Thursday, March 26, 2020
Harvard researchers: Social distancing during COVID-19 may have to be turned on and off like a spigot | ZDNet
For those wondering how long they'll have to be in quarantine because of therespiratory disease, the question for those in the US may not be how long, but how many times.
Work posted on the medRxive pre-print server Tuesday by a group of researchers at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston suggests that multiple targeted periods of "social distancing" of various kinds will likely be necessary for the US before any vaccine is found for the disease.
President Trump has taken bold and decisive steps to stop the spread of the Wuhan virus across America. In doing so, he has become a wartime president. But the enemy he is fighting is the Chinese Communist Party. Long before this crisis, the CCP was waging political and economic war against the United States. The Wuhan virus is merely another weapon in this war. As a nation we need to understand this immediately, since the first casualty has been the material well-being of the American people.
Not only are they not (yet) seeing atypical rates of fever, they’re waaaaaay below where Kinsa’s historical data would project them to be in a normal year. What’s happening here, one would think, is that the social distancing being practiced by locals is sharply reducing the total number of seasonal infections caused by all “influenza-like illnesses.” COVID-19 isn’t the only bug out there; the flu is circulating, as are other well-known and milder forms of coronavirus. Because Kinsa can only measure fevers and not the underlying cause, it can’t say definitively that rates of infection by COVID-19 specifically are decreasing. It’s possible that that rate is still rising but is being offset (and then some) in their data by dramatically declining rates of infection by all other forms of “influenza-like illness.” The overall trend is downward but maybe not the particular trend for COVID-19, especially since it’s more contagious than flu. And that’s the one we care about.
But. Obviously it’s possible that social distancing is driving down the infection rate of COVID-19 too. That’s what these lockdowns are designed to do, after all. The self-isolation strategy is — probably — working, too late for New York but hopefully not too late for a lot of places. Even Florida, the most worrisome fever hot spot in last week’s Kinsa data, is beginning to cool off.
Kinsa is just a hint of things to come and what a brave new world it will be--when we can get an idea of what's going on directly from data not filtered by the press. This is not there yet, but you can see it coming.
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Coronavirus: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says early signs show social distancing may be working | South China Morning Post
Stringent density control measures may be working to contain the coronavirus in New York state, the epicentre of Covid-19 outbreak in the US, as the rate of hospitalisation shows early signs of abating, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday.
New York, which has 19 million residents and nearly 31,000 infections, now accounts for 56 per cent of the confirmed cases in the country and more than 7 per cent of world’s total.
Cuomo had ordered all but essential businesses to shutter by Sunday evening and residents to limit their outdoor activities and practice social distancing, effectively putting the state on pause.
Hundreds of missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints streamed through the doors of Salt Lake City International Airport on Sunday and were greeted by a large group of family and friends, marking an atypical detour in their religious service for the Utah-based faith.
The global outbreak of the novel coronavirus has prompted the church to adapt its foundational proselytizing program, shuttering Missionary Training Centers worldwide and scrambling to return young men and women to their native countries.
“Have you been tested for the coronavirus?” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Biden at the start of the clip
“No, I have not been tested for the coronavirus, uh, I’ve had, thank God, no symptoms that I’m aware of, that doesn’t mean that can’t happen,” Biden responded as he proceeded to cough throughout the remainder of the video.
We are only at the beginning of the crisis. The number of people infected with the coronavirus is still growing exponentially. Most of those who are sick were infected so recently that we don’t yet know how many of them will live or die.
And yet, public figures, especially on the right, are already calling on us to beat a hasty retreat in this desperate fight. “The costs of this national shutdown are growing by the hour,” the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal wrote a few days ago. It is about time to wind down the “vast social-distancing project of the last 10 days.”
Similarly, in light of the economic damage that the current response is causing, the New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman argued that we need “less herd mentality and more herd immunity.” His proposal basically boils down to accepting that the majority of Americans will be infected: “Let many of us get the coronavirus, recover and get back to work—while doing our utmost to protect those most vulnerable to being killed by it.”
The left says the virus must be stopped with massive lockdowns or we will suffer a health catastrophe. The right says the lockdowns will cause an epic economic disaster. Both might be right.
For the far left, the coronavirus crisis is the perfect time to abolish capitalism and the nuclear family
Even the fringiest of communist ideologues now see a path to what they want in things Sanders and AOC have already introduced in Congress. We’re not quite there for the family abolishment people. The full language to propose that as a serious idea hasn’t been imported into the mainstream yet, but you can bet they are working on it. AOC has already suggested it makes sense that people no longer want to have children. Little by little they’ll make this part of the conversation. The coronavirus is just another crisis the far left doesn’t want to go to waste.
Utah, Idaho, parts of Oregon, Washington. Most of Nevada. Wyoming.
Cotton’s hardly the only one in Washington warning about the pharmaceutical supply chain. Marco Rubio introduced a bill in the Senate to disincentivize the use of China as a supplier for medications, a subject about which Rubio had long warned. Afterward, China threatened retaliation for the debate by cutting off those supply lines, a move which did nothing but strengthen the argument for such action.
Today, Mike Pompeo hinted that the administration might act soon to redirect supply lines back to the US, at least in part as a rebuke to Beijing that hits them squarely in their pockets. Pompeo also might have used it as a threat for China over its active “disinformation” campaign over COVID-19:
"A massive drafting error": Three GOP senators pledge to block relief bill unless unemployment benefits fixed
Legislate in haste, repent at leisure. The rush to get a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package to a vote hit its first major road bump this afternoon after three Republican senators objected to language regarding the expanded unemployment benefits. The provision is so generous, they claim about the existing language, that it would incentivize employers to lay off employees — the exact opposite effect the bill intends.
This policy seems to lack nuance and sophistication.