Note: After the recent incidents with people dying from chloroquine (probably from overdoses, I think) in an attempt to protect against COVID-19, I think it’s better to move this discussion a bit outside the focus. So I moved it here.
Personally I’m not against self-medication in a situation like this where time-tested medical solutions are lacking. But as with any hacks, people must know and understand what they get themselves into. In my view, anyone who did not invest tens of hours of reading and understanding about an unproven treatment and its risks should not attempt it.
Here are some random thoughts from my side. Don’t take it as medical advice, but apart from that, do with it whatever you want
If this becomes a proper pandemic, then it can be expected that 60-70% of the population will become infected, at which point the pandemic will run out of fuel as each case will result in less than one infected new case (since everyone else is immune already). For those who think that the pandemic will come, it’s a matter of deciding if they want to really be part of the 30-40% uninfected (which is extra hard work for the next 6-24 months) or if they want to accept the risk of going through the infection and then being immune.
For young people (like us ) in my opinion there is a fairly limited risk to worry about when going through the infection. Of course I’d follow the recommendations re. hand hygiene etc. to avoid it if possible. But case fatality rate is <0.5% for the age group <50 y/o, while 8% for the age group >70 y/o, and even higher for those with pre-existing conditions. These numbers do not account for asymptomatic cases, which seem to be half of all infected (judging from one of the cruise ships, where everyone got tested, unlike the usual practice where only people with symptoms get tested). So <0.25% for our age group maybe? It’s not nothing of course – up to your judgment if you’re ok with this in a foreign country.
Personally I’m super careful around old people I like, though. For that, I think John took the right approach, i.e. self-quarantine when returning from travels in epidemic areas.
Oh and: like I hoped, chloroquine seems to work against this stuff (see this advance publication note from a clinical study in China). WHO etc. did not publish about this yet, though – but they’re slow. So if you take chloroquine as anti-malarial to Indonesia anyway, keep in mind this double use. Proper dosage against COVID-19 has to be higher than for malaria prophylaxis and is not simple due to toxicity at higher doses, but possible (details). Anyway, there will be more information about this when you might eventually need it.