Coronavirus Special Coverage

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

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COVID-19: key developments for Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Over 76,000 cases were added to the globe in the last 24 hours.  We’ll have more than a million cumulative cases by tomorrow. There have been almost 50,000 deaths globally.

It’s been apparent that China’s case numbers were off—potentially by an order of magnitude. China states it will now include positive, asymptomatic cases. US intelligence agencies, Radio Free Asia, and Bloomberg News indicate that China’s true cases numbers were intentionally withheld. Any policy decisions that were made based on the fudged numbers were flawed policy decisions.

Pay cuts for doctors and nurses during a pandemic? Intermountain Health Care says it applies only to those clinicians who experience hour cuts. In most facilities across the nation it’s an “all hands on deck” situation. If it isn’t yet for Utah, it will be shortly.

It turns out that mathematical modeling is difficult. Apparently the CDC is using a best case scenario model that includes mitigation measures the US isn’t even doing. The stakes are high. Imperial College London estimates 2.2 million American deaths.

SIRS models look simple, but in reality the modeling is not

My worst nightmare is still a distinct possibility (and no, I don’t mean the cancellation of the Scottish festivals. I mean the potential for global famine). Supply chain problems, export restrictions, and sick farm workers makes a bad combination:

Aircraft carrier captain pleads for help as hundreds onboard fall ill with SARS-CoV-2. The Navy refuses to evacuate the ship. Meanwhile, the military says it won’t release numbers of infected to the public anymore.

Please stay at home, folks:

A train operator in San Pedro, CA deliberately derailed a train in an attempt to hit the USNS Mercy because he believed the ship was there for malicious purposes, like “a government takeover”:

Stranded plague cruise ships are instructed by the National Guard to remain at sea “indefinitely.”

What mask pattern should you use when making your own mask?  We don’t exactly know, but something is better than nothing. Hand-washing and keeping your hands away from your face are still very important, and these are things to remember when wearing a mask.

Movie theaters are not making much money. I don’t find this surprising, but the numbers are certainly interesting:


    • P B

      Thank you for the update.

      This situation brings about a realization of a weakness in what it means to be human. People have been lying to themselves and continue to do so about the pandemic because for almost a century this hasn’t happened. The 1918 flu pandemic was so horrific that society rushed to forget about it. It takes real strength to push past the discomfort that this situation is happening and is not being handled correctly by govt officials and people that are supposed to be “in control”. It isn’t helped when the leaders of major countries fall prey to this behavior and glaze over the seriousness of the situation.

      Denial will not feed loved ones or keep them safe from harm. The russians are not coming and the terrorists are not the threat here. This is a non-concrete enemy that cannot be seen and is easily dismissed due to this. The people that are assigned to protect are failing. The people who are assigned to heal us are overrun if not getting sick themselves. The govt stockpiles are dwindling.

      This is our zombie apocalypse. Instead of fighting off hoards of undead; the solution is much simpler: stop living regular life and stay home. Because this is so simple people do not take it seriously. Rational to most people is what they do in their daily lives.

      Hope is dwindling that any of this is under control. China lied about the stats and the other govts listened as if it were gospel. We will all suffer for that now.


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      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor P B

        Beautifully said, and agreed. Most people assume that things will simply return to normal. I’m seeing a lot of folks in the street already. Seems like two weeks was all they could handle before trying to go back to normal. As things continue I really wonder what things will look like in the near future.

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    • KL Newell

      Thank you for the update. I find these post very helpful in gleaning random information I’ve missed on my own.  My brain is in overload with same info  day after day provided by mainstream news.  The bit about Sac County churches went under my radar and I live one county over from there.

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    • DC Rick

      Random question for the crowd:  For those that are going out, how common is it to see everyday people in any sort of PPE?  Given the universal scarcity I’d assumed it might not be too common though I’ve seen a number of people with masks, gloves, etc.  Haven’t seen anyone with goggles.  Most who are wearing masks/gloves tend to either be older or working in delivery/grocery stores (one high end grocery store appears to be providing their staff with masks, in part to reassure customers).

      I’m sort of curious how much attention I might draw to myself with various kit, I don’t have anything too crazy/obvious, but wearing goggles would probably be a step up from most people I’ve seen out (and I could imagine might get me a funny look or two).  I’m not super worried about what other people think, but just genuinely curious of other people’s experiences.

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      • P B DC Rick

        Personally im essential personnel and go to work 4 days a week presently. I operate passenger trains in a major east coast city. I have been wearing an N95 mask since 3 weeks ago. Also disposable gloves which i wash as if they were my own hands. I have stopped wearing contact lenses and wear my prescription glasses and a baseball cap as added protection. I only have a few n95s so Ive been using a UVC germicidal/ozone lamp to sterilize it each night when i get home and leave it in the sun whenever possible.

        I shop for myself and other people once a week(i actually have quite a stockpile of food but somethings just dont keep) and wear the mask and gloves along with my prescription eyeglasses and a baseball cap when doing this as well. When i first started doing this both at work and in stores i got some strange looks. I do not care what people think like you said and i believe it serves a purpose to also show people that this is real and to take it seriously. Im a 6’3 person and draw attention anyhow. Im also young and not in the “at risk” group the media has thus far stated. I feel like people see this and think “if hes worried maybe i should be as well.” It also keeps people away from me as an added benefit.

        My trip to the store 3 days ago shows things are changing. More people were wearing masks and gloves. There was also a number of food items sold out at noonish on a monday when i arrived.

        I didnt hesitate to put the mask on after knowing that japan and most other asian countries see this behavior as polite in crowded situations.

        In short; its rough out there. My earlier comment that peoples inability to believe the seriousness of this is what will do more people in.

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      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor DC Rick

        I’m seeing people and kids back in the streets on the West Coast and it worries me. People seem to have some false sense of security. Cases are rising! What are these folks doing in the streets? A walk is one thing, but there are far too many out and about to maintain proper social distancing (in my mind).

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      • P B Stephanie Arnold

        The idea of going for a walk with someone is nice however its easily forgotten when in a conversation to stay 6 feet away. Its natural to move closer to someone when holding a conversation.

        My city proper is a ghost town but i fear the damage there is done. We will see in the coming days. The govt had its chance and should have ordered every state to shelter in place but like previously mentioned that is not anywhere near a social norm and incomprehensible in regular life.

        I can tell that some of the people, mainly the elderly, in the market are still going there every day because that is their regular routine. It is very clear now that continuing a routine will get someone sick or dead at this point.

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