So, uh, things in China are getting a bit interesting.

There's a general consensus that the public COVID numbers no longer reflect reality. Baidu started hiding their case tracking display. Their last updates had weird inconsistencies between asymptomatic and symptomatic cases. Testing stations are going offline. While previously a single case of close contact would have been enough to shut down an entire college, now facilities are running even with multiple symptomatic cases. Every time things have loosened to this degree before, cases have spiked. Many people I know mentioned family members being infected, some of which are unreported, while official case numbers are on the decline. The security people who checked health app codes aren't even pretending to care anymore. I was explicitly told not to show them my health codes when I come to work today. Lines for testing booths at peak times are basically non-existent. 

I think this is it. COVID will go full endemic in China. Exponential. 

I'm in my late 20s and in great physical condition. I exercise multiple times a week (weightlifting only). Unfortunately, I only have 2 shots of Sinovac. I'm planning to get some dental work taken care of this weekend and will get a third shot if it's available.

I think I have 2 options, really. First, I fly to Hong Kong and get the mRNA vax there, which an executive at my company mentioned she planned to do. Not sure if the EV is going to be positive, and I'll have to take a week off work. Second, I go to a hospital/visit a poz family friend and intentionally poz myself ASAP before the hospitals get overloaded. 

Overall, I'm not too concerned, but am interested in what you guys think. I would also love to hear any investment advice from those familiar with Chinese markets.

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Florin

Dec 14, 2022

20

Even if you're not concerned for your own safety but you live with older people, you still might want to wear an elastomeric respirator or DIY PAPR when going out in order to protect them and encourage them to do the same.

Also, this is a good time to practice using respirators to mitigate against much worse future pandemics which may kill or disable the young at similar rates to the old.

trevor

Dec 15, 2022

10

Don't poz yourself, China is the only country in the world where you aren't virtually guaranteed to get infected (although this may change). There is brain damage at stake. I don't know how dangerous the current strain is, since most people in China have little herd immunity (and Sinovac's contribution is unclear) and hospitals might be overrun. 

In the US, the standard is P-100 masks which were recommended for SARS in 2014. You can get them at the hardware/construction store and they look like this (they are not electric and cost $10-15 at the hardware store in the US, probably more like $200 in China if they're in stock at all, but one mask will last >6 months):

Amazon.com: GVS SPR644 ELIPSE P100 Elastomeric Half Mask Respirator with  Source Control for Healthcare Professionals with Replaceable and Reusable  Filters Included, Blue, M/L Size : Tools & Home Improvement
They Evoke Darth Vader, but These Masks May Save Your Doctor's Life - The  New York Times

N95 and KN95 masks probably don't work very well.

If you're in an apartment, seal off the ventilation system by covering it up with a layer of Duct Tape, and use windows and a plug-in heater instead. If you share a door with a hallway, attach a fan to your window and have it blow air in whenever you open or close that door so that the hallway air does not enter.

Lastly, this is things you can do for people who get covid, yourself and others. I have no idea how many of these are available inside China, but the list is ordered properly.

they are not electric

Sort of! They don't plug in or use batteries, but they do have an electrostatic charge which they use to catch small particles.

N95 and KN95 masks probably don't work very well.

Why do you say this? For example, while microcovid is very negative on cloth and surgical masks they think N95 or similar are decent (and worth wearing if risk is not that high or you can't get a better one): https://www.microcovid.org/blog/masks

Yeah, I just had a family member tell me that he was going to work while he's pretty sure he has definitively tested positive for COVID. The symptomatic kind. This type of thinking doesn't seem to be unusual among the people I know.

I don't know how things are going to go, but people seem to have zero hesitation about causing super-spreader events if the alternative is interrupting their routine.

Not looking so good. I just don't see how I don't get infected in 2023 even if I take all precautions possible. If 20% of my office have active COVID infections in,... (read more)

1Florin1y
An elastomeric respirator or PAPR paired with N100-equivalent filters should provide the best available protection and should significantly reduce risk. Here's the reasoning: * You can't get anything that can filter out more stuff short of using an oxygen tank. * There's some empirical evidence suggesting that elastomeric respirators have provided adequate protection for health care workers in a TB ward, whereas disposable N95s might not provide adequate protection in similar circumstances. * There's more recent quick-and-dirty evidence for covid and disposable N95s here. There might be even more such evidence, but I haven't looked for it. * Elastomerics and PAPRs can provide more protection than disposable N95s. * Even if some tiny amount of virus aerosols penetrate the respirator, it would still be extremely difficult for them to actually produce an infection due to the different hoops they'd have to jump through (i.e., they would be extremely diluted, have avoid sticking to the walls of the respirators, and then have to reach the right cells and avoid getting stuck in mucus). You could use a respirator until you get access to a better vaccine or other effective therapeutics.
1trevor1y
Unlike disposable masks, P100 masks (found in the dust mask section of construction/home improvement/Home Depot/Lowes stores) are heavier and much less comfortable to wear for 8 hours. However I might be wrong about that because the structure of my face is unusual. It might be worth it to look at the seal of the mask and see how sharp it is. A softer rubber edge, with a larger surface area, is more likely to be comfortable if you wear it all day (with a break every hour). I've worn 3 p100 masks total and two of them were pretty uncomfortable to wear for more than an hour. The key is to go outside, eat outside whenever you aren't wearing it, to take breaks once every hour, and idk how cold it is in your city. It's also hard to talk and be heard when you are wearing them. They're an absolute must for crowded places though, and most people don't know that the government/military actually have several capabilities that could theoretically allow them to halt the spread of the virus at any time, even at 30% of the population (especially when combined with targeted lockdowns), but the technology is new and secret so the odds of success are unclear. Furthermore, some of the strains might be mostly harmless and mainly give people immunity (like a vaccine), or might already have done so, maybe to 40% of the population for example. So it's too early to tell whether it's futile to avoid the current strain.

YimbyGeorge

Dec 14, 2022

10

Possible to stock up on antiviral drugs instead?

Even flu medications are sold out nationwide right now. Is there a sketchy international pharmacy I can get Paxlovid from?

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In your 20s your hospitalization risk is very low: covid is super age-dependent. Instead of leaving to go get an mRNA shot or intentionally getting infected, have you considered living as normal? I'd think pretty differently if you were 80 though.

Yeah, that's basically my default option. My main concern was that basically >1 billion people were going to get COVID sometime in the coming months and that the health system just can't keep up. It'll probably be nothing, but if I need a ventilator in February to stay alive, I fully expect to just die. Hence the bug-chasing.

Now that I think about it, taking up cardio is probably the sanest thing I can do right now.