Wuhan Coronavirus/2019-nCoV Update: January 27th, 2020

UPDATE Jan. 28th, 2020: You can view my latest daily update here.


I don’t have a lot of major news to report today. I’m feeling somewhat stressed out trying to keep on top of this, so I am probably going to turn off the news until later this evening, put up my feet, and try to relax.

I did watch the press conference held in Toronto, Ontario concerning the first Canadian case of 2019-nCoV, a man who flew from Wuhan to Toronto with his wife. The man’s case is now confirmed (by the Canadian national microbiology laboratory in Winnipeg), and his wife is now considered to be a second, “presumptive” case (verified by the Ontario Ministry of Health, to be verified by the Winnipeg lab before officially labeled “confirmed”). Apparently she is not as sick as her husband, and is under self-quarantine in her home.

The following infographic is courtesy of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which also livestreamed the press conference earlier today:

Coronavirus Prevention Tips (source: CBC)

Please see yesterday’s update for a list of links to good, authoritative information sources about the 2019-nCoV virus, as well as a few links to places to check if you want information that has not yet reached the mainstream news media (but may be more suspect).

And speaking of suspect information, you might want to read this list of hoaxes and crackpot conspiracy theories about 2019-nCoV already making the rounds, courtesy of the Politifact website. (BuzzFeed News has a running list of coronavirus disinformation making the rounds of social media, too.) Forewarned is forearmed.

And that’s all for me at the moment! Keep your fingers crossed.

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One thought on “Wuhan Coronavirus/2019-nCoV Update: January 27th, 2020”

  1. Ryan, thank you for the well-researched, helpful, and balanced pieces on the 2019-nCoV! it’s a true delight to read. I was wondering if you had considered any role that social-VR could play in global emergency preparation and response. For inspiration or comparison I look at the game Plague Inc by Ndemic Creations which apparently has been downloaded roughly 100 million times, almost certainly far more times than users have accessed WHO or the CDC websites looking for understanding of how viral infections spread, and the biological and social factors that affect the spread.

    Maybe you might consider prompting a spirited free-wheeling Discord or Blog discussion of what the role of Social-VR might become in the future in this regard. For example, one powerful response to a spreading pandemic would be encouraging anyone who can to work remotely from home, and one factor inhibiting that solution is that meetings via Skype or GoToMeeting or Discord are still not as realistic and authentic as face-to-face meetings for making hard or draconian decisions, but meetings in Virtual Reality might overcome those barriers or even become “better than face-to-face”, with AI-empowered facilitation tools and shared whiteboards or 3-D complex mind-map models of facts, guesses, interactions, stakeholder-interests etc. One frustration I had in physical face-to-face meetings is that they had to take place in physical rooms which were always shared use scarce resources, so they were not available, or were available only certain hours, or they required spending the first 15 minutes putting up charts and maps, and the last 15 taking them down again, because nothing could be left up in the shared rooms. On the other hand, in a virtual meeting space, the whiteboards could be the size of houses, and left permanently posted.

    Anyway, there are massive unmet pandemic preparation and response needs, including education of and training the public response-coordination, etc. Brainstorming ideas of how social-VR might evolve to meet some of those needs might set some thinking in motion that could inspire development downstream of some truly innovative solutions — and you seem to be the person with an overview of all the different social-VR sites to imagine how things might play out. Thank you!

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