May 222020
 

Globally 5.1 infected. 334k dead. 2 mi recovered.

The US has tested roughly 10 million out of a population of 329 million. We have a long way to go.

The new divide is all about .. wearing masks. I swear people living in the United States are looking for any reason to argue right now.

On one side you have the mask wearers, who are concerned about spreading/catching the Coronavirus. The CDC recommends wearing a mask right now if you are in a crowd and many stores require this. Costco is an example of this and will not allow anyone in the store unless they are wearing a mask.

On the other side you have the anti-mask folks. They think that being asked to wear a mask is eroding their civil liberty. Wearing a mask means you are a sheep. Wearing a mask means you believe in a ‘fake’ virus. People are attempting to get around the mask rule by claiming they have a medical issue via the ADA.

I don’t understand why this is such a huge issue. People have to follow rules in stores all of the time (no shirt, no shoes, no service) and wearing a face mask is no different. Abusing the ADA because of your ‘freedoms’ is sad.

Washington State is opening some areas under Phase 2. This is a good step and I hope we are able to continue opening slowly, with proper caution in place.

New study says that Coronavirus doesn’t live as long on surfaces as previously thought. Still appears to be spreading via droplets which is a concern, and there are new issues related to the virus cropping up. We simply don’t know enough about this yet and while hopeful, I am concerned that we end up with another round of this towards the end of summer.

May 122020
 

Worldwide 4.2 millions cases. 289k dead.

The US numbers are 1.3 million infected, with 81k dead.

We are starting to slowly open back up in Washington State which is a good thing if people can follow direction. So far, it appears they cannot.

There are rumors all over the place right now that have zero factual information to back them up.

Fauci has a patent on Remdesivir (not true). Bill Gates wants to push a vaccine so we can get injected with chips (not true). 5G causes coronavirus (not true) and finally that the Governor of Washington State will declare Martial Law (also not true).

I have a really tough time listening to folks who want to tell me that the ‘main stream media’ is a lie, but are willing to base their ‘facts’ on some random Facebook person with no medical or factual background on any of this.

I’m no fan of the media myself. So I choose to actually read research papers that are peer reviewed. I open my eyes and see what is happening around me. I am able to move freely without restriction. I can go to a store. I can purchase items online. I can drive just about anywhere. I can visit parks. Yet people are screaming that our freedom is being taken away.

The paranoia is frightening to me. I’ve responded with logic to some folks, including family and they simply don’t want to hear any of it. They are firm in their beliefs.

Interesting article from Popsci regarding this: https://www.popsci.com/radical-politics-metacognition/

“People with extreme political views have trouble thinking about their own thinking”

Some interesting points here but this is the main one:

“It’s been known for some time now that in studies of people holding radical beliefs, that they tend to… express higher confidence in their beliefs than others,” says Steve Fleming, a UCL cognitive neuroscientist and one of the paper’s authors. “But it was unknown whether this was just a general sense of confidence in everything they believe, or whether it was reflective of a change in metacognition.”

And because I practice what I preach, here is a link to the actual study: https://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(18)31420-9?_returnURL=https%3A%2F%2Flinkinghub.elsevier.com%2Fretrieve%2Fpii%2FS0960982218314209%3Fshowall%3Dtrue

Apr 232020
 

2.6 million globally, 185k dead, 723k recovered.

In the United States we are sitting at 843k infected, 4.4 million tested, 47k dead.

The positive news in all of this is that data shows staying home helps flatten the curve of infection. Staying home is working and has given hospitals the ability to start catching up.

Sadly I have a friend in the ICU here locally fighting for his life right now due to all of this. His wife is a nurse and is also infected, so she is unable to visit him in the hospital.

There have been several protests this past weekend to ‘open the country’ back up. People are concerned about their freedom. I personally don’t feel like I am restricted in any way but understand how others may feel that way.

I am able to leave my house to go shopping or pick up food. I can fill my gas tank and do everything I was planning to do before all of this started. As long as we are wearing masks and distancing from others we seem okay.

People want to get haircuts. Want construction to resume. Want to go… fishing. I get all of that. I am not willing to risk the life of someone else because I need a haircut, but may are.

In Kentucky the rate of infection jumped considerably after a group of folks protested (without masks, etc.) to re-open the State. That alone should be enough of an example. But people in the US are funny that way. There are so many conspiracies floating around and our leadership at the Federal level has been less than inspiring, almost inciting some of the conspiracies.

Life is maddening right now but we are managing as best we can.

Apr 152020
 

Global total is 2 million infected, 128k dead and 500k recovered.

We now have a dedicated tracker for the US that breaks details down to county level.

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map

3 million tested in the U.S. with 600k confirmed cases, 25k dead and 43k recovered. New York is the hardest hit and the epicenter in the U.S. right now.

In Washington State things continue to level off while we all stay home as much as we can. We are all wearing masks if we visit a shop for any reason.

Here are the details for Pierce County where we live:

https://bao.arcgis.com/covid-19/jhu/county/53053.html

We show a 4.82% fatality rate right now. But it’s “just a bad flu” right?

Washington, Oregon and California are grouping together as a team to decide when things should slowly open back up for business. It is impressive to see States work together like this in a time where it is easy to panic.

Stimulus checks are hitting bank accounts today.

Meanwhile the President of the United States is halting funding to the World Health Organization during a pandemic claiming they have ‘mismanaged and covering up’ things related to the outbreak. The President is also tweeting about how his favorite movie is Mutiny On the Bounty as a threat to Governors who don’t agree with him. The President also feels that voting by mail is now a bad thing for everyone, except him, because it doesn’t work in his favor. This is all within the past two or three days.

Remember. This is the President who said this was nothing. It would all go away soon and it was just a bad flu. Meanwhile in February he spent time golfing, at Trump rallies and speaking at CPC. He spent almost half of the month ignoring this while the rest of the world warned of the upcoming trouble.

The President is not capable of criticism in any way. I have friends from India and Italy telling me they watch what is happening here and they are absolutely gobsmacked at how our country is being run, and they don’t understand why someone so unstable is running the show.

This is not stability when we need it most.

Apr 062020
 

Had to take a little break and focus.

Today we are sitting at 1.3 million infected, 74k dead and 276 recovered.

The US government now recommends we wear masks while in public spaces, and to avoid shopping unless it is absolutely necessary. Meanwhile, some states have opened beaches back up. /shrug

I am fortunate to still be employed and working remote. My company today just cut 10% of staff across the entire company, reduced salary temporarily between 0-10% depending on what you earn, and we’ve cut training and future headcount. It is brutal but we are still working and I am thankful.

Washington State has closed school for the remainder of the year which is not a surprise. Some people think we need to start opening businesses again and, as much as I try to understand this logic, don’t see how anyone thinks this is a good idea.

Data is really important to me, and the numbers just don’t make sense for opening things back up. We have slowed the spread and that is the entire point of shutting down. Starting things back up, without the ability to cure this is insanity to me. We still don’t know enough and despite what people think, this is NOT the flu. We understand the flu and have the ability to slow that down without distancing and shutting down the country.

There are a lot of conspiracies now. People are burning 5G cell towers because they think this caused the virus. Some people think this is man made. Other think this is just a way for the elite to control us and thin the population. So bizarre.

Sometimes the simple answer is the logical one. Viruses happen. Sometimes they are deadly and spread at a rate we aren’t able to comprehend. This is a scary time and it brings out a lot of crazy things in people.

I am using this time to stay productive and try to keep occupied. I am concerned that warmer weather means people will ignore warnings and start to group up. I am also very concerned that we are not fighting this in a coordinated way. If my state comes out of this clean what prevents someone from another state with many infected from coming here and starting the cycle all over?

There is also a new concern that this could become seasonal. The world has changed and I’m not sure we can ever go back to how we were.