Day 59: COVID-19 “Shelter-in-Place”

 

177 countries and territories currently reporting cases of COVID-19. My guess is that every national leader today of a truly democratic country is questioning the timing of their own personal rise to power. Today is a day for Churchillian resolve to take a beating but nonetheless prevail.

First, a note of caution: If you obsess over the tables on Worldometer.com (as I have a tendency to do) you will note anomalies in tabulations, for example the US total on the all countries table and the US total on the USA states table do not always correspond. That may be a database update issue. But also note the Vatican City with 1 case is also displaying 1,248 cases per million population on the table. This may be a residual from the malicious hacking the other day. All of this means that snapshots are not gospel.

As I survey the reporting and the commentary it is difficult to understand what is signal and what is noise. Momentous decisions are being made over individual lives. Mrs Rodin, her mother, and I are just fine sheltering in place. Before COVID-19 by our own predilections “social distancing” was pretty much the default except for most days eating out once a day and the various medical, nail and hair appointments. Yesterday a local eatery we frequent delivered meals to our house, the day before I did take out at another restaurant where we would normally dine. Today I will check further on the small circle of local eating that we frequent. The freezer is pretty full but our meal preparation “muscles” have gone flat from disuse over time. The biggest threat to date was the panic grocery buying occurring locally that deprived us of ready eggs, fruit and milk for a couple of days. Thankfully I had a small reserve, so it was only the lack of ability to replenish and the implied threat if this behavior continued.

People are confused. Seven counties in the Bay Area have issued shelter in place orders. My residence is closer to the seat of the next county over, the jurisdictional boundary about a mile away, than to the population centers of my county. That next county over is not sheltering in place. But it may be required to by the Governor in days to come. My sister-in law in Southern California, living in a place with similar numbers of cases to my county, has different rules as well.

As a nation we have shifted over time from a fundamental understanding of the necessity of patience in the pursuit of every day life. The great achievement of humanity was deferred gratification, that we could have more later if we used less now. It helped us build civilization, a civilization that now measures time not in minutes or even seconds, but milliseconds, refresh rates, and “on demand’ entertainment. To wait for the beneficial effects of the sacrifices we are making now for a healthier future is excruciating. To wait for the data to tell us how things are trending, to help us understand what progress is being made, exercises muscles now much in disuse. Our society has profited off of impatience. We sell consumers products that shorten the gratification cycle. Haven’t saved enough money to buy? Borrow! Want to find out what’s going on in the sporting events while watching “Love, Actually”? Press a button on your remote and see both displayed on your large TV. Can’t sit and read a book? Listen to its audio version on your phone through earphones while you do something else. Need to cash out of those home mortgages whose income stream you own? Bundle them and securitize them and sell fractional interests to institutional investors.

But COVID-19 takes its sweet time. Replicating when it finds a vulnerable host, lying in wait on surfaces until either a host is found or its RNA decays or is destroyed by disinfectant. Time matters not, happenstance determines its existence. It is a simple and unreasoning enemy. Is it fundamentally transforming us?

[Note: Links to all my COVID-19 posts can be found here.]

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  1. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Turns out that I know the Indiana CONVID-19 death on 3/10.  She was 51 and I am not aware of any underlying issues.  She last worked the Shrine bingo on 3/10.  On 3/14 she was dead.  

    • #1
  2. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    She last worked the Shrine bingo on 3/10. On 3/14 she was dead.

    That’s very scary in a couple of ways.

    a. She probably was asymptomatic on the 10th but infected a number of people because she was working around a group of people doing BINGO.

    b. Working on the 10th, dead by the 14th? Holy crap that is fast.  That means if you get it bad you need treatment right away. And what is that treatment? Health agencies need to get a move on. They are killing people by their messing around. 

    • #2
  3. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Italy’s numbers are in:

    Still waiting for France.

    • #3
  4. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    About a year after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, President Bush gave a speech in which he sounded very tired and discouraged. He said, paraphrasing, “The truth is that this is a long-term problem. It will always be with us in one way or another.” There wasn’t one answer to be found and implemented. There were many.

    I think that is where President Trump is right now. I think it is where the CDC is now. I think it is where we all are right now.

    My husband and I have a long-standing laugh line from the days we fixed up our first house. You’ve been working and working and working, but the room you’re working on is still a mess, and there’s as much to do yet as you’ve done so far. We call it “the 50 percent mark.” Once you get past it, things start looking better and you’re energized just by the progress you’ve made. Things are really looking up. But when you’re at the only-50-percent-done mark, defeatism, fatigue, and frustration can keep you from going further. You have to really push yourself to get past the discouragement that sets in.

    We all know that GW’s war on terror–a war that consisted of taking a thousand steps every day without seeing clear wins–paid off. We’re not free of terrorism, but we’ve changed the way we do things, and it’s not on our minds every single second of every day. The “deck” of active terrorists has been pretty much eliminated:

    Fifteen years ago this month, then-President George W. Bush responded to 9/11 by publicly placing 22 top terrorists on an FBI most wanted list. In the decade and half since, more of the original list of fugitives have been killed than caught, while several remain on the run — including two senior al-Qaeda figures believed to now be in Syria and the current leader of the terrorist organization.

    The now well-known FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list was created when Bush strode onto a stage at the FBI’s Washington headquarters on Oct. 10, 2001, and named 22 of the “most dangerous” people in the world. Many had a $5 million reward for information leading to their capture, and right at the top of the list was Osama bin Laden, worth $25 million.

    “Everybody felt like, what are we doing, and what can we show people?” Thomas Pickard, who was then the FBI deputy director and was briefly its acting director, told ABC News.

    [continued in comment 5]

    • #4
  5. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    [continued from comment 4]

    There are at this very moment thousands of scientists working on the covid-19 problem. I promise you a year from now, residual dormant viruses on our fomites notwithstanding, :-), we will have the cures, treatments, vaccines, personal protective gear and ventilators, and medical personnel trained in how to handle contagious diseases. Air travel and tourism will have resumed.

    We human beings get a lot of work done each and every day. We’re really smart, and we love people, and that is what will propel us to a victory in this war on contagious deadly viruses. And we’ll just keep going, putting one foot in front the other every day, until we get there.

    • #5
  6. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    State Numbers- a synopsis of the big movers:

    ——–                         today   ——         yesterday   ——        growth

    New York   —–                                 4152     ——         2480   ——              1672

    Washington—-                                1187 ——              1014   ——                173

    California ——                                     833 ——                727  ——                 106

    New Jersey —–                                   742 ——               267 ——                   475

    Florida    ——–                                       384  ——               217——-                    157

    Lousiana  ——-                                      347  ——-                240  ——-                 107

    Illinois ———                                            288  ——-               161  ——-                  127

    Georgia  ——–                                          287   ——-              150    ——-                137

    The New York/New Jersey area got hammered with a huge growth in cases.  Washington seems to be slowing down.  California had a steady growth, but not that rapid growth – still only 2/1000th of a percent of the population there. .  The scary one is the Georgia/Florida /Louisiana cluster grew 44 to 91% even though temperatures there are in the high 70’s to 80’s, which may mean higher temperatures may not help as some of us had hoped.

    This growth in  cases may be just a catching up because now more people are being tested. Hopefully that is the case.

    • #6
  7. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge
    DonG (skeptic)
    @DonG

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Italy’s numbers are in:

    Still waiting for France.

    Comparing against seasonal flu.  Snippets from Investigating the impact of influenza on excess mortality in all ages in Italy during recent seasons (2013/14–2016/17 seasons):

    In recent years, Italy has been registering peaks in death rates, particularly among the elderly during the winter season. Influenza epidemics have been indicated as one of the potential determinants of such an excess. The objective of our study was to estimate the influenza-attributable contribution to excess mortality during the influenza seasons from 2013/14 to 2016/17 in Italy.

    We estimated excess deaths of 7,027, 20,259, 15,801 and 24,981 attributable to influenza epidemics in the 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17, respectively, using the Goldstein index. The average annual mortality excess rate per 100,000 ranged from 11.6 to 41.2 with most of the influenza-associated deaths per year registered among the elderly. However children less than 5 years old also reported a relevant influenza attributable excess death rate in the 2014/15 and 2016/17 seasons (1.05/100,000 and 1.54/100,000 respectively).

    I could not find peak daily rates, but from the graph below it looks like things peak for about 6 weeks, where half seem to occur.  That provides a daily peak of 24981/2/42= 297, so +427 is significantly worse than peak of a very bad flu season.

    • #7
  8. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…
    @GumbyMark

    As this has spread, making sense of the numbers may get more, not less, difficult, because of the relatively long incubation rate and length of the illness, along with different country approaches to testing and thus detection of cases.

    Incubation time between exposure and onset of symptoms is 2-14 days (and in some cases as long as 24 days) much longer than the flu or SARS, making it harder to predict future numbers.

    Median time between onset of symptoms and death is 17 days, so high case counts and low death counts early in the trend line for a country may not be significant.

    Some countries are simply not testing those who are not seeking treatment at hospitals while others are doing more broad testing.  The country with the highest per capita infection rate, according to Worldometer, is Iceland which has moved to broad based testing, including volunteers, and is finding a lot of infection in asymptomatic people and those who only show symptoms of a mild cold.  And as this worsens I think many countries will stop counting those infected based on testing and just move to estimates.

    • #8
  9. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… (View Comment):
    As this has spread, making sense of the numbers may get more, not less, difficult, because of the relatively long incubation rate and length of the illness, along with different country approaches to testing and thus detection of cases.

    Plus the complication introduced of the sheer number of viruses on the loose out there at this moment, as shown in the “circulating viruses” chart in comment 7. 

    • #9
  10. Locke On Member
    Locke On
    @LockeOn

    Field report from Idaho:  Went to the local Winco for the first time in six days, after witnessing last Friday’s panic buying.  Crowds back to normal.  Most parts of the store stocked (including TP) with some limits on per family buying (meat, TP).  A few spot shortages: ramen and other noodles, soup and other canned goods, bulk dried foods.  But reasonably close to normal.  Local schools and most government offices remain closed, but other businesses are open, including many restaurants.

    • #10
  11. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Unsk (View Comment):

    She last worked the Shrine bingo on 3/10. On 3/14 she was dead.

    That’s very scary in a couple of ways.

    a. She probably was asymptomatic on the 10th but infected a number of people because she was working around a group of people doing BINGO.

    b. Working on the 10th, dead by the 14th? Holy crap that is fast. That means if you get it bad you need treatment right away. And what is that treatment? Health agencies need to get a move on. They are killing people by their messing around.

    It  has us shook.  Shrines tend to have older membership and the bingo games is full of a lot of older individuals.  The Lady in question was very active in the Shrine and attended many events.  We can picture a lot of our members in danger.  

    A Shrine is a bit like a family, this Lady lost her husband to a long battle of cancer last year.  Her family has been through a lot, and now this.  Many of her family members are in the Shrine and we feel for their loss.  

    It is amazing how quickly she went for somebody as young as she was in good health (at least what we know)  She looked well on 3/10 from what I have heard.  I saw her a few days earlier and she seemed fine.  This is our first experience with a COVID19 loss.   For it to happen to somebody so young, healthy and quickly is a gut punch.

    • #11
  12. rgbact Inactive
    rgbact
    @romanblichar

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Turns out that I know the Indiana CONVID-19 death on 3/10. She was 51 and I am not aware of any underlying issues. She last worked the Shrine bingo on 3/10. On 3/14 she was dead.

    Roberta Shelton was in her 60’s and had health issues, likely high blood pressure. The second Indiana death a couple days ago was also a person in their 60’s with a health condition.

    • #12
  13. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    rgbact (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Turns out that I know the Indiana CONVID-19 death on 3/10. She was 51 and I am not aware of any underlying issues. She last worked the Shrine bingo on 3/10. On 3/14 she was dead.

    Roberta Shelton was in her 60’s and had health issues, likely high blood pressure. The second Indiana death a couple days ago was also a person in their 60’s with a health condition.

    It was neither of these people.  

    You have a point?

    • #13
  14. rgbact Inactive
    rgbact
    @romanblichar

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    rgbact (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Turns out that I know the Indiana CONVID-19 death on 3/10. She was 51 and I am not aware of any underlying issues. She last worked the Shrine bingo on 3/10. On 3/14 she was dead.

    Roberta Shelton was in her 60’s and had health issues, likely high blood pressure. The second Indiana death a couple days ago was also a person in their 60’s with a health condition.

    It was neither of these people.

    You have a point?

    IDK. Has IN not updated their numbers? Only 2 so far from what I see.

    • #14
  15. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo…
    @GumbyMark

    rgbact (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Turns out that I know the Indiana CONVID-19 death on 3/10. She was 51 and I am not aware of any underlying issues. She last worked the Shrine bingo on 3/10. On 3/14 she was dead.

    Roberta Shelton was in her 60’s and had health issues, likely high blood pressure. The second Indiana death a couple days ago was also a person in their 60’s with a health condition.

    And 1/3 of adult Americans have high blood pressure, one of the underlying health issues contributing to mortality from this virus. 

    • #15
  16. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    France’s numbers are in:

    [deleted per @lockeon‘s correct observation.]

    • #16
  17. Locke On Member
    Locke On
    @LockeOn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    France’s numbers are in:

    With these numbers in the following is an observation, not an interpretation:

    Total growth world-wide in cases 3/18-3/19:

    Total growth world-wide in cases 3/17-3/18:

    This is a trend we would like to see continue tomorrow.

    Something is wrong with this, unless time is moving backwards…

     

     

    • #17
  18. Laptop Inactive
    Laptop
    @Laptop

    What is going on in Germany? 

    • #18
  19. Lois Lane Coolidge
    Lois Lane
    @LoisLane

    rgbact (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    rgbact (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Turns out that I know the Indiana CONVID-19 death on 3/10. She was 51 and I am not aware of any underlying issues. She last worked the Shrine bingo on 3/10. On 3/14 she was dead.

    Roberta Shelton was in her 60’s and had health issues, likely high blood pressure. The second Indiana death a couple days ago was also a person in their 60’s with a health condition.

    It was neither of these people.

    You have a point?

    IDK. Has IN not updated their numbers? Only 2 so far from what I see.

    Perhaps this is a comforting thought?

    It’s also possible to not know someone’s underlying health issues, especially if one does not know a person well. 

    For example, I’ve run four half marathons in the last four months, but I am a severe asthmatic.  Many people at my job know that I am a serious runner.  Few people there or in my casual social circle would know that I have a chronic lung issue unless they have gone running with me and seen me pulling an inhaler out of my pocket.  It’s just not a relevant bit of information in casual conversation, and as far as they are concerned, I am very fit.  (I am pretty fit, actually.  But there’s that one thing that requires care and medicine….  Who knows what someone else’s one thing might be?  It might be hidden?)

    Perhaps that is the case here.  

    • #19
  20. drlorentz Member
    drlorentz
    @drlorentz

    MarciN (View Comment):
    I promise you a year from now, residual dormant viruses on our fomites notwithstanding, :-), we will have the cures, treatments, vaccines, personal protective gear and ventilators, and medical personnel trained in how to handle contagious diseases that we need. Air travel and tourism will have resumed.

    It had better not take as long as a year because if it does, there will be an economic collapse of epic proportions. More people will die because of that than directly from this virus. Japan is managing this crisis with far less disruption even though they were closer to the origin and had a head start on infections. 

    You’ll notice they don’t even appear on the list on the OP. That’s because they are below Denmark, a much less populous country. They are at 7 cases per million inhabitants compared to 700* for Italy and 42* for the US. Our political leaders were doing well for a while but have gone too far into CYA territory. 

    *revised numbers from the same source as of this writing. Cases per million population are in the far right column.

    • #20
  21. cirby Inactive
    cirby
    @cirby

    drlorentz (View Comment):
    It had better not take as long as a year because if it does, there will be an economic collapse of epic proportions. More people will die because of that than directly from this virus.

    If things are still up in the air with no reasonable hope (cure, treatment, vaccine, whatever) for more than three or four months, then pretty much everyone I work with will utter a few cuss words and get back to work. A bunch of them would be working right now, quarantines be damned. Stubborn folks.

    On the good side, one company I work with just sent out an email saying they’re going to make a partial payment for a show that canceled. I won’t get much from it (just a day’s worth, probably), but for a lot of people I know, that’s going to make a big difference in the short term. It’s normal to do partial payments for cancelled shows, but usually only when it’s really close. Nobody was expecting this one.

     

    • #21
  22. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    I’m hoping for chloroquine to work out.  An actual treatment, and one that is already widely distributed (it is a a common anti-malaria drug, so the military probably has massive stockpiles) would be amazing.

    It sounds like Kaletra (the HIV combo protease inhibitor) is not as effective as once thought.  That does not surprise me.

    • #22
  23. La Tapada Member
    La Tapada
    @LaTapada

    Rodin:

    …To wait for the beneficial effects of the sacrifices we are making now for a healthier future is excruciating…

    Wow, you’ve described our situation to a T.

     

    • #23
  24. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I think we need to take another additional step in dealing with this virus: identify who is already immune to it. Some people we know now have some type of natural immunity to it and others have become immune to it from exposure. I realize that there are some who have become reinfected, but not very many at all, from what I’ve read.

    If we could identify and test for the antibody that protects people from the virus, we could return a lot of people to work. We could return quickly to quarantining individuals.

    I know that we have the means to test people’s blood for some antibodies now. My daughter has been tested for measles, mumps, and rubella antibodies, and I was once tested for rubella antibodies.

    This would allow us to have some firm information as to potential equipment and medicine and personnel needs in our hospitals, and it would allow immune people to replace susceptible people in medical care settings.

    • #24
  25. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I think we need to take another additional step in dealing with this virus: identify who is already immune to it. Some people we know now have some type of natural immunity to it and others have become immune to it from exposure. I realize that there are some who have become reinfected, but not very many at all, from what I’ve read.

    If we could identify and test for the antibody that protects people from the virus, we could return a lot of people to work. We could return quickly to quarantining individuals.

    I know that we have the means to test people’s blood for some antibodies now. My daughter has been tested for measles, mumps, and rubella antibodies, and I was once tested for rubella antibodies.

    This would allow us to have some firm information as to potential equipment and medicine and personnel needs in our hospitals and allow immune people to replace susceptible people in medical care settings.

    For example, any doctors and nurses who recovered from the disease are sent into the front lines with some extra vitamins, caffeine, and Gatorade–while doctors and nurses over 60 get a paid vacation at home?

    And same pattern wherever possible in any workplace?

    • #25
  26. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I think we need to take another additional step in dealing with this virus: identify who is already immune to it. Some people we know now have some type of natural immunity to it and others have become immune to it from exposure. I realize that there are some who have become reinfected, but not very many at all, from what I’ve read.

    If we could identify and test for the antibody that protects people from the virus, we could return a lot of people to work. We could return quickly to quarantining individuals.

    I know that we have the means to test people’s blood for some antibodies now. My daughter has been tested for measles, mumps, and rubella antibodies, and I was once tested for rubella antibodies.

    This would allow us to have some firm information as to potential equipment and medicine and personnel needs in our hospitals and allow immune people to replace susceptible people in medical care settings.

    For example, any doctors and nurses who recovered from the disease are sent into the front lines with some extra vitamins, caffeine, and Gatorade–while doctors and nurses over 60 get a paid vacation at home?

    And same pattern wherever possible in any workplace?

    Yes. It could get us partway to normalcy. 

    • #26
  27. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    MarciN (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I think we need to take another additional step in dealing with this virus: identify who is already immune to it. Some people we know now have some type of natural immunity to it and others have become immune to it from exposure. I realize that there are some who have become reinfected, but not very many at all, from what I’ve read.

    If we could identify and test for the antibody that protects people from the virus, we could return a lot of people to work. We could return quickly to quarantining individuals.

    I know that we have the means to test people’s blood for some antibodies now. My daughter has been tested for measles, mumps, and rubella antibodies, and I was once tested for rubella antibodies.

    This would allow us to have some firm information as to potential equipment and medicine and personnel needs in our hospitals and allow immune people to replace susceptible people in medical care settings.

    For example, any doctors and nurses who recovered from the disease are sent into the front lines with some extra vitamins, caffeine, and Gatorade–while doctors and nurses over 60 get a paid vacation at home?

    And same pattern wherever possible in any workplace?

    Yes. It could get us partway to normalcy.

    Seems worth thinking about.

    Would like to know more from someone who actually knows stuff.  I wonder about the dangers of reinfection. They say dengue is worse the second time.

    • #27
  28. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    New cases, new deaths since when?  Yesterday?  Last week?  This morning?

    • #28
  29. Locke On Member
    Locke On
    @LockeOn

    Skyler (View Comment):

    New cases, new deaths since when? Yesterday? Last week? This morning?

    The OP’s data is from the worldometer site, which resets its counts at +0 UTC each night.  So at 2000 EDT.  I believe the stats would then have been for the 24 hours starting at 2000 Wednesday night and ending at 2000 Thursday night.   Some of the reporting European countries straggle in during the day.

    • #29
  30. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    Would like to know more from someone who actually knows stuff. I wonder about the dangers of reinfection. They say dengue is worse the second time.

    I’m no expert but a bit of online sleuthing turned up that there are 4 different strains of Dengue, and immunity to one can indeed make catching a second strain worse, possibly due to an autoimmune response triggered when the body starts making antibodies for the wrong strain. 

    I guess if you manage to survive it 4 times, you should be set for life…

    • #30