Register | Login
Attackpoint - performance and training tools for orienteering athletes

Discussion: Please cancel US national meets!

in: Orienteering; General

Mar 12, 2020 11:23 AM # 
It's hard for me to believe that there are two separate US national meets in the events discussion at the moment detailing their plans to go ahead. In the age of COVID-19, it's not about what you can get away with doing (cancel only when the government tells you to) but what's right. Even if orienteering itself is about as safe as sports get, the travel, restaurant meals, hotel nights, and so on are not. And you just need one person at the meet to be infected and the whole event becomes a disaster.

I know the organizers have put in lots of work and spent lots of money on planning great meets, and I understand not wanting to lose that. But I'm also sure the meets could be delayed to 2021.

This article gives the urgency better than I can:

Please cancel these meets! If the NBA can do it, with billions of dollars at stake, so can orienteering.
Mar 12, 2020 11:53 AM # 
Hard agree.
Mar 12, 2020 11:56 AM # 
I completely agree. Orienteers have long prized their bragging rights to getting out there no matter what, but this is a very different situation. No one has immunity from this and holding a national meet will put other innocent bystanders at risk. This is not a situation where you can choose to take a personal risk - the entire community is at risk from your personal decisions.

I think there may be some denial at work here, given the jarringly out of place emphasis on T shirts
Mar 12, 2020 1:37 PM # 
[I'm about to make myself a pariah, here...]

edit - disregard the following, it clearly goes against the majority opinion.

Anybody can decide to not attend an orienteering meet (or any other event). Depending on your particular travel circumstances, showing up for an orienteering meet may be less of a risk than staying where you are. If traveling to the meet means getting on a plane, that's a decision that you need to think about, but if you're driving, that's a different story. Same for lodging and eating. If you're planning to hunker down at home and subsist on canned goods for the upcoming stretch of time, then traveling to an orienteering meet may not fit into your plans. If you're going to the office every day and continuing to attend things like concerts and movies, then orienteering may be a lower risk.

There will be more meets held in 2021. If there are meets this year with reduced attendance, I'm not sure that not having the meets at all would be better. If you're sick, stay home, if you're at elevated risk, stay home, if you're concerned, stay home. I think it's an exaggeration to think that one infected person at an orienteering meet would be likely to infect many others, and if others did get infected, at this point I think it would be a stretch to connect it to the orienteering meet.

Foot and mouth, if I remember correctly, is a different matter, because the activities of orienteering can arguably promote the spread of the pathogen. And we don't have spectators packed together in the stands like at a basketball game. COVID-19 is different. Wash your hands and don't hug people.
Mar 12, 2020 1:55 PM # 
Going to work and other activities of daily life are a different story, and in those you take precautions and do the best you can. An orienteering meet is a recreational luxury, so not worth risking carrying the virus to someone who can't fight it off. Many events have been canceled, and the ones I am aware of were not easy decisions but the evidence that they were the right decisions are supported by a rapidly escalating spread.

This is not the time for rugged individualism. We are a global society, not a collection of individuals.
Mar 12, 2020 2:01 PM # 
The best thing we can do to "flatten the curve" is to avoid social interactions. Not everyone is going to choose to do this on their own. If an event is held, people will show up. Cancel the events.
Mar 12, 2020 2:13 PM # 
Seems like the handwriting is on the wall that the events are at risk. Canceling them now would reduce the stress on people who are trying to decide whether to go, and on organizers who are working to put them on but uncertain about whether people will come, etc.
Mar 12, 2020 2:22 PM # 
If it makes any difference, I am not planning on attending any upcoming national events until we see these cases level off. Not for my own interest, because I would probably be fine, rather because I do not want to be a vector that carries the virus to others who it could harm.

I just spoke with a Spanish friend in Norway who said her employer is not allowing her to leave the country. This might need confirmation, but I believe they're considering closing Oslo's airport. (Edit: Bergen Kommune has closed their borders. Not all of Norway yet.)

Let's do what we can to avoid that level.
Mar 12, 2020 2:25 PM # 
And a personal plea to not bring hyperbole into such a serious situation. Attending a meet or hunkering down and subsisting on canned goods is not the binary choice here. And self-quarantine - only necessary right now if you've had significant contact with a person who has tested positive - doesn't consist of surviving on canned goods. This isn't a widespread power outage - you can cook!
Mar 12, 2020 2:41 PM # 
You can also eat toilet paper, at least I assume that's what all the people who bought the whole shop's worth are doing.
Mar 12, 2020 2:41 PM # 
A little patience please.
Mar 12, 2020 2:52 PM # 
I'll join minority opinion here at this moment in time.
Mar 12, 2020 2:54 PM # 
Here is a good site to bookmark:
Mar 12, 2020 2:58 PM # 
Speaking as someone who just took part in the decision to cancel a QOC training weekend two and a half weeks out, I'll second Eric's request for patience. It takes time to process information within a group and a cancellation decision is all the harder the more has been invested in preparing for the event.
Mar 12, 2020 3:05 PM # 
I posted this thread because of the disconnect between the event-specific discussions and the world. Whether there will be refunds on t-shirts is not what the organizers need to be thinking about right now. Absolutely, patience is warranted if the time is being used wisely. But there wasn't much sign to outsiders of that yet.
Mar 12, 2020 4:20 PM # 
Is it possible to structure an orienteering event so there is minimal or no contact between competitors and organizers? I am looking at attending a meet this weekend without having any close contact with another human. This is possible because the meet uses online preregistration and SI Air e-punch. If I need to talk to someone I have my iPhone. The only thing I cannot figure out is using the restroom.
Mar 12, 2020 4:21 PM # 
@Feet, let's not waste everybody's time getting hung up on t-shirts. Mentioning what's excluded from refunds has been a part of refund policies for as long as there have been refunds.

The organizers of the DVOA, OCIN (Nationals), and COC (Junior Nationals) events have all been discussing contingency plans for quite some time. Speaking for OCIN, we have a medical professional who has been creating informational materials for participants, participating in our discussions, and reviewing our plans, We will post information on AP and on our website when decisions are made.
Mar 12, 2020 4:43 PM # 
@mikeminium: fair enough. I respect the difficult situation you are in.
Mar 12, 2020 5:22 PM # 
If nothing else, OUSA needs to revoke National Meet status from upcoming meets in order to remove any incentive for people to travel long distances. Then host clubs can make their own decisions about whether to cancel, postpone, or continue on with their events as local club meets.

Also it does seem to be taking longer than it should for people to really understand the scope of what we're facing here. If you haven't read the article feet linked to at the top of this thread, do it. Italy now has over 12,000 confirmed cases. Doctors are having to make choices between who gets treated and who doesn't simply due to a lack of sufficient resources.

As Cristina mentioned we need to "flatten the curve". Which means doing everything we can to slow the infection rate so that the available health care resources (personnel and equipment) have a better chance of keeping up.
Mar 12, 2020 5:30 PM # 
What about insurance?

Has our insurer been consulted?

Perhaps an organizer communicating a novel disease to a competitor during a pandemic is not a risk covered by the standard waiver or by our insurance, for that matter?

Under the current extraordinary circumstances, do we need a temporary updated waiver from both participants and volunteers stating that they understand that there is an abnormally high risk of contracting a disease that may kill or debilitate them or their potentially vulnerable relatives, friends or acquaintances? (There is significant lung damage among survivors of the serious cases.)

Make no mistake, universities and colleges are not sending all their students home, major sporting events and seasons are not being cancelled for the rest of the year, and all flights from Europe are not being cancelled for 30 days just through an abundance of caution. There is real risk involved beyond the average daily risk to those involved.
Mar 12, 2020 5:46 PM # 
Pink Socks:
For Cascade, since we're at ground zero here in the US, we've been monitoring the situation closely for several weeks and have been consulting with health and medical professionals, as well as Orienteering USA, about protocols and contingency plans.

We are not taking this lightly.

I just wanted to compare some details about yesterday's news with details of our upcoming event, to prevent some possible misconceptions. Governor Inslee did not cancel Junior Nationals yesterday. It may still be canceled, and the decision may come from the state or county governments, the permitting agencies, the club, Orienteering USA, or some combination of those.

I'm not the event director this time around, so I don't have ultimate authority in making a decision on cancellation. The club will announce a final decision no later than April 1st.
Mar 12, 2020 5:54 PM # 
As someone else mentioned in another thread last week, going out for a run in the forest is probably one of the safest and healthiest things we could all be doing right now. And as Geoman mentions above, we could probably even do it relative safely in semi-close proximity with some added precautions. However traveling long distances to get there, especially in crowds of strangers, negates a lot of that probability.

And to add a couple of data points... I just read on an AP log that someone many of us know or know of is now staying home for a while after their workplace was closed due to a co-worker testing positive.

And... (unrelated to above) it appears there is a cluster developing in Montgomery County, PA, which is on the direct line between the Big Woods meet sites and Philadelphia.
Mar 12, 2020 5:54 PM # 

One particular thing for organizers to focus on is how to arrange water-controls.
Drinking from a jug is an unfortunate habit of many
Mar 12, 2020 6:47 PM # 
This seems to have become somewhat of a political issue. And the winds, at least on this thread, seem to be blowing to the left.

However in some places the winds are blowing right. Warren Buffet, who is almost 90, so far has refused to cancel his 3-day Berkshire annual meeting next month for a large number of similar, well-heeled Americans.

Are we really going to let them have all the fun?
Mar 12, 2020 6:52 PM # 
Checked with Loomis and our insurance would not cover any claims with respect to COVID-19 (or, it seems, any other disease).
Mar 12, 2020 7:18 PM # 
Just chiming in as a second OUSA board member in this thread - we are discussing actions to take on the COVID-19 pandemic now, and will likely have an open forum at our Monday board phone call.

Some of the options that we have:
1. OUSA is the governing body, but it is my understanding that we don't have any legal authority over individual clubs. We cannot, for example, instruct clubs to cancel all events. For national meets, we can rescind sanctioned status to incentivize postponement or cancellation and discourage attendance.

2. The OUSA Planning Calendar is mostly open for Fall 2020. There are currently 7 national events or events in the sanctioning process scheduled for the next three months. There are five events on the calendar for the last six months of the year. Especially as many airlines are waiving change fees for flights, it might be reasonable for organizers to move their events to a weekend later in the year. Attendance would likely be higher, and most of the organizing work could be transferred to the new date (apart from permits, possibly equipment rentals). However, picking a date would be encouraged so people can adjust their travel plans.

3. OUSA can't compel clubs to cancel their events, so it ultimately is at the discretion of the local organizers whether their events are cancelled.
Mar 12, 2020 8:20 PM # 
Points to consider from a Medical/Bio perspective:

1. The COVID-19 Pandemic is real and confirmed cases are expanding rapidly even with the inadequate testing situation in the US at present – which conspires to make epidemiologic assessment of population magnitude and time course difficult, if not impossible.
2. SARS-CoV-2 spread is by person to person proximity (droplet) AND by surface contact (recent data suggest up to 3-day longevity on inert surfaces) and is confounded by a wide-ranging incubation period from 2-14+ days.
3. Athletes in general and orienteers specifically (going by AP experience) are notoriously bad about self-managing illness (and injuries) and given points 1 and 2 above, my guess is that self-isolation is unlikely.
4. The number of surfaces / equipment an Orienteer would touch and which have previously been touched (maps/punches etc) in the course of a race is significant and I’d hazard a guess as to the increased risk of proximity droplet spread from post-race hyperventilation / coughing etc.
5. Given points 3 and 4, my personal feeling it that the potential exists for OUSA and specific clubs to be held liable for “creating conditions conducive to infection”, should severe disease, including death, result from attending an event. NB The “interesting” decision by Biogen execs to hold a global meeting in Boston at the end of February has resulted in an Italy-like scenario in MA; we can only speculate as to what the fallout from that will be.
6. Taken together it would seem prudent to exercise an abundance of caution and postpone/reschedule ANY event where groups of people are likely to gather.
Mar 12, 2020 8:43 PM # 
Don't lose sight of the forest for the trees. If you aren't going orienteering (which may be all of us), think about your other potential exposure mechanisms. If you're concerned about touching a map or a punch, think about how many more people touch the gas pump handle, the shopping cart, the door of the supermarket freezer case, etc. Are you wearing gloves and/or washing your hands frequently enough?
Mar 12, 2020 9:28 PM # 
Exactly, and the need to construct a personal "picket fence" in everyday life should be reinforced. Personally I am much more aware of the need now for frequent 20 sec hand-washing, surface wipes, kleenex tissues as barrier to contact with door handles, buttons etc etc AND not touching mouth/nose /eyes etc is paramount. I was on a plane the other night that had never seen so much contact avoidance and disinfection put in practice!
Mar 12, 2020 9:42 PM # 
For any Australians reading this, we're currently discussing between OA and the states, and announcements will be made in the next day or two. (The situation in Australia is not yet as bad as it is in the US or much of Europe, but there are no guarantees that this will remain the case).
Mar 12, 2020 10:01 PM # 
PA Governor strongly encourages statewide suspension of large gatherings, events, conferences of 250 individuals or more

Fortunately(?) Big Woods meet registration is less than 200.
Mar 12, 2020 10:05 PM # 
Is COVID 19 going around Australia? I ask because one of the wisdom's going around here is that air temperatures of 26/27 Celsius are enough to kill the virus.
Surely you don't have many days right now that the temperature does not reach 26/27?
Mar 12, 2020 10:05 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
Norway closed down completely today, including all athletic events, both training and competitions. Schools and kindergartens will only be open for a very limited number of kids, i.e. children of people in critical jobs like primary health care.

Everyone who can work from home is doing so, public transport is mostly empty etc.

The only orienteering activities are in the form of semi-permanent courses with or without control markers where you have to print your own map before going on a run.
Mar 12, 2020 10:09 PM # 
one of the wisdom's going around here is that air temperatures of 26/27 Celsius are enough to kill the virus

Wishful thinking
Mar 12, 2020 10:27 PM # 
Singapore is on the equator, and was a hub of COVID-19 spread. SARS was pretty bad there, too. So, no, that 26/27 d
does not seem to hold.
Mar 12, 2020 10:27 PM # 
@gordhun - CoV-2 thought to behave more like a seasonal cold, however warm and humid conditions could also promote spread. Anyhow, over 120 cases in EVERY State and Territory as of today and Tom Hanks in Oz with his wife just tested positive!
Mar 12, 2020 10:30 PM # 
And yet, from an epidemiological point of view. We gave up on contain, we're now in "Delay", or "flatten the curve", which in practice means that

Many/most of us are going to get this thing. (Unless there a vaccine)

So the question becomes, who gets it and when? Everything changes. Its nasty enough that we probably won't get to regarding healthy young people diligently hand washing in the same way as anti-vaxxers, but the effect is much the same.

We have the British champs next week, maybe. I hope its not called off, because for most people driving and running is lower risk than a typical Saturday out. But I've booked a flight, hotel and hirer, which isn't such a smart thing to do just now...
Mar 12, 2020 10:35 PM # 
Plot thickens. Robert Redfield from CDC admits at the House of Representatives that some of the victims of the 20,000 flu deaths in the US this season were actually infected with COVID-19.
Mar 12, 2020 10:53 PM # 
Many/most of us are going to get this thing.

Yes. See for example: Up to 150 million Americans are expected to contract the coronavirus, congressional doctor says

(Unless there a vaccine)

Estimates are that will take a year or more.
Mar 12, 2020 11:09 PM # 
Pink Socks:
Breaking: Cascade's Junior Nationals will not continue as scheduled on April 17-19 weekend.

I don't have any details beyond that (eg: whether it'll be postponed vs canceled, or how refunds would work).
Mar 12, 2020 11:32 PM # 
Ditto for the DVOA event. I'm sure an official announcement will come out soon.
Mar 12, 2020 11:34 PM # 
The virus seems to survive pretty well at human body temperature, which is well above 27 C. Especially if you're running a fever.
Mar 12, 2020 11:35 PM # 
For any of the US Event Directors monitoring this thread - please email me directly at with official announcements and I'll get them out through official channels. Will be monitoring things closely. Thanks..
Mar 13, 2020 1:00 AM # 
Surely you don't have many days right now that the temperature does not reach 26/27?

Have you never been to Melbourne at this time of year?

Australia only has a handful of cases around the country but I'm sure that's how all the highly infected countries started, especially when you get cases of people being told to self-isolate so instead they go out to crowded places like the dicks that some people are.
Mar 13, 2020 2:29 AM # 
The rate of increase in cases per day is definitely lower (around 10%) in Australia than it is in the more badly-affected Northern Hemisphere countries, and lower still in tropical southeast Asia, so it seems to me likely that higher temperatures at least slow the rate of spread even if they don't prevent it altogether.
Mar 13, 2020 2:59 AM # 
That would be good news if true. But how good is the tracking and testing effort? If the lower rate of increase is due to insufficient testing (like elsewhere) or misinterpreting test results (like elsewhere) then it's only bad data.
Mar 13, 2020 3:09 AM # 
The biggest example of insufficient testing may well turn out to be the USA, if what I'm hearing in the news is correct.
Mar 13, 2020 3:11 AM # 
I don't think this is totally updated, but here are the numbers for Canada and Australia currently on the Johns Hopkins University website:
128 Australia
117 Canada
Mar 13, 2020 3:29 AM # 
Yes, USA as well as elsewhere. It gets hard to know who to even test when people are infecting others before they even experience symptoms themselves. It would be a bit like trying to chase down someone in an O race who started before you and you don't have a map. All you can do is ask people you see along the way "Which way did he go?"

Another source of bad data was testing people for influenza and when that test came back positive assuming they didn't also have covid.

Ralph, the numbers on are about 20-30% higher than those.
Mar 13, 2020 4:22 AM # 
Thanks, fossil. When looking at the Johns Hopkins numbers from last night until tonight, even though I closed that website and reopened it, the increase from yesterday didn't look properly reflected, which is why I mentioned that I didn't think the numbers were totally updated. Your site shows 158 for Canada and 156 for Australia, per capita still lower for Canada in the midst of flu season (which could be in part the flu/COVID issue you mentioned).
Mar 13, 2020 4:35 AM # 
Blair it looks like Easter is now out of OA's hands:
Mar 13, 2020 4:57 AM # 
But how good is the tracking and testing effort? If the lower rate of increase is due to insufficient testing (like elsewhere) or misinterpreting test results (like elsewhere) then it's only bad data.

Reading this again, I think you're probably wrong. Even if Australia (and the various SE Asian nations) has been doing insufficient testing or less than perfectly competent testing, comparing the rate of increase in new cases per day to other countries ought to be meaningful. Unless Australia and SE Asian nations have been steadily degrading their testing regimes over time (or, more realistically, not improving them as fast as other countries have - someone would probably be screaming to high heaven if Australia were testing steadily fewer people each day as time went on) - that would presumably produce an illusory slower rate of increase. Plus, whatever quirks or flaws there are in the real world and therefore in the data derived from observing it, get enough warmer and colder countries in the sample and any problems with the data from individual countries should become less important. Often, if you have enough data, it doesn't have to be perfect to be useful. Case in point, Blair's bread and butter of surface temperature observations. Sure, individual temperature sensors have been moved or their surroundings have changed over time without all the changes always being documented but throw enough of them into the analysis and a lot of the problems with the data can be corrected.

So, Blair, is the analysis you're relaying to us public facing somewhere, for anyone who would like to know more about data and methodology?
Mar 13, 2020 5:03 AM # 
This article is extremely good. I encourage everyone to read it, but especially anyone who is in charge of any organizational decisions to read it now:
Mar 13, 2020 6:58 AM # 
Blair it looks like Easter is now out of OA's hands

Yeah but notice he's not requesting the ban be implemented until after he goes to the footy this weekend. Good old Scotty, always has his the nation's interests at heart.
Mar 13, 2020 7:45 AM # 
tRicky I was REALLY pissed last night when I tuned into ABC at 6:55 to get my weekly fix of Sammy J and got scummo instead.
Mar 13, 2020 7:55 AM # 
One paper I've seen showing a significant relationship between temperature/humidity and rate of transmission within China:
Mar 13, 2020 1:33 PM # 
Thanks, Blair. Encouraging, even if a long way from reason to believe all we in the northern hemisphere have to do is keep the number of cases low enough not to overwhelm our hospitals until May or June.
Mar 13, 2020 2:20 PM # 
Blaire, just fyi, that's not a peer-reviewed scientific article. It's written by people who aren't experts in virology, biology or any of the associated sciences. While not an expert myself in that, I would take it with a grain of salt. It'll be in the 20's (75-80's F) in Australia, and it's still a problem there.
Mar 13, 2020 3:32 PM # 
+1 for the article Suzanne recommended above.
Mar 13, 2020 3:32 PM # 
I'm going to disagree here and advise patience.

I believe the main point of organizations cancelling future (1+ month out) events immediately, as opposed to waiting, is to send a message that the virus is serious and we all need to take steps to limit its spread.

When the NBA or a major university cancels everything, the message that the virus is serious is sent clearly. We've all gotten it by now.

So for US Orienteering, why not wait a bit to see what the situation is in a week or two? As dire as all the predictions are, no one can really say. What is gained by cancelling immediately, as opposed to waiting? I think not much.
Mar 13, 2020 5:45 PM # 
I was drafting an email last night that I never sent, but I was trying to make the case that orienteering is an individual sport and we really have to mitigate the start, finish, event center, food area, and any banquets. Possibly the hotel. Anyway, I typed a sentence and it made me chuckle. Warning: English language nerd joke!

"A gathering of orienteers is a non sequitur."

Also, I'm totally on board with cancelling events in the near term. I'm hopeful that once a bit more is known about Covid-19, authorities will publish recommended mitigations that we can work within to organize events safely.
Mar 13, 2020 6:47 PM # 

"However in some places the winds are blowing right. Warren Buffet [sic], who is almost 90, so far has refused to cancel his 3-day Berkshire annual meeting next month for a large number of similar, well-heeled Americans.

Are we really going to let them have all the fun?"

Apparently Buffett saw the light too: Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting will be closed to shareholders. So, now we aren't suffering from fear of missing out, maybe we can just cancel orienteering events.
Mar 13, 2020 7:04 PM # 
a Facebook post by DCNR (Dept of Conservation and Natural Resources) of Pennsylvania just announced that events, races, etc etc from March 13 to April 30 are cancelled.

Camping in campgrounds is allowed during that time
Mar 13, 2020 7:36 PM # 
Orienteering is still happening in the UK and I’m glad of it. I can’t see a high risk of transmission at the races themselves and while I get the risk from travelling (if not by private car), I think we underestimate the effect of cancelling all of “normal life” on people’s general well being. While we may prevent some Corona deaths, we’re creating many more from anxiety and depression...
Mar 13, 2020 7:48 PM # 
Hmmm... I guess this discussion is technically about US National Events so OT.

Blaire, just fyi, that's not a peer-reviewed scientific article. It's written by people who aren't experts in virology, biology or any of the associated sciences. While not an expert myself in that, I would take it with a grain of salt.

I suppose a virologist or the like would be necessary to figure out how temperature and humidity inhibit transmission (although if I believe the news I read they don't really know in the case of influenza) but the paper is basically a statistical analysis of the correlation between the rate of transmission and temperature, and relative humidity, controlling for populatio density and GDP per capita. I can't see how a virologist, biologist, etc. would necessarily be better able to do that than whatever mix of economists and some other sort(s) of social scientists would be. Of course, it would be a mistake to take any single paper as definitive, even after it had gone through peer review, but I think it's reasonable to take it as tentatively good news that they found warmth and humidity apparently slow down transmission rather than no correlaton (or an inverse correlation) until and unless a chorus of real epidemiologists decide to tear this pre-print paper to shreds.

Fun or possibly scary question for any experts or somewhat reasonable facsimilies thereof that I haven't been able to answer for myself satisfactorily just reading a sampling of the coverage - when Angela Merkel or some public health official says something along the lines of "This is a new virus so no one has any preexisting immunity. It's possible 60 to 70% of the population could catch it.", what is it they think is going to stop that going to nearly 100% eventually. I can't help but think that the chance of this virus being driven to extinction in the human population worldwide is essentially zero given how far it has spread. Even if a country or a group of countries manages to eradicate it within their borders, are they then going to force coming from the rest of the world, including their own returning citizens, to spend 14 days in quarantine every time they enter the country forever? Are these statements based on a belief that a vaccine is likely to become available before nearly everyone has been infected at least once? Is there a time limit left unstated or omitted from the quotes in the news? Are the characteristics of this virus such that they think herd immunity will become a significant factor somewhere around 50% or 6)% or 70% of the population? Or is there some explanation completely eluding me?
Mar 13, 2020 8:39 PM # 
The 1918 flu hit about 27% of the population. Something stopped it. Maybe some people are able to develop an immunity that fights off the virus before it can infect them.
Mar 13, 2020 8:42 PM # 
And the total infection rate in places where the epidemic seems to have peaked (like China and South Korea) seems to be below 1% even in the worst-affected places, although 1% is still a lot.
Mar 14, 2020 4:32 AM # 
If you look at the one instance that I've seen where an entire (or close to an entire) population was tested, the numbers infected would be much higher than the numbers of confirmed cases. They tested 3,700 people on the Diamond Princess. Of the 634 positive tests, the majority (328) had no symptoms at all, not even a cough, at the time they left the ship (they didn't track whether some developed symptoms afterwards, but those people had already been quarantined and some said later they never developed symptoms). Further, this was a population skewed towards the age groups most likely to become seriously ill, i.e., older people, with presumably very few children taking a cruise in February.
Mar 14, 2020 5:26 AM # 
What does the test test for (this is not something I know much about)? Is it an antibody test, that could give a positive for someone who had successfully fought off the virus?
Mar 14, 2020 6:06 AM # 
jjcote, I have been wondering the same thing. An article out yesterday says that the current test(s) look for RNA of the virus itself rather than antibodies made in reaction by one's immune system, which would suggest the test would only be positive if the infection were currently active. I hope someone who knows more about these things chimes in.
Mar 14, 2020 6:06 AM # 
It is a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. Essentially it looks for portions of the viral RNA in the sample that has been collected. The virus is present in the body if RNA is also present. This of course relies on the swab being taken correctly and at the right time... this is not a perfect test and likely has some degree of false negative rate (up to 30% based on some info colleagues of mine have been given by their public health departments?). Some patients in China did not test positive until the 2nd or 3rd swab.

This test is not a serology test (antibody test) though I am sure this is being worked on furiously by various labs. Once developed yes we would then be able to look at retrospective exposure and possible immunity (though the latter is not a given).
Mar 14, 2020 9:26 AM # 
RT-PCR in this case as revvy has mentioned hasn't been a great way to detect it. This has to do with the need for sample processing to concentrate and purify the sample and then do the requisite reactions and detection.

Which is also why all this PR from new diagnostics companies is complete rubbish. There will never be an at home test for this, other than a serology test.

There is also not necessarily a role for testing to play in this pandemic. If there was a need to isolate and treat certain people to prevent further spread then it may be valuable, but by knowing the number of people infected it could just lead to widespread panic. In the UK they are no longer testing people outside of hospital settings.
Mar 14, 2020 1:55 PM # 
Meanwhile in South Korea where they've instituted drive-up testing centers, they've broken the exponential growth rate curve and now have declining # of new cases.
Mar 14, 2020 1:58 PM # 
Our health officials have told us to socially isolate. Good advice. Why then do large groups of politicians crowd in front of a camera to tell us just that? Or even worse, do as the US president did, shake hands at the end of the announcement?
Mar 14, 2020 2:06 PM # 
Because they are lemmings who still think the goal is to save the economy rather than save lives. If you break the growth curve and save lives the economy will recover just fine with a healthy population. If you prioritize the economy over lives you lose both.
Mar 14, 2020 2:48 PM # 
Similar in Australia. They're injecting a 'stimulus' package to stop the economy going into recession (oh noes, not a recession!) but people will actually have to go out to spend money, thus reinvigorating the problem. The economy will do just fine as long as they keep the supply of toilet paper rolling.
Mar 14, 2020 3:39 PM # 
Leaving aside the access/need question especially in the dystopian disUnited-States, the issues with RT-PCR have been related to "one off" protocols, an early error in the negative control and lack of automation- all now being fixed. The good news is that there is 99.98% sequence identity across those infected and the conserved RdRP gene sequence is readily available- so PCR should have high sensitivity and specificity going forwards. Other good news is that we now have the 3D protein structure of the "Spike" protein- the means by which CoV-2 infects and gains host cell entry via the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme -2 receptor (ACE-2R), such that we can design Neutralizing Antibodies against permissive epitopes, plus the range of serology and serotyping now in hand from sources (without high Hepatitis B and C confounders, seen in Wuhan), helps accelerate vaccine production by traditional and novel DNA engineering techniques. The downstream bottleneck will be Government regulations and definitive testing in Humans of the best candidate vaccines.
Mar 14, 2020 3:52 PM # 
chitownclark: long as they keep the...toilet paper rolling....

Did you know that 75% of the world doesn't use toilet paper? I guess it is not as essential as we think! :-)
Mar 14, 2020 5:12 PM # 
Due to the continuing situation with COVID-19, the closing of all schools in Washington State from 17 March until 24 April, and other situations beyond our control, Cascade Orienteering Club is cancelling the Junior National Orienteering Championships 17-19 April 2020.
Cascade Orienteering will refund all registration fees, that includes race fess, late fees, and any lodging, meals, and social events you may have signed up for at Camp Casey. Our registrar and treasurer will be processing refunds next week. We are working with our t-shirt vendor to refund t-shirt orders.
Please be patient as we work through this process. If you have any questions, please contact the Event Director.

Thanks for your support of orienteering. Be healthy and safe out there.
Jud Kelley
JN2020 Event Director
Mar 14, 2020 8:32 PM # 
In light of events cancellation, I thingk the model that HVO/WCOC use for winter series shell provide opportunities for orienteering training: you come at your own schedule, honor system for splits and results, upload to Attackpoint.

No large gatherings, except for accidentally bumping into another training party, no control touching required. I will try to organize at least two events this spring in Harriman SP, with West Point most likely to be cancelled (but I honestly hope not).
I will also ask HVO and WCOC to extend Winter series into a Spring series this year.
Mar 14, 2020 8:46 PM # 
Excellent point about doing more winter series-style events.
I just ran WS6 in Ansonia, no coronavirus when running alone in the woods :)
Mar 14, 2020 9:04 PM # 
WCOC has already moved the season opener at Gay City to a Winter Series style event, pending approval from DEEP. Was scheduled for April 19th, at this point I'm planning yellow/brown/green/red in the woods from March 28th-April 19th. Stay tuned.
Mar 14, 2020 9:51 PM # 
We're keeping orienteering events running in the UK without fear of the virus, (though long orienteering trousers are still required prevent the spread of disease)
Mar 14, 2020 10:10 PM # 
Without fear of the virus?

This week alone, we've seen three countries in Europe close down their entire societies because of this. But you have no fear because?
Mar 14, 2020 10:17 PM # 
Greg, if you would like help organizing a Winter Series-style event at Harriman or elsewhere, let me know. Happy to help, with course setting or otherwise.
Mar 14, 2020 10:23 PM # 
Gswede, sorry, I was being sarcastic. I think it's a bit much that we're required to wear long trousers to prevent disease, but events aren't being cancelled for the same reason.
Mar 14, 2020 10:25 PM # 
One of my clubmates showed me this today :
Might be useful for a dispersed race.
Mar 14, 2020 10:25 PM # 
I would love to, but I also want to see where we go. Nothing can be planned right now. Everything is changing too quickly.

I am acting under the assumption that in two days we will be where Spain is now. If I'm wrong then we'll be much better off.

@falltl4 Gotcha. Sorry I didn't see your sarcasm. It's tough to read deadpan through the screen. I suppose I've gotten extra defensive since some Americans somehow still don't see this as an issue. Sorry for the undue harshness.
Mar 14, 2020 10:45 PM # 
@Gswede - Greg you are not the only one :). Dave thank you for offering, I will take your offer for help, with pleasure.
Mar 14, 2020 10:52 PM # 
Did you know that 75% of the world

Probably best just to state the number given I don't think 4bn out of (2016 population) 7.44bn is anywhere near 75% or maybe they're just counting adults ;-)
Mar 15, 2020 1:11 AM # 
95% of statistics are made up. Aren't they...?
Mar 15, 2020 1:27 AM # 
Some history:

In the early 60's there was a hepatitis B outbreak among Swedish orienteers. Three actions were taken:
competitions cancelled for 6 months
full body cover rule introduced
requirement to provide running water with good drainage for washing.

after a few years the full body cover rule was relaxed and a spike in cases occurred. The full body cover rule was reintroduced.

the article doesn't say, but as I recall from reading/hearing elsewhere the two theories for transmission of the virus were:
via contact with contaminated blood on vegetation
through sharing washing water in tubs at the finish
Mar 15, 2020 7:39 AM # 
I know about the Finnish outbreak of the 60's. There is no research I've ever seen that actually lays out why full body cover is needed. And it's not a requirement in European rogaining, nor in the US for orienteering, nor adventure racing, nor mountain marathons. I think this requirement (which does turn people off from the sport) is a bit dated.
Mar 15, 2020 9:13 AM # 
@Gswede, I fully understand. I'm in the UK where we have banned nothing, despite being fairly close to outbreaks. My point is, the hypocrisy of British Orienteering going along with having events because they don't see a public health problem with Coronavirus, but they are requiring long pants to run through Hampstead Heath because of unsubstantiated reports that in the 1960's in Scandavia, wearing pants helped people avoid hepatitis.
Mar 15, 2020 10:57 AM # 
Yes, it is important we don't lose sight of what's important - the individual right to orienteer without pants.
Mar 15, 2020 1:29 PM # 
The UK response is making me despair. It's a desperate bid for glory by a maverick idiot, and if mistimed by one or two days will lead to catastrophic NHS overburdening.

It's right that we will all get this at some point. But trying to shut things down exactly before the point of service overwhelm when asymptomatic people are infectious and the potential incubation time is up to 14 days - how the hell do you get that right when you're the world's best epidemiologist, never mind a total buffoon hack newspaper reporter?

It's also not 100% certain that exposure builds lasting immunity yet. So perhaps all based off a fallacy.

Mar 15, 2020 1:56 PM # 
Rob, my point is, if British Orienteering is still making concessions for a 60 year old crisis, why aren't they paying attention to the one at hand.
Mar 15, 2020 2:16 PM # 
It’s a very interesting situation and the U.K. has taken a very innovative approach. There are papers modelling the effect of what Italy, South Korea etc are doing and it seems as if as soon as they remove the restrictions the infections will just come back.

If you infect enough young and healthy people and they build up immunity, while protecting the elderly, it may actually be the only and best approach to this pandemic. There’s no way to know now what is the best option, but what the U.K. is doing, although unpopular and against the grain, may very well be based on good utilitarian thinking. We can’t wait for a vaccine and you can’t isolate everyone forever.
Mar 15, 2020 3:54 PM # 
I'm wondering whether the main effect of all of this will ultimately turn out to be a (temporary) reduction in the spread of other diseases that people tend not to think about as much (flu, etc.). Is this promoting hygiene measures that should be in place all the time?
Mar 15, 2020 4:51 PM # 
There is some evidence for that in Japan already:
Mar 15, 2020 5:19 PM # 
I'm with Becks on this one (even to the extent of describing BJ and DT) and indeed the British Society of Immunology urges caution, given the unknowns and prior experience with this class of infectious agents, towards reliance on Herd Immunity. Great if it's right, but a lot of unnecessary deaths it if isn't - these agents have found a way to bypass normal immune responses. Last but not least, I wouldn't write off Vaccine development, and even if not in time for this pandemic, the lessons learned and technology advances will stand us in good stead for (sadly) the next coronavirus outbreak.
Mar 15, 2020 8:26 PM # 
The open letter from the BSI is brief but shows they share these concerns - thanks for the heads up BP!
Mar 15, 2020 11:01 PM # 
Main request from that report yesterday...
we feel more needs to be done to ensure social distancing to limit the number of COVID-19 cases in the short term, especially for vulnerable members of our communities
News today... the focus is on those vulnerable members.
Mar 16, 2020 12:19 AM # 
We must “self-isolate” ? Right, we’re off for a run.
Mar 16, 2020 12:52 AM # 
In his speech on Thursday, ordering many closings and cancellations including a 3 week closing of all schools (which will likely be extended), Ohio's Governor specifically mentioned getting out to parks while keeping social distance, and actually said that "its a great time to run around in the woods" (I believe I've got the quote exact - I haven't looked for a transcript or recording).

But, many parks are closing their gates, which seems counter-intuitive. Of course I understand that they have concerns about people congregating in parking lots, they might have to close indoor facilities and fee collection stations, and they have concerns about not being able to provide adequate cleaning of restroom facilities. But if natural areas can remain open and accessible for individual fitness and recreation, the parks could be providing a great service during this time.
Mar 16, 2020 1:13 AM # 
From @NYTimes:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Sunday that no mass gatherings with 50 people or more — including weddings, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events or conferences — be held in the United States for the next eight weeks in one of the federal government’s most sweeping efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Mar 16, 2020 1:59 AM # 
What is happening with the parks near where you are -- are they remaining open? Are they encouraging people to come out? Or, are they shutting down and turning people away?

The Mass DCR notified us that the permit for the high school kids to train was canceled.
Mar 16, 2020 12:36 PM # 
Officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources are reminding citizens that all DNR-managed properties are open and welcoming visitors during normal operating hours. These properties include state parks, lodges, historic sites, WMAs, PFAs, archery ranges, shooting ranges, education centers, golf courses, and battlefields, along with those not directly mentioned here that are under the management of DNR. In addition, all DNR administrative offices throughout the state are open and operating during normal business hours.

The only DNR property currently affected by the Coronavirus response is a small, wooded, and very isolated section within Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge, which was recently selected as a temporary location to house Coronavirus patients for monitoring. Less than one acre of the park’s 5,800 total acreage is being used, and security is in place to ensure there is no public access. At the request of the Department of Public Safety; Lake Rutledge Road, CCC Camp Loop Road, and the park’s boat ramp will be closed until further notice. The beach area remains closed for the winter season.
Mar 16, 2020 12:40 PM # 
From The Guardian yesterday. Crisis to last until Spring 2021 and hospitalise 7.9 million in UK.
Mar 16, 2020 5:05 PM # 
You can also eat toilet paper, at least I assume that's what all the people who bought the whole shop's worth are doing.

@ tRicky: Elsewhere they say Save Our Souls. In America we "save our asses" . That's what it is for.
Mar 17, 2020 10:33 AM # 
British Orienteering has suspended all events effective immediately.
Mar 17, 2020 10:54 AM # 
... "save our asses"....

Apparently a common problem for visitors to the US. Including my wife who's a Finn. She identified with this Finn on Conan, trying to untangle Americans' use of the word:
Mar 17, 2020 12:08 PM # 
Ohio's governor actually said that it is "a great time to run around in the woods", and local parks seem to be taking this to heart. We've received an enthusiastic response from several park managers to our plan to put out temporary controls and publish maps online. I got an email yesterday from Butler County Parks that all parks and trails would continue to be open during regular park hours. I'm hoping to have our first courses ready by this weekend.
Mar 17, 2020 3:30 PM # 
Wonderful! Dontgetlost is doing that too.
Mar 17, 2020 3:51 PM # 
I think Conan's use of the word "Frebroorary" was worth a mention.

I've seen an Ismo stand up piece on Australians' use of the word 'shit' before. Very similar to his 'ass' sketch.
Mar 17, 2020 4:15 PM # 
The Dontgetlost permanent courses have had almost 100 requests for maps since announcing the courses less than 24 hours ago.... It's been busy
Mar 17, 2020 4:30 PM # 
Mar 18, 2020 10:26 AM # 
Ismo, shit!
Mar 19, 2020 2:26 AM # 
Mar 19, 2020 2:33 AM # 
How is that an adjective?
Mar 19, 2020 6:02 AM # 
I wondered about that as well. The narrator does refer to it as a noun. I would say the uploader knew less about grammar. But as to the narration, everything is correct. There is much nuance in our vernacular as well.
Mar 19, 2020 6:18 AM # 
Adjectival use could be 'Your bastard brother drank my beer!'
Mar 19, 2020 7:20 AM # 
Beginning of narration:
"We must be the only country not to have a national anthem. But we have got a national adjective."

I suppose the national adjective is "Strine", but the poor bastard never gets around to discussng that.
Mar 19, 2020 7:30 AM # 
Possibly at the time the recording was made, we didn't have our own national anthem, and the narrator was a bit of a bastard republican who didn't want to acknowledge 'God save the queen'. Now we do have our own anthem, but arguably it's no better.
Mar 19, 2020 7:31 AM # 
I think all languages and dialects has their own funny oddities. Here is strip for chitownclark to figure out
Mar 19, 2020 8:25 AM # 
Must have recorded that a long time ago. Our national anthem's been in place since 1984.
Mar 19, 2020 7:11 PM # 
All these cancellations ... glad these fliers didn't get posted

Mar 20, 2020 12:48 AM # 
They still got printed though. Could have been turned into toilet paper instead.
Mar 20, 2020 4:42 AM # 
Ink on your backside is better than the alternative.

Please login to add a message.