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Coronavirus: what your country is doing, how you feel & general discussion

rainbowbluebells

Senior Member
Messages
248
Hi, I live in the UK. I have severe ME, need care 24/7 and over the past few weeks and months I’ve been extremely anxious and upset over the way the UK government has been handling the Coronavirus pandemic. I’m scared for myself, having ME, but also scared for vulnerable people I know and all other elderly and ill people. I’ve clarified with the Forum rules that I can indeed talk about this on the forums, so here I am.. also interested in what you all think, how you feel about UK/your country’s response and how you’re feeling what you’re doing about the coronavirus.

I mean.. I think the UK govt’s response has been appalling in all ways. While Italy has been shutting down schools, encouraging remote working.. and now closing all shops and restaurants, while other countries who don’t even have any coronavirus deaths, have started community testing and locked down their country in order to save the lives of their people, while Ireland has banned all big events and closed schools.. well, the UK is..

Telling people to wash their hands while singing God Save the Queen or Happy birthday twice. And saying you are only at risk of getting coronavirus if you’ve been to an “infected” country in the past 2 weeks like China or Iran or Northern Italy, or have been in contact with a confirmed case, and otherwise you won’t even get a test! I know someone closely who had all the symptoms of COVID-19 who hasn’t even had been allowed a test. I know about lots of other people including children who have had symptoms who have been denied a test. I don’t think the numbers that the Uk are reporting can be fully accurate if they are not allowing people from within the community to be tested. There is definitely community spread by now: it’s really scary to me. The problem with this is not only the numbers, the problem is people who aren’t getting tests are told that it’s ok to go into work, to go into schools, to continue with life as normal in lots of cases. That’s going to increase spread.

Then we have the fact that our own PM, Boris Johnson, has lied about going to a hospital with coronavirus patients (he didn’t, he went to Kettering hospital) and then said “you will be happy to know, I was shaking everyone’s hands”. I think this is awful because this is at a time when the WHO and all other countries are advising people not to shake hands and other countries are even doing their own different greetings! He and his govt has consistently put the “economy” first, instead of people - eg think about Cheltenham. In pretty much every other country , except maybe the USA, big gatherings have been banned. The WHO advice itself says big gatherings can spread diseases.

What does our govt do? Get it’s “chief scientific adviser” to come on TV and say that big gatherings don’t actually spread disease.. apparently you would only spread it to the few people next to you. The worst thing is they pretend this is scientific by saying “we are following the evidence” despite going against WHO recommendations for community spread. So they’ve gone ahead with the Cheltenham festival, 250,000 people over 4 days in one area, watching horse racing.. at a time when Italy is literally in lockdown and people are dying there because medical doctors have to choose whose lives to save. We will know In the coming weeks what effect this festival has had on the UK.

It’s terrifying. I’m so scared living in the Uk because this government is playing with our lives.
 
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rainbowbluebells

Senior Member
Messages
248
My boyfriend has not even been allowed to work remotely. Even though he is the main carer for his father who has dementia and is elderly, and also looks after me (I have asthma; prone to pneumonia, lupus, severe ME and so on). Yet the government advice is you can only work remotely if you yourself are high risk, ie if you yourself are old or have respiratory conditions. It doesn’t say anything about carers. So basically I haven’t seen my boyfriend for 2 weeks because of this now.

the nhs has been underfunded by the last govt for 10 years. This is a fact. Thousands of beds have been lost, thousands of doctor and nurse vacancies. Unfilled. A fraction of the intensive care beds that other countries in Europe have. Only 15 (I think) respiratory care beds in the whole country. All I hear from the government is empty rhetoric on coronavirus. They’ve had about 3 or 4 cobra meetings now? And nothing much has changed. I’m now waiting to see what the next step is.

will they cancel mass gatherings and actually do proper social distancing like the WHO say? I don’t know :(
 

ellie84

Senior Member
Messages
120
Location
Italy
I just want to tell you 2 things... first of all it is unthinkable to test everyone. Here in Italy too you get to get tested only if you have high fever, severe cough and severe respiratory difficulties. Even then you have to have a pre-triage with the GP and a pre-triage at the hospital, before you can get tested. Me myself I've been having very mild lingering cold symptoms in the last month, I called the GP, he told me to stay home the more I can and call him if the symptoms get worse. A lot of people will have no symptoms or mild symptoms like I have and will get over it naturally and will never get tested. Hospitals are at the last of their resources, they can not take care of every single person sneezing twice. At this point it's up to the personal civilian responsibility of trying to avoid contact with others as much as we can, if we think we could be contagious. It's not about testing everyone, at some point they say it's highly possible that most of the population will be infected, willing or not. The point is to test people that has developed pneumonia or severe respiratory insufficiency. The "numbers" will only be an estimate or maybe they will never be totally accurate.
Another thing is: don't believe everything the media say. Actually... the most sensationalist the news is, the less likely it is to be true. Doctors in Italy are not choosing someone's lives over others. They are just doing the normal triage procedures, in the ERs and ICUs. These procedures involve decisions, at times hard decisions and in this time even harder decisions, but it's something they always do, everyday. I saw a video the other day of a doctor explaining this, if I can find it I will post it, though I don't remember if he was speaking in Italian or English.
 

rainbowbluebells

Senior Member
Messages
248
I just want to tell you 2 things... first of all it is unthinkable to test everyone. Here in Italy too you get to get tested only if you have high fever, severe cough and severe respiratory difficulties. Even then you have to have a pre-triage with the GP and a pre-triage at the hospital, before you can get tested. Me myself I've been having very mild lingering cold symptoms in the last month, I called the GP, he told me to stay home the more I can and call him if the symptoms get worse. A lot of people will have no symptoms or mild symptoms like I have and will get over it naturally and will never get tested. Hospitals are at the last of their resources, they can not take care of every single person sneezing twice. At this point it's up to the personal civilian responsibility of trying to avoid contact with others as much as we can, if we think we could be contagious. It's not about testing everyone, at some point they say it's highly possible that most of the population will be infected, willing or not. The point is to test people that has developed pneumonia or severe respiratory insufficiency. The "numbers" will only be an estimate or maybe they will never be totally accurate.
Another thing is: don't believe everything the media say. Actually... the most sensationalist the news is, the less likely it is to be true. Doctors in Italy are not choosing someone's lives over others. They are just doing the normal triage procedures, in the ERs and ICUs. These procedures involve decisions, at times hard decisions and in this time even harder decisions, but it's something they always do, everyday. I saw a video the other day of a doctor explaining this, if I can find it I will post it, though I don't remember if he was speaking in Italian or English.

Absolutely. I know the media is always very different to the true situation on the ground.
What I meant by doctors have to choose who lives - is the triage situation. Right now, we are not having the same triage situation that you are having in Italy. We have the usual triage, but it has not been overwhelmed to the extent where there are lots of people coming in with infectious diseases like Coronavirus. But it will come, and it will get worse - our Uk doctors have already said this and warned about this on news channels. Edit: this is compounded by the fact that in the UK, we have lost somewhere around 14,000 hospital beds in 10 years. Most hospital beds are already at capacity. So the decision on who is admitted and who is not - will become even more disastrous for the UK.

Moreover, yes it is not possible to test everyone. (I never said everyone was getting tested in Italy. I said other countries (Like South Korea) were doing community testing). But, in any case, that is not justification to basically limit testing unless you have been out of the country. More tests should be available. South Korea has tested over 100,000 patients so far - maybe even close to 200,000 patients. (Edit, also there’s the issue that when they don’t test people, they also don’t always tell people to self isolate... so some of these people are going back to work, walking around outside seeing people etc). I agree I don’t know what it’s like over there. But others also may not know what it’s like over here - it is terrifying for those of us who are very ill or have elderly parents. We’ve seen our NHS being run down. Our health system (NHS) is not as good as Northern Italy’s - yours has been ranked by the WHO much more highly in terms of number of beds and intensive care beds. We simply don’t have those. We’ve lost so many beds. People are already being treated in hospital corridors. People are already, even before coronavirus, waiting for 10 hours in hospital corridors to be seen by a doctor.

So in that situation, is it ok to continue allowing large gatherings which hundreds of thousands of people visit? There have been literally no measures. None. It’s not just about Italy, even Ireland, our neighbour, has put into place so many restrictions. Yet here, nothing. Because our doctors are already warning we don’t have capacity here in the Uk. Here in the UK lots of scientists are angry at the UK government. Yes maybe it is everyone’s personal responsibility. Unfortunately people are selfish. People don’t do things unless the govt tells them to do it.
 
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rainbowbluebells

Senior Member
Messages
248
For example,
“The UK government has been accused of complacency and failing to “follow science” in a sluggish response to the coronavirus pandemic, as Britain was shown to have tested fewer people for the disease in recent days.

Amid growing suggestions that ministers have acted too slowly in seeking to combat the virus – the editor of the Lancet medical journal accused them of “playing roulette” with people’s lives – John Ashton, a former regional director of Public Health England, raged at what he labelled a “wooden and academic” response to Covid-19.

He warned that “we’ve wasted a month when we should have been engaging with the public”. By contrast, Ireland has closed its schools and urged the cancellation of large gatherings until the end of the month.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...mic-delay-phase-a9396186.html#post-1185846950

Then there’s Richard Horton, yes I know he’s not good about PACE! But even he says this

It’s not ok that we have no social distancing policies at all. None.

Here is another article, it is very accurate as to what’s happening here and also mentions the cuts the UK has faced over the last 10 years: “ He warned that the NHS was not in a position to cope with the large numbers of people who could become seriously ill. “It’s a joke when they put up people to say they are really on top of it and if it spreads at a community level the NHS will cope, it’s always coped. The hospitals are full at the moment, A&Es are full, beds are full, intensive care is full.””

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/12/health-expert-brands-uks-coronavirus-response-pathetic
 
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ellie84

Senior Member
Messages
120
Location
Italy
Here is the video I was mentioning. Minute 1:53:

North Italy health system is good, but not so good as they make it seem. I think in these situations it's the people that does the difference, the doctors, the nurses, the donations etc. And as much as we want to complain about health system with our type of chronic conditions, I think it's in the emergency situations like this that the true strenght and unlimited will to survive of the people come out.
I know it's difficult but I wish everyone not to worry so much... it only makes us more ill... this is my opinion.:hug:
 

Hipsman

Senior Member
Messages
543
Location
Ukraine
Just wanted to tell that here in Ukraine we have only 1 confirmed case of Covid-19, but yesterday 8h before WHO declared this a pandemic mayor of capital city Kyiv declared a quarantine - no kindergarten/school/collage/university, no gatherings of more than 60 people and closed all cinemas, theaters, concerts, etc...

Mind you the only confirmed case was 400km away from the capital!
After WHO declared pandemic every city followed rules very similar to Kyiv.

Our country's history is full of government corruption and irresponsibility, so I'm very surprised this pandemic was taken soooo seriously, maybe the government just understood that our weak economy and health care infrastructure will collapse as bad as Italy's did, so they play it safe.

And no, this isn't the case of under-diagnosed cases like in USA. There are tests available for anyone with symptoms that have been to countries with outbreak. They are instructed to call emergency line to rule out possibility of Covid-19 infection. Free of charge of course.
 
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rainbowbluebells

Senior Member
Messages
248
Here is the video I was mentioning. Minute 1:53:

North Italy health system is good, but not so good as they make it seem. I think in these situations it's the people that does the difference, the doctors, the nurses, the donations etc. And as much as we want to complain about health system with our type of chronic conditions, I think it's in the emergency situations like this that the true strenght and unlimited will to survive of the people come out.
I know it's difficult but I wish everyone not to worry so much... it only makes us more ill... this is my opinion.:hug:

I agree with you, in situations like these we do see so much strength and togetherness of people :) but that’s what making me so sad and upset - It’s the inaction of the govt. lives will be lost that could have been saved. And I am helpless to do anything because I am not in govt and have no power to do that! All I can do is watch. We have amazing doctors too. But however many doctors we have, if we do not have the beds, or the space, or the ventilators etc.. we shouldn’t be in that position.

Edit: ah yes I had already watched that interview :) I think he gave two interviews - one to a Canadian channel and one to channel 4 news!
 
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rainbowbluebells

Senior Member
Messages
248
Just wanted to tell that here in Ukraine we have only 1 confirmed case of Covid-19, but yesterday 8h before WHO declared this a pandemic mayor of capital city Kyiv declared a quarantine - no kindergarten/school/collage/university, no gatherings of more than 60 people and closed all cinemas, theaters, concerts, etc...

Mind you the only confirmed case was 400km away from the capital!
After WHO declared pandemic every city followed rules very similar to Kyiv.

Our country's history is full of government corruption and irresponsibility, so I'm very surprised this pandemic was taken soooo seriously, maybe the government just understood that our weak economy and health care infrastructure will collapse as bad as Italy's did, so they play is safe.

And no, this isn't the case of under-diagnosed cases like in USA. There are tests available for anyone with symptoms that have been to countries with outbreak. They are instructed to call emergency line to rule out possibility of Covid-19 infection. Free of charge of course.

That’s interesting. I don’t know much about the politics of Ukraine. But that is a very strong response considering your country only has 1 case. But in my opinion I think that’s good your country is taking it seriously!
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
17,995
I think the UK govt’s response has been appalling in all ways. While Italy has been shutting down schools, encouraging remote working

I am not sure Italy's control methods are better that the UK's, the figures suggest otherwise: Italy has over 12,000 cases and over 800 deaths, whereas the UK only has around 500 cases and 10 deaths. It seems that Italy are doing something wrong, and now after their massive outbreak they are panicking and implementing lots of emergency measures.

I understand that the UK has advanced methods of tracking down the social contacts of a person found to be infected. No doubt if those methods start to fail, then the UK will ramp up its response, and implement more measures.



What I find more incomprehensible is that the universal antiviral drug DRACO, developed by MIT-trained bioengineer Dr Todd Rider, which could save the lives of the possibly 10 of millions who may die from this coronavirus, has not been able to get any decent funding for the last 16 years.

DRACO's mechanism of action works for nearly all viruses, and could have rendered this pandemic a non-event; yet his drug is still waiting for just a $few hundred thousand to take it to the next stage of research. Had it been taken seriously 16 years ago, we may well have had an effective universal antiviral by now.

This man's potentially huge medical breakthrough can't get funding, so he's trying something desperate
 

rainbowbluebells

Senior Member
Messages
248
I am not sure Italy's control methods are better that the UK's, the figures suggest otherwise: Italy has over 12,000 cases and over 800 deaths, whereas the UK only has around 500 cases and 10 deaths. It seems that Italy are doing something wrong, and now after their massive outbreak they are panicking and implementing lots of emergency measures.

I understand that the UK has advanced methods of tracking down the social contacts of a person found to be infected. No doubt if those methods start to fail, then the UK will ramp up its response, and implement more measures.



What I find more incomprehensible is that the universal antiviral drug DRACO, developed by MIT-trained bioengineer Dr Todd Rider, which could save the lives of the possibly 10 of millions who may die from this coronavirus, has not been able to get any decent funding for the last 16 years.

DRACO's mechanism of action works for nearly all viruses, and could have rendered this pandemic a non-event; yet his drug is still waiting for just a $few hundred thousand to take it to the next stage of research. Had it been taken seriously 16 years ago, we may well have had an effective universal antiviral by now.

This man's potentially huge medical breakthrough can't get funding, so he's trying something desperate

From what I understand, we are about 13.5 days behind Italy. And our numbers are pretty much on track with that. If we don’t do something now, we are going to be in a very dire place. I think Italy did do lots of things wrong in the beginning - and the outbreak got far too bad. And the response to that was the closures.

Right now though, there is community spread in the UK. WHO advice for these situations is social distancing measures. The UK isn’t doing it.

I had no idea about that drug. I had heard of a few other drugs like: chloroquine and another one beginning with r. Do you know if any of those drugs are being used in countries like UK or US to help the virus? Or is it more academic at the moment?
 

Rebeccare

Moose Enthusiast
Messages
9,067
Location
Massachusetts
I live in the Boston area, where we're currently experiencing a large outbreak. Most of the local cases are (ironically) the result of a biophamaceutical conference where the virus was spread among attendees, many of whom live in the area. Things are beginning to shut down here. Up until now only individual schools where parents or students tested positive were closed for a day or two to deep clean, but now entire school districts are beginning to close and I have the feeling that by next week schools may be out for a while. Many people are working from home.

It's a tough call because nobody wants to close things down when it seems like the situation isn't too serious, because then they'll be criticized for making a big deal out of nothing. There is a major economic impact to disrupting everyday life, plus it's hard to keep people calm in those conditions. But if leaders wait until conditions are such that they have no choice but to shut down, that's obviously no good either. It's a delicate balance. But hopefully places where the virus hasn't spread as much yet can learn lessons from both the good and bad choices made in places where it is now prevalent.

But really, the hardest part of this has been the constant media coverage, peoples' panicked posts on social media, and the sensationalism that feed people's fright and feelings of helplessness. I never quite understood Roosevelt's quote "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" until finding myself in a scary situation like this one. Well, the only thing we have to fear is fear and a global pandemic. But experiencing that pervasive fear is really quite terrible.
 

rainbowbluebells

Senior Member
Messages
248
Can someone confirm?
The UK govt has said they will be bringing in NO social distancing measures. Only telling people who have cough symptoms etc to stay at home for 7 days. No school closures no anything else. No stopping massive gatherings or crowds. No remote working. No shops closing. Is this true? I can’t find the breaking news, only social media posts. I’m already crying :( I can’t cope with this.
 
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Learner1

Senior Member
Messages
6,305
Location
Pacific Northwest
I live in the city just south of the nursing home where most US deaths to date have been. They think the virus has been circulating around here since mid-January and I read this morning that a scientist linked the original Washington case to those on the Grand Princess. This virus travels...

Currently, there are COVID patients in all 3 of the hospitals closest to my house. Major employers and many smaller ones have asked workers to stay home in the past week, thoigh, mystifyingly, most schools have been open until today. Traffic is light. Hand sanitizer hasn't been available at all for 10 days, and wipes, bleach, etc are gone.

I hear one of the main Seattle hospitals is rationing gloves and protective clothing for doctors - there are not enough to go around. I read a piece on Evergreen Hospital, the hospital hit hardest by this, the excellent training and preparation they had, and how they've organized to treat patients. It was very impressive and I told my husband last night Is want to go there.

I've felt as safe as I can through all this. Mist people are taking this very seriously. I've had appintments at 2 of the affected hospitals in the past week and have gone to my office, which has been empty, and stores are pretty empty if I need something - I've learned to use the tap feature with the corner of my credit card and I sign anything with my own pen. I have a freezer with organic grass fed meat and have produce delivered from an organic service that just sent an update on all the actions they've taken to reduce risk. So, for now I feel pretty safe.

However, I'm not sure this can be contained here in the US. There have been so many mistakes made by those who could have made a difference who failed to. The US doesn't know how many sick there are. Even in my area, there isn't widespread availability of tests so we really don't know where it's gone and how many are affected. The kids staying on school offer a great opportunity for germs to travel and then there are folks who are just oblivious, carrying on with business as usual, who could be contagious and affecting others.

I heard that up to 40% of the US population may get this in time. I find it believable. We are being told to wash hands and distance ourselves, but this only works if everyone does it. There are too many weak links in the chain, as in the senior housing centers, there are 10 local ones affected already and their families, though restrictions have finally been placed on visits and events of over 250 and our nationsl basketball championships have been cancelled. Then there are the uninsured or underinsured, and everyone else for whom healthcare is so hugely expensive which dissuades people from using it. I think this is the new normal...
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
17,995
I had heard of a few other drugs like: chloroquine and another one beginning with r. Do you know if any of those drugs are being used in countries like UK or US to help the virus? Or is it more academic at the moment?

Last time I checked, I don't think there was much in the way of evidence that the various drugs they are trying have any major effect.


But there are some evidence-based supplements which have been shown to substantially reduced the risk of catching cold viruses when exposed to them (remember coronavirus is one of the cold viruses):

• Allicin (in the form of the AllicinMax® or AlliMax® capsules containing 180 mg of allicin) has been shown to reduce the chance of catching a cold by over a half: in a placebo-controlled study, the group given allicin had a lot fewer colds than the control group given a placebo (24 colds for the allicin group versus 65 for the control group).

If allicin can reduce the risk of catching a cold, it may reduce the risk of catching the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus too.

• Echinacea, an immunomodulator herb, can reduce the chance of getting a common cold by more than half. Ref: here

I can vouch for echinacea: decades ago when I was still healthy (before I developed chronic fatigue syndrome from a viral infection), I would always carry some echinacea tablets with me to work. You know that feeling when you initially start to come down with a cold? I found that if I took echinacea at that crucial early stage, within the first 6 hours of that feeling coming on, it would invariably prevent the cold from manifesting. But once the cold gets a grip, echinacea I found did not help.

So just by taking allicin and echinacea together, you may be able to reduce your chances of catching this coronavirus by a factor of 4. I live with parents in their 80s, who are the most vulnerable group, and I am starting them on echinacea daily, and will introduce allicin daily soon.

This allicin and echinacea approach is trying to prevent you from catching the virus in the first place, rather than trying to fight SARS-CoV-2 once you have caught it.

• Salt water gargling and nasal irrigation: a University of Edinburgh study found gargling with salt water and irrigating the nasal cavities with salt water reduces the duration of the common cold by about 2 days, because the body uses salt to make antiviral bleach. The chloride ions in the salt are used by cells to make the bleach hypochlorous acid (HOCI), which fights viruses.

Whether salt gargling can also prevent catching a cold I am not sure; but it cannot hurt to gargle with salt and perhaps spray salt solution inside the nose with a nasal spray bottle on a daily basis, especially just after any contact with other people or after being out in public.

• Povidone-iodine gargling and nasal spray: a paper detailed in this post suggests a 0.5% solution of povidone-iodine as an oral gargle and nasal spray should help prevent catching coronavirus.
 
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Inara

Senior Member
Messages
455
It turns out the UK actually already has 5,000-10,000 cases of coronavirus. And that’s apparently a small number according to our govt.
If they're planning to have the virus spread as fast as possible (as you said earlier - "immunity"; we're still talking about viruses...) they're doing a great job.

I don't panic. But I don't think this virus will be easy on chronically sick persons. I've had the flu - for the last 3 weeks; I found it pretty severe, to be honest, and I'm still not recovered. I don't fear death - I fear a life as a breathing corpse. Who knows what will happen long-time after the "active" phase of corona; disbelief and laughter towards the chronically affected I strongly assume... (Because viruses are SO harmless, especially on the long run.)

I think this is a catastrophic situation. Complete failure.

The message I get: "The most important thing is to keep going the economy. Who needs old and sick people anyhow..."
Imagine something really severe will come along some day...which will... Now we know what will happen.

Although it's really just a movie about zombies, "World War Z" features some pretty interesting aspects, like some of the things we see now; like e.g. Israel who were very consequent very fast (I found that quite interesting).

Also I wonder why the world set up the WORLD health organization if nobody sticks to epidemic and pandemic plans.

I feel fucked about. And I'm angry because of this.
 
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