Daniel Halliday
Jan 26 · Last update 2 days 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
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Adapting industry to cater for medical equipment demand
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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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Workers need protecting
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Boost healthcare services
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Going vegetarian
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Nothing – Enough is being done
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Pre-emptive quarantine measures
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Higher food safety standards needed in China
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Adapting industry to cater for medical equipment demand

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; as it is not just medical staff that are required in times of pandemic but supermarket, 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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Daniel Halliday
Mar 31
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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 have made headlines recently, 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, whenever a vaccine or drug therapy is ready to rollout it is clear that this 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

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Daniel Halliday
Mar 31
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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. These community led volunteer groups are helping to pick up shopping, deliver medicine and even give music lessons to overcome boredom and isolation. 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. 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.

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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Daniel Halliday
Mar 31
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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, but with COVID-19 children are largely more resistant to the virus making them less susceptible to the illness but 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.

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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Daniel Halliday
Mar 31
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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 staff lay offs on pay, so companies can continue to pay staff 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.

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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Daniel Halliday
Mar 20
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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 countries 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. 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 suspend time-consuming reviews and paperwork to free up time should all be considered.

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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Daniel Halliday
Mar 20
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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 few bacteria affect extremely immune deficient people, but currently no known viruses being 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. If the world began to only use plant products, not only would we massively reduce climate change and environmental damage, but we would be healthier with stronger immune systems to fight this pandemic, and could probably eliminate the majority of future pandemics also.

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

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Daniel Halliday
Mar 20
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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.

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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Daniel Halliday
Mar 20
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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 the this novel coronavirus is still fairly recent but we can already see some success in tackling the issue, Vietnam is one country to suffer a significant small outbreak and to 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 sanitizers, schools and universities were shut down and fines were handed out to people caught spreading fake news or generating hysteria. While the country may be fortunate in terms of its climate, it is a rare case to have a substantial group infected and recover so quickly. Countries should be financing measures pre-emptively, including medical center setup, testing kits, and arrangement of medical personnel, while imposing restrictions to movement and public gatherings swiftly once the virus is detected.

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

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Daniel Halliday
Mar 4
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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 suspected to be the cause for these outbreaks, just like SARS in 2002 this latest coronavirus 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 origins from the consumption of ‘bushmeat’, 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, and 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

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Daniel Halliday
Jan 26
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