Nutcracker Rampage

WHO has officially named nCoV as COVID-19 ('corona virus disease of 2019'). Not sure if this has anything to do with it, Corvid is a family of feathered friends which includes the darkly foreboding ravens and crows, and the more cheery jays, magpies and nutcrackers.

Numbers are still grim, including those thousands of folks stuck in ships, but there is a bright spot in a downward trend in the increase in new cases in CN [post image, source]. Still early days yet, the outbreak may reignite or flare-up elsewhere. [Update: big jump in the count of cases overnight due to the inclusion of the 'clinically diagnosed' - people exhibiting symptoms but not lab tested yet.]

The scary bit about nCoV is its steep infection rate once it takes hold. It took the effort and might of a whole country to bring it under some semblance of control in CN. Other locales might not have the same depth of resources, thus it would be useful to prepare ahead, run trials, simulations etc.

Many businesses rely on their IT systems to run 24x7, managed by admins and techies. Since they work as a team and perhaps closely together, if one of them gets the nCoV bug, it might mean the whole IT team could be quarantined. Thus, mission critical teams may need to be split into two or more physically separated ones. ref

For other forward preparations, one possibility is to draw on the lessons from Wuhan as a practice guide. There are many details, for example:
  • Only 1-2 persons from an apartment block may exit (to buy groceries) at any one time using a token-ring like system (essentially there are only two exit cards, it has to be handed back by a shopper before it can be used by the next person to exit).
  • During a quarantine, health inspectors go door-to-door everyday to check the temperature of the residents of each housing unit. This helps uncover persons who may need further testing and to ensure residents stay home and not break quarantine.
  • Cab and ride hailing cars are putting airtight plastic shields between the front and back seats. The rear windows are lowered for ventilation and sanitisation, while the driver can still use his or her aircon. Even in the tropics, naturally ventilated cars are tolerable though not necessary comfortable.