Linky Friday: Widespread Panic and Other Minor Inconveniences


Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website

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32 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Waiting for local panic to set in… Colorado’s first “presumptive positive” coronavirus patient has been identified, and is being treated in a suburban hospital a handful of miles down the road from me. Came in from Italy through Denver International Airport and then up to the ski resorts, so presumably this will spread rapidly…Report

  2. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    LF15: You seem to have mistaken Salon for a legitimate media outlet. This is a reasonable mistake to make, since it actually was at one point, but it’s pretty much an exhumed corpse dancing on strings at this point.

    I read a story about this a while back, when I Googled “what the hell happened to Salon,” or something like that. Let me see if I can dig it up.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Yeah, I did my irrational panic shopping already. I’d say that 75% of it was stuff I was gonna get anyway. Toilet paper? Well, it’s not like we’re not going to use it eventually. (We didn’t buy *TONS*… we just accelerated our purchases a hair.) I’ve been wanting a rice cooker for a while, now. I mean, when I make rice, I can’t do it just right. It’s always al dente. And if you buy a rice cooker, buy rice! We should have some extra soda around anyway, right? And paper towels… hey, if you cook at home a lot, you’re going to need a lot of paper towels.

    But I also know that anything you do before anything that happens looks like paranoia and anything you do after stuff that happens will make you look back and say “I didn’t do enough. I didn’t do anywhere near enough.”

    So I’m not going to pretend that I did anything near enough.

    But if the housesitter gets quarantined for a month, they won’t die until the roving bands of brigands start going house-to-house.Report

    • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Jaybird says:

      We pretty much did the same thing. Just to keep pantry goods stocked up, some extras of things that wont hurt to sit in the basement for an extra month, and so on.Report

    • fillyjonk fillyjonk in reply to Jaybird says:

      I’m going to do some last “big” shopping over spring break because I fully expect once universities are back in session after break, they will find some students/faculty have returned from travel with the virus, and either we’ll all be finishing the semester by teaching online from home (bleah) or campus will be open but going out in public otherwise may be something we wish to curtail…

      I have enough food squirreled away to last probably a month, if I went on minimal rations. I might even have enough chocolate…Report

  4. Avatar Brandon Berg says:

    Japan is seeing a sharp reduction in flu cases this year. It may just be a coincidence, but it seems likely that this is due to the precautions people are taking in response to COVID-19 concerns. That chart is a bit confusing, but the X axis is the week of the year, so it starts in September (week 36), and then 4 is late January, 9 is early March, etc.

    We should wash our hands and refrain from coughing on each other every flu season!Report

  5. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    I remain bemused by everyone around me going nuts buying stuff. We live in an earthquake zone, how are you people not already prepared to shelter in place for a time?

    Also, if you are quarantined, that does not prevent you from having crap delivered, unless you live out in the boonies.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      I remain bemused by everyone around me going nuts buying stuff.

      Why? Seems reasonable to assume that even more supply chains will be shut down.Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Stillwater says:

        That is actually the real concern that my wife has. Not some fear of the disease, but rather that we can’t get something we need, like prescription pet food. (All three of our beasts, because of course.)Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Stillwater says:

        Why would supply chains be shut down to that point? I heard this morning that the adjusted mortality rate is down to 1.4% because they are estimating almost twice as many people are getting it without ever realizing it and getting tested. It’s only a real danger for those like Aaron (compromised immune system) or who have underlying respiratory issues.Report

  6. Avatar Aaron David says:

    Ugh… I have a compromised immune system, but I am supposed to drive through Seattle next week on business. Really starting to have second thoughts on this. It might kill my business, then again my business might die due to lack of tourism driving my clients businesses.

    I have that “money hole” feeling right now.Report

    • Avatar jason in reply to Aaron David says:

      Yeah, I’m supposed to go to a conference in Milwaukee in a few weeks. I’ll be bringing wipes with me to wipe down the plane seats (which is good practice even if there’s not a specific illness concern).Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Aaron David says:

      That sucks dude. I don’t mean to diminish your worries, but the ripple effects of this pandemic are going to be wide ranging and lots of people will be negatively effected. I mean, you’re getting hit directly on two fronts. (Three if you include supply chain issues.)Report

      • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Stillwater says:

        Thanks. Ususally I roll my eyes at these sorts of things, but now… Things have changed for me. And that is what makes it hard. Yes, you are right about the ripple effects, I spent too much time in the logistics world not to be worried about that.

        I will probably delay for a week (doing what I can over the phone) and see what happens over the next week up that way. For the most part, my clients don’t have much in the way of deadlines, except one lynchpin client. But I have been trying to get her to rethink something that I think makes for a better lead time for her, while taking some pressure off me, timewise. But we shall see.Report

    • Avatar Brent F in reply to Aaron David says:

      That’s rough buddy.

      I have a similar problem, just with a hyperactive immune system. I lost the last month because a flu caused my immune system to go berserk on my intestines. Fortunately my work is understanding and supportive.Report

  7. Avatar InMD says:

    LF16 talk about missing the point. If anyone wants to know why AfD is going to run the country in 15 years read Schäuble’s speech.Report

  8. Avatar Stillwater says:

    OK, let’s talk coronavirus. First thing: the NYT has a page dedicated to confirmed (which includes presumptive) cases of infection. The total in the US is currently a little over 500. Next thing: I saw a graphic of the timeline of Italy’s infection rate which indicated that the confirmed cases were doubling about every 2.5 days. The doubling rate in China was about every 4 days (but you can’t really trust ’em can you?) Third thing: mash those up. About 128,000 cases in three weeks? A million in four? Is that a reasonable expectation?

    Given the lack of testing there’s undoubtedly more infected people in the US than currently reported. Given the almost complete absence of a national level plan to mitigate the disease’s spread will we see similar rates to Italy (which has effectively quarantined the entire northern half of the country)? Worse? Better?

    Currently confirmed CV 536 cases and 22 CV deaths. That’s about 4%, which is the same as Italy’s CV death rate.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

      Saw this on twitter:

      Cases in the US:
      Feb 26 (2 weeks ago): 15
      Mar 4 (1 week ago): 111
      Mar 10 (today): 1000

      Off to the races.Report

    • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

      So, my prediction from March 8 was that we’d see 128K confirmed cases in three weeks. That would make March 29 the date when we reach that number. Today is the 27th, and currently we’re at 95,174 confirmed cases, 1,451 deaths and the curve is still ramping up.

      Since Italy was the model I used, it’s reasonable to also use Italy as an example of what to expect when hospitals become overwhelmed with coronavirus ICU patients. So my prediction is that death-rate will begin to rise faster than confirmed-case rate.Report

      • Avatar JS in reply to Stillwater says:

        Houston — currently using modeling from the UT Medical center’s researchers — expects, if the lockdown implemented the 23rd is obeyed fairly well, that we will see our peak around mid-May, with about 3500 cases at that point. They’re fairly confidant that many will not overwhelm their ICUs.

        As a note, their projection if the lockdown started the 30th — a mere week later — was 24,000 cases. On the 6th, 154,000 cases.

        How this plays out depends a lot on when state or local governments declared lockdowns. Worse yet, this virus does not exactly stop at the state or county line, so lockdowns will have to be extended past when the local area has strangled community spread, because nearby localities will still be exporting the infection,Report

      • Avatar Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

        Today’s the 29th, 21 days after my model* (lol) predicted the US would have 128,000 cases in three weeks, and the tally is up to 135,856.

        The prediction for at the fourth week, April 5, was over 1 million confirmed cases.

        To get a sense of what might be headed our way, here’s Italy’s current total cases/deaths. The death-rate is about 11%:

        Italy: Coronavirus Cases: 97,689 Deaths: 10,779

        *The model was pretty simple: to use Italy’s doubling rate (every 2.5 days) to predict US outcomes because Italy’s mitigation efforts and number of hospital beds per capita were pretty similar.Report

  9. Avatar Road Scholar says:

    If this is going to be a coronavirus thread let me just say that I find all this talk of hunkering down and limiting travel just adorable. I’ve probably traveled through a dozen states or more since this thing started. Apart from singing Happy Birthday to myself more there’s really not a hell of a lot I can do to limit my chances of exposure. And, BTW, folks like me are a big part of that supply chain y’all are talking about, it’s not just Chinese manufacturers.

    On the positive side, in reality I spend like 99% of my day alone in my truck, but I can’t avoid the interactions with strangers at shippers, receivers, truck stops, etc.

    Oh, and I’m due for a home visit in a week or two. My wife is immunocompromised. This shit would likely kill her. Do I even dare go home?Report

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