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.
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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:
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.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).
36-second video of pandemic ventilator prototype:
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?