Health: Mixed messages on coronavirus covid-19

F5 today, closed their skyscraper in downtown Seattle to disinfect the entire building because one worker had been in contact with someone that later tested positive for COVID-19.

France canceled an outdoor half marathon and closed all indoor activities having more than 5,000 attendees.

Many tech conferences have been canceled, postponed or moved to online presentations. Amazon canceled warehouse tours. Nvidia just canceled a tech conference. The EU has closed its headquarters to visitors.

In King County, Washington, 11 schools are closed because an associate of a staff member or student has become ill (not even diagnosed with COVID-19). The schools are in process of being sanitized. The entire North Shore School District will close on Tuesday to provide staff training on conducting remote education/telelearning …

Nike’s headquarters in Oregon was closed this past weekend for deep sanitization – even though they said they had no reports of any exposure by anyone.

The Washington State Department of Health urges those with unspecified pre-existing medical conditions or over the age of 60 [1] to avoid public gatherings:

“Persons who are older or who have underlying health conditions are at higher risk to develop complications from this virus. Your health and the health of those you care about are important to us and it may be recommended that you stay at home and away from other people during this time. “

In 24 hours, deaths went from 2 to 4, confirmed cases in Washington increased, and there is community transmission in Oregon, now including Eastern Oregon.

Meanwhile, ReedPop Entertainment announces its Emerald City Comic Con, with 100,000 people confined in close quarters in the Washington State Convention Center, with many visitors from other countries, will go on as planned – in Seattle, which is apparently ground zero in the U.S. for the spread of the COVID-19. They assure us that the health of their guests is their highest priority and they are following government guidelines (except those of the Washington State Department of Health but what ever).

So who do we believe?

There is a lack of leadership and clarity as to what steps the public should take. This leads to companies, like Nike, closing for cleaning – without exposure – while ReedPop plans a 100,000 person event in confined quarters at ground zero of the disease spreading in the U.S. and saying it will be safe for all.


[1] We assume the DoH is referring to people over age 50 or 60 but the State lacks clarity in its communications. They say, for example, that people with “underlying health conditions” should avoid contact with other people – but then provides no explanation of “underlying health conditions”.