The Coronavirus and the Reverse Effects of Quarantine

With every new report of quarantine comes the alarming prospect that more people will be unlikely to seek treatment, resulting in the reverse effect of what a quarantine is designed to do, halting the spread of infection, as those who are infected remain in the public at large.
                Special Feature by Talmage Carawan
Update! 25 Mar 2020  For the past weeks, I checked the Worldometer site for statistics.  The death rate climbed steadily from 6% to 14%.  How to explain this? There has been much misinformation and differing interpretations of the numbers, for example a very alarming 14% death rate compared to a more optimistic 1%. Most young people may have it without even knowing it. Those with it hesitate to get help, knowing they will be quarantined if testing positive. Others are afraid of more exposure and infections if they go to a hospital. So they “gut it out.” Unless mandatory testing is done, people may not seek treatment until they very ill. One dark humor take on this is that we are better getting it sooner than later, while there are still some health care workers alive. And yes, there may be a break for summer, with the fall- early winter being the most lethal wave.  
We certainly need to practice Dream Dharma now more than ever, so our mind can recover in sleep the damage received throughout our altered days.   See the chapters,  “Healing Power: Sleep and Dream Yogas” and “Remember dreams using NIM and MALA,”on the main page, below the photo. New links are added below as well.

The article as originally published on Feb 18, 2020 continues…

The early stages of an epidemic may be characterized by ignorance, denial, and puzzlement. When there are only a few cases, the disease may be difficult to distinguish from other related bacterial and viral infections. Once a bacteria has been ruled out, the flu is the common suspect, of which many varieties exist.
quarantine on bus
evacuated on a bus, going where?
By the time a contagious spread has been detected and there is no response to conventional treatments, a large number of people will have been infected, and some proportion of them gone on to exhibit symptoms. Those without symptoms will not be seeking treatment, and those with symptoms may be reluctant to seek treatment. Only when health has worsened greatly may some be driven to doctor and hospital.
In the case of infections such as SARS and now the related Coronavirus , organizations and governments attempt quarantine measures to control the spread. It is well known about cruise ship passengers who have been trapped aboard, and unable to disembark.  Many others are stuck in China, unable to leave.  Others have been confined to special wards in hospitals or worse, facilities whose primary purpose is to contain rather than treat. As hospitals fill, other less qualified facilities are pressed into service. The ordeal of those in quarantine, most without any symptoms, is quick to raise sympathy among others. After all, who would want to be imprisoned under any circumstances, and in particular, confined with others who if exposed may exhibit symptoms, enough to continue the confinement, and worse, to grow sick and be be diagnosed, further increasing the cause for confinement?
Viruses mutate, and how long must someone stay confined before being released? Fourteen days? A month? Normally, one would expect that within 24 or at most 48 hours to grow sick from exposure to a virus. Yet we are seeing quarantine times grow much longer.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC, US) states  that “symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.”  We may suspect that the symptoms would appear within two days, but fourteen days allows more time for the quarantined individuals to be studied, in effect becoming human guinea pigs.  Scientists and doctors may argue that cost is worth it to society as a whole, hoping for an effective treatment, but it likely will have the reserve effect, where people are reluctant to receive treatment, for any virus or bacterial infection, fearing the effective imprisonment awaiting them.
If someone is not feeling well, the last thing they will want is to be suspected of having the Coronavirus, and subject to a quarantine of unknown duration and conditions, likely being exposed to others suspect of falling ill to this, both medical workers and patients. With every new report of quarantine comes the alarming prospect that more people will be unlikely to seek treatment.
Therefore we have the reverse effect of what a quarantine is designed to do, halting the spread of infection, as those who are infected remain in the public at large.
An example news report, about the cruise ship Diamond Princess stranded in a Japanese port, with extracts from the article…
The couple’s son, Steve Abel, said his parents were “not getting any communication” from the UK. “They are very high-spirited people,” he told BBC Breakfast, but added: “There are cracks in the armour and they are getting down. My mum breaks down in tears frequently, my dad is short-tempered. They are not getting any communication from our country, so they are in the dark and feeling very unloved.”
Abel, from Oxfordshire, said he doubted his diagnosis. “Frankly I think this is a setup! We are NOT being taken to a hospital but a hostel. That’s where partners are sent waiting out their quarantine,” he wrote. “No phone, no wifi and no medical facilities. I really am smelling a very big rat here! Waiting for the transfer now.” I doubt it [the test] was positive. If it was, we would be in hospital.”

Diamond Princess

                             Diamond Princess, passengers and crews stuck aboard

Earlier articles from The Guardian

Excluding The Guardian’s material, original content for this site copyright 2020 by Talmage Carawan

Note: To be specific, according to the CDC,  severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19.  (

The bad news unfortunately continues, March 8 2020 reports

As more people are put into quarantine and lockdown, the likelihood anyone with symptoms will hide them grows.

But always look on the sunny side of life!  Or we should try anyway.

As time goes on, more articles on the effects of quarantine appear.


” uncensored internet access and smartphones, to stave off boredom. This helps reduce both anxiety and distress…You have to let people stay in touch…Living in quarantine can also have long-term negative effects, including the development of alcohol abuse and other dependency symptoms… important for people in quarantine to keep a healthy life style…try to sleep well, eat healthy, exercise as much as possible and avoid unhealthy habits like drinking or smoking…”


“this reduction in physical activity can affect your mind… may manifest as sadness, irritation, frustration, anger, and other uncomfortable emotions.’

Of course, looking at too much news takes its toll, and with that, the negative reports here stop.  Please go to these chapters, which I hope prove helpful