D H
Jan 26, 2020 · Last update 1 mo. ago.

What can be done about the coronavirus pandemic?

The latest viral outbreak from China is the so-called SARS-CoV-2, a novel coronavirus that is closely related to SARS and is causing COVID-19 a viral-pneumonia disease in infected patients. The virus is thought to have infected tens of thousands in China and to have originated in China’s Wuhan region. COVID-19 is the second novel coronavirus to emerge from China in the last two decades after the SARS outbreak in 2002-4, why is China such a hotbed for these types of outbreaks and what can be done to mitigate such pandemics in the future? www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200109_37 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019%E2%80%9320_Wuhan_coronavirus_outbreak
Stats of Viewpoints
The new normal
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Make quarantining as easy as possible
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Going vegetarian
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Workers need protecting
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Boost healthcare services
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Higher food safety standards needed in China
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Development of a vaccine or drug
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Encourage community groups to fill the gaps
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School closures may be counter-intuitive
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The use of modern innovation
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Experimental use of blood plasma in US
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Nothing – Enough is being done
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Pre-emptive quarantine measures
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Adapting industry to cater for medical equipment demand
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The new normal

Despite the large scale rollout of vaccination campaigns against COVID-19 across the globe, the presences of new variants of the virus, and the limitations of vaccines to deal with this, are increasingly leading scientists and public health officials to believe that COVID is likely to be with humanity for the long haul in much the same way as influenza. As a result little may actually be able to be ‘done’ about the virus, and increasingly we may have to start viewing regular vaccination, restricted travel, remote work, medical documents to access services, and even masks and social distancing as a ‘new normal’ set of restrictions, and something we have to permanently accept.

thestreet.com/mishtalk/economics/vaccines-or-not-scientists-now-believe-covid-is-here-to-stay washingtonpost.com/world/africa/south-africa-vaccine-rollout-astrazeneca/2021/02/08/e8747462-6a1a-11eb-a66e-e27046e9e898_story.html health.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/policy/vaccine-passport-is-the-new-normal-but-it-comes-with-its-own-problems/80744627 jpost.com/health-science/coronavirus-in-israel-vaccination-doesnt-equal-liberation-657898

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D H
Feb 10
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Make quarantining as easy as possible

Quarantining has remained a significant hurdle for many throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, one of the best measures has been to make quarantine as easy as possible. One example is New York State where people have been paid to quarantine and provided hotel rooms, food, wifi, and even child care or pet care to make it easy for them. This elaborate measure has had the added effect of keeping New York's hospitality industry afloat during difficult times. Protecting businesses while aiding people quarantining has helped save both a precarious industry while protecting the most vulnerable and enabling strict quarantines with less temptation to break the rules and virtually no way to get quarantining wrong.

www1.nyc.gov/site/helpnownyc/get-help/covid-19-hotel-program.page train.org/cdctrain/course/1090658 youtube.com/watch?v=8x3kKQFoHIk&t=2294s

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Feb 10
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Going vegetarian

If people shop eating meat, such pandemic outbreaks of disease will be less likely, as transfer of a virus from an animal reservoir has caused the majority of past pandemics, according to mainstream scientific thinking. Plant diseases cross over to humans extremely rarely, with a few bacteria affecting extremely immune deficient people, but currently no known viruses are able to cross this kingdom barrier. Viruses are quite particular in structure and the way they reproduce, making a virus jumping from a plant very unlikely. Going vegetarian globally is arguably one of the most robust measures to minimise the risk of future pandemics.

However a plant based diet could also aid in the fight against COVID-19. If the world began to only use plant products we would be healthier with stronger immune systems to fight this pandemic, and could probably eliminate the majority of future pandemics also. The latest nutritional science behind immune health has demonstrated that a plant-based diet, high in fibre and micronutrients, can reduce inflammation and boost immune T-Cells that help fight infections and prevalent diseases, such as cancer. Not only will this help minimise the tragedy of a pandemic but leave humanity in a strong position to fight climate change, massively reducing human impact or damage on the environment by minimising destructive animal agriculture.

quora.com/Can-we-avoid-pandemics-by-becoming-vegan?share=1 youtube.com/watch?v=mDhincZJjzQ gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/disease/plant-disease-transmission.htm veganjusticeleague.com/news/how-to-stop-next-pandemic onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/plant-based-diet-can-boost-t-cells-immune-system bodyandsoul.com.au/diet/diets/experts-say-this-diet-might-be-your-ticket-to-avoiding-the-flu-this-winter/news-story/95751cdf9a767eb76f6fa537f3066ec4

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D H
Oct 13
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DH edited this paragraph
However a plant based diet could also aid in the fight against COVID-19. If the world began to only use plant products we would be healthier with stronger immune systems to fight this pandemic, and could probably eliminate the majority of future pandemics also. The latest nutritional science behind immune health has demonstrated that a plant-based diet, high in fibre and micronutrients, can reduce inflammation and boost immune T-Cells that help fight infections and prevalent diseases, such as cancer. Not only will this help minimise the tragedy of a pandemic but leave humanity in a strong position to fight climate change, massively reducing human impact or damage on the environment by minimising destructive animal agriculture.

Workers need protecting

More threatening to global and regional stability than a viral pandemic is the economic and social fallout from the virus, with some unions claiming that 90% of hospitality staff will lose their job over the COVID-19 pandemic. This needs to be dealt with as soon as possible to stop wide spread post-pandemic unemployment, with governments needing to fund temporary staff lay offs with pay or similar schemes. This will allow companies to continue to pay staff, have less of a financial strain on their business, and the economy will not seize up under the pressure of the pandemic. Many countries have already proposed business stimulus measures, but these need to be extended to workers and consumers as economies need people to retain employment and this can only happen through government action.

Such far-reaching social actions do not need to be seen as wasted money either, as in addition to propping up the whole economy from the bottom up, this quarantine down time can also be used to up-skill the workforce so money is invested, not lost. The global beacon of pandemic proof employment policy seems to be Germany, Germany implemented the Kurzarbeit scheme, a government-funded compensation scheme so companies could afford to retain their workers. Likewise authorities should remain vigilant regarding the working conditions of those that cannot be temporarily laid off from work, investment needs to be made into so called "essential workers" so that they are working in a safe and virus free environment. Investigations and a lawsuit are currently ongoing against Amazon for its failure to provide a safe working environment for its workers during the pandemic.

dailycaller.com/2020/03/18/hospitality-workers-lose-jobs-coronavirus governor.ny.gov/news/during-coronavirus-briefing-governor-cuomo-signs-40-million-emergency-management-authorization youtu.be/57_umvxuUFE?t=3270

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https://dailycaller.com/2020/03/18/hospitality-workers-lose-jobs-coronavirus/ https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/during-coronavirus-briefing-governor-cuomo-signs-40-million-emergency-management-authorization https://youtu.be/57_umvxuUFE?t=3270

Boost healthcare services

When people become ill it is obvious that they will seek out medical attention and this sector will quickly become the most important in times of pandemic disease outbreak. Due to this all nations need to drastically boost healthcare services in their country, as could be noted in the case of China, the Chinese government building two full hospitals to deal with the outbreak in Wuhan. The Leishenshan and Huoshenshan Hospitals were both completed and opened in early February 2020, and remain on standby since April 2020, as the pandemic ebbed in China. The modular design of the hospital helped the quick build, but it is China's investment of 300 million yuan in medical services that helped the cases drop faster in Wuhan than most other parts of the world, despite this being the virus' place of origin.

But even countries with lower overall GDP than China's can put in place cost effective measures to facilitate healthcare while minimising the risk of further infection. Providing remote access for GPs to make it easier for people to effectively quarantine themselves, helping to bring former doctors and nurses out of retirement, and students out of the classroom to help with scale of crisis, and suspending time-consuming reviews and paperwork to free up time should all be considered. Likewise South Korea's response was so effective the country managed to avoid a full lockdown by installing drive-thru testing facilities and implementing a thorough track and trace system. Again adequate investment in healthcare services seems to be the best method in controlling the pandemic.

bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-51230011 nationalpost.com/news/world/watch-live-china-builds-hospital-wuhan-coronavirus scmp.com/tech/policy/article/3073929/how-chinas-investment-health-care-ai-helps-it-deal-coronavirus-crisis sfchronicle.com/politics/article/As-coronavirus-threat-looms-SF-cuts-red-tape-to-15138889.php

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D H
Oct 13
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DH edited this paragraph
When people become ill it is obvious that they will seek out medical attention and this sector will quickly become the most important in times of pandemic disease outbreak. Due to this all nations need to drastically boost healthcare services in their country, as could be noted in the case of China, the Chinese government building two full hospitals to deal with the outbreak in Wuhan. The Leishenshan and Huoshenshan Hospitals were both completed and opened in early February 2020, and remain on standby since April 2020, as the pandemic ebbed in China. The modular design of the hospital helped the quick build, but it is China's investment of 300 million yuan in medical services that helped the cases drop faster in Wuhan than most other parts of the world, despite this being the virus' place of origin.

Higher food safety standards needed in China

There are three main pandemic drivers, according to Dr Peter Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance, growing human population, land use change and high wildlife diversity, all of which exist in southern China. However Chinese food culture is widely suspected to be the cause for COVID-19 pandemic. This outbreak, just like SARS in 2002, is thought to have come from a Chinese wet market, where butchered meat and fish is often sold alongside live, and possibly defecating, wild animals. But just like the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is though to have had its origins from the consumption of ‘bushmeat’, the consumption of food in such circumstances needs to be urgently stopped, China desperately needs to consider more regulations to cover wildlife trade.

In addition education and higher food safety standards for people that work with animals is obviously necessary, as despite the selling of exotic animals for human consumption remaining highly objectionable, simply hygiene standards and planning could have avoided viral spread. The subject of the origin of the virus has unfortunately since become a deeply political issue, being used in diplomatic spats rather than taken seriously as a factor to consider for future pandemic avoidance. Hopefully there is still some diplomatic space for discussing a possible end to China’s wet markets, as government health and safety regulations are of great necessity if China is going to be a safe participant in the modern international community.

geekimpulse.us/wet-markets-in-china-to-blame-for-wuhan-coronavirus pbs.org/newshour/show/southern-china-hotbed-disease-development geekimpulse.us/wet-markets-in-china-to-blame-for-wuhan-coronavirus japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/01/21/asia-pacific/coronavirus-china-food-markets/#.Xi0ydhMzbMI

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D H
Oct 13
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DH edited this paragraph
In addition education and higher food safety standards for people that work with animals is obviously necessary, as despite the selling of exotic animals for human consumption remaining highly objectionable, simply hygiene standards and planning could have avoided viral spread. The subject of the origin of the virus has unfortunately since become a deeply political issue, being used in diplomatic spats rather than taken seriously as a factor to consider for future pandemic avoidance. Hopefully there is still some diplomatic space for discussing a possible end to China’s wet markets, as government health and safety regulations are of great necessity if China is going to be a safe participant in the modern international community.

Development of a vaccine or drug

While countries can ready themselves and their public healthcare systems in times of a pandemic the only actual way to deal with such a large outbreak of viral infection is inevitably in the development of a treatment, which in the case of a novel virus usually involves creating a vaccine or antiviral drug. The German based biopharmaceutical company Curevac made headline early in the pandemic when Donald Trump attempted to purchase the rights to any potential cure the company develops, but the company is hoping to start human trials in June/July 2020. However trials have already begun in China, and some drugs, such as the Japanese anti-influenza drug Avigan, has shown some efficacy in reducing symptoms of the virus.

As of March 2020, 40 vaccine are being developed by companies internationally, with two going as far as clinical trials, and later in the year vaccines were already being trialled in a lab setting. Meanwhile therapeutic drugs have been the target of much debate in the media, with politicians like Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro making bold claims regarding the efficacy of some drug treatments. Trump himself contracted the virus in October 2020 and was treated with a cocktail of therapeutics including monoclonal antibody therapy, Remdesivir, Dexamethasone, supplemental oxygen, Zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and daily aspirin, before quickly returning to work. Whatever the most effective treatment turns out to be, it is clear that the rollout of a vaccine or drug therapy is the only true way to deal with a pandemic.

reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-germany-vaccine-idUSKBN21036D www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200318_36 theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/16/trump-coronavirus-vaccine-big-pharma-president-drugs-industry-profit who.int/blueprint/priority-diseases/key-action/novel-coronavirus-landscape-ncov.pdf edition.cnn.com/2020/10/04/health/covid-trump-drugs-remdesivir-dexamethasone-explainer/index.html

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D H
Oct 13
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DH edited this paragraph
As of March 2020, 40 vaccine are being developed by companies internationally, with two going as far as clinical trials, and later in the year vaccines were already being trialled in a lab setting. Meanwhile therapeutic drugs have been the target of much debate in the media, with politicians like Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro making bold claims regarding the efficacy of some drug treatments. Trump himself contracted the virus in October 2020 and was treated with a cocktail of therapeutics including monoclonal antibody therapy, Remdesivir, Dexamethasone, supplemental oxygen, Zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and daily aspirin, before quickly returning to work. Whatever the most effective treatment turns out to be, it is clear that the rollout of a vaccine or drug therapy is the only true way to deal with a pandemic.

Encourage community groups to fill the gaps

No government will respond to a pandemic perfectly and many people are currently being left in dangerous or difficult situations. Ten of thousands in the United Kingdom have organised community groups to protect the most vulnerable, which has become increasingly important in light of online retailers being sold out of many essential items and supermarkets rationing, in an effort to minimise panic buying, leaving many unable to get basic groceries. In the UK some of these groups are being organised by Labour Party (the government opposition) linked organisations such as Momentum, but the New Zealand government have gone further and set up a number of ‘Civil Defense Groups’ across the country to fill the gaps in social care the government fail to deal with.

These community led volunteer groups are helping to pick up shopping, deliver medicine and even give music lessons to overcome boredom and isolation. More governments should boost and encourage community groups to take the burden off of social care organisations and prevent the most vulnerable from suffering unnecessarily. As the global pandemic lingers on lockdown fatigue is affecting a growing number of countries, leading to protests. Greater community group involvement could help people feel connected to their community while helping to control the virus in a similar way to New Zealand, a country with arguably the best pandemic response globally.

montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/covid-19-facebook-and-community-aid-groups-help-break-isolation theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/16/community-aid-groups-set-up-across-uk-amid-coronavirus-crisis express.co.uk/news/uk/1255769/coronavirus-uk-outbreak-latest-news-community-groups civildefence.govt.nz/find-your-civil-defence-group

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Oct 13
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https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/covid-19-facebook-and-community-aid-groups-help-break-isolation/ https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/16/community-aid-groups-set-up-across-uk-amid-coronavirus-crisis https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1255769/coronavirus-uk-outbreak-latest-news-community-groups https://www.civildefence.govt.nz/find-your-civil-defence-group/

School closures may be counter-intuitive

Many countries have started dealing with the coronavirus pandemic by closing schools, but shutting down schools maybe an unwise reaction that will actually help spread the virus and hit lower and middle class families hardest, not to mention single parents. The idea behind school closures is to stop the virus spreading around children, the worst carriers and spreaders of contagious illnesses. However with COVID-19 children are largely more resistant to the virus making them less susceptible to the illness, but therefore even more capable of asymptomatically spreading it.

Closing schools can be counter-productive because of this as it forces families to find alternative childcare, which may be elderly relatives, or forces them into the greater community, which increases the societal risks further as children can spread the infection without the knowledge of doing so. For this reason some leaders, for example Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster, have been hesitant to close schools without other measures in place. Morrison specifically stated that, “when you take children out of schools and put them back in the broader community, the ability for them to potentially engage with others increases the risk” [1].

[1] 7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/coronavirus-australia-school-closures-inevitable-says-health-expert-c-747069 expressandstar.com/news/uk-news/2020/03/12/doctors-will-be-under-extreme-pressure-tackling-covid-19-chief-medic-warns newidea.com.au/scott-morrison-announces-schools-wont-close-amid-coronavirus-outbreak

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D H
Oct 13
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DH edited this paragraph
Many countries have started dealing with the coronavirus pandemic by closing schools, but shutting down schools maybe an unwise reaction that will actually help spread the virus and hit lower and middle class families hardest, not to mention single parents. The idea behind school closures is to stop the virus spreading around children, the worst carriers and spreaders of contagious illnesses. However with COVID-19 children are largely more resistant to the virus making them less susceptible to the illness, but therefore even more capable of asymptomatically spreading it.

The use of modern innovation

As Italy became the worst hit by the COVID-19 pandemic as it spread through Europe, and the hospitals in the north of the country struggled with the number of patients, and doctors catching the infection became an increasingly tragic development. So to address this Italian hospitals began to experiment with robots to reduce the risk of spreading the infection to medical staff. Robots in Italy are helping to monitor patients, being able to relay heart rate, repertory rate, and blood pressure to doctors, helping to save medical supplies that were in a dire state of undersupply globally.

But robots have become a solution in many regions in this pandemic; being used to disperse disinfectants in Geel, Belgium, to deliver medicine in Tamil Nadu, India, and to impose security measures in Tunisia. Similarly, in Australia, drones have even been used to detect symptoms in the general public, a team at University of South Australia along with a Canadian drone company, developed ‘pandemic drones’ to physically monitor public health. Drones have also seen use by police in Australia and Britain to aid them in policing pandemic lockdown and social distancing measures.

wcax.com/video?vid=569335792 ibtimes.com/italys-doctors-look-help-sleek-new-robots-2952652 wane.com/dont-miss/disinfecting-robot-could-fight-spread-of-virus-in-hospitals securitymagazine.com/articles/91997-tunisia-using-unmanned-robots-to-enforce-lockdown-during-coronavirus gizmodo.com.au/2020/03/theres-a-pandemic-drone-for-coronavirus-is-in-the-works-in-australia

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Oct 13
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DH edited this paragraph
But robots have become a solution in many regions in this pandemic; being used to disperse disinfectants in Geel, Belgium, to deliver medicine in Tamil Nadu, India, and to impose security measures in Tunisia. Similarly, in Australia, drones have even been used to detect symptoms in the general public, a team at University of South Australia along with a Canadian drone company, developed ‘pandemic drones’ to physically monitor public health. Drones have also seen use by police in Australia and Britain to aid them in policing pandemic lockdown and social distancing measures.

Experimental use of blood plasma in US

Blood transfusion experiments began in the Houston Hospital in Texas in late March 2020, in an effort to help those in the worst condition due to the coronavirus by passing on antibodies from a recovered donor's blood. The method is known as convalescent serum therapy and has a history that can be traced back to the 1918 flu pandemic and the work of Emil von Behring, the Nobel laureate who discovered a diphtheria antitoxin by repeatedly exposing horses to diphtheria and using antigens from their blood to cure sick human patients.

Preliminary studies had previously taken place in China, but results are so far limited, but the technique has now been FDA approved in America and will be used elsewhere if found to be effective. Likewise the EU is rolling out a convalescent plasma donation scheme from recovered COVID patients in order to look into this method and possible provide therapy for severe patients. However to date no reliable treatment options have been found, and countries like India have abandoned this as a therapy for COVID, the US has likewise limited its use.

msn.com/en-in/health/medical/houston-hospital-becomes-first-in-us-to-experiment-with-coronavirus-blood-transfusion-therapy/ar-BB11RNle nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00895-8 fda.gov/vaccines-blood-biologics/investigational-new-drug-ind-or-device-exemption-ide-process-cber/revised-information-investigational-covid-19-convalescent-plasma history.com/news/blood-plasma-covid-19-measles-spanish-flu republicworld.com/india-news/general-news/no-benefit-of-plasma-therapy-says-icmr-dg.html ec.europa.eu/health/blood_tissues_organs/covid-19_en

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Oct 13
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DH edited this paragraph
Preliminary studies had previously taken place in China, but results are so far limited, but the technique has now been FDA approved in America and will be used elsewhere if found to be effective. Likewise the EU is rolling out a convalescent plasma donation scheme from recovered COVID patients in order to look into this method and possible provide therapy for severe patients. However to date no reliable treatment options have been found, and countries like India have abandoned this as a therapy for COVID, the US has likewise limited its use.

Nothing – Enough is being done

The world is on the right path, on the path to recovery. Despite a few hiccups on the way the world is much more prepared for this pandemic than previous ones, and China has been much more transparent with this outbreak than it was with SARS in 2002/3. Additionally, MERS and SARS were more fatal, with a 39% and 9.5% fatality rate respectively, compared to a 0.9% rate for healthy individuals with 2019-nCoV, likewise on-going epidemics such as Ebola are much more serious. Detection has become much more sophisticated than with SARS – the virus genome was also quickly spread online leading to quicker breakthroughs in not only detecting the virus, but understanding it. And resultantly a vaccine will likely be developed much quicker than with previous viral outbreaks.

Previous epidemics were made much worse due to censorship. The 1918 influenza pandemic was especially dangerous due to First World War censorship, European censorship laws were in place since 1914, and in Britain even chief medical officer, Sir Arthur Newsholme, claimed it was unpatriotic to be concerned with the flu rather than the war. Government censorship fed self-censorship as people tried to avoid punishment, its hard to appreciate the scope of censorship as records of censorship generally don't exist, but it is though to have fed skepticism, denial and misinformation, and without doubt allowed the virus to spread further. This thwarting information dissemination was similarly an issue with the beginning of the SARS outbreak, but transparency has been at the forefront global approach to the 2019-nCoV in most regions.

community.oilprice.com/topic/9796-charts-of-covid-19-fatality-rate-by-age-and-sex youtube.com/watch?v=zZB6UY9YZz4 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic slate.com/technology/2020/03/coronavirus-mortality-rate-lower-than-we-think.html npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/01/22/798277557/how-does-wuhan-coronavirus-compare-to-mers-sars-and-the-common-cold

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https://community.oilprice.com/topic/9796-charts-of-covid-19-fatality-rate-by-age-and-sex/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZB6UY9YZz4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1918_flu_pandemic https://slate.com/technology/2020/03/coronavirus-mortality-rate-lower-than-we-think.html https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/01/22/798277557/how-does-wuhan-coronavirus-compare-to-mers-sars-and-the-common-cold

Pre-emptive quarantine measures

The countries that will be most successful in fighting infection will be those that are ready to act quickly and even pre-emptively. The outbreak of this novel coronavirus far from over but we can already see some success in tackling the issue, countries like Vietnam and New Zealand have suffered a significant small outbreak and may have successfully contained it. The first case was announced on the 23rd January 2020 in Vietnam, and by February 4th volunteers were handing out free masks and sanitisers, schools and universities were shut down and fines were handed out to people caught spreading fake news or generating hysteria. Similar measures were put in place in most other countries that managed to minimise excess deaths.

While countries like Vietnam may be fortunate in terms of its climate, and New Zealand in its isolation, they remain rare cases to have a substantial outbreak and recover so quickly. Countries should be financing measures pre-emptively, including the setup of medical centres, testing kits, and the arrangement of medical personnel, while imposing swift restrictions to movement and public gatherings once the virus is detected. Then even if spreading patients are asymptomatic contact will be cut down to such a degree that the virus doesn't spread. Decisive spending and action may save lives and economic cost in the long term and at this stage has been seen time and time again to be the most effective method at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

thediplomat.com/2020/02/vietnam-battles-its-coronavirus-challenge haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-what-israel-can-learn-from-vietnam-on-how-to-beat-the-coronavirus-1.8589685 reddit.com/r/China_Flu/comments/f9pdhe/did_vietnam_beat_the_corona_virus

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Oct 3
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The countries that will be most successful in fighting infection will be those that are ready to act quickly and even pre-emptively. The outbreak of this novel coronavirus far from over but we can already see some success in tackling the issue, countries like Vietnam and New Zealand have suffered a significant small outbreak and may have successfully contained it. The first case was announced on the 23rd January 2020 in Vietnam, and by February 4th volunteers were handing out free masks and sanitisers, schools and universities were shut down and fines were handed out to people caught spreading fake news or generating hysteria. Similar measures were put in place in most other countries that managed to minimise excess deaths.

Adapting industry to cater for medical equipment demand

Many countries stockpile medical and other supplies in order to respond to a disaster or in times of crisis, but even rich countries like the United States cannot seemingly acquire an adequate amount of medical equipment and personal protective equipment to address the COVID-19 pandemic. However manufacturers internationally have either taken it upon themselves or have been directed by governments to switch to making medical equipment where possible. Companies such as Tesla, General Motors, Volkswagen, Daimler, Dyson, Rolls Royce, Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler have all attempted to redirect output to accommodate the lack of medical supplies in their countries.

However, across Europe auto works are being laid off or told to stay home as car manufacturers suspend production, and likewise Japanese automakers have closed factories in Thailand and Mexico, but this is the time technical workers need to be utilised. Workers should be retrained and tasked with producing the massive level of medical supplies that most countries require in such dire times. But this could potentially go even further, retraining out of work staff to become temporary staff in key industries that are necessary to keep people alive, fed or recovering; it is not just medical staff that are required in times of pandemic but supermarkets, logistics and even farm workers. This could become a permanent policy, whereby in times of war, crisis or pandemic, workers can switch seamlessly to key industries, as unless there is deep systemic change in the world this will not be the last global crisis of this nature.

thehill.com/policy/defense/488085-pentagon-to-give-5m-respirator-masks-2000-ventilators-to-hhs thehill.com/policy/technology/488404-elon-musk-offers-to-produce-ventilators-in-shortage bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-22/germany-asks-carmakers-to-produce-medical-gear-for-virus-fight dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-8117847/Dyson-JCB-Rolls-Royce-face-problems-making-ventilators-experts-warn.html irishtimes.com/business/manufacturing/auto-parts-maker-to-lay-off-over-1-000-workers-in-cork-and-limerick-1.4211335 carbirbal.com/blog/Mazda-suspends-production-in-Mexico-and-Thailand

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Many countries stockpile medical and other supplies in order to respond to a disaster or in times of crisis, but even rich countries like the United States cannot seemingly acquire an adequate amount of medical equipment and personal protective equipment to address the COVID-19 pandemic. However manufacturers internationally have either taken it upon themselves or have been directed by governments to switch to making medical equipment where possible. Companies such as Tesla, General Motors, Volkswagen, Daimler, Dyson, Rolls Royce, Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler have all attempted to redirect output to accommodate the lack of medical supplies in their countries.
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