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Did we have this same panic with SARS etc?

38 replies

Comps83 · 06/03/2020 09:13

So apparently SARS was a while ago according to DH and the reason I don't remember this sort of panic with it is because it was before social media etc
Feels like it was only a few years ago to me
Did we have this same reaction with SARS and swine flu etc?
I remember with SARS they had monitoring at airports but people who have recently traveled have told me there is nothing in place this time?

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BestZebbie · 06/03/2020 09:26

I remember a huge panic about MRSA - I had to have my appendix out suddenly right in the middle of the news coverage and I remember hearing it was in the hospital when I came round and being bored out of my mind for 48 hours because I refused to go to the communal TV/magazine room with my open wound in case I caught it! (I'm pretty sure it is still frequently lurking in the same hospital but I didn't care so much for subsequent procedures).

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Notcool1984 · 06/03/2020 10:20

We didn’t have same reaction to swine flu! I’m sure it was social media etc wasn’t so prevalent (and news websites running live blogs 24/7) at its peak there was 110,000 new cases in a week! I remember reading a story in a newspaper that morning the going about the day, rather than now, being glued to a smartphone.

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Stripeyshirts2450 · 06/03/2020 10:34

No because coronavirus is far more infectious and symotoms can take weeks to show. It's very different unfortunately.

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GinDrinker00 · 06/03/2020 10:46

You can’t compare swine flu to corona virus though. Swine flu we have tamiflu to tackle that, this we have nothing to fight against it yet. Very different things.

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HerstoryInTheMaking · 06/03/2020 10:49

Swine flu - 0.2% death rate
Coronavirus- 2% - 3.6% death rate

Hence why experts are concerned by this. We dont need to panic but concerned. I have been following experts such as Dr Dena Grayson on twitter who have provided balanced coverage on this.

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Comps83 · 06/03/2020 10:51

Anyone know how SARS compares to coronavirus?

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HerstoryInTheMaking · 06/03/2020 10:53

Sars Death Rate - 10%, however much less contagious. Out of 8000 cases 800 died.

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Hazelnutlatteplease · 06/03/2020 10:59

SARS was contained. If it had been as infectious as coronavirus there would have been a far bigger problem.

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Eireni · 06/03/2020 11:18

I think because SARS is way more likely to kill you/make you unwell quickly, it doesn’t spread as easily. Less ‘healthy’ people walking around not knowing they have the disease and spreading it around.

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HerstoryInTheMaking · 06/03/2020 11:20

Well also SARS didnt spread during the incubation period. Coronavirus spreads in the up to 14 day incubation period.

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WanderingMilly · 06/03/2020 11:24

I don' even remember SARS.
But I do remember the H1N1 (bird flu') panic....and no-one else seems to! Not sure why, because there was a similar panic, disinfecting, schools closing, workers in protective suits disinfecting workplaces and schools. Folk were stockpiling and panic buying, just the same....

It was in 2009 and I was working in a boarding school at the time. When people were ill, the environment folk came, all suited up, sprayed the room and locked up. There was a world-shortage of Tammiflu pills and in the end we were dishing out Tammiflu as prophylaxis protection (and it caused a lot of nasty side effects in some people too).

I cant remember how many deaths (if any) there were though, so maybe it hasn't stayed in the public imagination in the same way.

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Frangipanini · 06/03/2020 13:09

I remember SARS because I was living in the epicentre at the time. I was in HK and we were in lock down. We had a government website that tallied up the days events every day and it used to double every day. Everyone in stayed in and we were not allowed out without a mask. All my friends went back to their home country with their DC.

The supermarkets were picked clean and you couldn't get a mask anywhere. In the end I had relatives in the UK send them over to me. We all wore the N95 masks as those blue flimsy things are useless.

It was scary, but the hysteria was the worst bit. I had a SARS box for years with hand sanitiser, masks and surgical gloves. Wish I'd kept it!

I have stocked up on things my end. I haven't gone mad about it but I am ready for it if anyone in my family gets Coronovirus or we go in lockdown.

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HairyFloppins · 06/03/2020 13:14

I remember being panicked by the Swine Flu epidemic. My youngest was only 3 at the time and we both got it and needed Tamiflu. A family member ended up very ill in hospital with it. I also remember it didn't effect the elderly as much. Quite the opposite for Covid 19.

I did read about SARS and was concerned by the death rate but it was well contained.

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noblegiraffe · 06/03/2020 13:34

I got very antsy about swine flu as I was pregnant at the time and it was really bad for pregnant women. I actually started maternity leave early to avoid going into school when it got close.

It reached its peak around the start of the summer holidays though (which probably helped contain it) so they didn’t need to discuss closing schools, exams etc.

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Justgivemethehobnobs · 10/03/2020 17:13

I am surprised this thread hasn't had more discussion.
I can't really remember there being so much media attention around the other outbreaks but maybe I am just more aware of it this time round.

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HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime · 10/03/2020 17:48

Like a PP I was pregnant during swine flu, a couple of pregnant women had died from it and we couldn't have tamiflu. I didn't self isolate but I did avoid crowded places and public transport.

On a personal level I'm not at all worried about Covid-19 there are no elderly or ill people in my family so if we get it we are likely to be alright.

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Permenantlyexhaustedpidgeon · 10/03/2020 17:55

I travelled from Toronto to Singapore in the middle of the SARS crisis, I had tonsillitis and when we went through the thermal cameras when we landed I was whisked aside by medics in protective clothing. I was terrified! People were wearing masks in the streets and I seem to remember places being less busy, but nothing on this level of panic. As others, I think social media has really spiked the panic - people seem to have lost all common sense!

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Polly99 · 10/03/2020 18:12

I had a colleague who had a stop over in HK during SARS. She was told to stay home for 2 weeks after arriving back in London. As this was before we were all expected to work remotely (office job) she basically had a free 2 weeks off. It was taken seriously, but was contained.

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hopeishere · 10/03/2020 18:20

I agree the way news works now is so different. It's constant rolling coverage. And they need a fresh angle all the time so look at lots of different aspects.

I do think things are worse than those outbreaks though.

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Chihaha · 10/03/2020 18:22

Swine flu was pretty scary- I was really ill at the time and remember feeling pretty resigned to the fact that I'd probably catch it and probably die...

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helpfulperson · 10/03/2020 18:26

Those of us old enough remember the HIV pandemic and the scary icebergs. Can you imagine what that would be like today with social media etc

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NotGenerationAlpha · 10/03/2020 18:26

There was no panic about SARS because it didn’t make it here. It has a very high death rate and therefore limits it transmit ability. My parents live in Hong Kong, and I can assure you it’s caused panic there. In fact the city compare this to SARS frequently.

There is a cover of Torn by a Hong Kong comedian and she compared the two as well. www.scmp.com/video/scmp-originals/3052111/hong-kong-singer-kathy-macs-coronavirus-parody-song-becomes-viral-hit

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NotGenerationAlpha · 10/03/2020 18:28

I remember how SARS was transmitted via a faulty toilet U bend to an entire building block. That caused a lot of anxiety because the root cause wasn’t found until the epidemic was over. People didn’t know how everyone in the block got the virus at all.

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eeeyoresmiles · 10/03/2020 18:37

I don' even remember SARS. But I do remember the H1N1 (bird flu') panic....and no-one else seems to! Not sure why, because there was a similar panic, disinfecting, schools closing, workers in protective suits disinfecting workplaces and schools. Folk were stockpiling and panic buying, just the same....

That's swine flu you're thinking of there, not bird flu. The bird flu scare was in about 2005/6 when everyone was afraid H5N1 was about to jump to having human-to-human transmission. H5N1's mortality rate is about 60%. Thankfully, it didn't start spreading properly between people.

Possibly we will learn a lot of things from coronavirus that will help when/if H5N1 or something like that mutates so it can be transmitted from human to human. I think it's probably more like a when but I hope it's not in my lifetime!

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eeeyoresmiles · 10/03/2020 18:41

Looking at social media as the reason why people are more worried about this only makes sense if you assume this is going to end up having been no worse than SARS or swine flu.

The more obvious reason why people are more worried about this is that it's genuinely developing in a more dangerous way.

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