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Thread: Coronavirus and homemade tools

  1. #1
    Jon
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    Coronavirus and homemade tools

    I've been receiving many generic and useless Coronavirus emails, so I wanted to start a thread here with relevant Coronavirus discussion as it pertains to us: homemade tool builders.

    Coronavirus is spreading rapidly worldwide, and it's going to get worse before it gets better. In the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic, there were multiple waves, and the second wave was deadliest. So, it may also get worse after it gets better.

    Fullsize image: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/h...s_fullsize.jpg


    Some topics relevant to homemade tool building:

    1. People are staying at home more. Is anyone here on voluntary quarantine, mandatory quarantine, partial lockdown, full lockdown, or watching your government gradually roll out a lockdown so that it's more socially acceptable? Working from home? Kids' or grandkids' schools closed? Or perhaps you see that Coronavirus deaths skew heavily toward your age group, so you don't want to venture out. Even if you recover (the vast majority of people do), you'll still have to deal with a terrible respiratory infection, and possibly long-term effects. Hospitalization rates (estimates now are around 15%) are high enough that, were Coronavirus to reach your house, the risk of one or more members of your household needing hospitalization is troubling. Home-based hobbies are extremely important for maintaining sanity now, and you may have more time to work on yours.

    2. Supply chains are being disrupted. This means that most of us will likely have reduced access to tool building supplies and materials, or will pay higher prices for our goods. Anyone get rejected trying to buy food, toilet paper, masks, or ammunition? I found a decent subreddit dedicated to supply chains here, and you can monitor it for gossip about how the global supply chain will be affected. This is (one of) the reasons that it makes sense to value ingenuity and low-buck construction in a hobby, because one day you may really need those skills.




    3. People are starting to build breathing machines. The rumors about Italy triaging breathing machines to save younger people can't be ignored. Coronavirus deaths increase significantly without access to breathing machines.

    From WHO report on Covid treatment strategy:

    While most people with COVID-19 develop only mild or uncomplicated illness, approximately 14% develop severe disease that requires hospitalization and oxygen support, and 5% require admission to an intensive care unit (1).
    Specifically, this means CPAPs (they help you breathe in), oxygen concentrators (they concentrate oxygen from ambient air), and especially ventilators (they breathe in and out for you). Countries are banning export of these machines, because each nation wants to hold on to its own stock. Here's an example of a DIY respirator project that you can contribute to now: https://panvent.blogspot.com/ . More: https://www.instructables.com/id/The...ic-Ventilator/ . You do need some medical training to operate these machines (especially a ventilator), but not so much that it's out of reach for a reasonably smart person, especially if your local ICU is at capacity. In addition to breathing machines, we're seeing homemade masks and other PPE, and even stuff like homemade button-pushing tools so you don't have to touch a public button. As tool builders, this is our time to shine.

    36-second video of pandemic ventilator prototype:


    Some resources:

    New England Journal of Medicine Coronavirus section - very credible source, and they'll be extremely useful in the days to come. Not great for fresh information. Most of the useful studies out there are still preprints that you will have to analyze yourself, prior to any peer review.

    Multi-reddit feed of Coronavirus communities - mixed bag of extremely useful ultra-fresh Coronavirus news, and social media garbage. Sort by new for the latest info. For local gossip, search for a Coronavirus subreddit specific to your area. For example, here's mine: https://www.reddit.com/r/CoronavirusColorado/ . For desktop, I prefer the old reddit formatting, so I substitute "old" for "www" in the url. Looks like this: https://old.reddit.com/r/CoronavirusColorado/

    Coronavirus Johns Hopkins Map - one of the better interactive maps covering current Coronavirus cases. Keep in mind that the official confirmed infection numbers are MUCH smaller than the actual number of people infected. By the time someone becomes an "official" Coronavirus patient, they've been infected and contagious for a while.

    Dr. Nicholas Christakis on Twitter - Christakis is well-respected, well-educated, and blunt. He's been doing a great job on his Twitter lately. Lots of epidemiological data that laypeople can understand.

    Has Coronavirus impacted your tool building hobby? Are you expecting it to? What are you doing to prepare? Are you still toying with the "it's just the flu" mindset? Or are you stockpiling your underground bunker with CBRN suits and barrels of loose ammo? Somewhere in between?
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    Karl_H's Tools

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    I am not signed in on my iPad so I get the ads.
    When I first saw this post, the ad right after the "resources" was for Victoria's Secret - talk about a positive side to quarantines!
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    hemmjo's Tools
    These are troubling times for sure. It will certainly be interesting to see how things unfold. My grandmother, my fathers mom, died in 1919 of that influenza outbreak.

    One other bit of trivia, this years High School seniors were born in 2001, in time for the 911 tragedy.

    Life is difficult, some have come to expect it to be easy and complain with things are too difficult (here in the USA anyway). I am guessing there are some other countries with the same situation. I feel a lot of people are going to get a real attitude adjustment.

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    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Frank S's Tools
    We normally go once a month to buy Toilet paper, paper towels and paper plates if needed once every 3 to 5 months to restock our pantry shelves. We are opportunistic buyers when it comes to frozen foods or meats if it is on a major reduced price sale and should we determine there is sufficient extra space in our freezer we will buy a few items KEY word here is few since our freezer is very nearly always near capacity. We plant every spring and harvest through out the summer canning up as much excess as possible, or trading it with some neighbors for things they have grown but we hadn't. This only leaves the things that don't last long periods of time such as bread and milk. Yes I can bake bread if need be but refuse to feed a cow just for the half gallon of milk we might consume in a weeks time.
    Essentially we are self quarantined most of the time. save for the infrequent trip to town usually at least once a week but not always.
    Since I am 65 and the wife is 74 we fall into that supposed vulnerable age group. In living memory or the 30 years we have been together we both have had the flu once that we remember, also we both have had only 1 flu shot in our lifetimes coincidentally that was the same year we had the flu a few weeks after getting the shot.
    She has allergy congestion once in a while but I almost never catch a cold unless possibly after cleaning out an attic or under a house where there is dinosaur dust and ancient rodent feces and my mask wasn't properly sealed. I also almost never wear gloves and probably rub sweat off my face and out of my eyes several times while cleaning this stuff. In these cases I might come down with something for a couple of days. If or when I do contract something I pig out on my homemade hot sauce using chips as a medium to consume it with, consume massive quantities of things very high in vitamin C and eat a lot of honey other than that I ignore any symptoms until they go away.
    The way I figure it if I were to contact the COVID-19 I might not even recognize what I have. I don't run to the DR or the ER unless something is obviously broken, leaking more blood than I can stop, or something has punctured me and I'm not sure if I have managed to remove all of it. SO I would probably be near death before I would drive myself to the hospital.
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    Supporting Member Big Sexy's Avatar
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    Society and I don’t play well together, so I try to stay “quarantined” every day regardless of a pandemic or not. This all started after a TBI.

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    TRIGGER WARNING: SNOWFLAKES MAY HAVE A MELTDOWN FROM WATCHING THIS AND NOT EVEN BE ABLE TO WATCH IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH.
    Last edited by IAMSatisfied; 03-16-2020 at 10:34 PM.

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    I stopped watching at “it’s just the flu”. Obviously he does not understand much about A&P and definitely nothing about infectious disease. Nobody is saying it’s deadlier than a flu It just attacks more people and quicker. And all of this is before it mutates. As John said about the Spanish flu of the early 20th century “ It was worse the second time around” I believe the 2nd time around was because it mutated. And if you had the original strain, the antibodies your body made will not do any good against the mutated strain. Also this is a case of SARS (sudden acute respiratory syndrome). So basically this guy has no idea what he is talking about. He just needs something for his YouTube channel. He probably thinks the “liberals” started this virus as a way to sabotage the upcoming election and not because some random chinaman had sex with his chickens. Haha

  13. #8
    Jon
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    This is a good comprehensive article on why it's so alarming: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coron...e-f4d3d9cd99ca

    It's difficult - even for technical people like us - to understand the implications of exponential growth. And by the time people get it, it's too late.

    I have been using the 100X technique he's describing. If your state announces 50 "official" cases of coronavirus, then you may as well multiply that number by 100 to at least make a better rough guess at true positives. It may not be perfect, but your number will be closer to reality.

    Western nations as a whole are far less collectivist and authoritarian than China. I don't know how we will react to ultra-strict containment measures, which are necessary to control infection. China is now having people install an app on their phones that uses mass surveillance to do Coronavirus contact tracing. The app displays green if you can move freely. Yellow and you must stay home for 7 days. Red and you're on 2-week quarantine. Once someone tests positive, they're using GPS and video surveillance to quarantine those with whom they came into contact. More from NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/01/b...veillance.html . Here's a clip of people being scanned. Your app must display green to get through the checkpoint. I'm not criticizing this app (China criticism is below, don't worry), and we may be using something like it soon in America. It's interesting how our media is so aghast at the notion of this app automatically notifying police if people break quarantine.



    Also, my understanding (thus far, as an amateur) is that the hospitalization rate does not alter greatly with age (unlike the death rate). If there is a 15% hospitalization rate, and you have 4 members in your household (assuming even hospitalization rates across age groups), and you all get Covid, then you are at roughly even odds that at least one person in your household will require hospitalization.

    I also hope that when this is all over, there is some sort of globally-enforced crackdown on China's questionable meat selling practices, similar to how Iran's nuclear capabilities are limited by the rest of the world. Note SARS and Avian Influenza (AKA bird flu or H5N1). Coronavirus is at least the third Chinese virus that originated in animals. And while the "coronavirus came from eating bat soup" meme is garbage, we do think it transferred to humans due to unsanitary practices of handling and selling bats in wet markets for consumption (just not from ingesting bat flesh, that's the nuance). China isn't exactly some impoverished Saharan African nation. They're wealthy, and they need to address this stuff so that it doesn't happen again.

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  15. #9
    Jon
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    A couple of new updates. Regarding supply chains: apparently Amazon is de-prioritizing certain goods: NBC, Vox, NYPost. Not exactly my favorite news sources, but there it is.

    "We are seeing increased online shopping and as a result some products such as household staples and medical supplies are out of stock," the company announced on its seller platform called Seller Central. "With this in mind, we are temporarily prioritizing household staples, medical supplies and other high-demand products coming into our fulfillment centers so that we can more quickly receive, restock, and ship these products to customers."
    When I think of a supply chain, I am reminded of the old saw: "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link." For example, in America, our farmers produce plenty of food to feed our country. Store shelves are emptying now for logistical reasons, not because we ran out of grain.

    This is a good time to stock up on longer-term consumables. Are we facing a post-apocalyptic world in which you must trade your first-born child for a sanding belt? Probably not. Their price may rise though. You can look through your Amazon order history, and also review every shelf and drawer in your shop, and order what you may need. Fasteners, filters, sandpaper, tape, glue - stuff like that. Worst case scenario: you stocked up your shop with reasonably-priced items that you will use anyway.

    Ammunition purchasers may benefit from an ammo tracking site like Gunbot.net, WikiArms.com, or AmmoSeek.com. I found these when I built my AR, and they've been useful ever since.

    On the homemade tool front, let's look again at DIY ventilators. The phrase "ventilator shortage" is now on the NYT homepage, above the fold. Governments are begrudgingly admitting that they may not have enough to go around. Note the #FlattenTheCurve movement. We're trying to stretch out the pandemic over the longest period of time as possible, so that it doesn't exceed our medical capacity at any one point.



    Here's a new project for an Arduino-based DIY ventilator: https://github.com/jcl5m1/ventilator . Not exactly a finished product, and I know that pulmonologists are aghast at this stuff, but this one is at least a few iterations beyond the previous one I posted here.





    Finally, I liked this quarantine GIF. Click to play.


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  17. #10
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    As long as you are super careful to clean every last bit of the respirator (like a CPAP) it should be good. I have a friend who found out the hard way when using a half-mask respirator. He got a bad bacterial pneumonia from a dirty unit. Warm humid breath condensate is a breeding ground for all kinds of nasties.

    A freshly washed pieced of a cotton sheet and a couple of elastic bands may be just as effective, but way less cool.

    Dan

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