Coronavirus disease 2019
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The disease was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of China's Hubei province, and has since spread globally, resulting in the ongoing 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.
- When SARS hit (the Southern China region) 17 years ago (in 2002-2003), Macau was lucky enough that it recorded only one imported case. But now, the (COVID-19) viral pneumonia coincides with the peak domestic travel season for Chinese New Year across China. That huge passenger traffic means the disease could be spread to each of the Chinese province.
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "Macau multi-stage response to pandemic risk: city chief" on GGR Asia, 23 January 2020.
- It was important to make the (COVID-19) disease notifiable. Although it did not appear to be as deadly as the previous SARS and MERS strains, there was still much to learn about it.
- Lance Jennings (2020) cited in: "China coronavirus checks: 'Looking for a needle in a haystack'" in RNZ, 27 January 2020.
- If the (COVID-19) infected (patient) droplets were sneezed at you by a patient and enters your eyes, they will eventually be washed from your eyes to your nose, as both are connected through what is known as a nasolacrimal duct.
- Paul Kellam (2020) cited in "Medical Experts Claim Wuhan Virus May Be Transmitted Through Your Eyes Or By Touch Alone" on World of Buzz, 31 January 2020.
- We didn't know until the last 24 hours.
- China must have realized the epidemic did not originate in that Wuhan Huanan seafood market. The presumed rapid spread of the (COVID-19) virus apparently for the first time from the Huanan seafood market in December (2019) did not occur. Instead, the virus was already silently spreading in Wuhan, hidden amid many other patients with pneumonia at this time of year. The virus came into that marketplace before it came out of that marketplace.
- Daniel Lucey (2020) cited in "Scientists rush to find 'Patient Zero' in a bid to stop the coronavirus" on NZ Herald, 1 February 2020.
- At present (26 January 2020), the rate of development of the (COVID-19) epidemic is accelerating. I am afraid that it will continue for some time, and the number of cases may increase.
- Ma Xiaowei (2020) cited in "Wuhan Coronavirus Can Be Infectious Before People Show Symptoms, Official Claims" on Science Alert, 26 January 2020.
- It's still unclear whether that takes place (that COVID-19 can spread before people show signs of being infected). But if it does, that might explain why the disease is spreading so quickly.
- I say "possibly" (for the SARS-CoV-2 to more dangerous to humans than the other coronaviruses) because so far, not only do we not know how dangerous it is, we can't know. Outbreaks of new viral diseases are like the steel balls in a pinball machine: You can slap your flippers at them, rock the machine on its legs and bonk the balls to the jittery rings, but where they end up dropping depends on 11 levels of chance as well as on anything you do. This is true with coronaviruses in particular: They mutate often while they replicate, and can evolve as quickly as a nightmare ghoul.
- Fatality rate of the 2019-CoV infection is relatively low, at slightly more than three percent, suggesting the possibility that those who died could have other predispositions. Most (of the patients) would fully recover.
- We need to get a better idea of how many people are discharged from hospital and a better understanding of how many mild cases have been missed (from this COVID-19), while we focused on more severe disease (until this moment (3 February 2020)). When we find that out will depend on China giving us more details, because that's where most cases are, and so far, a decent number of cases outside of China have not seemed as severe.
- This (COVID-19) virus is different from SARS-CoV, which caused severe illness in most infected patients. It appears that many patients have relatively mild illness. These relatively mild cases may recover after one week or so.
- Hitoshi Oshitani (2020) cited in "China’s health officials say priority is to stop mild coronavirus cases from getting worse" on South China Morning Post, 4 February 2020.
- Take a look at the death toll now (as of 5 February 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak), there are almost no children. A nine-month-old baby is the youngest known patient, and the baby's still alive. The youngest patients who died are about 30 years old. Most of them have congenital diseases, such as brain disorders, heart diseases, lung diseases, diabetes or cancer. There are patients who are over 80 years old. At first, more than half of them were over 80 years old. Many cases are 89. If you ask me, some 89-year-old people happen to fall and die. So, don't panic about the number of fatalities. A majority of them have congenital diseases, pneumonia or influenza. Their depth of breathing is lower than normal, and there's a possibility that they want to eliminate excess phlegm. This can pose a life-threatening risk. Most fatalities are not young people. There's not much difference from the common influenza. If people who are 89 or 90 years old have influenza, that's not good.
- Yong Poovorawan (2020) cited in "Virologist says measures must be implemented for one year to address coronavirus" on Pattaya Mail, 5 February 2020.
- Making it (COVID-19) a notifiable disease would give them (Auckland Regional Public Health Service) more powers to isolate and quarantine people who might have been exposed (to the virus as they enter New Zealand), as well as monitor their health.
- William Rainger (2020) cited in: "China coronavirus checks: 'Looking for a needle in a haystack'" in RNZ, 27 January 2020.
- One thing about this (COVID-19) that's somewhat unprecedented is the speed at which new data is coming out and becoming available for mass consumption. In that article, there's not a lot of detail about when the initial patient returning to China became symptomatic. It's really hard to tell. People don't always accurately report. That's not on purpose or anything, but people aren't so self-aware that they're going to notice a single sneeze, or every little cough, or clearing their throat, or their nose is running and they think it's allergies. There are a lot of reasons why people might not necessarily recognize that they are symptomatic when they actually are.
- Angela Rasmussen (2020) cited in "Talking to a Virologist About How Worried We Should Be About Coronavirus" on Intelligencer, 31 January 2020.
- The implications of COVID-19 infection during pregnancy remain unclear at this moment. Pregnancy is considered high risk as this population remains vulnerable to coronavirus infection. Till date, data regarding SARS-CoV-2 infection amongst pregnant women, their manifestations and outcomes remain limited. Most pregnancies had good outcomes, and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 to infant was un-common . However, the relationship between SARS-CoV-2 infection and risk of miscarriage remains unclear.
- Tze Cheng Wong, 1 Zhi Yuan Lee,1 Tonnii L. L. Sia,2 Andrew K. W. Chang,2 and Hock Hin Chua; “Miscarriage Risk in COVID-19 Infection “, SN Compr Clin Med. 2020 Aug 15 : 1–4.
- Our (Government of Hong Kong) primary duty is to care for (COVID-19) patients. Everyone can hold a different political view and different thoughts, as well as different views on the (Hong Kong) government's way of combating the pandemic. But I sincerely hope, amid choppy waters and at a critical moment, we can all put aside our conflicts ... and do our share for patients who need help.
- Anthony Wu (2020) cited in "Hong Kong hospital strike kicks off as top doctor backs mainland China border closure calls amid coronavirus fears" on South China Morning Post, 3 February 2020.
- From observations, the (COVID-19) virus is capable of transmission even during incubation period. Some patients have normal temperatures and there are many milder cases. There are hidden carriers. There are signs showing the virus is becoming more transmissible. These walking "contagious agents" (hidden carriers) make controlling the outbreak a lot more difficult.
- Ma Xiaowei (2020) cited in "5 million left Wuhan before lockdown, 1,000 new coronavirus cases expected in city" on South China Morning Post, 26 January 2020.
- We (France) are going to have patients suspected of having the (COVID-19) virus, there are going to be (more) cases.
- Yazdan Yazdanpanah (2020) cited in: "French carmaker to evacuate expats from virus-hit Chinese city" in Borneo Post Online, 26 January 2020.
- In general however, those hit by the new (COVID-19) virus are in a less serious condition than with SARS.
- Yazdan Yazdanpanah (2020) cited in: "Here's The Science on How Serious The Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak Actually Is" in Science Alert, 29 January 2020.
- We have developed an effective treatment plan (to patients contracting COVID-19) based on our experience of dealing with SARS, by employing various life support methods to (achieve) a higher rate of recovery.
- Zhong Nanshan (2020) cited in "China starts clinical trials for new antiviral drug to treat coronavirus" on South China Morning Post, 3 February 2020.
- If people want to pursue accountability (about the lockdown of Wuhan City due to the COVID-19 outbreak and Wuhan City Government below-standard handling of the outbreak) and the public has a strong opinion, we (Zhou Xianwang and Wuhan Communist Party Chief Ma Guoqiang) are willing to step down.
- Zhou Xianwang (2020) cited in "Mayor of Wuhan, epicenter city of coronavirus, offers to resign over outbreak" on New York Post, 27 January 2019.
Effects of the virus outbreakEdit
- For many businesses, coronavirus has been a disaster. Amidst stay-at-home orders and a faltering economy, spending is plummeting and tens of millions of people have lost their jobs. The unprecedented circumstances, however, has led one industry to thrive. A surge in demand for digital sex work means that cam girls are finding that their services are increasingly being sought out as even the most intimate and physical parts of our lives move online.
- Katie Bishop, “Coronavirus Has Scrambled the Sex and Porn Industry. Cam Girls Are Cashing In.”, Observer, (05/11/20)
- "We're going to have a mental health epidemic among our children in this country. …The poorest kids, they know people who died, they know people who are sick. The very air you breathe, the people you pass on the street are suddenly dangerous to you. All of that trauma is going to come into our schools and into our classrooms, and we really need to prepare for this.
- Geoffrey Canada, "CNN Coronavirus Townhall", (May 21, 2020); as quoted in Education expert: "We're going to have a mental health epidemic among our children in this country", by Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton and Zamira Rahim, CNN, (May 21, 2020)
- Honestly, from the experience of SARS (in 2002-2003), if the (COVID-19 outbreak) situation is so serious, no one will go to a casino (in Macau).
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "Macau casinos could be closed if risk of Wuhan virus rises: Ho Iat Seng" on Inside Asian Gaming, 23 January 2020.
- We (Government of Macau) don't know if this is the peak of the (COVID-19) disease. I think it could be only after Lunar New Year (CNY) because now people are moving a lot. If there is contagion it is now, during these travels, but maybe the most critical time could be registered after the CNY. That's why we took the hard decision to cancel CNY festivities, to prevent further aggravation of the disease.
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "Chief Executive advises residents to stay home during CNY or at least wear health masks outside" on Macau Business, 23 January 2020.
- It was a hard decision (to close casinos in Macau for two weeks after a hotel worker was infected by COVID-19), but we (Government of Macau) must make it for the health of Macau residents. Macau can still withstand economic losses.
- Ho Iat Seng (2020) cited in "Coronavirus: casinos to close in Macau for at least two weeks after hotel worker infected" on South China Morning Post, 4 February 2020.
- Large gatherings, like those in houses of worship, have been linked to clusters of coronavirus. This month, two churches in northern California linked the spread of coronavirus among church members and clergy to Mother's Day services. A Texas church recently canceled its masses after one of its priests died and five others subsequently tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Southern Baptist Convention said Friday it was "pleased" with Trump's decision.
But the Interfaith Alliance and the Council of American-Islamic Relations said Friday that they oppose the call to open places of worship amid the pandemic.
CAIR said that American Muslim scholars and community leaders have already determined that public religious activities will be restricted due to the pandemic and that is unlikely to change despite the new guidance.
Representatives of two of Judaism's major branches, Reform and Conservative, said Trump's declaration does not change their stance and that their members are not expected to hold religious services soon. CNN has also reached out to a representative of the Orthodox branch for comment.
- Maegan Vazquez, “Trump deems houses of worship 'essential' amid pandemic”, CNN, (Updated 11:14 PM ET, Fri May 22, 2020)
- We (Japan) may have more information about the risk of infection and the risk of severity of getting the (COVID-19) virus, so we can prepare. So we can have some precautions for infection control ... but I hope we can conduct the Tokyo Olympics as scheduled.
- Koji Wada (2020) cited in "Japan hopefully has time to build virus defences before Olympics - professor" on The Star Online, 30 January 2020.
- The impact on the (China's) economy (by this COVID-19 outbreak) is gaining weight, especially on transport, tourism, hotels, catering and entertainment. But, the impact will be temporary and will not change the positive foundation of China's economy. Many have tried to estimate the impact (of this COVID-19 outbreak) based on the impact of SARS in 2003, but China's economic power and ability to handle such an outbreak is significantly stronger than in those days.
- Lian Weiliang (2020) cited in "Coronavirus will ‘hit China’s economy but not as much as Sars’" on South China Morning Post, 3 February 2020.
- If local (COVID-19) transmission is indeed established, that could be very dangerous, and Hong Kong can become another Wuhan.
- COVID-19 has "brought home not only the realities of our vulnerabilities but the potential risk of this kind of a pandemic in man-made context, genetically modified, that is targeted in ways that are intended to undermine, attack our systems and our health," said Zarate, an NBC News contributor who oversaw the creation of infrastructure to combat terrorism financing in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. "Our homeland security posture and even our counterterrorism approach will be fundamentally altered by this crisis."
- Juan Zarate as quoted in “COVID-19 has shown U.S., U.K. are vulnerable to biological terrorism, experts say” by Willem Marx, NBCNews, (May 18, 2020, 3:00 AM MDT / Updated May 18, 2020)
- “We can actually learn a lot about safety guidelines by listening to producers of porn,” said Perry N. Halkitis, dean of the School of Public Health at Rutgers University. “Thinking back to the H.I.V./AIDS crisis, the adult film industry had to learn how to keep their workers safe.”
He recommends fol-lowing its lead by using what he calls the Four Ts: Target, Test, Treat and Trace. The adult film industry uses a nationwide program called PASS, for Performer Availability Screening Services, that requires performers to be tested every 14 days for H.I.V. and other sexually transmitted infections in order to be cleared for work. If a worker tests positive, he’s treated, and his partners are traced.
- Perry N. Halakitis “Lessons on Coronavirus Testing From the Adult Film Industry”, as quoted by Michele C. Hollow, New York Times, (June 18, 2020)
- Christian Manz, the special effects supervisor on JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts films, the latest of which has delayed filming at Warner Brother’s Leavesden studios due to the virus, says there are limits to replacing actors.
“The big question is what can you get away without physically filming,” he says. “There will definitely be an increase in digital work but none of it can be done at a push of a button. To digitally build a location you still need to capture [the real thing] in some way. If you are making a crowd of digital characters you will still need references such as to costumes and the film’s [real] characters, all of that. It will be about how to shift some of the film work to computer generation.”
- Christian Manz in “How coronavirus has animated one section of the film industry”, by Mark Sweney, The Guardian, (19 May 2020)
- “I’m definitely having conversations where people are looking at which films are easier to make if restrictions continue, or if the virus comes back again later,” says Tim Webber, chief creative officer at London-based Framestore, whose credits include Avengers: Endgame and the BBC’s adaptation of His Dark Materials. “People are looking at bringing out films that have a greater computer generated component so productions can keep being developed [if filming stops].”
- Tim Webber in “How coronavirus has animated one section of the film industry”, by Mark Sweney, The Guardian, (19 May 2020)
- For the first time in years, rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis, which had been on track in 2020 to hit record highs in the United States, have taken an abrupt downturn.
This should be good news. The coronavirus pandemic has certainly kept more people away from bars, night clubs and large parties, reducing opportunities for unsafe sex, studies show.
But the drop is more likely a harbinger of bad news, experts in reproductive and sexual health believe. They say the pandemic has seriously hindered efforts to mitigate sexually transmitted infections that can lead to pelvic inflammatory dis-ease, chronic pain, infertility and even blindness and death in newborns. Rather than showing sexually transmitted diseases are on the run, the upbeat numbers likely signal instead that they are now going largely undetected.
In communities across the country, contact tracers for gonorrhea and syphilis, which had already been severely understaffed, have been diverted to Covid-19 cases. Eighty percent of sexual health screening clinics reported having to reduce hours or shut down altogether sometime during the pandemic, according to a survey by the National Coalition of STD Directors.
- Jan Hoffman, “People Are Still Having Sex. So Why Are S.T.D. Rates Dropping?”, New York Times, (Oct. 28, 2020)
- Social scientists are exploring how the coronavirus outbreaks have affected sexual behavior. Justin Lehmiller, a social psychologist at the Kinsey Institute, which has been issuing surveys during the pandemic to about 2,000 people, gay, straight and bisexual, said that even those in continuing relationships reported having less sex in the first months. “Higher levels of stress and anxiety are pushing down de-sire,” he said. “Singles have more challenges to hooking up.”
But when doctors and nurse practitioners who work with teenagers were asked if the pandemic had slowed down their patients’ sexual activity, they replied that, anecdotally speaking, not at all. Dr. Bolan said that one New York pediatrician reported that she’d treated many teenagers for S.T.D.s.
- Jan Hoffman, “People Are Still Having Sex. So Why Are S.T.D. Rates Dropping?”, New York Times, (Oct. 28, 2020)
- Even if sex has declined, researchers question how long it can remain suppressed. Dr. Lehmiller noted that online dating apps report record business. Whether that translates into sexual activity rather than virtual meet-ups is unclear, he said. If people are returning to normal levels of encounters, they may not want to admit it.
“There is shaming about traveling, social events and gatherings during the pan-demic, so sex and dating is seen as part of that,” he said.
- Dating is a complicated and often clumsy dance even in the best of times. Add in mask-wearing directives, social distancing and fear of a highly contagious virus for which there is no cure, and you get… well, an awful lot of people going out and doing some version of it anyway. A survey conducted by Everlywell — a company that makes at-home health tests — found that nearly one in four Americans ages 20 to 31 broke quarantine to have sexual contact with someone in April, when stay-at-home orders were at their peak.
- Courtney Rubin, “The New Rules of Dating”, New York Times', (July 18, 2020)
- “My best advice is to tell the date beforehand that you intend to wear a mask and would like the date to do so as well,” Dr. Helweg-Larsen wrote. “You can also practice what to say if the date is resisting (something simple like, ‘please put on your mask’ or, ‘you are protecting me with your mask’) or you can use non-verbal communication like stepping or turning away from someone.”
- Courtney Rubin, “The New Rules of Dating”, New York Times, (July 18, 2020)
- In New York, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., the city’s health department put out a set of guidelines entitled, “Sex and coronavirus disease.” One piece of official advice: “You are your safest sex partner.”
Dating is hard enough in the best of times. Throw in government directives like this, plus nationwide social distancing mandates, and a highly contagious virus for which there’s no cure or vaccine, and you would expect the search for love to be the last thing on everyone’s mind. But dating is thriving.
- Before the pandemic, online dating fatigue was taking hold. Dating app downloads for the top 15 apps was shrinking globally, and research showed that all that swiping just made people lonelier.
The pandemic, at least by some metrics, has been great for business. Dating.com reported that global online dating was up 82% during early March, for example.
As states across the country began rolling out stay-at-home orders in March 2020, Bumble saw a 26% increase in the number of messages sent on its platform, a company spokesperson told CNBC. Tinder saw the length of conversations rise by 10-30%, and elite dating app Inner Circle saw messages rise 116% over that same time period.
- Turns out, dating during a global pandemic and being a contestant on “Love is Blind” aren’t too dissimilar. Both scenarios beg the obvious question: Can you truly gauge physical chemistry in a virtual setting?
- Fisher thinks COVID-19 has given way to a new stage in the courtship process.
“You know, years ago, marriage used to be the beginning of a partnership. Now it’s the finale,” says Fisher. “All of my data show that the longer the courtship process is, the more likely people are to remain together and create a stable partnership.”
- “It’s an excellent time for singles to date,” said Helen Fisher, the chief scientific adviser to Match.com and a senior research fellow at The Kinsey Institute. “People have time. They’re not getting dressed up to go to work. And most importantly, they have something to talk about.”
Not everyone, though, is keen to get into online dating, even if spending more time than usual alone at home has made some otherwise happily single people reconsider their feelings about finding a long-term companion. Not to mention that the pandemic has ushered in mass unemployment, higher levels of stress, greater strain for single parents and worries about fatal risks from stepping outside your door — factors not necessarily conducive to romance.
- Fifty years ago, a global pandemic might have hindered single people from connecting with prospects through their family, friends or faith communities. But these days, most people are connecting virtually to start anyway. “The influence of technology on our romantic and sexual lives has been so enormous,” said Justin Garcia, an evolutionary biologist and sex researcher at The Kinsey Institute. “From online dating, to texting, video chatting, sexting, etc., we have already been in the midst of a digital revolution for human courtship,” he added, so it’s not a huge surprise that singles would continue dating this way in the midst of a pandemic.
- The stay-at-home orders issued across the country have been a boon for some of the major online dating apps. “As a city goes into lockdown, engagement on OKCupid goes up,” the app’s global chief marketing officer, Melissa Hobley, said. Since March, the company has seen a whopping 700 percent increase in the amount of OKCupid users going on a virtual date. The app Hornet, which caters to the gay male community, has seen a 30-percent increase in social feed engagement since social distancing measures began in mid-March, according to CEO Christ of Wittig. And the dating app Tinder reported that it saw more engagement on March 29 than on any other day in its history, with more than 3 billion users swiping to connect with people, according to an April 1 press release.
- A study conducted by Match found that while only 6 percent of singles were using a video platform to meet a potential date before the COVID-19 outbreak, 69 percent of singles said they’d be open to chatting over video with someone they met on a dating app during quarantine as of mid-April. Twenty-two percent of these respondents even said they’d consider entering an exclusive relationship with someone they hadn’t met in person, indicating an openness to cultivating relationships mostly online. As of the end of April 23, 51 percent of users on the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel said they planned to video chat more, and 18 percent had had at least one video call with a match.
- Before the novel coronavirus hit, U.S. couples were already getting married later in life than ever be-fore. Helen Fisher said what’s happening now is increasing the amount of time people spend in a “courtship” stage even more.
“We’re seeing the emergence of a new phase in the courtship trajectory, which is meet online, talk online, then talk in person,” Fisher added. “Yes, we’re moving forward to the past. We’re getting to know somebody before the sex.”
- “When your daily habits change, it’s novel. And novelty drives up dopamine in the brain,” the bio-logical anthropologist said. “The novelty is setting up the brain, priming the brain for love. It’s a very good time for romance.”
“I truly believe this is how you need to get to know people, anyway,” Price said. “This kind of slowed us both down and made us calculate how and when we wanted to do things. It’s been fun.”
- Without the mitigation effects offered through quarantine and isolation, the actual progress of the disease in the rest of the world will certainly be much more devastating than the harrowing scenes witnessed to date in China, Europe, and the United States. Moreover, workers involved in informal and precarious labor often live in slums and overcrowded housing — ideal conditions for the explosive spread of the virus.
- Adam Hanieh, This is a Global Pandemic – Let’s Treat it as Such, 27 March 2020, Verso Books
- Social distancing has become the primary strategy to contain the coronavirus outbreak, with countries such as Italy enforcing complete restrictions, and others like India issuing a range of advisories on avoiding non-essential contact, and restricting large gatherings and events. Social media is also abuzz about how to avoid boredom at home. However, there are a variety of occupations, mostly informal, which involve acute social contact and are still running full swing around us.
- Neethi P., How the Coronavirus Outbreak Is Also a Socio-Economic Inequality Issue, 23 March 2020, co-written with Anant Kamath, The Wire
- Pandemics don’t always trigger social unrest, but they can do, by throwing into relief the very inequalities that caused them. That’s because they hit the poor hardest – those in low-paid or unstable employment, who live in crowded accommodation, have underlying health issues, and for whom healthcare is less affordable or less accessible. This was true in the past and remains so today. During the 2009 flu pandemic the death rate was three times higher in the poorest fifth of England’s population than in the richest. Covid-19 is showing no signs of departing from the pattern, which, because of the way the socioeconomic dice fall, also has a racial dimension. But there is something brand new about this pandemic, which has never been seen before in the history of humanity – and that is our unprecedented global experiment in lockdown. These lockdown measures are designed to slow the spread of the disease, relieve the burden on health systems and ultimately save lives – and it looks as if they may be doing that. But they may also be exacerbating social inequalities themselves.
- In India there have been reports of deaths among unemployed migrant workers returning home in search of food; many countries, including the US, have seen workers taking industrial action, and anger has been expressed in rural communities over wealthy city-dwellers retreating to their second homes for the duration. Governments should keep an eye on these developments, in weighing up when and how to lift the lockdown, because even if it’s difficult to argue today that the cure is worse than the disease, the cure might provoke an entirely different malaise – and history teaches us that no society is immune to that. That’s the symptomatic treatment. In the long term, of course, they – and we – should address the dreadful inequality in our societies, which this pandemic is picking apart with a lethal scalpel.