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I have started a new group called COVID-19 in an effort to provide a forum for free thinkers, atheists and agnostics to discuss this Pandemic, share information, opinions and insights, without religious or political bias. Please feel free to join and share your thoughts on this most pressing issue.

Surfpirate 9 Mar 11

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Romans Used to Ward Off Sickness With Flying Penis Amulets.


I'll stick with good aseptic techniques.


This is serious business. My daughter works at NIH. This is not the seasonal flu, it is much more deadly to the elderly and we are not testing enough. I do not understand why people find that so hard to fathom. You do not have to be a scare monger but you should take this seriously. There is no vaccination, we have very few test kits and it lives quite awhile on surfaces.


Once upon a time I was an NBC NCO, so when I hear the term Novel Virus, my military mind turns on.

Novel, with virus, means new in the way an 18 month old discovers the newness of an open razor blade, they cannot comprehend the possible dangers, they are ignorant of them and learning in real time. Like we all are now.

What I can discern from what is available through CDC WHO, and other viable sources, experts and data.

C-19 is in the Corona family, which means it is likely persistent in the environment for hours or days. France thinks 9 days (CRAP, thats a long time!), China says 72 hours (more common). So its is at least somewhat a waterbourne agent.

All medical personnel are required to ppe with N95 or better, that is aerosol, fully airborne particle small enough to breathe and float/hang in the air.

TO ME this means its BOTH. If your close to an infected 6 ft or less, you can just breathe it in.
AND, that sneeze or cough creates droplets which linger on surfaces, get picked by hands, to the face, to your insides.

I have been monitoring this through Johns Hopkins since it was announced because of my background and the reality I am in that at risk population for which c-19 is lethal. We are now in the Viral Bloom, rapid spread. The best we can do is stay OUT of the world as much as possible, and use all precautions for when your in the world.
We need to do that not for hours, or days, or weeks, but UNTIL THE BLOOM ENDS
and we have no good idea when that will be.

PERHAPS the biggest problem with ALL EPIDEMIC EVENTS is human psychology. People, all of us, tend to deny a viral reality and downplay it in order to lessen panic reflex, which can be as or more devastating that the virus, depending on the bug.
They panic the opposite way and think its apocalypse.

The Black Death was not the end of the world, but it was a horror. The 1918 influenza killed more people than ww1, ww2, Korea and Vietnam combined. Ask a native about how Smallpox affected their tribal history sometime.

The issue will be SLOW the spread, in order to maintain a functional heal care system, if we fail that and the sys becomes overwhelmed, then it could get very bad.

For instance to treat 20% of our population with c-19 we need 200,000 repirators, breathing machines, we only have half that. So how fast and well we respond will be vital, but we are on the roller coaster of an outbreak now folks, we ride the wave or drown in it.


You summed up my thoughts completely. Thanks for sharing that rational and logical assessment of the situation.

Good job Dave. Thanks

Thank you so much for that information.


The local Unitarian church just announced that they are cancelling all activities indefinitely.


They're going to come out and tell us to limit out person to person interaction. Could you and your family stay home for 2 weeks? If not, go to the store and get what you need. Stock up on medicine you need and stay home. Talk to your bosses and work from home if you can. We would do us all a huge favor and just stay home. This is how China beat it.


I work in a business that does pre-authorizations for a large number of insurance companies, my company also was taken in by one of the major insurance companies a year or so ago.
There was an announcement through an email earlier today that this company will pay claims without charging deductibles and copays for any Covid-19 treatments and care.
They are also going to make testing available at no cost.
I am impressed with my company.


The few people I met while in Kansas City know I am in healthcare. Took a job with the state department in Iraq for various reasons. We are tracking this daily and sometimes hourly. It seems like my life has now been consumed by this, and disaster planning for it.
WHO just declared COVID-19 a pandemic: []

What to do? Wash hands frequently, don't touch your face, maintain social distance-at least 6 feet.
Do masks work? Sometimes. They limit spread of particles when someone sneezes or coughs. But if they are sick, they shouldn't be out.
Who is going to get it: I think ultimately all of us. It seems to be affecting older people more, rates going up after age 50. More health problems, higher risk of complications and death.

My education was in microbiology and genetics before I realized there was a lot more job satisfaction and money to be had in heavy construction management, I have a pretty good idea of where we are generally speaking with this type of virus. The steps to limit contagion are pretty straightforward but there are still a lot of people that seem oblivious to the threat or perhaps they think that either Trump or their god has the matter well in hand so why bother?
I'm no germaphobe but I do practice good aseptic technique, particularly since this first hit the headlines back in January. Beyond that I can only recommend that we all do our best to keep our immune systems strong with good diet and a healthy lifestyle.


If I catch it I can only hope to get Lyme disease with it.


I am not getting my knickers in a knot. People have caught it and some died ... but the chance of me getting a heart attack or maybe run over by a car - much greater.

SKH78 Level 8 Mar 11, 2020

True. Statistics do help to put this in perspective.

Something like a coronavirus is very much akin to the common cold, pretty much everyone will get it. Some will get the sniffles, some will feel like crap for a few days or a week and some will get very ill and need to be hospitalized - a very small few (3 to 4%) will die from catching this cold bug.
If your odds of getting hit by a bus are that great then make sure you look both ways, several times, before you cross the street.
I don't like the idea that this cold bug may kill me but I have to be logical enough to accept that it is a possibility, even though I am under 60 (just) and even though I am in good health (generally) and even though I am taking proper steps to limit my chances of contracting this virus.


I’m not sure why anyone thinks the media is over blowing the treat this virus poses. I think they are simply doing what they do...reporting what information they have on the subject. There clearly was a lack of factual information and now it seems some think there may be too much. The problem as I understand it with this virus is it is being spread way before the typical flu like symptoms become obvious. Compound that with people not being able to tell if they have just a cold or regular flu or the corona virus. There is no way to tell for most people who are just sick at home until they develop severe life threatening symptoms. By then they have already infected numerous others, who have themselves passed it on.
I believe this will become worse before it gets better. I just came back from our local Walmart where few products containing chlorine bleach could be found. Toilet paper is still on the shelves, but people are clearly panic buying.
I already had a case of the flu this season. I’m really hoping it was the corona I have already developed some protective antibodies against it. At present I’m walking around as if I’m immune. But this is clearly a dangerous issue that needs to be taken seriously. I’m not panic buying, but I am trying to stock up on a few things. Refilled my prescription for example. I won’t run out for 90 days. Plan for things getting a bit worse...can’t hurt.

Our family bought some extra food, and 25 cases of bottled water.


A recent bulletin released from the C.S.L. ( Commonwealth Serum Laboratories) in Australia claims that their are approx. 6 to 12 months away from developing a safe vaccine for Covid 19 after they had grown the virus in the Labs soon after it emerged.
Aussie ingenuity comes to fore once again it seems.


Trump has banned travel to the USA from Europe but fortunately since Brexit the UK is no longer part of Europe so we are welcome.

This is what happens when politics Trumps science. 😉

@Surfpirate Apparently it is citizens of countries within the Schengen free travel areas that are persona non grata. So guys and girls just get a flight to London and then on the USA

@Moravian The UK is already heavily infected but under reporting that would make Trump proud. Somebody pointed out that Trump's hotel and resort holdings are quite heavy in the UK, maybe that was his motivation. Who knows anymore it is so heavily politicized.

@Moravian Please Mr. Trump (POTUS is too high of an accolade for that orange scum) please, please, please 'Don't Throw Canada Into The Briar Patch'.

@Surfpirate The UK is not "heavily infected". Less than 500 so far. Compared to Italy,South Korea and Iran we are mere beginners. There have only been a handful in Scotland so it is unlikely that there is any infection at his golf resopts.

@Moravian Auch, you cagey Scot, The Great Orange One has more interests in the UK beyond a few Scottish golf resorts. Don't be daft, Maan. 😀 There are so many conspiratorial theories floating around that it is hard not to take the piss out of some of them. 😉

In grade school I was taught that Europe was a continent. 🙂

@Surfpirate The one I like, although there may be quite a bit of truth in it is that Turnberry golf resort was bought with Russian money and an MSP from the Green party has or is about to take the trump organasation to court over money laundering. This has upset young Trump, Eric I think, who had some rather unflattering things to say about the MSP.
As we have had no success in extraditing the woman who killed the young motorcyclist in England I Doubt if we will ever see Trump in a Scottish court to answer those charges.

@Surfpirate, @itsmedammit Well to be accurate the continent is Eurasia and the UK is on the continental shelf so is part of the continent.


The link to the group: "COVID-19"

Thank You, Raven. Please follow the link to the main group if you are interested.


I have bronchial asthma issues and don't know if that would put me at higher risk ; and I certainly cannot afford to get sick. I also don't want to expose my elderly parents to it.

My ex was going to travel from Vietnam to take care of the business so I can take my bi-annual break/vacation (I was going to go the the atheist convention in Phoenix in April). Well, we discussed it, and decided it will be better if he doesn't even try to come at this time and I have decided not to go to the convention 😟.

Other than that, I do my best to keep my hands away from my face. I have always been good about washing my hands; now I am even better about it. As I work from home, going to a job and being around others for long periods of time is not an issue. I do have concerns about the virus affecting my sales--given they are my only source of income.


Something that concerns me is that Mike Pence is leading the charge in the US and this is a man who believes in divine judgment, has no faith in science and is fully indoctrinated in the Koch Brother's ideology.
It is ironic that the Council on Foreign Relations had to cancel its conference on how to Do Business With the Coronavirus because of, you probably already guessed it - The COVID-19 Outbreak.

Mike Pence may not be skilled in dealing with this but he will not have full rein. There is already evidence that people who do have a clue are forcing the White House into action. I don't know who these people are but it is clear that someone is doing something.


I am currently overseas (Australia - home of the TP panic buying syndrome) and have a trip back home scheduled for the end of this month. I have a little less than 2 weeks to decide if I should continue with my plans or just sit tight until things settle down. I am actually not concerned about catching the virus as much as I am concerned about being in lock down (my daughter lives on a Coast Guard base) and or quarantine if I enter the U.S. My entry point is SFO which is already in state of emergency mode. Decisions decisions. 🤔

I have a feeling that entering the US from abroad will not be an option in 2 months. I could be wrong and as my wife likes to point out, I occasionally am. 🙂

@Surfpirate I agree except I think it may be sooner than two months. That's the thing I am keeping my eyes on so we will see.

@Surfpirate, @SeaGreenEyez I agree not looking good. I will ponder the issue with each day and wait to see what eventuates but week after next I have to make a final decision and I am not looking forward to that.

The White House just announced restrictions on travel from Europe for 30 days. It would not surprise me if travel from other continents will eventually be restricted as well. And it seems things could change any minute.

@itsmedammit Agreed. I am also changing from one minute to the next; one minute I am going and then the next I am not......eek!

@patchoullijulie I know the feeling!

@itsmedammit Made the decision this morning after talking to my daughter (stateside) that I am going to reschedule my trip. Not happy but at least the decision is made instead of the whole back and forth thing. C'est la vie I guess!


Maybe it is just a tool to control the elderly population developed under the directives of the Chinese communist party?

zesty Level 7 Mar 11, 2020

Jebus response in the meme should be .. "Sending thoughts and prayers".

Love it but we may benefit from more practical methods.


If you could, please post a link to the group here. I just spent 10 minutes looking for it and didn't find it.


...just heard 350 students quarantined at Wits university in Johannesburg. Started with a medical student being affected. Scary times for the entire world.


The nice thing about being an Atheist is that most of us have one of these kicking around the house and know how to use it properly. 🙂


So Do Not Panic but do take proper steps to be prepared to weather this storm, avoid spreading the virus and to protect your loved ones.


We seem to be due for one of these every two years or so.

While the Ebola scare of a few years ago did create a stir in the media a few years ago it did not have anywhere near the scale of this new virus, economically or geographically.


This is NOT a pandemic!

Are you just behind on the news, or are you disputing the WHO?

Obviously it's pandemic. That's simply a fact. (Unless you're using a definition that doesn't match that used by doctors, virologists, the WHO, etc.)

@farmboy2017 The pandemic is on planet Earth. Which planet are you on?


I'll join.

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