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Best wishes to all here

It has only been mentioned briefly in one thread that I have seen, but I wanted to offer my thoughts and prayers for all of the forum members, especially those in areas especially hard-hit by COVID-19. So far, I've experienced a number of inconveniences (closed businesses, cancelled church services, and a few minor shortages such as toilet paper).  But I need to remind myself that I am still healthy, and things are much worse elsewhere. At this point there isn't much to do but hunker down and weather the coming storm.

I hope everyone who is reading this is doing well. If you are able, please share a few words with the rest of us so we will know how you are doing.



Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #1
Thanks Mike,
in pretty much the same position as you.

Thoughts and prayers for all those having a worse time.

I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals, youfonymums 'n tubies.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #2
Thanks mates!
Here in my country things have turned a little weird... It's a hard situation because the whole country seems to be stopped. Closed businesses and collective hysteria. Despite all of it I'm (luckily) still not infected, so I'll do my best to remain heathly! ^_^
[...] y el mayor bien es pequeño: que toda la vida es sueño, y los sueños, sueños son.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #3
Thanks Mike.

Here in the UK, they seem to be in a rut of following scientific/medical advice. Trouble is all scientific  / medical advice is different between countries.  Even in the UK, we have 4 Chief medical officers for example (England, Ireland, Scotland and wales).

They are now suggesting that those who have reached an age of 70 or more should stay at home for 4 months.

But we seem to be plodding along.

Keep well everybody.


Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #4
So far life goes on here in Green Bay. Lots of cancellations (including bus service- yikes!), but church is still happening and I will pretty much be needed at work no matter what. We are lucky to have three paper mills, so we are confident that toilet paper will return. I'm running Folding@Home on any computer I can to help fight. Prayers for everyone who has it much worse.
Francis Beaumier
Green Bay, WI

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #5
and a few minor shortages such as toilet paper

Belgium chooses for quarantine in the battle against the virus.

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Reply #6
In Italy the antivirus measures are more and more stringent every day.
We already reached a very high level and there is the possibility that it will be raised again.
We had some messages of the president of the republic at the whole nation.

We are strongly requested to stay home and not getting out if not because of necessity.
Even a stroll (rigorously alone!) is discouraged.
The fines for transgression are quite high.

Why so high a level? Let me try to explain.

- The virus is very infective (... viral!) and spreads very easily. That's well known.
- We were told by the media that an infected person is not contagious until it shows the symptoms.
Wrong. Now we know it's not so, and the OMS already knew even then.
- We were told that goods are not at risk. Well, it depends on the type of the surface (composition, humidity, temperature) etc.
We are now asked to sanitize all the places and things, to use mask, gloves and even disinfect the shoes after being out!
- Of course, the people more at risc are the weakest (elders, sick...). But now we had some deaths (and I say deaths) of some healthy people, often volunteers of the red cross who weren't properly supplied of protection devices (!).
- First hand news: our doctor, and neighbour, visited a patient who had high fever. He sent him immediately at the hospital. The patient, an otherwise very healthy man, was found positive to COVID19.
Our doctor was wearing white coat, gloves and mask, but not safety glasses. He was forced to stay in quarantine! Luckily, no infection.
The patient, 46 years, died in a few days.
- The virus can cause pneumonia. Rarely? Not so much! And the infected need to go under intensive care and need a machine to help them to breath.
But the places for intensive care are limited, and ventilators even more, after years and years of financial cuts to the sanitary service. If too many people need help and you don't have enough possibilities you MUST choose. You must choose who to save and who let die...
- My cousin, who returned to Shanghai, now is after her first week of quarantine. She, and her daughter in another room, is in a hotel. She can't get anything from outside except the food that's given her by the staff. No contact with the exterior (only by phone). She also does laundry in the room. The heating is centralized, so it can not be used or it will possibly spread the virus. Only ventilation is possible. The room temperature is 14 °C!
- One of our suppliers from China sent us some info: "The new disease is similar to SARS in 2003. There were more than 3 hundred Hong Kong fatalities. Most of them were Doctor or Nurse. The death rate of this new disease is around 4-5% now. Although the infected person will recover, their lungs are damaged, the function of lungs is weak and they may need respirator in the future (we know it because, after SARS in 2003, a lot of recovered people are now using respirator, and most of them are very young.)
I fear that it will spread very fast because this disease is more dangerous than SARS in 2003: incubation period is longer, around 14 days, but for some people is 24 days. During incubation period the symptoms are like flu but, after 14 days, their lungs have inflammation and damage. But the most dangerous is that some people hasn’t any symptoms, but they will make other people infected. To protect you and your family please read and share the informations from Hong Kong’s government:"
- Not so long ago, the mayor of an Italian region was asking for more relaxed measures for his region because he reputed them too strong. The answer was: no. Now he's crying for help because his region is one with the worst situation in Italy and has no more places in the hospitals.
- Many people from southern Italy live in the north because in the south there's no work. Of course now many escaped home and, of course, they didn't declare it as they are required to do and don't stay in quarantine. Result: the virus is spreading in the south too.
- How long will be necessary for the peak to pass? Maybe not too long, but don't expect we can get out of it too soon. Rich said 4 months... And we are just talking of the health problem.

Panic? No, I don't panic, but fear... you can bet.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #7
My thoughts are with you all.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #8
Thanks for the report from Italy, Flurmy. I have a friend, an opera composer, whose wife is from Italy and still has family there, so I'd heard a lot of that, but your first-hand report was - well, "welcome" isn't the right word for something so dire - but strongly appreciated. Here in Oregon, Governor Kate Brown has ordered schools, restaurants, and bars to close, limited public gatherings to 25 people or less, and asked people not to leave their homes except to run necessary errands, especially if you're over 60 (my wife and I are both 77). The libraries are closed. Most stores remain open but are poorly stocked on things like eggs and bread (and, of course, toilet paper. What IS that about?) Our weekly outdoor farmers' market plans to operate on schedule tomorrow, with thoroughly trained vendors and plenty of hand sanitizer available. Patrons will be asked to socially distance at six feet or more. Perhaps we'll be able to get eggs there - we're almost out. Hiking, fortunately, has not been forbidden: we're planning to take a walk with our youngest daughter (41) this afternoon in a large nearby wild area. We'll get to see her and converse with her, but without the customary hugs - which will be greatly missed. The upside of all this is that I get to spend more time with my music. Stay well, everybody - Bill

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #9
With the former measures not being followed as intended, every x days more severe measures are announced in Belgium.
These are similar as those in other countries - more or less severe like: a group of 3 or more persons is not allowed anymore on the streets and a safety distance of 1,5 m is recommended.
It is clear that Belgium tries to get as much lessons as possible from Italy - which was sadly hit first in Europe.
We are told that Belgium is just a few (10?) days behind Italy.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #10
Latest news: we need to wash the roads. No need for chlorine, water is enough... so they say.
After the winter that wasn't, now it doesn't rain.
But washing the roads now is easy: very low traffic.
And low smog and traffic pollution too!  ;D

Some days ago I heard about toilet paper shortage in Japan, then a friend of mine reported the same from Portugal, then the USA, then my cousin and Bart from Belgium...
Toilet paper shortage? Why? Who can explain that to me?
My friend from Lisbon said there are many jokes about it... (And Bart demonstrated it too.  :) )

Another funny thing: in some places of Italy there was a run to make hoarding of long term food.
The store shelves were completely empty... except for "penne lisce" ("smooth pens", a kind of pasta). Nobody bought them.
I must admit I don't like them. Being smooth, they don't "grab" the seasoning like the striped ones and remain insipid, unless the pasta is of very high quality, of course.
But if they are still produced, someone usually buys them!
A mystery...

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Reply #11
Toilet paper shortage? Why? Who can explain that to me?
No one can explain that, friend..... here in Spain is the same, and nobody knows why... it's the same over the world! xD

The store shelves were completely empty... except for "penne lisce"
Here were the Broccoli... Ú_Ù
[...] y el mayor bien es pequeño: que toda la vida es sueño, y los sueños, sueños son.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #12
There was a joke email going around, that showed a picture taken in a grocery store of a refrigerated bunker that was stripped completely empty, except for one small section that was almost fully stocked. That section contained vegan/vegetarian items.  (The store was supposed to be somewhere in Texas).  It turns out that the image was actually from a different disaster, hurricane season last year.  And someone was recycling the joke.

(For me this would actually be a nice find, since I happen to be vegetarian...)

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #13
Well, we have no shortage of toilet paper here (as far as I know).
What's missing here are the masks, so, in case of need...  :))

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Reply #14
There was a joke email going around,
There's 10 thousand of them >_<!!! and now that everybody's isolated at home and nobody's at work, people seem to have soooooo much free time to create more and more and more.... I receive over 20 or 30 everyday from my whatsapp contacts (including from my wife though we live together ¬_¬)
Everybody is facing this situation with a little humor, because if not they'll we'll go mad...
[...] y el mayor bien es pequeño: que toda la vida es sueño, y los sueños, sueños son.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #15
I like broccoli even if I can't spell it.  This morning's paper had a story about farmers possibly not being able to harvest broccoli and other produce if migrant workers cannot enter Canada.  And most migrant workers will be banned under the restrictions announced yesterday.

Keep well, please.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #16
Some days ago I heard about toilet paper shortage in Japan, then a friend of mine reported the same from Portugal, then the USA, then my cousin and Bart from Belgium...
Toilet paper shortage? Why? Who can explain that to me?
My friend from Lisbon said there are many jokes about it... (And Bart demonstrated it too.  :) )
I surely don't get the toilet paper thing either.  They might get a runny nose, they're not gonna get a runny bum!

It's so bad here in Oz that toilet paper cannot be found for love nor money AND there are busloads of people traveling the regional areas and stripping supermarkets.  Not only dunny roll either, but tissues, paper towels and food staples.  Especially canned goods, rice and pasta.  The travelling "strippers" have created such a problem that many regional supermarkets are demanding ID to prove people live within the area the store services.

These idiots are creating the very shortages they're frightened of.  I used to think I lived in a relatively intelligent society...  Clearly I do not.

The major supermarkets have introduced reduced opening hours and are now dedicating the first hour after opening to disadvantaged shoppers like the elderly and disabled just to ensure they get a fair go at buying what they need.  I fully support this initiative and applaud them for it.

Some people are claiming that the "strippers" are sending the stuff overseas.  I hope this isn't true, but if it is we should deport the mongrels to whatever country they're sending to WITHOUT their purchased goods!

This pandemic is creating a new world too.  I predict many "bricks and mortar" stores will close permanently, as will many office blocks as workers and their employers come to grips with the currently enforced telecommuting.  Should see a lot less cars on the road as a result, and less crowding on public transport.

Unfortunately, many small business and sole traders are going to go bankrupt too.  And there doesn't seem to be a musician in the country with any gigs.  I'm in 5 bands, as well as playing occasionally in church.  Four of the bands have cancelled rehearsals and gigs, and the 5th is about to.  I expect playing in church may go too, though we may come up with a workaround for that.  One of the churches we have a close association with have moved to streaming their services.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals, youfonymums 'n tubies.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #17
Nobody gets the toilet paper thing. I'm not even sure the toilet paper hoarders get the toilet paper thing. Once these things get rolling, they don't need to be understood: if others are doing it, some people just think they have to do it, too. Like lemmings off a cliff, except I've been told that lemmings don't actually do that. They're smarter than some humans.

Re the vegan/vegetarian section still being full: unfortunately, not true. I have a family member who is a respiratory therapist in San Francisco, and - needless to say - she's been incredibly busy. She's also a vegan, and she primarily eats fresh produce. A couple of days ago, she posted a picture on Facebook of empty produce shelves: it seems hoarders have been after those, too, even though what they hoard won't keep. My family member's comment: I work really hard all day saving people's lives, and then I get to the store and there's nothing here I can eat.

....but China has turned the corner. Only 34 new cases yesterday, all people who appear to have caught it elsewhere. They've started, slowly, to re-open. Here in Oregon we seem to be running about a month to six weeks behind them. Looking forward to May....

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Reply #18
Higher and higher.
Latest news: The emergency level has been raised again.
Still too many people around, so the virus keeps spreading and making victims.
N.B. For transgression there are up to 3 month of jail!
Various cities are exporting... cadavers.
No more places to bury them. Military trucks are transporting coffins all around.
And rumours are that all the people working in the sanitary servces can forget their summer holidays...

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #19
Don't trust the Ministry of Health!
They said that with mask and gloves you're allowed to go out.
I did it, but I discovered that everybody else was also wearing shirt and trousers!  :)

(N.B. A very outdated joke. The current rule is easier: you can't!)

It seems there can be a correlation between the air pollution level and the virus spreading.
The PM10 can be inspired and can support the virus.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #20
Flurmy, are you OK? We haven't heard from you in a bit, and I know Italy is dire.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #21
Here in Wisconsin, a 16-page order goes into effect tomorrow that shuts down all non-essential businesses. "Non-essential" is defined fairly broadly. It still allows restaurants to operate on carry-out only. And the tax office that I work at qualifies under the "financial services" category. It basically just puts teeth ($250 fine or jail time) behind what he's already asked of us. Unfortunately, the library where I work at is interpreting the order as a demand to send everybody home (we were already closed to the public, which is all the order requires of us), and since some jobs can't be done from home or can't be done fully, many people will be either out of work or employed at 50%. Of course being the IT guy, I am both able to work from home and asked to keep working until the very last zombie.

I will continue to keep all who are experiencing real hardship in my prayers. I am counting my blessings over here.
Francis Beaumier
Green Bay, WI

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #22
Still all fine for me and my family. Thanks mates.

Lately many people had no time to cook.
Now we have time again, so it has become hard to find flour, yeast, etc.
Little physical exercise and more cooking... I thing we'll be fattening a bit!  ;)

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #23
Thanks for responding, Maurizio. Stay well.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #24
I'm late to the party. I've been sick...was it Covid 19? Possibly so, but only people who had travelled were getting tested 2 weeks ago in my part of Canada. We know now that this is a wrong approach, since it denies the community spreading methodology. The local public health also announced after the third case that they would no longer be publicly reporting cases "to prevent patient confidentiality" (more likely, mass hysteria). I've been under lockdown for 2 weeks now because of being ill. The stores are struggling to get supplies on the shelves. I'm also immune compromised, so it's not great to hear about how bad this virus can be. One of my regular meds is the anti-malaria drug that was suggested as being helpful. Maybe it is helping me avoid getting really sick with whatever I've got? However, I just heard from the pharmacy that there is now a worldwide shortage of the drug, which is really bad news for people like me who depend on it for daily living.

I am a performing musician, and in the weeks before I got sick I was out in the community doing an extra amount of multiple choir rehearsals, public church services, funerals, food fellowships, etc. (That's why I suspect I may have picked something up.) I was gearing up for the Easter season, with a mass choir from different churches. Now everything has been put on hold, (and I expect will be cancelled).  I should add that because of my health, I am very cautious with handwashing and sanitizing as a normal routine, and yet I still managed to get sick.

I had a two week Florida vacation booked, which also was cancelled. It's a good thing, since I would have been sick while travelling, and they closed the borders! I'm currently in my music office surrounded by 24 old NWC scores of my work, which I am attempting to review, edit and file. It's a job I have put off for a long time. I also have been working on new compositions, but I am getting a little stir crazy!

Glad to hear from everyone, and to hear the news from your part of the world.

All the best,

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #25
Some news.

After a couple of weeks of very low traffic and factory stop, the pollution levels are becoming very low, so low as many, many years ago.
The industrial pole of Porto Marghera (in practice: Venice) is virtually closed, so the Adriatic sea, that's a cul de sac, after many years is becoming clear again!

Many people now can't work and the situation for them is becoming critical, so the government is preparing an economical help.
Of course, all those (many, especially in some areas of the country!) who had unreported employment (moonlighting) now can''t ask anything from the State.  ;)
Of course, the risk is that the mafia(s) could put the hands on those people.

Now it seems we need more lockdown time. No wonder, at least for me.
The government isn't brave enough to admit that the road is long and prefers to continue to say ""just a little bit".

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Reply #26
An unconfirmed voice: someone said that in Wuhan, after the lockdown, they expected a boom of childbirth.
It seems that, instead, there is a boom of... divorces!
Having to live in very strict contact for a relativaly long time can exacerbate every minimum friction.   ::)

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Reply #27
That is probably because they spent time arguing rather than making babies I suppose ...

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Reply #28
What did I write?
The government isn't brave enough to admit that the road is long and prefers to continue to say ""just a little bit".
Officially the lockdown will last until April 13th, just after Easter.
The coordinator for the emergecy in an interview said that for sure we'll pass May 1st at home. Maybe, maybe we can relax somethig around May 15th. He has been immediately forced by the government to abiure!

I hear all the other countries, even the overoptimistics like Trump was, speak of months.
The Italian government talks of a couple of weeks... each time.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #29
I hear all the other countries, even the overoptimistics like Trump was, speak of months.
The Italian government talks of a couple of weeks... each time.
Our archdiocese (southeastern Wisconsin) did things in stages.  On March 12, they gave dispensation for attending mass through March 29. Then on March 18, they cancelled all masses through April 3. Then, on March 24, they announced that the cancellation would include all masses through Easter, and there was no longer an end date, it was "until further notice."  But recently I heard some positive news, that they are preparing to open the churches again by May 3. I guess we will have to wait and see if that actually happens.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #30
As difficult as it is to remain isolated, and as devastating as it is to every nation's economies, I wouldn't want to see us rush into declaring the emergency to be over.

Around here, people go outside at 7 p.m. to cheer for our front line heath care workers and support people.  I've taken to taking one or another of my saxes out to the end of my driveway to play O Canada.  Since we are a suburb of immigrants, I also play the national anthems of Fiji, the Philippines and India, and my neighbours seem to appreciate it.  Yesterday the family across the road set up lawn chairs and the father brought out a conga drum to play along.   I think it's important for everyone to know they are not alone during these troubling times.

Keep well.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #31
The Green Bay diocese did things similar to Mike Shawaluk's, but I haven't heard an end date up here.

PS. Mike, I had no idea that you were in Wisconsin. If you're ever up in Green Bay, look me up!
Francis Beaumier
Green Bay, WI

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Reply #33
A friend of mine, who is a nurse, told me that her hospital, who was one of the hospitals dedicated to COVID (you know, it's a very bad idea to mix the patients!) has now been restored as of general use. 
Here the peak seems passed, but not everywhere and it's no time to relax, yet.

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #34
Surprise! Surprise!
The government decided to continue the lockdown until May 3...
What did the coordinator for the emergency say just a week ago?  ;D

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Reply #35
Blood, sweat and tears  ;D

The researchers have found that the COV2 is present in the tears.
So the eyes are not only an input port for the virus but also an output port.
But there is more.
There are some that are virus positive in the lungs but not in the tears and vice versa.
As a researcher said: there's no rule with this virus; it's a mess. At the moment we don't understand.

And the virus was found also in drain waters.
But it isn't a big problem because this can't be infectious, or so we're told...

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #36
Covid19 may be present in many places, including tears, sweat, faeces etc.  They also tell us that it can be found on soles of shoes, survives on clothing, plastics etc.

However, (any) virus(es} require what is called "a viral load" for one to be infected as well as the right point of entry.  For Covid, the Respiratory System (nose and throat) are the point of entry and the easiest way for this virus to spread is via aerosols - there is both the viral numbers (load) and the mode of entry (nose and mouth for those who breathe through the mouth).  Against this, only specialised (N95) masks a good protection for the wearer as these fit exactly on the face and leave no opening.  In fact, to wear them correctly, one has to do a "fit test" to check which is the correct size to use.  Also, having a beard is not a good idea is it might leave gaps.  These are best left for the Health Professionals on their job

Other face masks, like the green surgical masks and other fabric masks do not protect the wearer at all as they leave gaps around the face and nose but help in preventing aerosols should the wearer cough or sneeze.  They may help in protecting 3rd parties but they may also lull the wearer into a false sense of security.

PROPER hand hygiene is the second most important step in the fight against the virus and is also the MOST important step for the people at large as opposed to health professionals.  It is rather unlikely that that the virus found on plastics, clothes, faeces etc gets into one's nostrils and with an adequate viral load.  Generally such contamination happens when there is poor hand hygiene and one touches the face, especially the nostrils or the mouth.  Good hand hygiene (with an emphasis on the word "good") acts as a barrier.

The second most important defence against Covid19 for the people at large is social distancing and avoiding crowds.  If you are alone or living with an uninfected person, then nobody can infect you.  If you stay at least 2metres/6feet away from others, even if they sneeze, the chances that the droplet that you may inhale from that distance will have the viral load necessary to infect you are very low.  Not impossible of course and quarantine and isolation is even better than social distancing.

There are a lot of misconceptions out there, as well as scaremongering and even people taking advantage of the situation to make money.  Effectively, to protect yourself all you need to do is practice good hand hygiene (soap and water IS enough as soap dissolves the virus fat-capsule) and practice social distancing as much as is humanly possible if not isolation.  And in the meantime, try to eat well (veg, fruit, nuts etc) to fortify your immunity and exercise at home (even simply, like walking up and down the stairs say 10 times a day) to keep your muscles toned.

In the long run, we may never get back to our pre-Covid normal until a vaccine is found.

By the way, I am a (practising) Medical Laboratory Scientist by profession and a NWC dabbler in my spare time.  The two are not mutually exclusive, you know!  8)  8)  8) 

Keep well!

Re: Best wishes to all here

Reply #37
Does anyone have data on the use of hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the COVID-19 virus? There has been a lot of talk about that on the American news – both for and against. I don’t know the answer. But I do know that many people rely on this drug daily for their auto immune diseases.

And now there is a worldwide shortage. My pharmacy told me recently that it has none available. I hope that if it is the cure for the virus, that they will make much, much more.