Thoughts & Essays

Quarantine Notes: 4/28/20

This week marked the beginning of Week 7 of my quarantine. I’ve been working from home and only making essential trips out for not quite two months now, and I’m doing all right with it. We walk the dog most days so we’re getting some outdoors time. I do miss being able to go out for dinner with friends and family, though.

Notes below. Updates through the day.

๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Colorado and Nevada have joined the Western States Pact, the coalition of west coast states that have banded together to fight COVID-19. So far, the super-region includes Oregon, Washington, California, and now Colorado and Nevada. Idaho might jump in too.

๐Ÿคก The Trump administration has decided to stop talking about how COVID-19 is killing everyone and instead talk about economic recovery and re-opening the states, because nothing makes a problem resolve itself faster than ignoring it.

๐Ÿ˜ท NPR has an article about people who aren’t practicing social distancing and/or who aren’t wearing masks, and what to do about them, which basically comes down to “reinforcing good behavior works better” because obviously positive reinforcement is the best way to train anything. I, however, will be carrying a baseball bat from now on, because negative reinforcement doesn’t work for shit, but it does make me feel better.

๐Ÿ„ I’m telling you guys: Make friends with your local farmers. You don’t need to go on another goddamn panic-buying spree, but now is a good time to start sourcing alternative food purchasing, because the supply lines on food are being disrupted by COVID-19 and it’s only going to get worse. This does not mean we’re about to run out of food; do not panic buy all the meat. This does mean things are about to get more expensive, though.

๐Ÿฆ  So there was a study out of California last week saying that the numbers of people in Santa Clara County, CA, who had already had COVID-19 were way higher than previously thought, so that meant the death rate of COVID-19 was way lower, and everyone got all excited. Except the study had a multitude of problems and is probably garbage.

๐Ÿ’Š STAT News has a COVID-19 drug and vaccine tracker – it’s tracking the progress of the various “most talked-about” drugs and vaccines being studied/developed for use against COVID-19.

๐Ÿˆ I am not sure what to make of this particular article: “CDC recommends social distancing for dogs, cats, other animals.” There is no evidence that a human can catch COVID-19 from a cat or dog. There is evidence that cats can catch COVID-19 from humans and become mildly ill, and some dogs have tested “weakly” positive for COVID-19 after their owners have had it, but the dogs didn’t become sick, and scientists weren’t sure (at the time) if the dogs were actually infected, or just had some viral RNA floating around from, like, cross-contamination. This article recommends making your pets follow social distancing, too. IE, don’t let them around other pets or people who aren’t in your household, and we’ve basically already been doing that and probably you should be too. Keep your puppers away from other puppers they don’t already live with, and keep your kitties indoors for the duration.

๐Ÿ˜ท Oh, hey, video proof that Mike Pence is also a gigantic idiot. Pence visited the Mayo Clinic today, where they’re treating COVID-19 patients. He met with patients and doctors. The Mayo Clinic has a policy enforcing mask-wearing. Pence was informed of this before his visit. Pence did not wear a mask. (Update: the Mayo Clinic deleted their tweet. Here’s a pic. Here’s another tweet about Pence being informed prior to arrival.)

๐Ÿ„ Since I mentioned the food supply chain issues a couple updates ago, Trump has decided to use the Defense Production Act to force meat plants to stay open, and either has or will shortly be signing an executive order to clear them of liability for workers who become sick or die while working in the plants.

๐Ÿคก And now the Trump administration is forming a Suicide Squad of just the worst people to push to re-open the economy. Please keep firmly in mind that these people don’t want to re-open the economy because “the cure is worse than the disease,” as they claim, but because they’re mad they’re losing money because we won’t go die at work, and also because Trump is terrified that the tanking economy will also tank his chances at re-election.

๐Ÿงต ProPublican has an excellent thread on Twitter detailing the seven things we need to do before America can “re-open.”

๐Ÿฆ  The fastest vaccine ever developed took four years to come to market. So far, we have no sign of a drug or treatment for COVID-19. And “herd immunity” to COVID-19 will not happen unless we’re willing to sacrifice millions of American lives. This shit will not be over soon.

๐Ÿšฌ This is in Vice, so a grain of salt might be worth having to hand as you read, but it appears that smokers who catch COVID-19 are not being hospitalized at the same rate as the non-smoking population. That is, smokers don’t seem to be getting as sick with COVID-19 as the non-smoking population. This is from two preliminary studies, one of which hasn’t been peer-reviewed yet, and also smoking is still hella, hella bad for you so don’t rush out and develop a smoking habit or anything, but scientists are looking into the idea that nicotine may have some quality that’s useful against COVID-19.

๐Ÿฆ  There are more than a million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of today.

Lots of news today. Shoot, it’s only just two o’clock, and look how many little bits we have already. I think I’m done today – we’ll save anything else fun that pops up for tomorrow. Here, have an adorable owl.