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Covid19 Closures to Date for The Gorge
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westender



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 1215
Location: Portland / Gorge

PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get the concept. Keep anything you have in your town/county. Maybe the asymptomatic crowd from Seattle shows up. Only 4 cases in the Gorge now?
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1610

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Gang,

My wife and I just drove back from the Hatchery. On the way to the Hatch there is a large digital sign saying all parks and trails are closed due to Covid-19.

The gate to the Hatch is open. However, there is a small sign next to the bathrooms saying "Park Closed"

In recent days there have been a few cars parked there with people taking walks. Unlike the Syncline area parking cars have not been cited yet. Hopefully, the place will stay empty for the time being since once they start citing the Hatch will be more on their radar.

Mike Godsey
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1610

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Isobars and everyone else pissed off about being cooped up,


Like you, I deeply resent being discouraged from driving to a trailhead to take a hike or even to just go on a long scenic drive.

But Epidemiology 101 teaches you why disease transmission experts are encouraging governors to implement such guidelines.

Viral diseases spread most rapidly in places where there are lots of travelers from distant places AND/OR people living in very crowded conditions. Hence, Seattle, New Your, Assisted living places, church groups, spring-break beaches, Mardi Gras, Cruise ships etc.

For the same reason most rural areas are far less likely to have an infected person pass the virus to other people.

But how can you possibly hurt anyone driving in a remote area with your windows rolled up?

The answer is that even just ONE asymptomatic person with the virus on a scenic drive may need to get gas or food and contaminate the gas pump, card swipe, bathroom door, flush handle, sink handle etc. Not to mention the fact that they might cough or sneeze while using some facility.

So, why is this a big deal? Because most rural communities have only one small hospital which may have only one ventilator. The research is saying that the average time on a ventilator is 20 days for a COVID-19 patient.

Since many rural areas are more conservative they are often slow to adopt social distancing. So the virus is more likely to spread exponentially. So if a rural town is infected the consequences are more devastating.

Unfortunately, the same reasoning applies to someone driving to a remote windsurfing site. Even if the launch site is "secret" their aging prostate may necessitate an unplanned potty break.

So by keeping everyone near home, we are protecting our rural towns that are ill-equipped to deal with a pandemic.

(If I were more political I would say that Trump needs every conservative vote possible so he would be smart to lean on conservative Governors to implement social distancing in rural parts of the country)

incidentally, the research is just beginning to indicate that the 2 states that were were early in adopting social distancing are seeing more of a linear increase in cases NOT the devastating exponential increase.

We know that distancing has always worked in the past and in present modeling. And I much rather see distancing "guidelines" than the draconian quarantines that also worked in Korea and China.

Since many of you are thinking about wearing masks here is a link to one of the few solid studies on different masks. And for the lazy I have included a partial summary:

http://aaqr.org/files/article/668/36_AAQR-13-06-OA-0201_991-1002.pdf

e 2014 study, researchers compared the effectiveness of 44 masks, including N95 equivalent respirators, surgical and dental masks, general cotton masks, and handkerchiefs. They used particle penetration tests similar to those used by NIOSH and the European Union.
They found that the N95 equivalent mask blocked more than 95 percent of all particles, as expected. The surgical mask was around 40 percent effective, with the dental masks coming in at around 60 percent. Cotton masks were around 30 percent effective and cotton handkerchiefs ranged from 2 percent (one layer) to 13 percent (four layers).
A similar study in 2010 by NIOSH researchers looked at masks made of different types of fabrics. They found that masks made from t-shirts blocked about 10 percent of particles in a wide range, masks made from sweatshirt fabric blocked 20 to 40 percent, masks made from towels blocked around 40 percent, and scarves blocked 10 to 20 percent.

Mike Godsey



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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1610

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

westender wrote:
I get the concept. Keep anything you have in your town/county. Maybe the asymptomatic crowd from Seattle shows up. Only 4 cases in the Gorge now?


Hi Westender,

Since my wife is on teleconferences with regional hospitals and clinics daily I am following the data pretty closely. Here are some of the stats for the 3 Washington State counties in the greater Gorge area as of 3:35 PM 04/04/2020:

Confirmed Cases: 21
Deaths 13

Those deaths are tragic but the low number of confirmed cases seems encouraging. But...

The total number if people tested in those WA. Gorge counties is..

Total tested: 325

That is a tiny fraction of the population of the WA side of the Gorge. And increasingly the research is showing that many people carry and can transmit the virus with no symptoms or only symptoms of a very mild cold. Hence they do not come in for tests.

Interestingly, isolated Yakima County in the Mt. Adams area has 231 confirmed cases. Since there are few roads into or out off that county it is probably a good example of what happens when infected people travel to an isolated area. Far worse is equally isolated King county with 2865 confirmed cases and 200 people dead.

Are you beginning to see why the White House is now supporting what epidemiologists have been saying for many weeks? Stay at home!

Yea, it is a drag following these guidelines. But remember, we all hated the draft and continue to hate speed limits etc. But sometimes it is better for all if you defer to elected authority.
Mike Godsey
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19664

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not angry over being cooped up, largely because -- as I've explained several times -- it doesn't "coop me up" beyond my norm. The only two social distancing challenges I normally face this time of the year are restaurants and the gym, and those are easily covered at home. The CV issue's greatest impact on my lifestyle is its investment opportunity.

That will change when the river warms up. In case you have a life and haven't noticed, I overanalyze darned near every issue I deem important. It pays off far too often to worry about it. Thus I've thought about all the things you justifiably brought up, and more, and have made contingency plans addressing them considering all the orders, directives, advisories, science, and druthers I've seen from all the best sources available. Despite my own four strikes (age, gender, stage 4 cancer, and an immune system compromised by life-saving drugs), my normal winter lifestyle protects me pretty well.

My trip Friday, for example, observed all the concerns you mention, including the fact that it wasn't a scenic drive; it was boring as hell but vital to my dog's life and I didn't touch anything outside my car. I am fully aware of the potential consequences of flapping African butterfly wings on American weather (and 6th decimal place excursions on mathematical models), but nothing Fauci has said convinces me that windsurfing alone and using my RV toilet are health hazards to me or anyone else, especially compared to liquor stores being exempt from closure.

We could eliminate 99% of all risks to ourselves and everyone forever if laws against statins, grain consumption, obesity, high blood pressure, driving, riding bicycles, trans fats, smoking, intoxication, the absolute crap most people eat, etc. were passed and enforced, but I don't see much chance of that happening.

And "elected authority" has for generations very strongly harmed our health via such nonsense as the rightfully dreaded, totally political, scientifically bebunked food pyramid blamed by experts for the deaths of millions worldwide.

Then there's the large number of medical providers who emphasize that my exercise regimen and physical condition -- due overwhelmingly to 70 years of long, hard play -- have saved my body and my life from trauma and cancer. I suspect that has also helped to immunize me from viral infections, which I virtually never get.
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rigatoni



Joined: 25 Feb 1999
Posts: 445

PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2020 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike,

Aside from the great forecasting service you provide, I have found your posts on the coronavirus extremely insightful. I live down here in SF where we've been under a formal Shelter in Place order for 3 weeks now with informal shelter in place for probably another week prior. During most of that time, parks and beaches have been open. However, despite the lack of a surge in cases and hospitalizations, local authorities have been tightening the screws and further limiting outdoor access. Maybe they know something I don't but most people have been maintaining good distances in these open spaces. The close contact people have shopping for groceries seems like a much more likely route for viral transmission.

What is the right balance between a functioning society, mental health, and limiting the spread of the virus? The shelter in place was sold as a short term measure to "flatten the curve" and we all bought into it. But flattening the curve was not to reduce transmission of the virus to zero but to give our infrastructure the opportunity to ramp up capacity both for testing and treatment. Slowly it seems that the goal is changing to shut everything down for months and reduce viral transmission to zero regardless of the impacts. I don't think most people are on board with that mission.

If we want to reduce the caseload to zero, wouldn't that mean the Gorge is essentially shut down through the summer? How does everybody feel about that? What is the exit strategy from this stay at home/shelter in place strategy?
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1610

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rigatoni wrote:
Mike,
The shelter in place was sold as a short term measure to "flatten the curve" and we all bought into it. Slowly it seems that the goal is changing to shut everything down for months and reduce viral transmission to zero regardless of the impacts. I don't think most people are on board with that mission.


Hi Rigatoni,

Thanks for the kind words. First the maybe good news.

1. The health people my wife talks to during conference calls and other sources are seeing TENTATIVE data suggesting that in California and Washington the virus seems to be spreading in a more linear and less exponential fashion. A director at UC San Francisco Med. flatly said "this is definitely not exponential" in San Francisco. Plus WA state has started returning 400 ventilators back to NY. Since these states were amongst the first to really adopt social distancing this is a hopeful sign that it is working since both of these states have international airports which means a large influx of infected travelers.

Linear spread means with enough PPE and ventilators it may be possible to allow treatment of most people who develop COVID. With an exponential spread that is impossible.

You have to remember hospitals are NOT curing people with COVID. At this point, there are no proven anti-viral drugs to help conquer COVID.

All hospital treatment and ventilators are doing is buying time for your immune system to crank out enough B cells, antibodies, natural killer cells, angry macrophages, cytotoxic T8 cells etc. Once this arsenal of troops and weapons is produced it will destroy the virus and kill all your infected cells IF you have an immune system that is not to weakened by other factors or age. That is why you may be turned away from a hospital if your symptoms are mild.

2. The other great news is that scientists at the Univ. of Texas and the NIH working at an amazing pace have developed a molecular map of both the viral CoV spike antigen which is the molecular "key" the virus evolved to infect human cells. AND they have made a similar map of the Te receptor site (think a molecular “lock") on human cells that the virus plugs called ACE2 ( angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (see molecular models below)

Here is the original article:
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/367/6483/1260

And here it is isimplified: https://www.drugtargetreview.com/news/56325/researchers-map-vital-atomic-scale-protein-on-covid-19/

This discovery is huge! Once you understand the antigen and receptor site structure in the development of anti-viral drugs and vaccines is much easier.

And here is the bad news. World wide places where the infection has already peaked and on the descending part of the curve, with fewer and fewer people being infected each day, are seeing a resurgence in infections.

This resugence is a known phenomenon in epidemiology. It happens because: 1. People start feeling that it is now safe and going crazy with being isolated they drop distancing. So the few remaining viruses now have targets to infect. 2. People start traveling and they reintroduce to virus back in their home town to people who have not gotten sick.

St. Louis during the 1918 pandemic is a perfect example of this. St. Louis was early in mandating social distancing and rigorously enforced it. So their curve and death rate was much lower than USA cities. So as the pandemic faded they relaxed social distancing. The virus then resurged since it had a large population of people who had not been infected. The second surge killed far more people than the first surge. In cold scientific terms, this is an example of an A-B reversal experiment. Which would be utterly unethical to do with humans with a deadly virus. But people did the experiment to themselves and paid cost.

rigatoni wrote:
Mike,
Slowly it seems that the goal is changing to shut everything down for months and reduce viral transmission to zero regardless of the impacts. I don't think most people are on board with that mission.


Ideally, health experts would have told everyone that this is going to be long haul that will go well into the summer. The problem is that unless everyone knows disease history and basic epidemiology you are going to have a riot on your hands an people will reject social distancing out of hand. Even the idea of social distancing for a few weeks has been met with a lot of complaining and even rejection in some parts of the country and from some leaders. So what has been found to work in past epidemics is to introduce guidelines for temporary distancing. Then as the epidemic spreads people will voluntarily extend the time of distancing as they learn of lots of people getting sick.

So unless the curve really flattens in the next few weeks people will more than "get on board" with longer-term distancing. They will be angry with anyone who is not getting on board. The real danger will be when we all see fewer and fewer cases and stop distancing. Then will come the resurgence unless scientists have developed effective anti-virals.

Sadly, fear is a better human motivator than data.

Lastly, I am sorry for taking up so much forum space with all of this. Having a spouse exposed to possible positive people each day really motivates me to research data and share.

Mike



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Last edited by windfind on Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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rigatoni



Joined: 25 Feb 1999
Posts: 445

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am on board with flattening the curve. However, we are seeing this curve flattening and the response from local authorities is the opposite-tighten the screws. As you point out, the more people who are exposed to the virus, the more people who develop antibodies, the more people who are theoretically immune from infection, and the better we are able to withstand a "second wave" and get more parts of our society functioning. My issue is a local government (who did the right thing initially) not responding to facts but rather reacting to optics of what they see on the news. (Bloomberg did an article today with a photo of what looked like a packed trail. Any photographer knows that a photo taken with a telephoto lens results in forshortening and thus an illusion of a more crowded trail)

And just to be clear, I am not being flippant. I am from NY and have many families and friends back there who are experiencing this horror first hand. I have a close relative who works in hospital in Queens that is straining under the load of infectious patients. I have a close elderly relative who is in the hospital with a suspected case of the virus. She cannot have any visitors and is likely scared shitless right now. I also have 2 brothers who are now both unemployed indefinitely and soon may be unable to support their families. We need a smart path forward that balances a lot of competing needs.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 19664

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

windfind wrote:
Sadly, fear is a better human motivator than data.


Too bad that goes double in politics and the "news" media.


Last edited by isobars on Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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windfind



Joined: 18 Mar 1997
Posts: 1610

PostPosted: Mon Apr 06, 2020 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Gang,

Here is a link that takes you directly to the article about the break through in mapping the viruses structure and the human receptor site:

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/367/6483/1260

Mike
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