Thoughts & Essays

Quarantine Notes: 4/14/20

I jumped into the shower first thing this morning and discovered that instead of buying a new shampoo and conditioner the other day, I had bought two conditioners. πŸ˜’ So that’s how my day is going.

Quarantine notes – updates through the day.

πŸ“ˆ A bunch of FiveThirtyEight writers and Zach Weinersmith of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal got together to write this excellent comic that explains why modeling for the coronavirus pandemic is so weird and hard.

πŸ“ˆ Johns Hopkins University put together another COVID-19 dashboard. This one is specifically for the United States. I guess we get our very own dashboard because we’ve sucked so spectacularly (on a federal level) at dealing with the pandemic. You can read about it here and see the dashboard here.

🍊 I mentioned yesterday how Oregon, Washington, and California had banded together to decide jointly when to re-open their states, basing their decision on science and health, and how New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Delaware and Massachusetts on the East Coast are doing something similar. Well, as you might have guessed, Trump’s got his panties in a bunch over it. He tweeted this morning, “Tell the Democrat Governors that ‘Mutiny On The Bounty’ was one of my all time favorite movies. A good old fashioned mutiny every now and then is an exciting and invigorating thing to watch, especially when the mutineers need so much from the Captain. Too easy!” If you’re not familiar with the history or the movie, the captain that got mutinied there was a giant dickhead. He was the bad guy, and his attempt at bringing the mutineers to justice was only nominally successful. Of the 25 crew that remained on the ship after he was kicked off, only three of them were convicted and hanged. So, y’know. That’s about par for Trump’s course, I guess.

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ Speaking of these states forming super regions to deal with the pandemic… Um. Makes me a little nervous, guys. I mean, on one hand, yay, sensible leadership! On the other, coming from a person who thinks that the United States is just about thiiiis close to breaking up into smaller nation-states, it makes me think I’m one step closer to needing a passport to go visit my folks in Michigan.

πŸ’° “Steepest downturn since the Great Depression.” The economic impact of COVID-19 is going to kick the world right in the teeth, you guys. I don’t say that to be like, “OMG, we gotta get places open and people spending money again.” It’s just the price we’re going to pay to save lives. And I’m fine with paying that price. I will point out that, if Trump had been capable of leading, we probably wouldn’t be facing something quite as nasty as this.

πŸ“š Authors who’ve written pandemic books are probably all feeling mighty uneasy about things right now. I know Chuck Wendig, who wrote Wanderers, and Stephen King, who wrote The Stand, have both said as much. Here’s another account from Naomi Kritzer, who wrote So Much Cooking. What stood out to me about Kritzer’s account was a few paragraphs talking about how much trouble she’s having getting groceries, and how much her local stores have been out of. We’re not having that problem (as much) around here, and I’m pretty grateful for it. Prices are nuts on some stuff, but so far everything but toilet paper has stayed in stock.

πŸ’© This article is a month old, but it’s still worth your time. One thing that has struck me about the pandemic is that it’s underlined not just how much of our society is complete bullshit, but how badly we let our government and corporate overlords treat us. It’s one of those thing I knew, but didn’t really grasp how fucking bad it is until now.

🦠 Trump’s decided to blame WHO for his own failures in dealing with the pandemic and has halted funding to the organization while he investigates them.

β˜€οΈ Ending on a little ray of sunshine, here. One of the things that keeps me going as we grind our way through this mess is the folks at home working together to solve problems. People who rally groups to create PPE, makers using their 3D printers to make gear for health workers, and these hackers who are figuring out how to use plentiful, cheap CPAP machines as ventilators for COVID-19 patients.