Spain has had a major surge in Covid-19 numbers. India has more people locked down right now than any other country. Trump intends to “open up” the economy by Easter. Fortunately he is powerless to do so. The best available information suggests that Covid-19 is not mutating much, suggesting that once a vaccine is developed, it can work widely and be more effective.
Things are bad in Iran. According to Arash Karami, “Iran’s confirmed corona cases is now 27,017 with 2,077 deaths. In the last 24 hours there have been 2,206 new cases and 143 deaths. In total 43 doctors and nurses have died from corona.”
Yesterday, March 24, is the day Trump told us we would have zero cases of Covid-19 in the US. The actual number was 53,478.
I hear chest freezers are flying off the shelves.
Covid-19 is Partisan in the US
The default behavior of the Covid-19 virus has almost the same pattern of spread and increase everywhere — exponential increase with a fairly high exponent, for a virus.
How different societies or regions attempt to “flatten the curve” seems to result in very different specific outcomes, but in several areas there has been real success.
It is probably true in the US that the federal response has been pretty much perfect, from the point of view of the Virus. Trump is treating Covid-19 much like he treats Putin. “What can I do for you, sir?” But fortunately, locally, it does not work that way.
Broadly speaking (with too few exceptions) Republican executives are literally supporting the virus in this manner. They want it to spike. Democratic executives are ordering serious responses and it is working to varying degrees. In states with Republican governors, Democratic (usually) mayors are responding despite what the Governors are saying, and that is working locally.
So, yes, Covid-19 response is partisan, and one of the parties is acting like a Death Panel determining that the aged, infirmed, and the less privileged be sacrificed for the benefit of the economy. The other party is trying to help. Republicans vs. Democrats.
The response in Congress is also partisan, but the Republican response is so awful that Democrats are winning out of sheer shame on Republicans. Plus at the moment, more Republcian Senators are down with the virus than are Democrats, so that seems to shift the balance of power.
In my own neighborhood, I’ve seen the Deplorable Housewives of Minnesota (yes, that is a thing) congregating in groups at the grocery store and loudly yammering about Nancy Pelosi and how she hates America, spreading viruses onto each other as they wander like a pack of hapless Gollumoids through the produce section.
(In the past the Senate Republican leadership has always been against remote voting. Now that it is in McConnell’s interest to have remote voting, expect his situational ethics to resituate.)
The mother of NBA player Karl-Anthony Towns is very ill with Covid-19, as of this writing. Amy Klobuchar’s husband is in the hospital on O2 and quite ill. Minnesota’s Lt. Governor’s brother has died of complications of Covid-19. A minor youth in Los Angeles has died. Prince Charles has been diagnosed positive. There is a long list of famous people from Jackson Brown to Natalie Horner to Prince Albert II diagnosed. Terrence McNally dies of Covid-19. These folks happen to be famous, and the tends of thousands of non-famous victims do not exist on a lower plane. But having famous names across the spectrum of how people know them and what people think of them is, perhaps, to this pandemic what a set of really bad hurricanes is to climate change, if you get my drift.
Watching an interview with a former official from the Louisiana Health Department last night, we got two reminders. One is that Mardi Gras happened at just the right time and place to be a major incubator of the disease, and probably accounts for a lot of sick people. The number of cases in NOLA has skyrocketed. The other reminder: Official Atlantic Hurricane season starts June 1st, but actual hurricanes or tropical storms can show up in May. Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard hospitals and communities night have an interesting year.
Here is an interesting history of the N95 mask. An outtake:
In the fall of 1910, a plague broke out across Manchuria… “It’s apocalyptic. … It kills 100% of those infected, no one survives… within 24 to 48 hours of the first symptoms,” …
What followed was a scientific arms race, to deduce what was causing the plague and stop it. “Both Russia and China want to prove themselves worthy and scientific enough, because that would lead to a claim of sovereignty,” …
The Chinese Imperial Court brought in a doctor named Lien-teh Wu to head its efforts. … after conducting an autopsy on one of the victims, Wu determined that the plague was not spread by fleas, as many suspected, but through the air.
Expanding upon the surgery masks he’d seen in the West, Wu developed a heartier mask from gauze and cotton, which wrapped securely around one’s face and added several layers of cloth to filter inhalations. His invention was a breakthrough, but some doctors still doubted its efficacy.
“There’s a famous incident. He’s confronted by a famous old hand in the region, a French doctor [Gérald Mesny] . . . and Wu explains … his theory that plague is pneumonic and airborne,…and the French guy humiliates him . . . and in very racist terms says, ‘What can we expect from a Chinaman?’ And to prove this point, [Mesny] goes and attends the sick in a plague hospital without wearing Wu’s mask, and he dies in two days with plague.”
Everyone should add this to your questions to ask future employers: "Could you please briefly describe what your company did to protect your employees during the first few weeks of the 2020 coronavirus outbreak?”
— thatgirlallie (@thatgirlallie) March 25, 2020
“Getting enough protective gear was among the cheapest, most effective things we could have done to slow down the pandemic. That we failed on such an obvious thing reveals an alarming national incapacity to imagine and prepare for the worst.” #COVID19 https://t.co/rl2UxEAL9J
— Dr Kathleen Bachynski (@bachyns) March 25, 2020
growing my own toilet paper pic.twitter.com/OUuirSjo8Q
— ? Dana ? (@danajeantaylor) March 23, 2020
It works. pic.twitter.com/dIs6y2PhZV
— Vej_Gee (@Vej_Gee) March 25, 2020
— Mike De Sisti (@mdesisti) March 24, 2020