Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2)

Coronavirus – Everything You Need to Know about Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2)

Updated 3/30/2020: This article covers the basics of Coronavirus Pandemic aka Covid19 aka SARS-CoV-2. We review its symptoms, how dangerous it is, what it will do to the economy, how to avoid it and myths about it.

World wide there are 766,336 cases resulting in 36,873 deaths. USA has 153,246 cases with 2467 deaths. New cases will continue to increase rapidly as more test kits become available.

When this is all said and done I estimate that death rates will be roughly 3x to 5x influenza, not 10x or more as the media has been reporting (that means .3% to as high as .8% not 10%). I base this on sampling data, and it is also supported by the cruise ship data.

Covid-19 (SARS-CoV-2)

11 Things you Should do to Protect Yourself

  1. Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you cannot use soap and water, buy and use alcohol hand sanitizer or make your own
  2. Do not take Advil, Nurofen or other ibuprofen, to alleviate symptoms. Instead use Acetaminophen also called paracetamol, a safe common brand is Tylenol. WHO says it is safe, but the Lancet study shows some possible risk, so as a precaution we recommend using Tylenol.
  3. Buy and use bleach wipes, alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to clean exposed surfaces or make your own.
  4. Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose (wearing a mask or bandanna protects you from touching your own face).
  5. Prepare for supply chain interruptions (stock up on normal stuff, especially medications).
  6. Avoid unnecessary travel.
  7. Avoid unnecessary medical interaction (hospitals will be busy).
  8. If Covid-19 is reported near you, avoid public locations.
  9. Consider working from home / don’t go to work if you are sick. Many larger companies are pushing work at home.
  10. Consider setting your temperature up, and using a humidifier. Viruses on die faster in more humid 40% to 60% and hot 86F (30C) or warmer environments (48 hours at 20C vs 8hr to 24hr at 30C).

Latest News & Updates

Cruise ship outbreak helps pin down how deadly the new coronavirus is

Good video from an MD explaining Coronavirus (Covid19)

3/26/2020 Epidemiologist Behind Highly-Cited Coronavirus Model Drastically Revises Model Synopsis: Good News, the predicted risk is 25x less dangerous than originally expected. Author note: still likely to be about 5x to 10x as dangerous as normal influenza.

French researcher posts successful Covid-19 drug trial

3/17/2020 Bloomberg 99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says

What is the Coronavirus?

The virus is called SARS-CoV-2 and the disease is called COVID-19. It causes respiratory infections which presents as a cold or flu, but it gets more serious. Coronavirus is a class of viruses that are similar to SARS and MERS, so it is more accurate to say SARS-CoV-2 or COVID19. It is not the flu. The “flu” refers to influenza variant .

Per the CDC, there are a couple others Coronaviruses going around.

A diagnosis with coronavirus 229E, NL63, OC43, or HKU1 is not the same as a COVID-19 diagnosis. Patients with COVID-19 will be evaluated and cared for differently than patients with common coronavirus diagnosis.


Why are we locking everything down in the USA?

To understand the lock downs, you need to know the math. 80% of people who get Covid-19 have no symptoms or mild symptoms. 14% of people who get it have moderate to severe symptoms. 6% have critical symptoms. Of the 20% who get moderate to critical symptoms, of those about 15% require medical care or hospitalization. Of everyone getting the virus 94% to 99% of people recover. Act like YOU are infected instead of trying NOT to get it.

Source: New York Times

The problem is impact to health care system. If we can “flatten the curve” we can cut death rates. If we cannot, hospitals can’t handle the number of people showing up, so more die.

The difference between the death rates is the type of response.

  • Italy didn’t respond well and has a 6% death rate (not flat)
  • Wuhan responded late and had a 3.5% death rate (partly flattened)
  • South Korea is responding seriously and has a 0.7% death rate (flattened)

The worst case numbers if 150 million people in the USA get the virus:

  • 9mil die – If the USA has deaths like Italy 6% (Italy is now jumping to total lockdown)
  • 5.2mil die – if the USA responds like Wuhan 3.5%
  • 1mil die – if we respond like South Korea (which we are doing now) 0.7%

Good article explaining social distancing and other controls with good math (a bit doom and gloom) Coronavirus why we must act now.

Results of existing precautionary measures.

There is some good news. We are isolating fairly early in the cycle. The isolation kills the virus because it cannot replicate. We could see 1000s dead instead of 100s of thousands (or millions) of people dead. All of this is estimates though, because the virus can mutate and people don’t always do things that make sense.

Editors estimate: The likely outcome as of 3/14/2020 is that 1000 to 30,000 will die in the USA, not 1 million to 9 million.

Quick Comparison to other Viruses

Lower numbers are better for all measures. The numbers have ranges because the studies and samples vary. Covid19 is nearly as dangerous as a few other common viruses.

Covid Reproductive Number Source: Oxford Academic The reproductive number of COVID-19 is higher compared to SARS coronavirus. Mortality rates are reported from WHO, CDC, Johns Hopkins and other sources.

Source: (great graphics)

Details of Coronavirus

Coronavirus Symptoms

The challenge is that the symptoms are similar to the flu. The symptoms include:

  • fever (77–98%)
  • cough (46%–82%)
  • fatigue (11–52%)
  • shortness of breath (3-31%)
  • body aches
  • nasal congestion
  • runny nose
  • sore throat

Harvard Health Reports Coronavirus symptoms include: low-grade fever, body aches, coughing, nasal congestion, runny nose, and sore throat.

COVID-19 can occasionally cause more severe symptoms like high fever, severe cough, and shortness of breath, which often indicates pneumonia.

Source: TheLancet Clinical course and risk factors for mortality of adult inpatients with COVID-19 in Wuhan, China: a retrospective cohort study

What happens if I get Covid-19?

  1. Infection by touch or contact with the virus
  2. Incubation is 5.6 to 7.7 days days (up to 27) before symptoms show or until becoming contagious. This 5 to 28 day information varies widely in specific single cases. The CDC and WHO report the 1-14 lower numbers.
  3. Contagious but not showing obvious symptoms varies from 1-14 days. There is wide variance in reporting of how long and when someone is contagious.
  4. 7 to 12 days of symptoms: fever, coughing, fatigue, and shortness of breath. Other sources report symptoms such as: Congestion, headache, diarrhea and aches and pains. Symptoms vary widely. (source TheLancet see above)
  5. About 17% have Covid19 but have no symptoms at all (asymptomatic). 65% of people have mild symptoms. About 18% need medical attention of some kind. Approximately 4% die. Note the 4% is for those who had a test, and showing symptoms.
  6. Between 1% and 9% of people die (primarily from pneumonia like symptoms). The average in South Korea is 1%, Wuhan had 3.5% and Italy is around 9%. Given the USA is in lockdown – odds are we will be closer to 1.4% death rate (not 9%).
  7. In rare cases a relapse occurs, with high mortality rate. see reinfection
  8. You can remain contagious for a total 14 to 28 days. Again clinical reporting is varying widely. CDC and WHO are reporting 14 days.

Is Coronavirus Dangerous?

Yes it is. It is 1.5 to 25 times more lethal than the normal flu or the previous H1N1 virus (at least based on current numbers). It is less lethal than SARS (so far), but more people are getting infected with Covid19 than got SARS. The primary cause of death for coronavirus is effectively the same as pneumonia resulting from SARS-CoV-2 (which is the full name of the current coronavirus).

The Coronavirus mortality rate appears to be 2.3% to 6%. In other words 230 to 600 people die for every 10,000 people getting a critical or severe case of the virus (depending on whose numbers you use). Johns Hopkins website is reporting 3.7% fatalities.

The CDC is reporting 2.3%. The New England Journal of Medicine says 1.4%. The normal flu (influenza) death rate is about 0.14% or 14 per 10,000 as a comparison. H1N1 had a death rate of approximately 0.03%. Italy is a high outlier at 6% and South Korea is a low outlier at 0.89% as of 3/14/2020.

Source- Johns Hopkins click on link for latest info

As of 3/21/2020 the Covid-19 numbers from Johns Hopkins indicate a 4.2% mortality rate. Back on 2/23/2020 the likelihood of death from Covid19 was 3.7%. Note this only measures those who were tested, there are far more people infected than those tested.

We Don’t Have Perfect Sample Data

Note the Johns Hopkins, CDC and WHO number is for people TESTED. The actual number of infections could be 2x to 20x more, so the 4% death rate is for “presented cases”. It only tracks people who were hospitalized or tested and found to have the virus. Other people have gotten the virus and never even known they had it.

This demonstrates why it so hard to give exact information in a situation like this. If the number of unreported infections is 2x then 3.4% is cut in half to 1.7% or so. If the unreported infection number is 20x bigger then the 3.7%, the actual infection rate becomes 0.18% which is very close to .14% for the normal flu. Remember none of this has been confirmed yet.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Even the highest Covid-19 mortality rate of 7% is less lethal than:

  • SARS which had a 6% to 14% mortality rate
  • MERS which had a mortality rate between 30% to 40%
  • MRSA virus which is 15% to 60% lethal (depending on the strain)

Danger Sources:

Who is most “at risk” to Coronavirus?

The people most at risk from coronavirus fall into 3 groups:

  • elderly (the older the worst the outcome – similar to flu)
  • people who are immunocompromised
  • people who are weakened from some other disease (diabetes etc)

Your blood type appears to matter. In a study from 101 deaths: type A was 44.44%, type was B 29.29%, type was AB 8.08% and type O was 18.19%. It appears Type O is more resistant to the disease. Type B and type AB are more susceptible. Source: Retrospective Analysis of Clinical Features in 101 Death Cases with COVID-19

Note: Diabetes, CVD Tied to Worse Prognosis for COVID-19 Infection

Chance of death from Coronavirus

JAMA published statistics for 72,314 cases. The study indicates the following confirmed fatality rates (so far).

Covid-19 Mortality rates for various Risk Factors

  • 1.7% overall for women
  • 2.8% overall for men
  • 5.6% for pre-existing cancer
  • 6% for pre-existing hypertension
  • 6.3% for pre-existing chronic respiratory disease
  • 7.3% for pre-existing diabetes
  • 10.5% for people with pre-existing cardiovascular disease
  • 49% for critical cases (for those hospitalized) a general number encompassing the numbers above

Source Jama Characteristics of and Important Lessons From the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak in China – Summary of a Report of 72 314 Cases From the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention Feb 24, 2020

* Note: These percentages are very likely to change as the source data from China may be questionable (the data was not peer reviewed).

How contagious is Coronavirus?

It is quite contagious. CDC and WHO information indicates a 14 day contagious period. Some reports indicate a 27 day contagious period but it has not been confirmed in medical reporting as of the last update of this article.

There is some information indicating sick people who recover, may remain contagious. Source: Can people spread coronavirus after they recover?

“within the coming year, some 40 to 70 percent of people around the world will be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19”

Source: Atlantic Marc Lipsitch a leading epidemiologist at Harvard

Measuring Covid-19 Transmission

To measure how contagious a virus is, scientists measure how many other people a single sick person can infect. This is measure is called R0 or reproductive rate.

Based on current information, Covid19 is more contagious than the standard flu. A person with the standard flu gets about 1.3 other people infected. Covid19 gets 2.2 to as many as 6 other people infected.

Note there are two defined strains of SARS-CoV-2-L (70%) and SARS-CoV-2-S (30%) and the RO likely varies with each.

For comparison measles has a R0 score of 12 and SARS has a R0 score of 3 transmissibility. H1N1 had a reproductive rate (RO) of 1.33 other people infected. Note, a couple of studies show Coronavirus with a much higher reproductive rate than 2.2, in one case 6.5 was the reproductive rate.

How can I get Coronavirus?

Coronavirus rides in mucus or respiratory droplets from a sick person. Transmission methods include:

  1. Direct contact physical contact or within a few feet (the answer varies based on who you ask)
    • Christian Lindmeier, from World Health Organization, says three feet
    • The CDC says six feet
    • Experts agree that more exposure time equals more risk
  2. Touching anything that is contaminated by an infected person then touching your face, eyes, mouth or nose. So avoid touching your eyes, face, mouth and nose in public or near sick people.
  3. Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes (per CDC)  National Institutes of Health researchers concluded that the virus could remain airborne for “up to 3 hours post aerosolization.”
  4. The virus was found in feces and urine (poop and pee). Flies on food could transfer it also. If you are dealing with someone who is sick, clean your toilets with bleach or alcohol BEFORE you use them. Source: Medscape: Novel Coronavirus: Study Suggests Multiple Shedding Routes
  5. Coronavirus can live on hard surfaces for a couple of hours up to 9 days. Click here for surface transmission studies.
  6. Organic waste, mucus and other sources likely have longer survival periods and should be consider contagious.
  7. Clothes , furniture, sheets, hair, skin, vehicles, tools etc. It is possible these could be carriers especially if they still have mucus on them.
  8. CDC is reporting using coins and paper cash could spread virus.

Some people who do not show symptoms may spread the virus. Exact contagious periods are still being researched. Note, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted on soft surfaces like fabric or carpet to humans

Can you get reinfected by Coronavius?

There are reports of cases of “reinfection” (recovering from Covid19 then getting it a 2nd time). A woman in Japan was “cleared” of the virus in January but was reported to have the symptoms and a positive test for the virus on Wed 2/27/2020. Multiple reemergent patients have been reported in China also.

Medical specialists report that true “reinfection” is unlikely. It is more likely that the infection dropped low enough to pass the lab test, but then reemerged later. In other words the virus never went away completely.

Another theory is the virus may be bi-phasic, meaning it might occur in more than one stage. Bi-phasic would make it harder to eradicate and possibly more dangerous. The good news is that the patients did not appear to be contagious before the reinfection or reemergence.

Reinfection Sources:

Coronavirus reinfection is more deadly?

There is information that indicates a much higher mortality rate for the reinfection/reemergence. It has not been independently confirmed.

Speculation is that the medications given during the first instance, may have weakened the patient and the virus was not totally eradicated.

Source: Whistleblower doctors say coronavirus reinfection even deadlier reported Feb 19, 2020

What should I do about Coronavirus?

Wash Your Hands

Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Alternately, use 60% or more alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your face, eyes and nose.

“What I want Americans to know is when we look back at past infectious disease outbreaks like this, they weren’t ended with therapeutics OR WITH VACCINES. They ended with hand washing, they were ended with social distancing. They were ended with the basic public health and hygiene measures that keep us safe from the flu and the everyday cold and will also keep us safe from coronavirus.”

US Surgeon General

Does a mask stop Coronavirus?

Widespread use indicates some public confidence. CDC reports there is limited evidence that using masks reduces transmission in the community. CNN is reporting face masks are futile.

The surgical, N95, FFP2 or FFP3 masks may reduce the likelihood of getting Coronavirus but ONLY if the seal is tight to your face (beards are out). Also, you must not touch your eyes or nose. A mask assumes you will not be exposed to coughing that aerosolizes the virus and gets in your eyes or is breathed in.

Surgical masks are recommended by the CDC for those who are already infected to reduce the spread of the virus. The CDC also recommends that people caring for a sick person wear a mask, gloves and eye protection if possible. The mask should be replaced or washed at least daily.

One reason to consider ANY sort of mask is reducing your self infection. We touch our face two dozen times an hour! The masks keep you from touching your own nose and mouth.

Common Sense Home Coronavirus Suggestions

Prepare like you would for the flu season

Use hand sanitizer, bleach wipes, alcohol wipes, and/or alcohol hand sanitizer with 60% or more alcohol. Take vitamins, keep hydrated and eat foods that are likely to boost your health and resistance to viruses. If you get sick, even if it is not coronavirus, stay home. If you have to go out, cough or sneeze into your elbow, and consider wearing a mask to reduce your likelihood of infecting others.

Note: Wipes, masks, goggles, paper products and gloves are all in short supply. You can make your own hand sanitizer and bleach wipes.

Wash your hands a lot and consider gloves

hand washing

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. When you get home – wash your hands. Wash your hands after touching: handrails, door knobs, counter-tops (anything other people regularly touch).

Purell and alcohol hand rinse or disinfectant will kill the virus if the mix is 60% or more alcohol.

Clean Hard Surfaces

CDC reports the virus can live for a few minutes to a couple of hours on a surface. There is some public reporting that has not been confirmed that indicates even a longer life. Clean door handles, railings, counter-tops, sinks and toilet seats.

Surface Transmission Articles

From Harvard “For influenza, it has been elegantly shown in the lab that absolute humidity — the quantity of water vapor in the air — strongly affects flu transmission, with drier conditions being more favorable. Subsequently it has been shown that epidemiological patterns are consistent with this lab data in the US and in Vietnam

The following are various studies and articles related to Sars-Covid-19 persistence on surfaces.

Impact of Heat & Humidity on Covid 19

Stock up on foods you would eat anyway

If you have more food stored, you will have them in case you get sick. The extra food is good also in case of shortages because of supply chain problems or problems with access if your community is quarantined. Get canned goods, frozen foods and other shelf stable foods. Use oldest food first.

As of the last update of this article many freeze dried food makers are sold out of popular items. We recommend a 6 month supply of food, water and critical medications. Buy what you eat anyway and rotate your stock.

If Coronovirus hits your community.

Avoid unnecessary public dense locations, flights. Avoid public places, and if you must go into densely populated locations consider wearing a facemask that covers your nose and mouth, and wear and googles and gloves. This may sound like overkill but it is what people in hospitals, police and rescue are doing to avoid covid19.

Avoid contact with anyone who traveled near a known outbreak area. You might even want to avoid people who hang out with world travelers at least until this blows over.

If you or a family member gets Coronavirus

Treat it like the flu. Keep hydrated, watch for severe fever and/or shortness of breath. Be sure to take appropriate vitamins and follow CDC and healthcare professional recommendations. Skip Advil (ibuprofen).

If you are sick, definitely wear a mask to avoid getting others sick. If you are providing care to a sick person consider a mask, gloves and protective goggles if you have them (like hospital workers). Wipe down surfaces and wash exposed clothing and masks at least daily.

Where did Coronavirus come from?

The exact source is unconfirmed. CDC and other sources are reporting SARS-CoV-2 (which causes COVID19) shares 90% of its genetic material with a coronavirus from bats. Most likely the virus started in bats and hopped to humans.

Weird things about Coronavirus

There are a couple oddities about coronavirus. It appears to have a very long incubation/contagious period.

It appears to kill more men than women. Infected men die at a rate of 2.8% to 4.7% vs 1.7% to 2.8% for women. It appears to be less lethal to young children and pregnant women. As we get more confirmation of these coronavirus oddities, we will update this article.

Oddity Sources:

Why is the government concerned about Coronavirus?

  1. Deaths. The death rate from Covid19 is higher than the flu.
  2. Uncertainty. The information is varying widely. Virus transmission rates vary from 1.2 to over 7.
  3. Overwhelming the Health System. 20% of people who get Covid19 end up in hospitals. That could easily mean more sick people than beds if everyone gets sick at the same time.
  4. Social and Economic impact. Because people over-reacting it can create serious problems with supply chain (masks) for healthcare professionals, toilet paper and for supply chain parts from China or other countries where impacts of Coronavirus are already hitting the economy.

What are the Treatments for Covid-19?

Vaccine. Currently there is no vaccine. A vaccine began human testing in Washington state on 3/16/2020.

Medications. There are a number of drugs being used with limited or no repeatable success including: resmdesivir, interferon B, Plaquenil and a few others. The drug chloroquine looks like it will work!

Hospitalization. Hospitalized patients, especially those in ICU, require breathing assistance using oxygen or respirators. Related article: Jama Care for Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19

Less widely known. Chinese doctors have been using an “old school” idea of high dose intravenous Vitamin C. This has some demonstrated ability to reduce infections such as Sepsis and has been reported to reduce mortality. Related articles: NIH Vitamin C in Sepsis, Three Intravenous Vitamin C Research Studies Approved for Treating COVID-19

Another old school solution, plasma from a patient who recovered from Covid-19. How a century-old blood therapy turned into a new way to fight COVID-19

22 Coronavirus Myths and Facts

  1. Hand Air Dryers kill the virus? FALSE. Hand blow dryers are NOT effective in killing the 2019-nCoV (Covid19). Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. Alternately use alcohol hand wash. Source- WHO
  2. Thermal temperature scanners can detect Coronavirus? Partial. They can detect fever, but a person can have a fever for multiple reasons. Also a person can have coronavirus and not be showing symptoms. Source- WHO
  3. Can spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body kill the new coronavirus? Partial. It will not kill the virus already in your body, but it will kill any virus on your skin, such as washing your hands. Source- WHO
  4. Is it safe to receive a letter or a package from China? WHO says it is safe. Common Sense Home suggest cautious handling for plastic, metal, glass is fairly safe. Materials that may harbor viruses anything that could suspend mucus are more risky (wet cloth materials). Wash anything you suspect and wash your hands.
  5. Can pets at home spread the new coronavirus?  No known transfer from pets has occurred. Source- WHO
  6. Can my pet get coronavirus? Possibly. There is a reported case of a dog getting Covid-19 in hong kong. There is no secondary report as of yet.
  7. Do vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the coronavirus?  No. Source- WHO
  8. Can regularly rinsing your nose with saline help prevent infection with the new coronavirus? No. There is no evidence this helps. Source- WHO
  9. Can eating garlic help prevent infection with the new coronavirus?  WHO Says there is no evidence supports this will help. Common Sense Home says, there is also no evidence it will hurt.
  10. Does putting on sesame oil block the new coronavirus from entering the body?  No there is no evidence it will. Source- WHO
  11. Do antibiotics prevent or treat Coronavirus? No. Antibiotics only work on bacteria NOT on viruses. Common Sense Home says don’t go nuts with antibacterial soap, it won’t help. Using it too much only breeds super bacteria. Source- WHO
  12. Face masks can protect you from the virus?  Standard surgical masks cannot protect you from SARS-CoV-2, as they are not designed to block out viral particles and do not lay flush to the face, Live Science previously reported. Surgical masks can reduce the likelihood of infected people spreading the virus further. The mask blocks respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing and breathing. Source Source: LiveScience Second source: John Hopkins says the benefit of wearing lightweight disposable surgical masks is not clear.
  13. You are less likely to get Coronavirus than the normal flu.  FALSE. The contagious factor for normal flu is 1.3 (each sick person gets 1.3 other people sick). Coronavirus has a contagious factor of 2.2 (each sick person gets 2.2 other people sick). It is a more contagious but not a lot more.
  14. The virus is just a mutated form of the common cold.  FALSE.
  15. The virus was probably made in a lab?  No evidence to date proves or disproves this. Common Sense Home says worry about that later. Focus on handling the situation and deal with the source later.
  16. If you have coronavirus, “you’ll know”.  FALSE. The severity and type of symptoms vary widely.
  17. The coronavirus is less deadly than the flu.  FALSE. The normal flu kills roughly 14 in 10,000. Coronavirus killed 340 in 10,000 as of the writing of this article. That is 24 times more deadly, but it appears to be weakening.
  18. You can protect yourself from COVID19 by swallowing or gargling with bleach, taking acetic acid, steroids, using essential oils, salt water, ethanol or other substances.  FALSE. None of these have been demonstrated to stop coronavirus.
  19. People created the virus? Unconfirmed. The virus is genetically related to bat coronaviruses, so the answer is it was somehow associated with bats, but the exact way it came to be is still unknown.
  20. A vaccine to cure COVID-19 is available. FALSE. There is no vaccine currently available. (vaccine testing in progress as of 3/16/2020 but is not proven or widely available)
  21. A breastfeeding mother can give the baby Covid-19? Partial. Per CDC the virus has not been detected in breast milk, however proximity to the baby is a concern for eye. Wearing a mask if you are infected can reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus to a family member. Interim Guidance on Breastfeeding
  22. The flu will go away with warm weather. Unknown. There is no evidence proving this. Previous flu viruses do follow a trend to decrease in warm weather. There is widely reported correlation between higher humidity (40% to 60%) and reduced transmission of various viruses, so this has some anecdotal support.
  23. You can get Covid-19 from kissing? YES. Transfer of bodily fluid and mucus is a definite way to transfer the virus. It is unknown if having sex may transfer the virus, although close physical proximity increases the likelihood.
  24. Can I get Covid-19 by eating where other infected people ate? Yes, depending on the location, buffets and high traffic restaurants are risky. Respiratory droplets and direct handling / exposure can transfer the virus to surfaces. Hard surfaces and shared food that has been exposed to respiratory droplets are a risk.
  25. If you got the flu shot you are at higher risk? YES there is a study that indicates higher risk for Covid-19. Increased risk of noninfluenza respiratory virus infections associated with receipt of inactivated influenza vaccine.

Coronavirus Myths sources:

Coronavirus economic impact

It is already obvious with the stock market sell off that Coronavirus is impacting our economy. The minimum impact is a minor global recession. It is impacting all sectors of the market because of supply chain delays and disruptions and service industry interruptions, and cyclical demand.

We believe the biggest risk is the “human factor”. Our emotional response is the biggest risk. PANIC is a bigger risk than Covid19. People reacting emotionally not logically. Hopefully you have a plan for an economic slowdown, because we are likely to see it for a while.

Key Market Impacts

  • Supply Chain – parts availability
  • Reduced international shipping & delays in shipping
  • Economic downturn or even global recession
  • Depressed business activity for businesses that depend on crowds of people
  • Consumer “panic”
  • Consumer confidence and consumer purchasing slowness

Markets have obviously already dropped. As an example Moody’s predicts a 2.5% drop in global vehicle sales due to the coronavirus in 2020. Crude oil prices are dropping due to decreased demand. Editor: I suspect will see a 40% drop in economic activity (possibly more) for 2020.

How might Coronavirus cause a recession?

Here is an examples of how Coronavirus will cause market slowness, or even a full recession. “Rush-hour traffic dropped off dramatically, followed by restaurants trimming their hours, hotels dropping room prices as guests canceled and tourists avoiding hot spots such as the Seattle Public Market.” from USA Today

We walk through the USA Today example of real world impacts below:

  • Less driving = less gas, and less activity at gas stations resulting in reduced revenue.
  • Restaurants getting less business so they are trimming hours, resulting in lower profits and lower income for staff.
  • Hotels lowering cost because of less visitors and therefore less revenue.
  • More people working from home resulting in less travel, less gas used, less visits to restaurants and hotels.

People are either directed to, or are choosing to avoid large events and gatherings.

  • Conferences canceled
  • Airline flights canceled
  • Cruise ship reservations canceled
  • Farmers markets empty so lower revenue in businesses that involve large groups of people in a single physical location.
  • School canceled/closed

Editors Opinion

We have seen multiple single day drops. It is still likely to see a another significant market drop. This is likely to occur as people are able to better measure the real monetary impacts of Covid19. Specifically watch consumer activity and shipping as key indicators.

Note, overall I estimate that this will cost the US economy $3.78T dollars and could exceed $4.5T if the fall resurgence of Covid19 is low to moderate. The cost will be even higher if infections and complications are widespread in the fall/winter.

Further large drops might occur. These categories may impact the size and timing of another stock market drop.

  • Watch Covid19 death and hospitalization rates. If they stay stay 2x to 20x worse than the normal flu we could see a bigger drop. South Korea is seeing 1% and Italy is at nearly 10% so there is still wide variance. Once we see wider testing in the USA this will get less erratic, but reported infection rates will skyrocket – focus on death rates not infection rates.
  • Watch for more accurate consumer spending impact and service economy impacts.
  • Watch shipping activity reports. Current shipping is a mess. As that returns to normal and costs stabilize this will be an indicator that things are returning to normal

Some business activity might increase. There is already panic purchasing of: toilet paper, paper towels, masks, hand sanitizers and other goods. Health care goods, virtual meeting services, hygiene goods, home entertainment, home services, and web services could all see increases IF the virus continues to expand and remain 5x to 10x more lethal than the normal flu.


How to make your own face mask

Face masks are widely unavailable at a reasonable price. An alternate solution is to use a bandana or cloth cut as a bandana. Fold it and tie over face and mouth. Double layer if it is thin, tie underneath so that it is tight to AND bottom, so you are fully covered.

You must wash cloth masks daily or they will become a risk. The cloth needs to be fairly fine and fairly thick. A very porous (absorbent) cloth will likely not block the aerosolized virus. Remember a mask primarily protects you from touching your nose and mouth.

How to make your own Bleach Wipes


  • 2 tablespoons bleach
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 5-10 drops essential oil (optional)
  • If you want it to stick a bit you can add a couple drops of dawn dish washing liquid.

Buy heavy duty paper towel (thick and tough like Bounty or Viva). Cut roll in ½ with large serrated knife. Place the ½ roll into an empty dispense and add the mixture to the container. If you don’t have an old wipes container, you can use any airtight container.

*Note from Laurie for the folks who don’t like bleach – we have a recipe for an essential oil based disinfectant spray here.

How to make alcohol hand sanitizer


  • 3/4 cup 99% rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
  • 1/3 cup pure aloe vera gel or vegetable glycerin
  • OPTIONAL: 5-10 drops essential oil

Mix these in a bowl with a spoon. Place mixture in an empty pump soap container or pump hand sanitizer bottle. The alcohol content is what kills viruses so you can’t skimp on the rubbing alcohol.

This mix results in 70% alcohol. The minimum to kill Covid19 and most other viruses and bacteria is 60%. To make it a bit weaker change the 3/4 cup to 2/3rds and it will drop to 66%.

If you can’t deal with the effects of alcohol you can also make witch-hazel alternative that is not quite as effective but still better than nothing.


  • 1 cup pure aloe vera gel
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons witch hazel
  • Roughly 30 drops tea tree oil
  • OPTIONAL: 5 drops essential oil

Herbal Treatment

Amy Fewell, author of The Homesteader’s Herbal Companion, suggests elderberry and astragalus root syrup. Both herbs been scientifically proven to boost the immune system. They have also been proven to shorten the duration of symptoms and severity of viruses.

Note: Do not use if you have an autoimmune condition.

Take the syrup once in the morning and once in the evening as a preventative. You can get the syrup recipe at Amy’s website.

Related Articles of Interest

Coronavirus reference information

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Last Updated: 3/30/2020

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