Discuss COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus On DDF, What Steps Are You Taking To Prepare?

SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 Coronavirus under microscope. Credit: NIAID-RML
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DDF, or the DansDeals Forums, is a great place to discuss everything from trip planning to politics with DansDeals readers.

In light of community spread coronavirus in the US, we have started a dedicated COVID-19 board on DDF to discuss the outbreak and its implications on everyday life, travel, holidays, and more. For example you can see all airline waiver links here or discuss preparation plans here.

With a 3.4% mortality rate, everyone should be taking steps to avoid its spread. Even though the mortality rate for healthy people under 50 is under 0.5%, that’s still an extremely high mortality rate compared to the flu and you can pass on the virus to someone who is more vulnerable.

I’m on a plane now from LA to Cleveland and we’re taking basic precautions like wiping down the seat and tray table with Clorox wipes. Coronavirus seems to be the talk of everyone at the airport and on the plane.

Here are some basic steps that everyone should be taking:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently or use hand sanitizer if soap isn’t available.
  • Avoid touching your face at all times. While the CDC doesn’t advise that laymen wear a mask (except if they’re infected to avoid spreading coronavirus), there’s no denying that wearing a mask is an effective method of not touching your face. You don’t need an N95 mask for that purpose.
  • Stop shaking hands and hugging. This will be tricky, but a concerted effort needs to be made to avoid spreading the virus.
  • Religious Jews are at high risk of community spread due to frequent gatherings at schools and synagogues. Let’s nod our heads and say hello to greet each other instead of shaking hands and make sure to take common-sense precautions during kiddushes. Some will say we should stop praying together, but surely prayer is something we need more of during times like this, as long as basic precautions are taken.
  • Carry disinfectant wipes for use on surfaces for everything from your plane seat to your shopping cart.
  • Beware of reusable bags that can carry a virus from place to place without ever being cleaned or thrown away.
  • Avoid opening bathrooms, commercial doors, elevator buttons, etc. with your fingers. Use your knuckles or fist if you don’t have a paper towel to use.

It’s also a good idea to stock up on basics like pasta, peanut butter, canned food, soap, hand sanitizer (which can also be made at home), disinfecting wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.

How are you preparing to help stop the spread of coronavirus?

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99 Comments On "Discuss COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus On DDF, What Steps Are You Taking To Prepare?"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


Glad I did this back in January. Went to costco and the supermarket today and there was no hand sanitizer, wipes, lysol, clorox etc.


I also bought n95 masks in January for cheap at lowes and amazon


Bought hand sanitizer from a deal you posted last year. I have no idea why I bought so much, but now I do.

I have 4 huge bottles now.

Thank you Dan! And I’ll be happy to send you a bottle free of charge for all that you’ve done.

Thank you


I still don’t get the shortage of paper toilet…..
Is it war time??


They are saying you might be too sick or in isolation to get more yourself.


אמונה ובטחון בה׳ יתברך תפלה
All the worrying won’t help a thing.

Harley Kesselman

Reading Dan’s Deals


Not doing much. I have food in my freezer, dried beans and canned goods. I do most of my shopping online. Aside from taking a reverse commute commuter rail, I don’t come in contact with many different people on a daily basis.

I’m more worried about spending pesach at a hotel with so many people in close proximity. I want to back out, but I am going with my mother so I have to see what she wants to do. I’m more worried about her than me, even though she is in overall good health. We will probably see how things are when it gets closer.


Have no elderly or sick people I care about, I’m healthy young and have good hygiene, I have good supplies, and planning to take advantage of easier/cheaper flights/hotels etc and see what other ways I can benefit from the “panic”.


Artem, you mentioned healthy, young and good hygiene. You did not list luck. You need to be lucky or have G-d watch over you.


Move to Antarctica, there are no confirmed cases there


You might just be the one bringing it there!


Oh, just preparing for my son’s bar mitzvah this shabbos


My doctor, who is an infectious disease specialist said that it’s no worse than the flu and that unless you have an underlying condition there is usually nothing to worry about besides having the common flu symptoms. You will feel sick but it’s not going to kill you unless like I mentioned before you have a compromised immune system. But its definitely good to take precautions to make sure it doesn’t spread because there are others that do have a compromised or underdeveloped immune system.


It’s not going to kill you, just the elderly couple next door unless you and everyone else who is infected stay away from them.

An interesting article in the Washington Post reports,

NEW YORK — First, a lawyer who commutes between the suburbs and his midtown Manhattan office was diagnosed with the coronavirus. Then, his wife and two children tested positive, along with a neighbor who drove him to the hospital.

By Wednesday afternoon, another friend, his wife and three of their children were also infected.

In the span of 48 hours, what began as one family’s medical crisis had spiraled well beyond their Westchester County home, shuttering Jewish schools and synagogues and crystallizing the virus’s power to propel anxiety across a region that is among the nation’s most densely populated.

Bill Smith

34 times worse than the flu. 3.4 death rate for COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus vs .1 for the flu. Also, China, like Iran, has listed many deaths as pneumonia and not the virus.


I cancelled my trip to Paris with my family. We were going to be there for the first time ever and we have a family wedding. We feel terrible but don’t want the risk nor to be quarantined for 2 weeks.


It needs to be clarified that the actual mortality rate is not anywhere close to 3.4%. The VAST majority of cases are not diagnosed (“confirmed”), and therefore not included in the denominator. Our testing capacity in THIS country is so limited that only people with known direct exposure or who are critically ill qualify to be tested.


This. It clearly is serious, but many more will die of the flu this year.


False equivalence. The flu has been around way longer and has a fatality rate that is 20-30x lower, and hospitalization rate that is 1% vs 20% for COVID19. Anyone bringing up the flu is either disingenuous or simply uninformed.


But the odds of getting COVID in the first place are negligible compared to catching the flu.


That is false as well. COVID is far more contagious than the flu, with an estimated R0 ranging from 2-6. The flu R0 is at 1.3. South Korea had a psychiatric ward with 99/102 infected. And a church with thousands of members had over 80% infected. As it spreads, it will be much, much easier to catch than the flu.


Wrong. You’re confusing R0 with the odds of any one individual getting the virus. COVID may be twice as “contagious” as the flu, but the odds of any one individual getting COVID are much lower, because there are significantly fewer people who have COVID who are able to infect others. To put it another way: There have been over 10,000 deaths already in the US from the flu. There will not be 10,000 deaths from COVID. “CDC estimates that, from October 1, 2019, through February 22, 2020, there have been: 32,000,000 – 45,000,000 flu illnesses, 14,000,000 – 21,000,000 flu medical visits, 310,000 – 560,000 flu hospitalizations, 18,000 – 46,000
flu deaths” https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm


Rational people don’t just look at the past, they look at the future. You are correct, 3 months ago the risk of getting COVID was 1 in a billion. And in 1917 the odds of getting the Spanish Flu was also non-existent. That didn’t stop the spanish flu from killing 50 million people within the next 2 years. And COVID is spreading at a historic rate that will surpass the flu despite being so relatively new.

Here’s how the outbreak of COVID compares with other outbreaks, as of 3 weeks ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dDD2tHWWnU&feature=youtu.be&t=81


The WHO claims that only about 1% don’t develop any symptoms. Wuhan is at 4.3% at the moment and they’re testing everyone.



How can the WHO (or anyone else for that matter) know how many people contract the disease without symptoms, if only individuals who have symptoms are being tested?!?!?


Because there have been many instances where countries test a large group of exposed people even if they haven’t shown any symptoms. Diamond Princess had a nice sample size of testing everyone. If out of the 775 confirmed cases, only 7-8 people never develop any symptoms, that teaches you a lot, even without testing the entire world. Another example – Singapore has tested thousands of members from the church cult, regardless of symptoms. You can also use these same groups to find what percentage of cases turn out to be mild or severe.


When you are paranoid, you can be wrong 1000 times and survive. When you are not paranoid, if you are wrong just once, you could be finished.

I feel sorry for Pesach program operators; if you haven’t made a deposit, skip it this year unless you want to see a plague in real time. If you have made your deposit, try to claw it back. But in any event,
Do. Not. Go!
Especially out of the country.

The correct course of action would be for EVERY frum school, yeshiva, seminary, etc. to close until after Pesach, and to have classes via video.

By the time someone in your child’s school comes down with this, it is too late.

Be safe and smart, people!!


Do you think it will affect travel from Israel to NY? I have a flight next week and feeling a little scared….


Everyone should always have at least 2-3 weeks worth of food on hand and of course a stockpile of toilet paper. For those of us ion the New York City area stores have less than 2 weeks worth of groceries in stock and almost everything we buy come over the George Washington Bridge. If for any reason the bridge is out of service food supplies would quickly run out. Matzah, pasta and canned fish have extremely long shelf life.


The more matzah you eat, the more toilet paper you will need.


Uh, no. The less often you will need to go is more accurate… and the more constipation will affect your life. Let’s hope it doesn’t reach that stage…

Morah A

What about going to Israel fir Pesach from New York?‍♀️


the 3.4% is not real.. they say thousands if not hundred of thousands of ppl are walking around w it not knowing..So the death rate is based on the confirmed carriers


“They say”, those same experts are estimating a 2-3% fatality rate. It’s not only unconfirmed healthy cases that are missed, many deaths are also missed. Just yesterday a dead person was confirmed a week post-mortem.

Ed Travel

In one word NEWSTART:
N-Good healthy nutrition, rich in antioxidants and no sugar
E-Exercise to keep healthy the immune system
W-Water, inside and out as well as sauna every so often
S-Sunlight as it strengthens the immune system
T-Temperance-Two things, using good things moderately and avoiding harmful things (smoking, etc).
A-Fresh air
R-Rest-Daily, Shabbat and yearly
T-Trust in G*d


“While the CDC doesn’t advise that laymen wear a mask (except if they’re infected to avoid spreading coronavirus)”

Might I suggest that if a layman is infected with coronavirus, that they just not come to shul in the first place?


It is not your job to suggest, it is your job to INSIST. The person should be barred from entering.


How do they write that part at the end of the death comparison without putting in the amount that have the sickness i.e. the percentage difference of those infected by the flu and those infected by coronovirus that die from it.


Booking flights 😉 going to Florida for pesah $60 a person on spirit


I had tickets to the Midwest for Pesach on United’s 7 day farelock just to see if things would settle down before booking. Now that it’s worse, we may just drive….

Go Fish

I believe this NY Times article is making the point some here are saying about the actual death rate:


I am 50 , in what category do I fall? , over 50 or under 50


As long as you’re exactly 50. You’re immune


Oops, I’m 51


“ Beware of reusable bags that can carry a virus from place to place without ever being cleaned or thrown away.”

HASHEM is punishing NY lawmakers for the single use bag ban!

Texas Totty

Thanks Dan for the years worth of toilet paper already in my house.
One other precaution: Get enough sleep. No better way to keep a healthy immune system. (Don’t look at what time I wrote this. I have what to work on…


Was in Brooklyn Costco, they’re all out of isopropyl alcohol. That’s what I use (in a spray bottle) as a hand sanitizer, I don’t like the additives in Purell, or the off brands.
Also hand sanitizer as well as isopropyl alcohol is out of stock everywhere online.
Was able to find some in some smaller pharmacies.


“It’s also a good idea to stock up on basics like PASTA, peanut butter, canned food, soap, hand sanitizer (which can also be made at home), disinfecting wipes, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.”

Since Pesach is coming it would be a good idea to stock up on kosher l’pesach stuff or at least kitnios. pasta will be a problem.


Shoutout to whoever stacked the TP rolls in their cart higher than the aisle shelves at the WM I visited recently. Reminded me that I needed to go buy some before I was stuck sans toilet paper without a way to buy any.

Fran Rabinowitz

My grandson’s bar mitzvah is in Israel on shabbos hagadol and we’re all supposed to be there through Pesach. Any idea what the chances are that we won’t be allowed to fly there?


Slim to none, and slim just left the building. Israel is not messing around. As of this moment, if you arrive there from several European countries, you will immediately be quarantined for a minimum 2 week period. With the exponential spread of this virus, it is very likely that they will do this to US visitors as well.

Mazel Tov on the Bar Mitzvah – but you may just have to Skype/FaceTime to be a part of it.


What kind of things are amazon doing in the situation of Coronovirus?
You said something about amazon taking steps…


What is this toilet paper craze? In Russia in 70s-80s we had may be once a year opportunity to buy it, after spending hours waiting on line, then parading across the city with the garland of rolls around our neck, as it was not packaged. Used newspapers rest of the time.


As its gets warmer to spring and summer this virus will diminish as it cannot tolerate heat but thrives in cold weather just like the flu. Look for example to Thailand with very few cases. Thailand is just South of China. With so many Chinese tourists who went to Thailand the cases are few. Look at all tropical countries and Australia(Summer time there) and you will see very few cases. So again as the temperature will increase this will diminish. This is just like a Super Flu so keep the weak and elderly at home but the rest you of you go on with your lives and take the precautions that Dan talked about. The is will be seen as the larges panic that came and went.


So best place now to be is Florida?


Exactly, Southern Florida

Concerned Reader

Dan, thank you for this post! Given the popularity of your sites, I hope more people take this issue more seriously.


I’m not nearly as concerned about the Coronavirus as I am about gun violence. After all the rate of gun violence is ~50%….


I have a flight with El Al at the end of March from Israel to New York, if the virus progresses as it has been, what do you think El Al will do?

Bill Smith

Make your own hand sanitizer link has the wrong alcohol and concentration for this virus. It needs to be Ethyl Alcohol at 70% concentration. The DYS recipe in the link will work for most bacteria, but not for this virus.


You mention the mortality rate in the introduction of this discussion thread. The accuracy of the stated rate assumes an accurate accounting of COVID-19 cases. How do we know there aren’t more cases of COVID-19 within the CDC estimated 49,000,000,000 flu illnesses in the US this season?


I saw a very rational person stocking up this morning in Cleveland on 48 hour candles. Any idea why that would be related to the virus preparations? Is there really a fear of infrastructure collapsing?

Malm mom

If someone gets the corona virus and recovers is that person immune to getting it again?