COVID Link of the Day

Let’s pretend it’s tomorrow already.

A very interesting take from Israel:

Ben-Israel, who heads the Ministry of Science and Technology’s National Council for Research and Development and the Security Studies program at Tel Aviv University, argued that global data shows the coronavirus has a six- to eight-week life cycle

Ben-Israel added, “This is how it is all over the world. Both in countries where they have taken closure steps, like Italy, and in countries that have not had closures, like Taiwan or Singapore. In such and such countries, there is an increase until the fourth to sixth week, and immediately thereafter, moderation until during the eighth week, it disappears.”

It’s important to keep a very open mind. Everybody has been wrong about this virus. It’s normal and there’s no shame in that. What if this guy is right? That would be wonderful news.

Faint Praise

At least, nobody is claiming that this time Trump is running against the most qualified presidential candidate in history. The best anybody can say about Biden is that he’s not as senile as many people think.

Can anybody name anything, any issue, any conviction of Biden’s that makes them feel good about him? Outside of her m not being Trump or Bernie or whomever else, what is there to like about him?

I’m asking out of curiosity. There’s absolutely no way ever I’m voting for this guy.

New IHME Model

IHME updates the projections again:

Overall US projections:

# of total deaths increased from 61,545 deaths to 68,841
-Projected total bed shortage decreased from 12,697 to 3,948.
-Peak hospital usage moved from 4/11 to 4/10, peak daily death toll moved from 4/10 to today
-Under 200 deaths a day went from 5/21 to 5/27

This is new since Friday of last week.

P.S. If you want the numbers on your state and can’t find them, let me know and I’ll post.

Lockdown Observations

I went grocery shopping today. There are police inside, at the entrance. There’s no explanation or any reason why they are there. The police were the only people without masks and gloves at the store. How is this helping to stop the spread of the virus?

A lone picnic table in a secluded spot is covered in yellow Caution tape. There’s zero evidence that if anybody sits at the table, the virus will transfer and remain on the table for days. Which is how often people visit it.

I’m not allowed to go to my office to pick up my stuff. There’s zero evidence that the virus will stay on indoor surfaces for that long either. And if it does, then we are wasting our time with this lockdown anyway.

There’s zero evidence that there’s any danger in two families that have been in lockdown for a month bringing their kids together for a playdate.

There’s zero evidence that libraries or bookstores are more dangerous than grocery stores.

There’s zero evidence that lonesome walks on the beach, or taking your kid to an empty park, or buying plant seeds, or surfing have anything to do with transmitting the virus.

But it’s no longer just about the virus. It’s about proving people right, and that’s the really important thing.

The part that really gets to me is when people exclaim, “listen to the science! We are seeing a lot fewer deaths than predicted because of the lockdown!” It takes less than two minutes to Google what was predicted and when but… It’s no longer about the virus.

COVID Link of the Day

This survey of how people think about COVID is very enlightening. Nobody wants the economy reopened. In an opulent country with a finicky population unaccustomed to hardship, it’s very easy to spook everybody up with stories about an imaginary apocalypse. So we are stuck for now.

While I’m at it, I want to mention the folks who think the Great Depression with its unemployment rates is somehow relevant to our current situation. This type of analogy is useless. It’s a different economy, a different unemployment, and a different world. Unemployment of 20-25% exists today in economies of developed countries at their peak. And nobody gives a crap. COVID will help push the US towards the French or the Spanish type of economy: huge state protectionism, a gigantic class stratification (which doesn’t exist in the US to any extent like it does in Western European countries), no opportunities for immigrants (when today opportunities for immigrants are absolutely phenomenal and unparalleled in the US), and a less opulent lifestyle for everybody with more limited consumption options.

Power Trip

Coronavirus in Massachusetts: Lynn begins mandatory curfew ordering residents to stay home at night during COVID-19 outbreak

Of course, there’s no evidence COVID spreads better between 9 pm and 6 am but who cares about that in the midst of such a fun power trip?

In Michigan, it’s now forbidden to sell plant seeds. Because God forbid people do some gardening in quarantine. What, you want to kill grandma by planting a bunch of peonies? Evildoer.

It’s curious how fast people accepted totalitarian measures of control.