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March 22, 2020, 9:32 a.m. -  cm1978

Always good to have discussion, but I respectfully disagree with this post and link. I certainly do not advocate for panic in any way. What we do need is a healthy respect for the potential for widespread harm from this threat and act accordingly. This virus is fundamentally different from MERS, SARS, H1N1. They did not spread to nearly the same degree because they did not spread in the asymptomatic state. I won’t get into the argument; that’s been made countless times over already. But no other infectious disease has or has threatened to overwhelm systems like this.  And the comment about this being generally restricted to the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions is false. While it’s true that those categories have a higher risk of death, that’s true of every illness / infectious disease. 25% of deaths in Italy are in younger age categories. In BC we already have young patients critically ill right now.  The argument of TB and air quality in China, death rates are actually lower in China than outside of China by 3-fold  https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30195-X/fulltext Because of my specialty, I care for and operate on people with infectious diseases routinely. Influenza, HIV, HCV. I have a respect for the risk of these conditions but I understand the levels of risk and I do not get concerned. After reviewing the emerging evidence of this new threat, this is the first time I have been concerned for my own safety when going to work. I have had, for the first time ever, very sobering conversations with my wife and children with respect to this.  However from a population perspective, it’s less about any one of us getting sick And more about slowing the spread so that we can manage it within the limited constraints of what our hospitals can handle. At the rate it is increasing, we will run out of protective equipment within a month. 793 deaths in Northern Italy in the last 24 hrs.  Re the argument re migrant Chinese population, Italy is by no means an outlier. Vancouver has a larger travel relationship with China than Italy. Re Diamond Princess, they were successful because they got on it quickly and slowed the rate of spread with strict precautions. The diamond princess is actually a success story, an argument for restrictive public health interventions rather than against them.  But I agree entirely with getting out and riding.

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