All of tragedyofthecomments's Comments + Replies

I did talk about getting a solar panel to charge devices (containing multiple solar cells), but maybe you know more. Any suggestions on the cost and use of solar cells?

EDIT: Changed blood oxygen numbers thanks to Jay Molstad Comment

What I would do if I had COVID-19? ( I am NOT a medical professional)

Ok. So you're sick. Maybe you have a fever and a bit of a cough. This may be COVID-19 and this may be something else like a seasonal flu. Even if you have COVID-19 the most likely outcome is that the symptoms are mild enough that you can deal with them at home. The South Korean Health Minister says 10%, so 90% you recover at home.

  • Dealing with mild symptoms at home:
    • Rest
      • You shouldn't be doing anything strenuous. Just
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I asked my dad, a doctor (internal medicine). My blood oxygenation is usually around 92-93%. It can vary for a number of reasons. Anything under 90% is considered hypoxia, but the high 80s can be "normal" in a long time smoker.

The hospital is likely to be very busy and not have time for mild cases. Blood oxygenation of 92% does not warrant their attention. I'd give my doctor (or the emergency room) a call at 90% oxygenation. At 85% it's definitely time to go to the hospital (unless they tell you otherwise). Below 80% brings a se... (read more)

Noting I am living in a group house and we are now being fairly strict in limiting outside social contact, using stored food or sterilization procedures for when we order things, and are putting more thought into our procedures going forward.

I'm not sure if electrolyte powder is more hydrating than salt. . . But I think there's a lot to be said for making water taste good enough to you that you want to keep drinking it. Often things taste worse than usual when sick and having something you can mix with water that tastes good will make you more likely to keep drinking it. For the same reason I try to have a variety of hydrating things I'm willing to drink around so when one gets old I can switch to a different one.

Figure out now who will take care of you if you get extremely sick and who you will take care of if they get extremely sick.

Making these expectations explicit could pay off. Different people have different norms around what level of care vs avoidance should happen when someone is sick. If you became extremely sick, you might lose the coherence necessary to arrange help for yourself.

You should have some kind of electrolyte powder or electrolyte drinks on hand. When sick with any disease that can cause a fever (Fever is one of the symptoms of COVID-19 that pretty much everyone gets), staying hydrated is possibly the most important thing for you to be doing. You may be losing fluids from sweating and you may not be paying much attention to how much you are drinking. You will do a better job staying hydrated if everything you need to be hydrated can be right next to your bed. Once you have a fever it will really suck to go acquire stuff and you should be staying at home anyway.

What happens when your electrolytes get low? I just have a vague sense that it's bad.
4Vanessa Kosoy3y
Probably stupid question, but why electrolyte drinks rather than just water?

Don't bother with the drinks. Recommended home-made rehydration drinks usually are sugar + salt for electrolytes. You want ~12x as much sugar as salt, and if you want to prep early, you can store the sugar-salt mixture and add it to water - you want about a half tablespoon of the mixture pur cup of water.

Unless this is the only thing you have to eat/drink for more than a couple days, this is fine - no need for anything complicated or expensive. And if you're too sick to eat solids... (read more)

What's the advantage of electrolytes over just table salt?

Yeah, It's true we don't know the long term effects yet and being ill is unpleasant. I'm taking the minor precautions of not going to large public spaces (BART, Grocery Stores, Gyms) for a while.

For me personally, self quarantine seems pretty unnecessary at this point, but I would act differently if I were in a different age group. Given the below death rates I would self quarantine if I were over 40. I would like to note I expect these death rates to be somewhat high because they are largely based on confirmed cases, which I expect to be disproportionately the worse cases that ended up in hospitals.

There was one case of Covid-19 in Solano county (CA) that couldn't be traced directly to travelers, which indicates community spread may be happening

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Consider that by quarantining yourself you're also protecting others from being infected (directly and indirectly) by you, some of whom may be in much higher risk categories. Given that we're still in the early stages of exponential growth, this seems quite significant.
8Steven Byrnes3y
These numbers are applicable when there are hospital beds and equipment and staff to treat the 20%ish of severe cases. When the hospitals get overwhelmed, the fatality rates will go up. By how much? I have a guess broken down by age here [].
Note that there has been a second confirmed case of community transmission in the Bay Area. WaPo link []

Given the below death rates

Note that while your personal survival is quite important, getting infected and surviving can have quite awful effects. We don't know what the long-term effects are like yet (because we haven't hit the long-term yet), but I won't be surprised if post-viral fatigue is common.

Being ill is also unpleasant, and you become a risk to your community, and especially any elderly people in your community.

Great table to offer. Might be good to also update on some related state. Males seem twice as likely as females to contract the infection (not positive here if that also scales with age or not) Also, those with preexisting condition (heart, lung, other immune system taxing states) are also more likely to suffer more, and be among those dying than those who are generally healthy. I think there was also a suspected link between smoking and higher risk if exposed to COVID-19. That is probably too correlated with the other preexisting health conditions that might be too difficult to say much.
2Ben Pace3y
Thanks for the useful data and advice for younger people! Please remove the long laundry list of recommendations at the end :) Edit: Thank you. I will now fix your table.
Sources Death Rates [] [] Solano County Case []
4Ben Pace3y
Note: I gave Finan a table using the new in-beta editor. Users in general still do not have editors available at the minute.

Probably not so hot take.

The Doomsday Clock is an out of date metaphor and should be replaced.

I think it was valuable during the cold war for the doomsday clock to be a representation of risk that everyone could easily recognize and talk about, but I think it is now likely doing more harm than good.

Bad Things: -Trying to include many types of risks: The doomsday clock was originally a representation of the risk of large scale nuclear war, now it includes climate, biorisk, and AI. Tracking progress and risk in these fields is complex. Tracking them all at o

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Raemon is correct in surmising the thing I was pointing to.

mr-hire, I think both kinds of statements exist and I agree it can sometimes be useful to imagine what things a community as a group can do.

I wasn't complaining about pointing-out-problems-without-solutions. Not everyone who makes "The community should . . ." statements are making a top down argument, but I think some are and I expect people thinking of entities in charge to become increasingly frustrated by the lack of top down coordination.

Recognizing the lack of top down coordination won't solve

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I often see people making statements that sound to me like . . . "The entity in charge of bay area rationality should enforce these norms." or "The entity in charge of bay area rationality is bad for allowing x to happen."

There is no entity in charge of bay area rationality. There's a bunch of small groups of people that interact with each other sometimes. They even have quite a bit of shared culture. But no one is in charge of this thing, there is no entity making the set of norms for rationalists, there is no one you can outsource the building of your desired group to.

2Matt Goldenberg3y
Can you give an example of someone who said this? I've never heard this, only "the bay area rationality community should", which is much more reasonable, if no easier to enforce.

You mentioned self help. I think care less arguments exist, but because "caring less" sounds kind of like "be a shittier person" things get phrased as take care of yourself or "what do we prioritize here". In favor of caring less about some things so we can do more of the things we want to care more about.