Saturday 21 March 2020

Day 5 of self-isolation

It's the first day of spring! Another day in paradise. But for many people, it's hell. I'm pretty good at not having contact with tons of other people, but I'm a bit peculiar, or so everyone tells me.

This is going round Facebook.

1. We don't know who originated this message.
2. The hashtag and the web address don't match. 

3. Whois is unable to validate the web address.
4. "" doesn't make sense, it should be
 4. There are some very bad people in this world, who want you to visit their web site so that they can auto-install a trojan or virus on your system
5. DO NOT visit that web address.
6. If you want to stand by your front door and clap at 8pm on 26 March, go ahead. I doubt if any NHS staff will hear you.
7. Don't share the message.

8. If you want to help the NHS, then avoid getting Covid-19. Keep washing your hands, and avoid other people.

HMG has told us that they're giving us a VAT holiday. That's not as good as it counds; they just mean we can pay late. But there are some other good economic measures that they are taking.

I found out more about what kills us. The virus goes to the breathing system and causes inflammation of the lungs as the body responds to the invasion by feeding more blood to the sites infected. This leads to fluid in your lungs, and you drown, even if you're on a ventilator that is pumping oxygen under pressure to try to keep you alive. Your body knows that it's not getting enough oxygen, and becomes desperate to get more; you thrash around, try to remove this thing that's over your face - you need to be restrained. It's horrible.

If you do survive, then you have permanent damage to your lungs, and reduced lung function in future.

It sound very similar to being gassed with chlorine in WW1. Soldiers drowned in their own lung fluids (there were no ventilators) and if they survived, they had breathing difficulties for the rest of their lives. And then Spanish flu came along in 1919 and killed 50 to 100 million of us.

So - we need more ventilators. There comes a point at which there is one ventilator free, and two patients needing it, and some unfortunate medical person has to decide which one gets it (the one most likely to survive, which might get simplified down to "who is younger?"). That is why governments are desperate for industry to make more ventilators, but we also need people who know how to use them, and how to adjust the parameters (percentage oxygen, pressure etc) for the needs of the patient at that time, and the needs change as the illness progresses. Such skills are not common, and need a lot of training.

However. It's spring, the sun is shining, you can go out into your garden and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.

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