COVID-19 may cause permanent "reduced lung function" to young people, damaging productivity and intelligence

post by trevorw96 · 2020-03-20T19:02:00.605Z · score: 0 (3 votes) · EA · GW · 1 comments

This is a link post for https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-recovery-damage-lung-function-gasping-air-hong-kong-doctors-2020-3

Potentially reversible by years of therapy, a sizable proportion of COVID-19 cases in young people will be damaged to the point where they are "left gasping for air after walking quickly".

Not only will victims face lifelong difficulties exercising, but may experience less cognitive benefits from the same amount of sleep due to reduced oxygen, e.g. memory, focus, and mood. This can be particularly severe for people who don't know they have sleep apnea.

In general, you are likely to be infected with COVID-19 at a time when millions of people in your metropolitan area are either experiencing symptoms, or are "sleeper" carriers during the 2-14 day incubation period (who will experience symptoms at around the same time). Either way, due to the exponential nature of epidemics, P(overwhelmed hospitals | you're sick)= high. Untreated pneumonia is clearly enough of a threat on its own; people familiar with EA ideas probably should not be disproportionately vulnerable to the outbreak.

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comment by Aaron Gertler (aarongertler) · 2020-03-21T06:29:33.395Z · score: 3 (2 votes) · EA(p) · GW(p)

This seems like a good time to discuss Forum policy around posts about COVID-19. 

I think that we should try to avoid about just posting general pandemic news when there's nothing especially actionable about it. Reading this piece tells me something worrisome about the virus, but I can't see how it's meant to change my behavior, or pull me in the direction of supporting a policy I didn't support already, etc.

Does this piece have any special relevance for the EA community that I might not be missing? You write "people familiar with EA ideas probably should not be disproportionately vulnerable to the outbreak," but why would someone's "EA ideas" make them more vulnerable in the first place?