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 Tuesday, March 24, 2020

In one week we have gone from ~200,000 cases to over 420,000 cases around the world.  Italy has nearly 70,000 cases and the US has over 50,000. The US is leading in growth of cases per day (around 10,000), although this likely reflects increased testing capabilities and backlog catch-up.

Disturbing conversations are taking place: do we sacrifice people, or the economy? In my mind, you can’t have a functioning economy if a significant portion of the populace needs a ventilator. Texas Lt. Gov.: Grandparents would be willing to die to save the economy

Per the famous Waffle House Index, we are now officially in the End of Days. Waffle House closes 365 locations across the U.S.

Smartphone data reveal which Americans are social distancing (and not)

Is the cure worse than the problem? Is a 4-week national quarantine, for example, worse than 18 months of hospital-shuttering pandemic? Worse than the potential for millions of deaths?

Toilet paper and septic system woes continue. If you must resort to using a torn-up t-shirt, the scraps can be rinsed, bleached, washed, and reused just like cloth diapers. No need to flush them.

Hubei residents are eager to return to business as usual in April. The lockdown will be ended, travel restrictions eased, and many will be back to work. But will it be safe?

Moderna’s self-described “plug and play” RNA vaccine may be made available to health care workers as early as fall. It will take at least a year for it to be available to the public. Safety trials in humans are underway in Seattle, and efficacy trials will follow.

Amazon shuts down a Kentucky warehouse due to COVID-19. Multiple workers are purportedly infected. The shuttering will be temporary.

Folks are dying trying to self-medicate for COVID-19. Don’t believe everything you hear or read on the internet, and don’t take a medication for COVID-19 unless 1) you have it, and 2) the medication has been ordered for you by a health care provider.

Serological tests are coming, and they will be very helpful in determining scale and exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Labs are working around the clock to make large-scale serum testing possible.

Many of the infected in LA County are between the ages of 18-40. LA County reports its first child death. Stay at home orders are strengthened.

The White House asks New Yorkers who have left NY to self-quarantine for 14 days. Trump adds he hopes the US will “open up” by Easter. Given that numerous states have not yet mandated stay-at-home practices, this is very unlikely.

Seniors found abandoned and dead in Spain. Residential care homes and their residents are at particular risk from this pandemic. I may be naïve in my hope that this kind of horror couldn’t happen here.