Corona Virus Alert #1 May 11, 2020 15:43

Corona Virus Alert #1

Since you are a valued member of our Black Umbrella family, we want to take this time to reach out and give you our take on what is happening around the world with regards to this new virus, and how you should be thinking about it.

What You Need to Know Right Now

As of 9pm on Superbowl Sunday, there are currently 16,787 Corona Virus cases in the world and rising rapidly.  The good news is that there are only 180 cases outside of China and an extremely small number in the US (8).  

Even with China’s extreme measures and many countries in the world limiting travel from China, the number of confirmed cases has increased 10x in the past week. This virus is somewhat contagious, with an R0 (spreadibility factor) of 1.4-2.5, which falls in between that of the seasonal flu and the SARS virus. Unfortunately, it seems that there is a 2-14 day incubation period, where someone with the virus can spread it without showing symptoms. 

The Corona Virus is also showing a Case Fatality Rate (lethality rate) of 2-3%, primarily with the elderly or infirmed.  This also falls between the seasonal flu at .1% (which kills 36k people in the US each year), and the SARS virus, with a CFR of 10%.

Given its ability to spread asymptomatically, and a material lethality rate, this virus needs to be taken seriously.  However, the good news, in our eyes, is that even with all of this, we only have 8 cases in all of the US after almost a month, so there is definitely no reason to panic right now. 

What You Should Be Doing Now

Right now, we feel that your best course of action is to pay attention to this situation and keep monitoring the cases in the US.  As long as the case count stays small, with a limited growth rate, we don’t believe you need to be doing anything out of the ordinary at this point.
 
However, if the number of US cases starts to increase dramatically, and we start to see cases in the NYC area, it might be prudent to start wearing your N95 masks and safety glasses found in your Go Bags, and avoid crowded, public places.  
 
Please note, that as of this writing, surprisingly, almost all N95 masks are sold out both locally at the home improvement stores and online at Amazon, Home Depot, Walmart, Lowes and others.  We do have ideas to get around this using P100 half masks, which are available in all those places currently, and can help you if this is a concern.
 
In the meantime, the best way to avoid getting sick is to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly.  Not only will this protect you from the Corona Virus, but more importantly, will help you prevent getting the regular flu, which is much more dangerous.