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Context: I come from a middle-class background, travelled/lived a lot internationally and financially stable. I’m not an Epidemiologist, but widely read and have an engineering background (analytical) and not an alarmist. /1
My role and background trained me to identify black swans and wild cards: this is the former – there will be more of these in the future. Thread on #COVID – TL:DR its long (28 tweets) /2
How bad will this get – it depends. If we act now ( #socialdistancing), limited interaction we can slow the spread. With vaccines being trialed, theres hope we can quell this, but realistically only toward end of the year (trials, testing, distribution, administration) /3
How bad will this get – it depends. If we act now ( #socialdistancing), limited interaction we can slow the spread. With vaccines being trialed, theres hope we can quell this, but realistically only toward end of the year (trials, testing, distribution, administration) /3
Until widespread vaccines, there is a 40% - 70% chance you will get it. Limiting interaction wont, but will slow it down – hence the “ #FlattenTheCurve ”. However, in ZA with our infrastructure, I’m concerned – we only have approx. 87,000 hospital beds /4
As of 18 Mar: 116 cases (1st case: 5 Mar), assuming doubling every 3 days (actual is approx 230%) (exponential curve) with no #SocialDistance . We reach bed capacity by approx. 18 April, i.e. a month away. This doesn’t take into account respirators. /5
This is very real now that we have community spreading. Remember positive cases are less than actual cases. Some commentary states that for every confirmed case, it could be 50 unconfirmed cases. And for every death, 800 cases due to the incubation period of 2 – 14 days. /6
At a fatality rate of 2% and conservative 30% of ZA’s 60M we will have 360,000 fatalities. By comparison: 90k die from HIV/Aids per year, 22k from TB, 21k from murders, 14k from road accidents & 6.5k from suicide. #COVIDsa will claim more than double combined at current spread /7
How can we slow it? Social distancing and the warmer temps and humidity (not confirmed). Growth cant be exponentially indefinitely, but follows a bell curve (Farrs Law). In ZA we are heading into winter so must practice #selfisolation and limit movement. Not easy but necessary /8
What can you do? Stick with the wise advice: wash hands, don’t touch your face, limit social contact, quarantine (if you can). Be wary of fake news, if the “cure” sounds too good to be true it probably is. Beyond this? What else – well here are a few thoughts /9
It is likely (40% - 70%) that you WILL get COVID19. If you accept that reality then you can plan for it. I know, I was shocked when I accepted that too. For the majority: you will be ok (more on this later). If so, then how can you plan for this? /10
Keep healthy and get your immune system up! Eat right. Exercise (not gyms) outdoors (keep 1.5 meter gap) run, walk, stretch, yoga, etc. Balanced diet, get sunshine and most importantly: have a good attitude! Avoid stress, anxiety they weaken immune system /11
Wear a mask; not for yourself but for others, especially the more vulnerable and elderly. Use this time to remember what makes human; you are meant to live to work, you are meant to live to live. /12
> 18: almost guaranteed to be fine. Spend time at home with your family, help where you can. Yes, parents can be a drain – but treasure this time with them. Learn beyond what you’re taught at school: cook, do a budget, plan tasks, what is the future you want? /13
18 – 40: Very likely be fine. Go shopping for groceries/meds for the older folks in your neighborhood (wear masks, gloves leave the groceries outside). Evaluate the trajectory of your life, what would you do if money wasn’t a constraint – COVID could reset our economy /14
18 – 40: Have hard conversations with your (grand)parents. They will likely have a harder time understanding why this is different. The world has not seen this (on a global scale) for 4 decades. Be patient, but help them know that life is/will be different /15
40-60: Probably be fine. Ensure you stay healthy as above, help your (gran)kids learn more than whats taught at school. Challenge your own biases of the world: We will NOT go back to normal after this. Check in with your friends, family and lead (actually this is for all) /16
60 – 80: Be cautious. Please stay indoors where possible, don’t go out unless absolutely necessary. Have others do the essential shopping for you. Share stories of when you were younger and help preserve your family culture. Take your medicine and get sunshine /17
80+: You are most a risk. Be extra cautious in everything you do, please only have visitors from family whom are absolutely free of COVID. Let others know you are ok. /18
What is a post COVID world? I cant predict the future, but here are a few thoughts, to get you to think about your desires and life plans. This has given most of us the gift of reflection, never before (as a collective) have we had time to think about our lives for 2 weeks /19
COVID acts like a loudspeaker. Those that value profits a return to normality so they can make more money. Community orientated will speak about the way we can grow closer communities. Watch what people say and do, it provides lens into their priorities and inner truths /20
Politics: the response will show what govt has prioritised the last 5-10 years. Failing countries will expose lack of preparedness or desire to look after its people. Evaluate harshly (if necessary) for failing. Will see a rise of “socialist” parties and community narratives /21
Business: This is a defining moment: we work from home and/or automate. Many will go under. If you are in a people-orientated interaction sector, pivot now to help scale processes. Will see what the power of digital can do for businesses that rejig their entire process /22
We will need to think carefully what the role of business is: profit or people? Those that favour the former will reduce staff, shore up reserves and enrich themselves. The latter will stay with their teams, offer more support and put aside profits for dignity and employment. /23
This may be the biggest example of climate reduction ever. And it demonstrates that as a species we can roll back our emissions. Yes this is at the expense of growth, but limited earth theory holds true. Already we may have less deaths due to pollution than the past 5 years. /24
Not since war has the world been so aligned. With a common “enemy” we can unite to do something better than individuals (people/countries). Scientists are working around the clock, sharing research, countries are sharing aid and lessons /25
People are singing out of balconies, being more human than before. We will see more of “togetherness” – all a reminder of “ubuntu.” The best hope is being human not looking just at machines to solve our problems /26
We think about growth: more money, bigger cars/house. Companies more profit. Countries more GDP . COVID will allow us to not seek more at the expense of everything else (family, friends, community, environment) but see intangibles are worth much more than the tangibles. /27
I don’t have answers. As Feynmein says, I would rather have questions you cant answer, than answers you cant question. I hope that my thread has given you things to question. Questions your values/purpose, question your leaders, and most question your humanity /28
Some will say im alarmist and spreading panic. NO, this is real. I would rather be wrong, cautious and safe; then wrong, blasé and sick. The numbers are already showing exponential. Don’t panic, but be wise. Don’t forget your humanity. Look out for others /29
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