If you’re into podcasts, skip this whole post and just click right here to go to the whole hour and a half video. I watched the whole thing and I HIGHLY recommend it to get the most ACCURATE information. Posted on March 10, 2020 and with over 11 MILLION views, it’s worth the watch.
“Michael Osterholm is an internationally recognized expert in infectious disease epidemiology. He is Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, a professor in the Technological Leadership Institute, College of Science and Engineering, and an adjunct professor in the Medical School, all at the University of Minnesota.“
He recently sat down with Joe Rogan to discuss in-depth the Coronavirus and address a lot of the information spreading around.
While not everyone has the time or enjoys listening to long podcasts, it’s still important to get your information from a reliable source instead of your Snapchat news or favorite Instagram influencer. I’m a strong believer that being MISINFORMED is worse than being UNINFORMED. Michael and his team have a whole research center on the Coronavirus where you can get trusted information here.
All the information below will be from the mouth of Michael Osterholm. I will be paraphrasing his exact words but none of these concepts are my own opinion, my own added information, none of that. I’m just putting it into FAQ form for those who want to get the information but not spend as much time doing so.
Here are the questions Michael addresses that are in this mini FAQ:
- How serious is the Coronavirus? Is this something we need to be terrified of or is this overblown?
- What are the estimates for the Coronavirus at this point?
- Coronavirus is only for the older population?
- What are the primary risk factors for dying from Coronavirus?
- Does everyone show signs of the Coronavirus?
- What can the average person do to protect themselves? Is a sauna good for killing the virus?
- Are we prepared for this (speaking of the US)?
- Was Coronavirus caused from some sort of biological weapon out of China?
- Should I not worry at all about Coronavirus? Should I be worried the world is coming to an end?
- What can someone do to shore up their immune system while this is all going on?
- Is the hand sanitizer hype a well founded and beneficial thing to do?
- Why don’t masks work?
Q: How serious is the Coronavirus? Is this something we need to be terrified of or is this overblown?
A: First of all, you have to understand the timing of it, in the sense that it’s just beginning. In the terms of what hurt, pain, suffering and death has happened so far – it’s really just beginning. This is going to unfold for months to come yet and that’s what I think people don’t yet understand. Once China releases the social distancing mandates and they start to have crowded areas on trains, buses, manufacturing plants… it is going to come back again. It transmits very very easily through the air. We now have data to show your infectious before you even get sick and in some highly infectious cases, breathing is all you need to do. On the limited data that we have right now, it’d be the best guess to say that this will be 10-15 times worse than the seasonal flu in terms of illness and fatalities.
Q: What are the estimates for the Coronavirus at this point?
A: We conservatively estimate that this will require 46 million hospitalization, 96 million cases of infection, and over 480,000 deaths that can occur over the next 3-7 months with this situation. So this is not one to take lightly.
Q: Coronavirus is only for the older population?
A: Michael Osterholm’s employee received this text from a friend of his who works in the hospital in Milan Italy, where an email was sent from one of their physician’s in the Milan hospital:
“I just got a very disturbing message from a cardiologist at one of Milan’s largest hospitals. They’re deciding who they have to let die. They aren’t screening the staff anymore because they need all hands on deck and they have very small areas of the hospital dedicated to non-COVID patients where they still screen doctors. Everybody else is dedicated to COVID patients so even if they’re positive but don’t have a sever cough or fever, then they have to work. He says that they’re seeing an alarming number of cases in the 40 something age range, so we need to stop thinking that this is only an old person’s disease.”
Q: What are the primary risk factors for dying from Coronavirus?
A: The primary risk factor is being old, which is why people believe it’s only for the elder population. But there is also certain underlying health problems. For example, in China, men over the age of 70 who also smoked had 8-10% of the infected died. The fatality rate in the same age group for women was only about 2%. However 65% of older men in China smoke but very few women do. There are a series of risk factors that we are worried about where if they overlay on this disease they’re going to cause bad outcomes. America is right at ground zero with one of the major ones which is OBESITY. We know that obesity is like smoking in terms of it’s ability to cause life-threatening disease and 45% of the population over the age of 45 in America is obese – both men and women. There are different sets of risk factors in America than what you’ll see in China.
Q: Does everyone show signs of the Coronavirus?
A: NO. You can get the virus from someone who is asymptomatic and having zero problems and it can still kill you. We’ve seen cases of the disease being fatal for people who were exposed to minor cases.
Q: What can the average person do to protect themselves? Is a sauna good for killing the virus?
A: A sauna killing the virus is bullshit. First of all, the primary mechanism for transmission is just breathing. The best thing you can do, especially if you’re 55 and over with underlying health issues is just avoid large public spaces. As far as what can public health do? We aren’t going to have a vaccine any time soon – that’s happy talk. Well, we can close schools but what do we accomplish? In this case, kids are not getting sick very often at all, which is one of the really good news about this disease. In China, only 2.1% of the cases were under 19 years of age. One study shows that they’re getting infected, but they’re not getting sick. So do we close schools or not? A recent study done shows that 38% of nurses in the US have kids in school. If suddenly we’re closing schools for 2 or 3 months who is going to take care of those kids? 1/4 of the American population has NO sick leave. So you have to think about if we’re doing more harm or good by closing schools. Or do we tell people that we’re going to be limiting contact as much as we can and that’s really about what we can do. Limiting contact DOES help. If I’m sitting in a room with 100 people and we’re all sharing air, the transmission is remarkable.. for example cruise ships. They are notorious for recirculating air in their cabins. The cruelest human experiment we’ve done is a long time was leave all those people in the ships, we should have gotten them off right away.
Q: Are we prepared for this (speaking of the US)?
A: We are not prepared at all. I predicted this back in my book that was published in 2016, what a flu pandemic would look like if it emerged in China – it’s exactly what happened. Hopefully this is a wake up call. One of the things that has me most concerned about the situation is that our group has been studying for the last year and a half looking at critical drug shortages. We identified 153 drugs in this country (US) that people need right now or they die. It’s on the crash cart, it’s acute critical drugs. 100% of them are generic and all of them basically are made off-shore of the US and a large part of them are made in China and India. At this point, we had shortages every day before this happened, now we have supply chains gone down. 690,000 Americans have end stage renal disease right now and most of their primary drugs are coming from China. Now with the shutdown, we ARE at risk, so even as the situation unfolds it’s not just about what the virus does to you, it’s about what the entire system is rigged up to be and what this virus does when it gets into it.
Q: Was Coronavirus caused from some sort of biological weapon out of China?
A: There is NO evidence whatsoever that this was a bio weapon or that it was accidentally released from the Wuhan lab. (Michael has tons of experience in this field, if you’re interested in his credibility you can go to 19:00 in the video) This thing clearly jumped from an animal species, probably in the third week of November to humans.
Q: Should I not worry at all about Coronavirus? Should I be worried the world is coming to an end?
A: Neither of these are true. Right now we need straight talk. We’ve heard a lot about ‘well it’s going to go away with the seasons. When it warms up it’ll go away’. If this cleared up when it gets warm it would NOT be because there was a model for it. Trying to stop this strand of coronavirus is like trying to stop the wind. We’ve been right on the mark in predicting where we would be today. From here on out I can tell you it’s going to be here for months, it’s not going to go away tomorrow, but the big thing is that enough people will get infected that it will stop by itself. Once people get it and build natural immunity, then ultimately it’ll slow down and stop transmission that way, but that’s a heck of a price to pay to get there.
Q: What can someone do to shore up their immune system while this is all going on?
A: First of all, just being as healthy as you can be – weight. The more you stay in good shape, that’s really important. Second thing is, if you’re on medications for high blood pressure or something, don’t miss it, take those drugs. They’re really important. Then I think just getting sleep and eating a healthy diet and that’s about what we can do today to get you prepared for this. Drastically lower your alcohol intake, take vitamins, drink a lot of water – normal things that keep your body healthy.
Q: Is the hand sanitizer hype a well founded and beneficial thing to do?
A: Hand sanitizers are actually a great thing for stopping a lot of infectious diseases. They’re good for the skin, they kill a lot of the bad bugs, but the whole issue of using your hands and touching your face, then touching others – the data is actually very weak that this kind of virus is going to be transmitted that way so I wouldn’t tell you to stop using it, but don’t think it’ll have a big impact on the bug. The primary thing about hand-washing is legitimate, but people want to feel like they can do something and so we tell them to wash their hands… but I feel like we aren’t being honest with them. The data is really just about breathing air and that’s a hard thing to stop.
Q: Why don’t masks work?
A: The main mask, a surgical mask, was made for surgeons so that they don’t cough or drip onto the patient. They were never made to protect bugs from coming in, so those little spaces on the side are not a problem if you’re breathing straight into it from your mouth and nose (why it’s helpful if you HAVE the virus) but in terms of the air coming in on the sides, they’re not effective at all. The other mask is called an N95 respirator mask, it’s tight fitting and has a seal, and those are very effective. The problem is that we have a big shortage.
END OF FAQ. The writing below is back to my opinion.
Please keep in mind if you disagree about any of this personally, you should not be presenting your opinion to others as a fact unless you are well versed in your research. Facts are facts and an expert in the field is far more versed than any of us standard civilians. Spreading misinformation is the worst we can do. Point people to the right sources, like Michael Osterholm, and share the REALITY of what is happening in the world. The reality is that this is not ending any time soon, that this IS WORSE than the seasonal flu, that masks are NOT effective unless you’re positive, that washing your hands is GOOD but not going to make that big of a difference, that people who are overly cautious have the right to be and no one should be judging each other.
I may not be worried about myself as I’m younger and in good health, but there’s a small chance in every age group of fatality and I’d rather be safe then sorry. I am worried about transmitting it to my friends, Nenad, his family, and strangers I don’t even know. People are going to die. Maybe you didn’t know them, but it’s someone’s mother, father, sister, brother, best friend, wife, husband, etc. Stop with your jokes on social media and do your part to keep yourself and those around you healthy. Share this link with those you love so they can read the facts straight out of the mouth of an expert.