Coronavirus Special Coverage

A collection of news posted throughout the week for those that want signal, not noise.

  • Previous coverage - all of our posts in this ongoing series.
  • Coronavirus status page - learn how to prepare for possible spread to your area. Scenarios, shopping lists, background info and everything else you need, all in one place.

COVID-19: key developments for Monday, April 20, 2020

Writing in The Atlantic, economist Paul Roemer and medical authority Ezekiel Emanuel argue, Without More Tests, America Can’t Reopen. But we can re-open and it looks like we’re going to in a few weeks, tests or no tests. We’ll see how that goes — I am not optimistic, and judging by this article neither are they.

A lot of states are re-opening:

A success story. South Korea has brought its reported spread of coronavirus infections to single digits per day. “South Korea is relaxing some distancing rules after a dramatic reduction in coronavirus cases.”

Shinzo Abe says there are issues with WHO, and Japan will review its funding after the pandemic. Yes, after the pandemic is a good time to revisit support for WHO.

We recommended against mask baking, and this is another data point in that same direction. Coronavirus can survive prolonged exposure to high temperatures – study

This is a big reason why we’re going to try and reopen shortly, whether it’s a good idea or not. 7.5 million small businesses are at risk of closing, report finds.

Oil prices went to negative $40 a barrel. That’s right — someone will pay you $40 to take delivery of a barrel of oil. This is an historic development that will have crazy cascade effects everywhere you look, so watch for it in the coming days.

Another gigantic high density cluster in a prison. More than 1,800 inmates, 100 staff test positive for coronavirus at Ohio prison..

Study: Remdesivir prevented disease progression in monkeys with COVID-19

It turns out coronavirus is a threat to the US water supply, thanks to cascade effects. The Guardian broke the story, and we’ve followed up with more discussion and tips on how to prepare.

More meat-processing plant closures, which raises the spectre of food price inflation. Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods shutters two more meat processing plants in Missouri and Wisconsin after massive coronavirus outbreak closed South Dakota factory, threatening the American food supply chain.

And another one: 60 workers test positive for coronavirus at beef plant

China identifying rebound clusters and shutting those areas back down:

Coronavirus stimulus payment scams: What you need to know

These protests aren’t just a US thing. Stay tuned for more coverage of how this is a global phenomenon:


    • P B

      The dumbassery of it all is astounding. We’ll see many more deaths. There is no safety at current testing levels.

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    • squidvicious

      Thank you both for curating some highlights/lowlights.  I appreciate the un-editorial coverage — it’s important to make decisions based on facts, intelligence, etc.

      On the protests, I’ll withhold judgement of the assessment.  Seems like the “popularity” of these may be over-emphasized.  Would be interesting to follow-up with participants in 2 weeks.

      Not withholding judgement on the protesters in this regard… most people like freedom, most don’t want to be cooped up, etc.    But participating in society does require some… agreement to participate.  It’s odd that some of the folks arguing for “herd immunity” are the same that would go *against* the herd and endanger it.   Poor analogy coming in 3, 2, 1… imagine the herd heading for a cliff, 80% turn away and 20% tumble over.  The herd survives.  But then, a small percentage of the herd (2%? 5% 10%?) decide they want to head back TOWARDS the cliff and bring you with them.  WTF?  I suppose it depends on whether you “believe” there’s a cliff?

      Anyway, lawyers are often accused of being too willing to help their clients evade laws while not technically breaking them; effectively aiding their clients to “not participate” in society for no other reason than personal monetary gain.  There are people in truly compromised situations with regard to finances, work, etc.  We should absolutely help them and work to re-open safely.  But, to open (without a plan!) for a haircut and some ice cream seems dumb.


      QUICK EDIT: It seems the data/intelligence suggests that any safe re-opening requires testing, tracking, etc. If so, then people probably need convincing that that can/will happen.

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