Coronavirus - COVID-19

So, I keep seeing very different approaches and opinions about the severity of the Corona virus outbreak, and this often leads to heated debate about how serious it actually is, and if we should really worry about it.

It is on nearly every news channel, entertainment and sporting events are being cancelled and borders are being closed. More than 3000 people have already died from it (as of early March), more than the amount of people dying in the 9-11 attacks. There are rumours flying around of this being a viral attack, or some viral weapon failing. I have friends cancelling international holidays in fear of getting sick.

I am curious to hear your opinions:

  • is it being blown out of proportion?
  • is this the end of the world?
  • will you get the virus by eating Chinese food?
  • what will Vin Diesel drink now that his favourite beer has a killer virus named after it?

It’s impossible to know that yet.

The people who are saying that the attention being given to this outbreak is unfair because more people die from flu, TB, malaria or some other easily treatable disease may be proven right.

Unfortunately it appears to be impossible to divorce a tragedy from agendas.

You see similar kinds of stories when there is an ebola outbreak — it is partly to avoid panic, but also to avoid discrimination against people who come from infected regions.

Yes, it’s true that there have been more infectiou, deadlier, and treatable diseases that do not receive the consideration that COVID-19 is getting right now.

The reality is that people are worried about COVID-19 because it can’t be treated. You can be Bill Gates and die from this virus if you catch it, with no amount of money in the world able to save you.

Is it fair that there are still people dying of normal tuberculosis, flus, and other treatable diseases? No. That does not mean that COVID-19 doesn’t deserve our attention.

Just because COVID-19 hasn’t killed as many people as {INSERT DISEASE NAME HERE}, that doesn’t mean it isn’t potentially devastating to the human race.

Thing is, the uncertainty around COVID-19’s incubation period, its apparent ease of spread, and the current lack of vaccine and treatment should be cause for concern.

Nah. At worst a large proportion of humans will die.

Where are the folks that like to say that the world is overpopulated, or that we need a huge catastrophe, or that getting hit by a meteorite would be better than X being elected?

Here’s a possible answer to that wish.

One of the most insidious things about this virus is the racism that comes out of the fear it created.

Scares like this all seem to follow this pattern. The same thing happened with HIV — with people spreading hoaxes about catching it from sitting on an infected toilet seats and similar nonsense.

One thing I love about humans is that we can always maintain a sense of humour :smile:


Well the threat of the virus has had a much wider effect on the world population than the virus itself. The outcomes of it on financial markets are proof of that.


I would add “…for now” to the end of that sentence.

The threat of the virus has had a wide effect, because if it makes good on that threat we’re in for a rough ride.

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Well, not sure I agree. A 2% mortality rate is not massive, it is the incubation period that allows its lightning spread.

The fact that thousands of jobs have been lost, businesses been closed, more coming since electronic components for almost everything are going to dry up, is of a higher concern in my mind. The world will quite literally come to a standstill financially if something is not done to stabilise markets. I don’t think many people have much of an idea how fragile the world economy is and what that fragility means for average Joe over a period of time.

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John Oliver contextualises the 2% figure, though he doesn’t do a good job.

Do a thought experiment with that figure.

If a million people get infected, that’s 20,000 people dead. If half the world’s population gets infected (which is what I’ve heard some doctors warning about), that’s 154 million people dead.

In a scenario where the virus hits South Africa—and we can’t stop its spread like a tyrannical regime like China has been able to—it is very likely that someone you know, a friend or family member, will die from the disease.

You have to combine the mortality figure with the infection data to get a complete picture of just how devastating this virus could be.

Maybe. I’ll have to digest some more information before I formulate my opinion on this.

No disagreement there.


Now that is a good point.


On its own, it’s not a particularly deadly disease. It seems reasonably easy to treat. From the statistics, it appears to be most deadly to the elderly and people suffering from other health complications.

However, if it scales up drastically to a point where hospitals can no longer cope with the influx of serious cases, the mortality rate will be higher. Coupled with the vast numbers of immune compromised people in South Africa, that 2% could end up being much higher.


Ive been watching Dr mike, a youtuber and doctor, he has been doing weekly updates and taking about myths surrounding the virus etc. I think it just a good thing for the earth, and china as a whole, theor air pollution and such has unfortunately made them succeptible to airborne diseases… Hopefully the shutdown clears up some of the pollution surrounding the city
This was pretty interesting to see:


My now ex-Girlfriend lives in Japan and she lives north of Hiroshima city. They have now closed the schools.

I Think its quite interesting how the media can over hype news. So much news last year in regards to the Fires in South America, but not as much for Australia. This Just shows they are making it seem bigger than what it really is.

I just feel that they dont know what this is and its like the SARS thing all over again just these days Social media is blowing up the news more now that it used to for what its worth I visit this site alot to see whats happening but i feel that governments around the world are hiding the real figures


I posted this yesterday.
I’m a visual person and above all else this helped put things into perspective for me… more or less. Cold, hard statistics. (also I had no idea swine flu was that bad, jeez)
Link to full video


I missed your video post… But that puts things into a bit of perspective. What is crazy is how long after the first diagnosis the swine flu virus still exploded and infected so many people!


Yeah also watched doc mike since he does his research, Just another virus yeah perhaps we will get it perhaps not so be it.
But yeah the media is covering it a whole lot. Since well its bad news and bad news sells.

These visualisations comparing COVID-19 to other causes of death are premature. If the infection rate continues to grow exponentially, your chances of dying from the virus also increases dramatically.

(The comparison of infection rates is interesting, though. If this goes the same way as the H1N1 outbreak in 2010, then a lot of people are going to die.)

All of these comparisons are oversimplified and so what we’re seeing is the whole thing being either completely over-hyped, or completely under-hyped.

Let me put it this way — there is no way that China is forcing people to stay in their homes and shutting down factories all over the country over a silly little flu. This thing is a killer and will destabilise the whole country if left unchecked more than shutting the factories for three months will.

There’s no need to head for the hills just yet, but some respect for this virus is warranted.


In the late 60’s, a new virus started spreading through the world. People have speculated that it’s origins were somewhere in Africa, where the virus made the jump from chimpanzees to humans. This virus spread unbeknownst to anyone, and with little to no knowledge or awareness, by the 80’s, this virus started wreaking havoc. The virus was labeled AIDS, and a world wide pandemic alert was raised, causing the WHO to aggressively start treatment research, putting in preventative measures and spreading awareness of the virus. All this in a time well before the internet, let alone social media.

I write this story not to directly compare the severity of AIDS to COVID-19, but rather use as an example why the narrative of “overblown media” and “overhyping the virus” is wrong.

You see, COVID-19 as a single entity is not the worst virus to ever exist on earth. But it has the potential to kill hundreds of million of people. It is a virus that spreads easily, has mild symptoms, and mimics other less scary diseases. It is a virus you may have any never think about getting tested and getting really checked out, rather just drinking your flu medicine and waiting for it to pass. It is a virus that can seriously spread around the world at an alarming rate.

COVID-19 at the moment has a 2-3% mortality rate, a rate as reported on the current numbers, and from developed countries with good health systems. Imagine what the mortality rate would be is more people from countries with less in place health systems

And so, COVID-19 dominates media coverage. Less than one month after it’s discovery, the whole world sprung into action, putting in place preventative measures, talking about it, raising awareness, trying to curb the spread of a disease that could kill millions. And so, in an effort to combat this, many companies and countries put in place strict travel rules, additional health checks etc. Even in SA you will find a few more cleaning requirements to do before being admitted to certain hospitals.

So what about other diseases that is currently killing more people? What about TB, the flu, or anything else? Well, awareness campaigns and discussion in media of these diseases means that at the moment, while they may be deadly, they do not pose a massive threat to the world. The world knows about them, known how to prevent them, knows where they come from, and how to treat them. COVID-19 is not there yet. There is way too much misinformation about it’s origin, its mortality, and how fast it mutates. But it’s good that the greater population of earth is made aware of this in order to combat it far earlier than other viruses.

In summary, the media coverage might seem overblown and a bit too much, but the awareness it creates is EXACTLY why such media coverage is needed. Here we are, geeks and nerds, on a gaming website, talking about it, creating awareness and spreading information about it. This is the best way this virus will not become a world wide pandemic catastrophe.


Been watching the numbers growing here, and a somewhat concerning curiosity jumps out at me when looking at the numbers by country, confirmed by the tracker that @z1oc posted about yesterday.

Where are all the African infections??

I count just 10 at the moment, across the entire continent. This is weird to me - many Africans live in close communities, extended families sharing small spaces, cooking and eating and sleeping together. Many do not have access to even basic levels of hygiene, health care and disease prevention. We pack multitudes more than is logical into the cramped confines of mini buses and trains, and squeeze thousands more into our soccer stadiums on the weekends. And yet, we only have 10 infections across the entire continent???

I mean, I live with just my wife and my daughter in a fairly large, modern house, with access to good medical cover and hygiene practices. Yet I am in bed right now typing this with a major dose of the flu that I picked up from the Missus, who was woman down for most of last week. She got it from our daughter who was down with it the week before. She in turn, we believe, picked it up from one of the 200-odd students she shares classrooms and labs with at varsity.

My concern is that we are either not able to identify those infected properly, or those infected are not able to reach required healthcare facilities in order to get reported on in the first place. Or we’re not being given adequate information from our health officials to help us identify those infected. I’d be curious to see the reported cases of standard flu from Africa over the same period.

The other possibility is that African nations are not being open and forthcoming with the information and numbers. This last possibility is far more dangerous in my mind. Remember how our health departments tried to blur the numbers of HIV/AIDS cases initially? More recently, remember how the nation went into panic mode from the listeriosis outbreak? A lack of information and transparency in these situations triggers panic, misinformation spreads, and more harm than is needed is done.

Like @DieGrootHammer says, awareness and information at this stage are crucial.


It could be that testing for corona is not yet prevalent, there could be many more cases but not many people have been tested yet. Otherwise they could be right about the virus finding it hard to spread in hotter humid climates.


i Saw on reddit i think a dude from SA came back from holiday and he had a fever he passed everything in at the airport. He went to the Hospital just to be sure and to do the right thing. Test for COVID-19 would cost 7500 with medical aid. They sent him home for the flu and a Goodluck. thats quite shocking i feel.

I have a friend who works in Thailand and shes been feeling ill. She went to the hospital and they told her they need 21000 Baht to get tested. Thats also quite shocking considering the situation.

im guessing if its going to work like this no wonder its spreading.


The reason the test is so expensive is that it is very new and not yet made at scale. Plus the fact that it is in such high demand, it is expected to have a high cost.

Also, it is HIGHLY likely the guy on reddit just has normal flu, but SA subreddit loves to bash SA and a lot of things wrong in the country, so I would take his word with a VERY big pinch of salt.


yea thats true. I went on the SA sub reddit wanting to say something nice and wow they just so negative :smiley: sometimes you cant win