But other people were sharing other articles saying different things ("this is all overblown"), or just something more moderate like "we'll have to social distance later but not yet" and other people were also taking those seriously. So I still don't know how to answer the question of "at the time, how should we have known who to listen to?"
There are so many books on this topic that I didn't try to catalogue them. But thanks for the recommendation!
> It is probably too late though.
That might be technically true but I think it's misleading - I'm not clear on how common it was in China for one member of a household to get sick and others to stay well, but from anecdotal reports in the US I think it's fairly common for one person to get it and not spread it to e.g. their spouse and children.
So I'd think if one member of a household has symptoms, it's well worth quarantining within the household instead of assuming it's not worth trying to limit spread.
The CDC recommends drying hands, because wet hands spread and receive microbes more easily. (Although that's microbes generally and they're not sure about disease-causing germs in particular). https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-handwashing.html
So I'd think that applying lotion and then, say, opening the bathroom door with lotiony hands will re-contaminate your hands. Doing it just before sitting at your desk for a while or going to bed might be a better time, so your hands can dry when you're not going to be walking around touching stuff.
Their advice for healthcare settings is to prefer hand sanitizer, because it's better at killing germs, it doesn't dry your skin as much, and you're more likely to actually use it. https://www.cdc.gov/handhygiene/science/index.html
Their advice for community settings is to prefer soap and water, as far as I can tell because you're more likely to have stuff on your hands (grease, dirt), and because kids might drink it. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html
This coronavirus-specific page seems to treat them interchangeably. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html
Related: CDC recommends washing with warm or cool water as opposed to hot, because hot water doesn't help more and is more likely to bother your skin. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-handwashing.html
Edit: Sounds like this isn't very useful because you'll be able tell if you're having trouble breathing? See comment below.
Advice: Get a pulse oximeter to be able to triage at home.
Reasoning: If you're mildly sick, you probably don't want to go to a medical office (both because you'll be clogging up an overcrowded system, and because you'll be around people who are even sicker). But you need to know when you're sick enough to need medical care.
One way medical professionals triage is by vital signs. Most of them are obvious either to you or to other people (shortness of breath, paleness, dizziness, turning blue) but oxygen saturation (how well-oxygenated your blood is) is not. If you think you might have pneumonia (one of the common effects of coronavirus), low oxygen saturation is one of the things that would indicate that, and lower numbers should move you toward getting medical care. 95% and above is normal (at sea level) and lower numbers mean it's likely your lungs aren't working properly (with outcomes being worse the lower the number is).
The device is cheap and easy to use.
Note that you might still be very sick and need medical care even if your oxygen level is fine, so this is a way to rule in being sick enough to need medical care but doesn't rule it out.
Guide to using and what levels are normal
More detailed instructions for troubleshooting
Article on lower oxygen saturation meaning worse outcomes for pneumonia
(I'm not a medical professional and would appreciate it if someone who is would double-check the logic here, or some risk I'm not thinking of in terms of people reading it wrong and coming to wrong conclusions)
I never have a productive six-hour unbroken stretch of work, but my partner will occasionally have 6-hour bursts of very productive coding where he stays in the zone and doesn't notice time passing. He basically looks up and realizes it's night and everyone else had dinner hours ago. But the rest of the time he works normal hours with a more standard-to-loose level of concentration.
[speaking for myself, not for any organization]
If this is an allegory against appeals to consequences generally, well and good.
If there's some actual question about whether wrong cost effectiveness numbers are being promoted, could people please talk about those numbers specifically so we can all have a try at working out if that's really going on? E.g. this post made a similar claim to what's implied in this allegory, but it was helpful that it used concrete examples so people could work out whether they agreed (and, in that case, identify factual errors).
I note that one of Davis' categories was friends from competitive gaming - I'd guess there are a lot of nerdy, introverted types there. Some other activities that come to my mind as having a lot of people from that demographic: various other kinds of games (video/computer games, go, chess, pen-and-paper roleplaying games), juggling, historical reenactment, Wikipedia editing, fiber arts (spinning, dyeing, knitting, etc).