[<< | Prev | Index | Next | >>]

Monday, April 27, 2020

Covid Ramblings: Ignore

Just a snarky mishmash of thoughts, none particularly useful:

Linear scale since it was getting cramped in the log space.

Sweden is still not an obvious fail, which makes for an awkward continuation of the dual-reality. Proving a self-defeating prophecy was already going to be a hot debate but Sweden may provide a counter-example. Look for a lot of misinformed allusions to population densities.

Neither is the US an obvious fail, incidentally (but those of you with TDS can go find a plot that's not population adjusted if it makes you feel better), although we'll see how that economic shockwave reverberates. Here's a fun guessing game: Which will dominate the headlines first--bankruptcies or food shortages? I'm going with food shortages, highlighting protein.

As I mentioned a while back, from what I could find there's really no science behind lockdowns and business closures being a net win (as opposed to milder social distancing), even just counting in deaths (not even getting into long-term quality of life impacts). But one is short-sighted and the other long, so guess which one we do?

We're at a funny spot at the moment, where it seems possible we've hit herd immunity in places like New York, and maybe some of California, but much of the rest of the country is largely untouched. So, uh, now what? Seems we've kicked the can down the road a month or two, and used up whatever economic and logistical slack we didn't really have in the first place. How many are going to notice that most states are going to re-open in essentially the same position they started in? (Which, if it works, means they never needed to close in the first place. And if it doesn't, probably means we can't survive a long enough closure anyway.)

I hear a lot of middle class peeps opining about the lockdown protests. Mostly I'm hearing "let them eat cake" (but don't let Trump sign it). We'll see how that goes.

When I think about alternate approaches to handling (like Sweden's, or frankly New York's by accident), always in the back of my mind is the possibility that people start dropping dead some months after asymptomatic infection. No reason to expect it but, as a programmer, my brain always looking for potential bugs in a plan. (Be glad you're not me.) Or a myriad of subtler things like this: Coronavirus could be tied to a rare but serious illness in children.

Always hard to plan for unknown unknowns.

[<< | Prev | Index | Next | >>]

Simon Funk / simonfunk@gmail.com