/ You probably haven't had it yet...
...although you probably will, fairly soon.
I think most of us are being driven a little bit hypochondriac just now, questioning every ache or cough. And we're at the tail end of the season when most of us catch a bug or two - lost of us will have had influenza or another seasonal infection during the winter.
Quite a few people seem to think they've maybe had covid-19 already, and a lot of people who are feeling under the weather just now suspect they have it.
Most of us haven't, and don't.
Despite popular theories, it probably hasn't been in circulation much longer than official records show - it looks as if it's passed on easily and we've seen in Italy and Spain what happens when lots of people have it; there haven't been any such disasters across Europe earlier in the year so there probably haven't been many people with it. That weird bug you had early this winter wasn't it.
There have been a bit over 5,000 confirmed cases in the UK just now. (Yeah, that figure's going out of date fast.)
If true cases are 10 times that, that's 50,000 infected or having already had it.
There are 66,000,000 people in the UK, so fewer than about one in a thousand of us have it or have had it, at present.
Even if there were a hundred times as many cases as the official ones (which seems unlikely), that's still under one percent of us.
So that bug you have just now probably isn't it either. Unless you've been in close contact with someone you know had it, or you've actually tested positive.
This is all going to change very quickly over the next fortnight or so, though - the measures put in place won't show their effects for about a week and a half (due to the asymptomatic period at the start of an infection) - and things such as the supermarket frenzy or the last night out in the pub have probably boosted the spread further.
As it doubles every two to three days just now, that's about a sevenfold multiplicaton per week - there will probably be about 50 times as many cases in a fortnight. (There are big error bars on that, as with any exponential growth, but it's about the middle of the likely numbers).
That's about two and a half million cases in the UK in a fortnight, given those assumptions and the assumption that there are about 10 times as many cases as reported, so that'd be 3-4% of the population infected in a fortnight.
Add a week to that and we're possibly looking at about a quarter of the population infected if nothing is slowing it down; it'll have to slow a bit from there as it will be encountering 'fresh' people less often.
So a large fraction of us are about to get it, and it's probably going to massively explode in numbers over the next two weeks ALREADY, no matter what we've done so far - things we do now can help what happens in about ten days time, but not really with what happens up to then.
This is probably the last fairly normal weekend for a while - the next week is likely to be quite shocking, and after that it's going to be unrecognisable.
But yeah, still, most of us haven't had it yet. Don't assume you're already immune!
Thanks for that.
a haven't for a moment assumed that - I assume I've had a winter bug of some kind and that recently my wife had flu with coincidentally matching symptoms from which I suffered very mildly indeed.
But it is true, I think the world is full of "worried well".
Er.. <whoosh> don't get it, sorry. But here's one for you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6qFG0uop9k
Here's an account I just read on FB from a friend of a friend. Not an apocryphal one, I mean really - I don't know her, but she lives and works close to where I'm sitting now and we have several mutual actual friends.
"Now convinced it's covid-19 the lingering hope that I'd get cold symptoms has passed and now it's acceptance.
This came on suddenly on Friday night. Over the space of an hour. I was absolutely fine, then I wasn't.
There is no warning. You don't have symptoms, then you do.
I'm convinced I was infected on the bus journey on Monday. I hope the guy who had the sudden coughing fit is getting better, I hope the other passengers are well or will be well soon.
I believe it hit him just as quick. He looked surprised and frightened. The other passengers looked surprised and frightened. I think it was the first time it had hit him. And it does hit you.
I've been careful. I've not been anywhere I didn't need to go. I've kept the right distance where I could from other people, but when they keep trying to get closer to you, it's hard.
I was short with one or two people who wouldn't respect distancing, especially the idiot that wanted to shake my hand and then put his hand on my shoulder while I was disinfecting my work area to try and keep people safe. I've been careful!
I was on the wrong bus for 5 minutes.
It feels like you have a weight pushing on your chest. The coughing comes in fits and starts, not moving anything, you're not coughing things up like with a chest infection or a cold. I feel hot and cold, my breath is firey, it's uncomfortably hot. My face feels like it's burning and I get out of breath quickly when I'm doing stuff.
I'm lucky. This isn't bad. I'd be able to go about my day to day with it. I'd feel crap, but I could do it.
Anyway my point is you don't know you have it until it starts, suddenly. You don't get a warning. You don't know you're spreading it so STAY AT HOME!!
Don't have people over, cosy nights in are no better than nights out, you risk giving it to those closest to you and them giving it to their families.
You risk killing people.
Share if you think it could help"
It would be nice if testing became available enough so that we could know. I've had something for nearly a week and the wife has had it for at least 2. The chances of it being CV are pretty small because if it is, it means she was infected nearly 3 weeks ago - and she was already a regular "handwasher".
But the longer it goes on, the more we wonder "might it be". Not serious symptoms thank goodness but how are we meant to know?
Have been isolating to a greater or lesser extent for all that time just in case and because we have elderly parents whom we have isolated (from us as well). Ironically, our eldest is now back in the house having had to AirB&B in a flat for a couple of weeks after returning from northern Italy and not being let home, so it's certainly not via him.
Is anyone taking this seriously? I went for a short drive this morning to see if a localish crag was viable for a quiet bouldering. The carpark was rammed, people were queuing for spaces!! For reference I didn't even get out of my car, I just turned around and drove home.
Best guess, people are idiots and resent losing some freedoms?
Or people simply see the media turning out some much shit and hype they don't believe it when it's real serious? The Boy who cried wolf syndrome?
Why aren't more people taking this seriously? I went for a short drive this morning to see if a localish crag was viable for a quiet (safe) bouldering. The carpark was rammed, people were queuing for spaces!! For reference I didn't even get out of my car, I just turned around and drove home.
Best guess, people are idiots and resent losing some freedoms?
Or people simply see the media turning out some much shit and hype they don't believe it when it's really serious? The Boy who cried wolf syndrome?
Anyway I'm now at home coughing my guts up (it started quite apruptly after dinner), I felt fine this morning though. No fever so hopefully just a bug, but I best play it safe and shut my self in for a fortnight
Another factor is that the cases aren't anything like evenly distributed across the UK.
UK Government should already have put in cordons like they did in China and Italy to shield the less infected regions from the hotspots, but they haven't even tried perhaps because the decision makers live in London, the city which is going to be the first and biggest hotspot.
In hindsight I agree that London should have had earlier isolation except for essential services. Especially as its in advance of the rest of the country (in infection levels). It would obviously have helped Londoners as well as the rest of the UK, partly by forcing home the dangers of crowds and any extra-household gatherings (ridiculous early morning crowds at supermarkets) . I don't necessarily think its just because the decision makers live in London, but rather the measures have been too late and have relied too much on people's social responsibility (there is a lot of the latter but it doesn't take many people to act irresponsibly and to carry others along with them). The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, has on the whole given clearer advice than the government. Some decisions have been at least questionable however. I'm a Londoner.
A British hiker emerged from five days alone in the mountains of New Zealand to find that the country had unexpectedly shut down in his absence.