Kaiserschmarrn wrote:I've seen some claims that smokers are underrepresented among severe cases because nicotine downregulates this receptor.
I meant to ask how you are doing, foxdemon. You might have told us already, but I've not been reading all posts, so apologies if I have missed it.
Do you have a link about smokers? The data I have seen is mixed. Initially it was thought that smoking increased risk but later data didn’t show any statistical relationship. Hypertension is coming out as the biggie for co-morbidities. Obesity and diabetes are bad too. This is a serious concern when one looks at all the fat people in America.
I have an on going lung problem. I get any cold or flu going around. I had two in the last few weeks, but only minor symptoms. I would have ignored them but anyone who is even slightly unwell has to stay home at present. The doctor did send me off for a test but the test clinic refused due to government mandated testing criteria and sent me back to the doctor.
Anyway, my work has been dragging their feet on work from home. I won’t say anymore about that because it would give away who I work for. I have taken a few weeks annual leave up until after Easter. That should be long enough to be able to tell in the Oz gov strategy has worked or if it has failed.
As you can see on world test stats, Oz ranks highly. But those tests have been tightly focused on returning travellers, only recently expanding to health workers, suspicious pneumonia cases and prison, aged care and remote communities. There is still no serious effort at community testing. The Victorian gov has just started a random test strategy in hospitals. So, though Oz has high test rates by world standards, we really only know about airport arrivals and cruise ship passengers. The honest truth is the authorities don’t really know the extent of community transmission.
The country is in semi-lock down, which helps a lot. State borders are all supposed to be closed now. Returning travellers are almost all home now (well, in quarantine, but back in Oz). Still lots of idiots on cruise ships. It takes a special sort of stupid to go on a cruise during a pandemic, but this type of stupid appears to be common. But the important thing is that soon the traveller stats, which account for most cases and most tests, will be cleared and we can start to see the important stats of local contagion. Current case stats really reflect the places these travellers have come from (Europe, USA, cruise ships). So the statistical rate of growth is the rate in those places, not the local rate.
Given we just don’t know the local situation, I am “sheltering in place”, as the Americans say, until the real local situation becomes apparent. Note that local deaths also reflect foreign situations at this time. If there is a sudden and unexpected increase of pneumonia or intestinal cases at hospitals in the next two weeks or so, then the plan failed and there was lots of undetected community spread. Otherwise, if no surge in the hospitals, maybe, just maybe, the strategy worked. The Oz gov did restrict travel from China when it was still being described as racist elsewhere in the west. So that would have reduced early infect rates.
But we still need S Korean style community testing. The authorities really need to be able to see what is happening. Also we need Asian style masks for everyone. So yes, within two or so weeks we will know if Australia has managed to avoid the worst of the first wave of this disease. But we still need to adopt more of the strategies other Asian countries have developed through bitter experience.