That Wasn't So Bad
Q: It is true you had a case of COVID 19?*
A: I think so.
Q: I heard there were only a tiny number of cases in the U.S. Were you just unlucky?
A: Not especially. I'm almost certain it didn't kill me.
Q: How did you contract it? Did you go to Wuhan, China?
A: No. In effect, Wuhan came to me.
A: Do you have any idea how many Chinese people go to CES? I'm guessing it's as many as 12,839.
Q: So you think you got it at CES?
A: Good possibility!
I know that's not much of a blogitem. But in this case, it's all in the asterisk.
* Uncharacteristically, this blog is being published right at the time indicated by its date. If you are reading it weeks or years later, you will probably have forgotten the COVID 19 timeline, and possibly its name. If it's a really serious epidemic, which I believe will not be the case, you might have gotten it yourself and suffered horribly or had friends and family die. I'm guessing, in my capacity as an expert epidemiologist, (which I at best know how to spell), that that won't be the case. But the interesting thing about this blog and the Q and A above is the date of this year's CES: 08 January.
The Time Line (From CNN, which by now will have updated or disappeared this story)
(I have deleted some of the items for brevity and added my own additions in italics. Thank you, CNN, whose innumeracy isn't in question in this item.)
Most interestingly, note my entry for 13 January compared to the CNN entry for 21 January. Am I a pioneer or what?
Trade shows, in addition to being a breeding ground for commerce, are also a convenient venue for exchanging diseases. Hotel elevators and convention halls thrust people into close contact. If some Wuhanese CES attendees had already been infected, it seems inevitable that some—perhaps many—US CES attendees contracted COVID 19 as well. If they were and we were, that's good news of a sort. Despite the world-wide concern about this new virus, we haven't heard about a sudden spike of serious illness or death after the CES.
It has been reported that the elderly (which I think I am) and those with "underlying health conditions" (which I am not) are particularly susceptible to COVID-19. However, if I did contract it, I assumed it was a "common cold," treated it with random OTC remedies, and forgot about it shortly after recovery. It was only a few days ago when I realized that "shortness of breath," albeit just barely noticeable, was one of my symptoms. Which led me to this line of thought. Of course I can't be sure that I'm right; I might well have had just a cold. But look at the numbers above and consider the spread of the virus in Wuhan and how many infected but perhaps symptom-free residents came to the US before the virus was recognized. I think it's inevitable that COVID 19 was present in the United States long before 21 January, and is probably widespread now with no exceptional health consequences for the country.
So, pre-Whew! ("Pre" just in case I'm wrong.)