COVID-19: Part 20

April 14, 2020 7:40 pm
  • Quarantine Day 29
  • Models suggest--assuming suppression measures remain in place--that the U.S. overall has passed peak death rate. Individual states vary.
  • California modeled to reach peak this week.
  • A group of states in the northeast (CT, DE, MA, NJ, NY, PA, RI) has formed a coalition to coordinate long-term response and lifting of suppression measures.
  • A group of states in the west (CA, OR, WA) has formed a similar coalition.
  • Congress delays next session by 2 weeks.
  • The International Monetary Fund warns that we'll have the worst recession since the Great Depression.
  • Trump pulls funding for the World Health Organization.
  • Livermore cases: 29
  • Alameda County cases: 850; deaths: 22
  • U.S. cases: 579,000+; deaths: 22,200+

We've been getting headlines/blurbs from NPR pretty much constantly for the last couple of weeks which provide a statement from Trump juxtaposed with reality. I think today's is my favorite so far:

California documents the 6 key indicators they will use to guide relaxation/reinstatement of suppression measures:

  • Ability to perform testing and contact tracing
  • Ability to mitigate risk to high-risk groups
  • Capacity of healthcare system to handle caseloads
  • Ability to develop and supply therapeutics
  • Ability for schools and child-care centers to maintain social-distancing measures
  • Ability to effectively monitor spread in order to adjust measures as appropriate

Trump declared he will pull U.S. funding for the World Health Organization. Which seems like an incredibly immature thing to do. A responsible person might say something like, "We have serious concerns with the governance of the organization and we will demand action to improve how things are run, but right now we're in the middle of a catastrophic, global, medical emergency and is not the time to disrupt the main system for international collaboration." But no. Instead we get, "This can't be my fault, it must be their fault and to show I'm serious I'm going to take their money away."

Social media is being absolutely flooded with the narrative that the WHO is now just a puppet and propaganda tool for China. I may not know anything about WHO's operations and behavior and I'm sure it has faults, but when every social media outlet is simultaneously blasted with the exact same narrative, always presented without any evidence or sourcing it starts to look a lot to me like an intentional propaganda campaign. And, I would put money on it being one. Likely out of Russia which has both a continued interest in disrupting international institutions and collaborations and a known capability and willingness to engage in such campaigns.

We're also already seeing a, sadly predictable, narrative about how stupid it was/is to shut down so much of the economy and put in place suppression measures. "We were told there'd be a million deaths in the U.S. and look, now they're saying only like 100 thousand; so it was all just fear mongering by doctors, scientists, and politicians. Why'd we shut everything down for this?" Yes, this is what some people are saying. Apparently, completely oblivious that this was the exact hoped for outcome of shutting everything down. People are the worst.

We had a long weekend since Monday was a work holiday. The weather was finally nice on the weekend so I got a bunch of yard work done. Needed to spruce things up for the Easter Bunny. The yard looks pretty decent when it's cleaned up.

I baked rolls on Sunday for dinner. I was making a double batch when I realized I wasn't paying attention to the recipe and had added 50% too much flour, so I had to switch to an emergency triple batch to salvage my dough. My mixer isn't big enough for a triple batch and the flour was already mixed in (into a very dense mass). So I had to prepare the new liquids and then work them into the dough by hand on the counter top. I wasn't sure it was going to work, but the rolls seem to have come out alright.

Monday I was finally able to use the headlight cleaning kit I bought weeks ago, but it had always been raining on the weekends. It worked pretty well (you sand down the plastic lens, polish, and then apply a sealant). So that makes the headlights on my Civic look a lot less sad, and improve light output which is the safety reason for doing the work.

I'll have another post up with pictures of our Easter egg hunt later. But for now, the Peeps we found hanging out in the backyard. They're not following social-distancing guidelines, but at least they're wearing masks!

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