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On the occasion of this very sad anniversary.......

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  • On the occasion of this very sad anniversary.......

    On this very sad anniversary we wish all the best to everyone affected by this pandemic.

    To those who we lost - we will see you again some day.

    We are with you.


    The Team at FluTrackers

  • #2
    Thank you to our entire team. It is a great privilege to work among you.

    FluTrackers -

    Independent Media

    We do not take any gov. or corp. money.

    In fact, we turned down all offers of donations in this pandemic to avoid any conflict of interest.

    We do not take ads or sell anything.

    Quite freeing.


    Our original thread dated December 30, 2019 at 11:35 pm ET:

    China - Original 2019-nCov news thread: weeks 1 - 4 (December 30, 2019 - January 25, 2020)


    • #3

      Thursday, December 31, 2020

      Remembering The Day Our World Changed

      My Original Wuhan Post 12/31/19


      Fifty-two weeks ago today, in the wee hours of the morning of December 31st, I awoke (at 2 am) and found a Skype message from Sharon Sanders of FluTrackers alerting me to several strange, and admittedly worrisome media reports from China of an unidentified respiratory outbreak in Wuhan City.

      FluTrackers - which has volunteers monitoring international news feeds practically 24/7 - first post on the matter went live at 11:35 pm on the night of the 30th (see below).

      By the time I had the story, and enough coffee to allow myself to write coherently about it, FT had already published 7 reports. Before that first day had ended, they had posted more than a dozen more.

      My first post went live at 3:54 am (see below), and would be the 1st of three I would publish that day.

      An hour later, I published:

      And then an hour after that:

      Although it was too soon to say with any certainty what these reports would amount to in the days and weeks ahead, it is fair to say that Flublogia - that little corner of the internet that follows infectious disease outbreaks - was all over it from the start.

      While none of us knew the world was about to change, it `felt' important. Reminiscent, in some ways, of the early reports of H7N9 emerging in China on March 31st, 2013 (see China: Two Deaths From H7N9 Avian Flu).

      Crof at Crofsblog - who is three hours behind me in the Pacific time Zone - had this in the early hours of Jan 31st.

      ProMed-Mail had picked up an early report, and twitter was burning up with conversations over the story, even though it was literally New Year's Eve.

      Dr. Ian Mackay, virologist and blogger, was in the thick of the discussion from the start (see sample below), providing us with much appreciated scientific perspective.

      Ian published his first blog on the outbreak shortly after the 1st of the year (see Viral pneumonia cluster in Wuhan, central China: 44 cases and counting), providing us with additional details on the outbreak and excellent graphics (see below) to boot.

      Credit Virology Down Under

      Amazingly, no one hoarded information in hopes of having a `scoop' or beating out the competition; this was a collaborative effort of the first order, of which I'm proud to have played a small part.

      Much of Flublogia operates on their own dime, are not monetized in any way , and have done this for years (some for more than a decade), because we believe it to be important. Not because there's money in it (believe me, there isn't).

      Most of that first week remains a blur, as most of us weren't getting much sleep. When we weren't writing blogs or reports, we were searching for news, translating media reports from dozens of countries, and back-channeling with one another trying to make sense of a very incomplete jigsaw puzzle.

      On January 6th, the CDC Issues Level 1 (Watch) Travel Notice For Unidentified Pneumonia - Wuhan, China, while on the 7th we looked at the growing shortage of PPEs in Hong Kong (see Hong Kong: Caught With Their Masks Down).

      By then, mainstream news was beginning to take the Wuhan outbreak seriously, even though it would be another 10 days before China would acknowledge human-to-human transmission (see 2019-nCoV: `Evidence of Limited Human-to-Human Transmission' - WHO WPRO).

      The world will change again, of course. COVID won't be the last pandemic threat, and it may not even be the worst. While we may not be able to prevent it, we can be better prepared when it comes.

      In closing, I'd like to publicly thank:

      Sharon Sanders and the entire crew at FluTrackers, who's hard work and willingness to share information with the world has made it possible for me to pen this blog for the past 15 years.

      Crof, at Crofsblog - who along with Revere at Effect Measure - pioneered the concept of flu blogging a full year before I began, and who welcomed me to the fold from the very start.

      Michael Osterholm, Lisa Schnirring, and the whole gang at CIDRAP who have been so very supportive over the years.

      Dr. Ian Mackay at Virology Down Under, who has been extraordinary generous in sharing his expertise with Flublogia over the years.

      We'll get through COVID, and whatever comes next, because of people like these who have devoted their lives to making us better informed and prepared to deal with pandemic threats.

      And last, but not least, a thank you to the tens of thousands of readers who have visited this blog well over 10 million times in the past 15 years, many of whom have been kind enough to write words of encouragement along the way.

      I am truly humbled by your response to this blog.

      May 2021 be a year that changes things radically once again, but this time for the better.

      Posted by Michael Coston at 5:32 AM


      • #4
        We have received many thank you notes throughout the year and I do not do a good job of letting everyone here know. This is an email received last night. I have redacted the personal information. Thank you email sender, and everyone who has sent us such gratifying notes!

        Thank you for following and thank you to all of our volunteers!

        To: flutrackers
        Subject: A Heartfelt Thankyou!
        Date: Dec 30, 2020 11:20 PM

        Hello Ms. Sharon Sanders, et al,

        I am the Health Liaison for the redacted School District in redacted Alaska. As such I am the interface between the school district, state officials and the public health nurses during the pandemic. I've been a student of infectious diseases for the past 15 years, and have posted and lurked on many of the flu sites, some of which are no longer active. Your site is simply outstanding, and it is my "go to" site for global Covid-19 information.

        Thanks for all you do,

        redacted, Alaska