The Coronavirus and WordCamp Asia

I’m writing this blog post to share with you my personal take on the topic of the coronavirus and the upcoming long awaited WordCamp Asia.

I’m seeing many people on Twitter writing about whether to cancel their trip and I thought I could share some light on this, since I’ve done a small research to form my decision on not cancelling the trip. If you’re on the fence, this might help you decide. Note: this is my opinion, of course.

I see many videos and posts out there on the Internet that simply do not tell the truth about the facts, and people tend to believe what they see, specially in videos, without fact-checking or questioning the origin. Pretty much the definition of the Internet there.

Also, while talking to people about this, I’ve noticed that the majority even didn’t bother lookup up for accurate data or simply to look up for tips before travelling, mentioning that “I’m not going, to protect my family”. Ok, respect, but read along, please.

In sum, here are the points that helped me made my mind about not cancelling the trip:

  • It is not a pandemic disease (sure, I’ll add the yet here, but it’s not);
  • Since it first appeared in Thailand (not even sure if it was in Bangkok), 14+ days have passed and there as to Feb. 11 2020 33 known cases, Thailand population is around 69 million people;
  • Thailand has blocked people coming from the affected regions in China, and not only that, it flew 144 people back to Wuhan for quarantine;
  • I’m not travelling via China, and if you can avoid that, the risk of you being infected gets reduced dramatically;
  • The attack rate or transmissibility (how rapidly the disease spreads) is known to be between 1.5 and 3.5 (represents the average number of people to which a single infected person will transmit the virus), common flu is 1.5;
  • The number of new daily cases is shrinking (check out the growth factor here: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-cases/);
  • Only people with existing medical conditions and above 60ish years of age have very slim chances to survive, if not treated rapidly, right now of all the sick people (99% in China), 81% recovered, 19% died (mostly elderly people in the affected regions on hospitals without capacity of proper treatment);
  • There’s one reported death outside China;
  • On a daily basis, 500 people die from the “common” flu;
  • Healthy people around their 30s that would get the virus might have mild symptoms and even never notice or screened positive, children don’t get sick as far as we know;
  • German has 16 cases, would you not travel to Germany right now? What about California and its 7 cases?;
  • If you wash your hand regularly, and don’t touch your mouth or eyes, you’re reducing the risk of being infected even more, and that’s true for every other virus that could get into your system and give you a diarrhea, a cold, or whatever uncomfortable sickness you usually get if not careful with regular hygiene;
  • Bangkok is a modern well-equipped city with hospitals and treatment conditions of the highest level, also, everybody is super nice;
  • The org team for WordCamp Asia has worked very hard to get the event up and running, they deserve our presence.

If you’re still on the fence after ready this, I respect. But do not decide based on what you read from others telling what they heard, get yourself familiar with the facts and think twice before missing the very first edition of yet another WordCamp.

Sites that I follow daily to get myself up to date:

Also, please engage on Twitter for a healthy discussion on this issue. Help spread the news and save travels, as always!

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