These Coronavirus days have changed the lives of so many people, it will enter the history books as a turning point of the start of 21st century as the third decade starts with such a colossal turmoil, be it medical, financial or sociological. As such, I will be adding to my regular photo entries also a personal journal that will focus on facts and my opinions on the developments of these significant pandemic affecting our lives so profoundly, with images, photos and text. I hope you will enjoy reading it as I enjoy writing and documenting my life in this era.
Infected – 705
Seriously ill – 12
Deaths – 1
How much time more will Israeli society need to face with these extreme lockdown situation?
And what’s next after Israelis can sit in Cafe’s without a face mask hiding their tension lined mouth?
While the coronavirus can be deadly to >60 year old or younger people with background chronic issues (and some unfortunate unlucky humans), most will pass it without a glitch. It is believed by the ministry of health (MOH) that it will take up to April-May to be on the other side of the curve (lowering rate of infection), the Israeli Defense Force is less optimistic with assumption that life will be back to normal around September 2020. The real difficulty with assessing how much time it will take is the lack of (1) true numbers of infected individuals and (2) the ability to control the quarantine efficacy.
How many are infected?
This is very difficult to know or even guess simply because the MOH has not conducted a mass testing for the whole population yet, and with an R0 of 2.2, we can expect the infection to be spreading with or without the testing [Covid-19 — Navigating the Uncharted] or quarantine (at least up to a point).
While many point to “patient o” as the individual coming from the Diamond Princess on the 21st of Feb, it is most probably that “patient o” are a mix of Israelis or Tourists setting their foot into the door of the airplane taking them to Israel. This can potentially happened from the first to the second week of January 2020 continuing while the Israeli authorities decided to stop entry of incoming flights from China and quarantine every passenger that stayed in China in the passing 14 days (but letting other incoming passengers to enter Israel and infect all the while). De facto, one can consider the quarantine of all incoming individuals as almost stopping any import of the virus into Israel (8/3) if one will neglect the import via land (Jordan to the west bank). So, in between these two dates, 60 days of incoming flights daily were the main import of the virus infection. How many passengers landed in those 60 days? The Israel Airports Authority indicated that 783,449 and 709,246 passengers have landed in Ben Gurion Airport (TLV) in January and February, respectively [source: IAA]. Here I will have to take a wild guess as its practically impossible to know how many of these were actually infected while going through airports, public transportation, hotels and what not. So, let’s assume that just 0.5 per mille of the January and 1 per mille of February incoming passengers were coronavirus infected individuals. This means that in January and February 78 and 355 individuals were infecting around 2.2 individuals in their vicinity (R0 figure takes into consideration the latency period [Basic reproduction number]) at a rate of 2 every 7 days [Features, Evaluation and Treatment Coronavirus (COVID-19)]. This means, that in January the 78 individuals led to the infection of 624 and add to that the 355 of incoming passengers (assuming 1/4 started the infection of the first week, total of 714), by the end of Feb 11,424 individuals have been infected. Three weeks further down the road, we are today with a theoretical 91,392 infected individuals, out of which 677 identified infected individuals.
Looking at the my suggested theoretical figure of infected individuals, it may seem too large, especially if looking at South Korea, applying a staggering over 270,000 tests (out of 50 Million people, 0.54%) [Coronavirus cases have dropped sharply in South Korea. What’s the secret to its success?] and having just 8652 infected individuals as of writing this (0.017% of the population). However, as indicated in the article, over 60% of the cases were related to a small community that was the epicenter (and helped South Korea isolate only this community without the need to lockdown the whole country). Even so, it seems that small virus emergence start to appear here and there, and we need to see how this will translate in the future. One must remember that the Coronavirus for most will be similar to the flu or even asymptomatic so reported cases can expected to be low and one can assume that the vast majority of South Korean have yet to be infected, yet. Furthermore, “Those with fevers or respiratory illnesses are urged to stay home and watch their symptoms for 3 to 4 days”, thus not tested at all unless they arrive to a medical center, I presume. The key point here is the qoute by Chun Byung-Chul “As long as this uncertainty remains, we cannot say that the outbreak has peaked,”. meaninng, it will be very hard to determine when most of the population has been infected/immunized to the virus.
If we go back to the suggested number of 92,000 current cases, it means that if the virus would have been let spread wild, it would have taken 7 weeks to reach 9 million people, the whole population of Israel. Since people are restricted to their homes, the spread takes place in the homes, infecting the inhabitants (theoretically, because still there are people that need to go to work in crucial work places and other people that are not stringent enough with maintaining the quarantine requirements). Basically, if our country will be quarantined for 2-4 weeks, theoretically the infection will mostly die as people will infect their close vicinity, though one should consider that the 2 weeks quarantine should be counted from the last member to be infected, something which is practically impossible to determine and thus some may be out of quarantined and still can infect others. Which bring us to the major issue, what will happen when the government lifts the quarantine and let people return to “normal” life.
The problem will then start when people will eventually meet with their elderly parents/persons with background conditions, and thus will infect those that were not infected yet, leading to a surge in serious cases and even potential deaths. This will be the real tricky time, and will take place eventually, when the lockdown will be lifted even when the government can be expected to do a gradual lifting of the quarantine to enable or gradual infection rate as possible. This is the main reason why I think we can’t expect some sort of back to normal activity before June or even July, and again, depending how the government will react to a spike in cases. I just hope we will be flattening the curve sufficiently so the hospitals will not be overwhelmed and thus get Israel over the cliff blind-folded as we are today.
Globally, do countries are ready for the Coronavirus?
South Korea has had a prelude of what an epedemic can do in 2015 MERS, and after that even they had prepared themselves for similar cases – that’s why they were ready do mass of testing and were experienced enough to know how to handle an epidemic when it breaks. See below a figure from Visual Capitalist:
Another strategy is to live in an Illusion that by saying something, it will happen. Like POTUS, for example, which only now might understand what a Zunami is about to hit the coast of the United States. See below the way POTUS handles a mere honest and proper question from an NBC reporter (courtesy of CNN):
You may want to see how POTUS has handled the previous questions about the promising therapy etc if you scroll to the start of the video.
In between light cold rain, we found the time to take the kids outside for a quick trip to the nearby forest. The sun shined for us and it was really refreshing for everyone.
Recent rains all week has made the forest lush with vegetation and small streams flowed cheerfully across the forest.
The kids enjoyed the puddles and the mud, for sure, lots of water to play with..
And they also enjoy running and jumping down the muddy path
For the most part we were alone, with occasional other residents went down with their dogs for relief and some quality time.
Some dogs enjoyed nature even more by splashing into the Raba river, soaking wet and running around in joy.
That’s all for now –