is especially difficult in the case of this pandemic because it is now known that people can have the infection and be able to pass it along to others even if they have no fever or other symptoms.
People are already hoarding face masks (which have little or no benefit unless worn by people who have the infection) and hand sanitizers are sold out in many locations.
This latter is no big problem because any alcohol from isopropyl or rubbing alcohol to whiskey will be even more effective.
In household settings, plain soap and water are just as effective so the lack of commercial hand sanitizers is no real problem.
But very soon people will begin to realize that there could be disruptions in food and medicine supplies to local areas and begin stocking up on those.
This is sensible not only because many governments will be forced to restrict travel and even restrict people to their homes for periods of time and far too many people have only one or two days food in their own homes, especially in cities which are also the most likely locations to be shut down by the government.
Obviously, this is exactly what has already happened in China where it seems to have slowed the spread of the coronavirus, and Korea where it is starting to have an effect.
In Korea, China, Japan, and some other countries schools have already been closed so kids won’t be eating lunch at school and will be at home all day.
Fortunately, it seems that children catch this disease and can pass it along to others but do not suffer a severe case. In fact, children seem to be almost completely immune to COVID-19 perhaps because they often have colds and the common cold is also a coronavirus.
But that brings us to another problem, one which has been used by some ignorant or self-serving politicians, the idea that a vaccine is just around the corner.
No matter how many people work on it or how much money is spent, a vaccine for COVID-19 will take a year of more, IF EVER.
There are already candidate vaccines but these must be extensively tested in rats and later in humans because some virus vaccines can actually make the disease worse.
Even after months of testing when a good vaccine is found, it takes many months to produce hundreds of millions of doses – this is a biological process and takes biological time spans, it is not a mere chemical reaction which can be scaled up very quickly.
Now for the really bad news about a vaccine – it might not be possible to produce a vaccine.
COVID-19 is a coronavirus and another common coronavirus is the common cold. It is very difficult to produce a vaccine for a coronavirus as we all know because companies have been working on a vaccine for 50 years.
There is also a big chance that this will become yet another yearly infection like the yearly flu.
The flu keeps coming back every year because it mutates and requires a new vaccine each year, but a coronavirus doesn’t even need to mutate, because as with the common cold, it appears that after you catch and recover from a coronavirus you are only immune for a few months so you can catch the same one each year.
As of March 5, 2020:
The WHO (World Health Organization) estimate of overall mortality rate is now 3.4%, up from 2% which is 20 times that of the yearly flu and higher than the 1918-19 influenza which killed 100 million.
Many drugs use components from China so expect pharmacies to run out of some medicines.
COVID-19 is not only very deadly for anyone over 60 (children can carry it as can dogs, but kids don’t seem to get very sick). It is very easy to spread.
The CDC has been decimated and only tested 500 people up to last Sunday. There will be a massive increase in cases this week because of testing.
We have three months of human and dog food here or already ordered because stores will be dangerous due to crowds.
I was an emergency management coordinator for 25 years, I also get The Lancet, NEJM, Science, and daily briefings from the WHO and periodic updates from several others.
I hold three FEMA certifications and work with SERVPA (state public emergency management.)
For more information see my book and medical blog, the former is updated as often as necessary to reflect new developments and the blog carries the latest information immediately.
by John Ash McCormick
(a lay explanation of the coronavirus threat of epidemic)
You might want to keep track of my medical blog which updates my book which in turn is updated every week. E.G. they found a treatment in Thailand.