#StayTheFuckHome: A Movement to Stop the COVID-19 Pandemic
March 12, 2020 9:44 AM   Subscribe

StayTheFuckHome is a website advocating that if governments are failing to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, that citizens do their part.

If that's not convincing enough, here's a previously-unshared on Metafilter plea from an anonymous doctor in western Europe: now stop killing people.
posted by larrybob (934 comments total) 83 users marked this as a favorite
 
My community is having a rapidly growing outbreak right now. There is zero reason I couldn't work from home. All I do is sit on a computer all day. Talked to my boss about working from home yesterday. He says he doesn't "think it will come to that".
posted by Brain Sturgeon at 9:48 AM on March 12 [58 favorites]


This is certainly one good way to flatten the curve.
posted by wenestvedt at 9:57 AM on March 12 [14 favorites]


Regarding the Schengen Zone travel ban: It seems to me all a nefarious person would have to do is fly to the UK, then the US, and then tell people they flew into the UK from somewhere outside the Schengen Zone. Am I wrong?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:59 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]


Currently trying to figure out how to convince my church to close. Any suggestions welcome.

My work at least had a meeting today that was like "half of you work remotely tomorrow so we can see if anything explodes."
posted by selfnoise at 10:00 AM on March 12 [4 favorites]


I'm heading home in a bit and not leaving again for awhile. Though I have one final class in person tonight and no announced way to take the quiz before each class alternatively... sigh...
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 10:02 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


I was just in a No Frills (discount Canadian grocery store) and the place was a madhouse. Every cashier on at noon on a week day and crazy long lines of people with full carts. I immediately turned around and walked 20 blocks to the non discount grocery store which was less busy but only had 1 package of toilet paper left and it had 60 -- yes, 60! -- rolls in it. I had no choice but to purchase it even though I'm a single person.

This is after going on Amazon to try and get toilet paper and seeing it could take "up to 4 weeks" to ship.
posted by dobbs at 10:03 AM on March 12 [14 favorites]


#StayTheFuckHome

way ahead of you on this
posted by thelonius at 10:03 AM on March 12 [30 favorites]


Our office switched entirely to laptops the last 2 years so that everyone had the option to work-from-home. They made it mandatory as of this week. I'm glad they're being pro-active about this. I have a lot of beef about my employers and how things are run but in this I can appreciate the fact that we can continue to work and earn money while still being relatively safe at home.
posted by Fizz at 10:04 AM on March 12 [17 favorites]


My employer (one of the big banks) was already on a 50% work from home project but it was just announced that we're going to 100% as of tomorrow.
posted by cirhosis at 10:06 AM on March 12 [6 favorites]


This is after going on Amazon to try and get toilet paper and seeing it could take "up to 4 weeks" to ship

that’s right, they said ship
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:06 AM on March 12 [7 favorites]


I live in Washington.

I've been saying for a month that this will be a massive epidemic that will kill untold thousands in America because every facet of our economic, political, and social lives are built to prevent us from doing the right thing in this situation.

We don't have universal healthcare, people will avoid getting treatment because they can't afford it. We don't have basic sick leave, let alone a basic income, people will lose their jobs and possibly their homes in the middle of a fucking pandemic. The fact that a moratorium on rents and mortgages hasn't been considered is criminal.

People WILL go to work while sick, because people already do.

People will do what they've been conditioned to do, which is go to work sick and break the law for their employers. You can bet your ass that even when stuff is supposed to be covered there will be some hospitals and insurances will still charging people for it, you can be sure that scared low-level employees will still be turning people away for the sake of their CEO's bottom line.

The business world in America is ONLY concerned about economic impacts and NOT AT ALL concerned about the loss of human life, and that is why we undoubtedly will have a bigger crisis than China did.

Not to mention the fact that since everything is privatized, there is no central system for organizing basically anything, meaning, like I said, people are more likely to trust the word of their boss first, because it means getting fired otherwise, than listening to science or government telling them otherwise.

Sorry folks, stay inside, wash your hands, and order a bidet. We are flat out fucked. My mother is smart enough to have been updating her last will and testament.

And everything that I'm talking about doesn't even address Trumps insanity in making this worse. I'm literally talking about straight up, old-fashioned America. This would be happening like this is Trump was President or not, Trump has just turbocharged it with his sad excuse of trying to cover up a tanking world economy. The economy has always been more important to the rich than the lives of the workers they employ.

Proof in the pudding is the Republican Senate blocking an emergency paid sick leave bill. The thing is, we still didn't have paid sick leave beforehand so rushing to give it to us now is still half-ass bullshit that should have been considered fifty fucking years ago.

The irony is that it is most dangerous for the elderly, who have traditionally been the voting bloc that has prevented things like paid sick leave from happening.

EDIT: Don't get me started on how my credit union is trying to give me fucking LOANS to "help you through this crisis." Shock Doctrine, never let a good crisis go to waste when you can make money. I honestly think if a bank or credit union does this, they should get criminal fines for abusing a crisis.
posted by deadaluspark at 10:07 AM on March 12 [152 favorites]


This is the sixth active metafilter COVID-19 post I have open on my phone, not counting a metatalk and an askme.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:08 AM on March 12 [26 favorites]


As a chronically ill person I already do most of this. My university just suspended in-person classes and moved everything online. I've been stocking up slowly, I'm going to go out today and pick up a few last things, then after my dental appointment tomorrow I'm so ready to be hole up at home for weeks. I have sympathy for the people who don't usually live like this, and who don't have a partner/family to keep them company. But damn, I'm really feeling those posts that are like "you could have been giving disabled people accommodations all this time?"

Relatedly, disabled people have lots of good tips on how to handle being home all the time--I'm gonna see what I can scrape together for a FPP, maybe.
posted by brook horse at 10:10 AM on March 12 [89 favorites]


Every cashier on at noon on a week day and crazy long lines of people with full carts.

I've been topping off my iron rations for about a week. I have a few more things I'd like to buy to throw in the freezer, and maybe a few more chocolate bars or other treats to relieve the beans and rice diet. So far, I've done fine going off peak hours and just buying extra things on top of normal shopping; I hope I can still get away with that strategy for a little longer. But I suspect that a wave of people who have dismissed preparation as "panic buying" are now, ironically, rushing to the stores.
posted by thelonius at 10:12 AM on March 12 [7 favorites]


Thankfully a lifetime of computer gaming and learning to cope with all my friends living halfway across the country from me for various jobs has lead to me being actually quite prepared to be "home quarantined" while also having a quite vibrant social life.

Get a headset, get teamspeak/discord/skype/riot.im/whatever you want to use or your friends want to use.

Sync up movies and watch them online together or play online games together. You'll be glad you did.
posted by deadaluspark at 10:13 AM on March 12 [13 favorites]


My boss's boss's boss' boss' boss' boss is working from home for the next two weeks. Seems to be cancelling his appointments.

Hope he's an early riser though. Our work VPN is notoriously under-provisioned and usually maxes out before 7am local.
posted by bonehead at 10:13 AM on March 12 [12 favorites]


My college is being slow to cancel anything, starting with classes and extending to RECRUITMENT VISIT DAYS that bring together families from all over the state, including CNA students who are in clinicals and will be traveling to state sports tournaments all week and then Grandma's house on the weekend.

It's making the blood of this son of an actual epidemiologist fucking BOIL.
posted by Caxton1476 at 10:16 AM on March 12 [11 favorites]


Get a headset, get teamspeak/discord/skype/riot.im/whatever you want to use or your friends want to use.

Make a Discord server for your friend group! Throw a few different topic-based channels, anyone who wants a "party room" (a room that's specifically 'yours' so you can throw your random special interest shit in there and not feel like you're bothering people) gets one. Use the server to talk about your day, give updates, share interesting links. Have voice chat get-togethers. You can do this with just a smartphone.
posted by brook horse at 10:17 AM on March 12 [15 favorites]


We've been living this for the past two weeks. Kids are out of school and parents are working from home. My kids' small private school is staying open (public schools closed as of today) and I was shocked to hear most parents are still sending their kids today. It seems tremendously irresponsible.

A weird side effect of not leaving the house is that you don't know if anyone else is leaving the house. I'm reading the Seattle Times and it sounds like people are somewhat getting with the social distancing program, but I'd have no way to verify that myself.
posted by potrzebie at 10:19 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]


I just emailed the sponsor of a trail race I run every spring, that attracts like 200-300 runners plus support, and that skews old-ish, to see if they have a plan and to urge them to think of the the safety of the vulnerable ppl in everyone’s network. Before I started going to lots of races I thought of runners, esp trail runners, as pretty left-leaning, but anymore I’m starting to think of them as libertarians with lungs.
posted by toodleydoodley at 10:19 AM on March 12 [10 favorites]


My work just sent out an email telling us that no one would be working from home right now (unsurprising), but it also included this line:

If you feel well enough to come in but might have some symptoms of a cold, consider whether you want to visit other meetings.

Sigh.
posted by geegollygosh at 10:19 AM on March 12 [7 favorites]


Discord is wonderful. ++
posted by bonehead at 10:20 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]


My work at least had a meeting today that was like "half of you work remotely tomorrow so we can see if anything explodes."

Yeah, we just added something like 75k+ people worldwide to our existing WFH infrastructure, and I've heard internally that it took a "Berlin Airlift" level of effort to make it happen.

We have the expertise/infrastructure/money to make it happen, but I feel for smaller companies that have a bunch of IT staff working themselves to the bone to figure out how to make it work.
posted by sideshow at 10:31 AM on March 12 [8 favorites]


Wow, wenestvedt, hadn't realized that nobody has posted FlattenTheCurve.com here yet or I would have included it in my FPP.
posted by larrybob at 10:32 AM on March 12 [12 favorites]


Currently trying to figure out how to convince my church to close. Any suggestions welcome.


Check your denomination's national webpages. Mine (UU) has put up very helpful advice for doing church during pandemics (well they are based in Boston so they are seeing it firsthand).

At our board meeting, we also discussed plans for services during quarantine (basically livestreaming over Facebook, a service run by just 4-5 people on a Sunday), and we already record/upload services to YouTube. We have also been told to use Zoom for sunday classes if we like.

I don't think they'd mind if your congregation copied some of their advice/suggestions.
posted by emjaybee at 10:32 AM on March 12 [6 favorites]


My university also just doubled our spring break time to give us time to figure out how the hell to teach online after spring break. I am trying to grade midterms from home after having spent a significant amount of time in lab yesterday walking my students through what is likely to happen, what they should expect, what various worst-case scenarios might be (e.g.: being locked out of their homes for unknown periods of time, thanks for that precedent, Harvard) and what I think is likely to happen. They are varying levels of scared, confused, and worried. We spent a lot of time talking about the protests out in Dayton and how to keep themselves safe.

I have joined the grad student advisory council of a society that organizes a major international conference in late June every year, and I'm watching the behind the scenes discussion as my society tries to decide whether to cancel the conference completely, try to move forward with a modified meeting or delay it, and if it is to be canceled how to defray the six-figure cost of canceling it and breaking our agreements with the venues. I suspect it will be cancelled; meetings and conferences are being cancelled left and right because no one wants to spread the virus.

Fuck! It's hard, because any possible thing we can do is expensive. I am comparatively easy to isolate right now--I've been working from home two or three days a week anyway and only really coming to campus to teach--but focusing on my work is also really difficult with COVID-19 everywhere. I want to communicate and check in with people and joke and laugh, even virtually, and talk about how we transition to working with our students during this time. It is very difficult to focus.

My partner and I are working out protocols with our housemates re: social distancing, including plans for what happens if the whole house gets put on quarantine. It's exhausting.
posted by sciatrix at 10:33 AM on March 12 [14 favorites]


My church newsletter didn't even mention the virus or how they'll be handling communion.
My workplace isn't addressing closure and WFM options 'til next Wednesday, which seems like an impossible ways away
posted by Biblio at 10:33 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


Hope he's an early riser though. Our work VPN is notoriously under-provisioned and usually maxes out before 7am local.

Once this passes, there is going to a lot of work rebuilding remote infrastructure to work correctly and a "come to Jesus" moment that remote working isn't always bad.
posted by jmauro at 10:35 AM on March 12 [16 favorites]


I've been pretty encouraged by my office's response. Today and tomorrow, all employees are required to work from home so we can test our ability to function. We're going to be back to 'normal' on Monday, but we're meeting about the pandemic every day and are ready to send everyone who can be remote away from the office if we have more cases in our state.
posted by Room 101 at 10:39 AM on March 12 [4 favorites]


I mean, if your communion is not dispensed in a very sanitary way, you need to not take or offer it. I think it is entirely called for to make a big loud fuss about this to your church.

My old church had deacon's wives hand-make the unleavened bread and then pour the grape juice from jugs into disposable plastic cups; I'd say the first would be a no, the second maybe ok depending on sanitary measures. Honestly not sure if communion wafers/bread can be done in a germ-safe way, guess it depends on where you source it/if it's wrapped.

I would urge those of you not hearing from your churches to call them and insist they take precautions. Most churches have lots of elderly members, and many who are medically fragile, and they owe those folks to take measures.
posted by emjaybee at 10:40 AM on March 12 [8 favorites]


Reading through the lines from what I remember of my Catholic upbringing, I'm pretty sure that Jesus would not have wanted anybody to die as a result of taking communion [and, yes, it's that serious].
posted by schmod at 10:43 AM on March 12 [13 favorites]


Fuck fucking fuck fuck: Pandemic edition. For all your MeTa communal screaming needs!
posted by sciatrix at 10:44 AM on March 12 [6 favorites]


Churches should bless large containers of hand sanitizer, and integrate that into services.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:47 AM on March 12 [18 favorites]


I would love to #staythefuckhome but I'm a freelancer and I don't get paid unless I physically show up to physically create things in person with a team of real people. My work can't be done remotely, I don't have an employer to appeal to, and my rent can't be paid with hashtags.

Guess what yall, there are a shit load of people like me. I'm not some low paid service or gig app worker, I have a real career, but it still requires me to show up in person to do things with my (sanitized) hands. And I hate to tell you, but a lot of people on the client side of my work spend their days planning things for people like me to do. Wonder how long it will before employers realize "Well we're not bringing in any freelance teams any time soon, so why do we need all these project managers etc."

Looking at the balance in my savings account, and at the jobs on my calendar being canceled, It's pretty obvious to me a large portions of Americans are going to be very fucked very soon and it's not going to be limited to your Uber driver. Small businesses in this country are going to go under in mass.
posted by bradbane at 10:48 AM on March 12 [85 favorites]


Yeah, we just added something like 75k+ people worldwide to our existing WFH infrastructure, and I've heard internally that it took a "Berlin Airlift" level of effort to make it happen.

We have the expertise/infrastructure/money to make it happen, but I feel for smaller companies that have a bunch of IT staff working themselves to the bone to figure out how to make it work.


My understanding is that a real limitation for my employer is that we only have a certain number of remote software licenses, not to mention only limited internal IT support. I'm sure that's only one of a cluster of issues. I would really like to be working from home now, but the infrastructure issues are real and generally can't be solved overnight if your organization has limited resources.
posted by praemunire at 10:50 AM on March 12 [4 favorites]


Re: churches

Half of the cases in the entire nation of South Korea, 2418 people, are being linked back to a single patient, Patient 31, who attended the Shincheonji Church of Jesus twice, including once after showing symptoms and being advised to be tested for coronavirus.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:52 AM on March 12 [45 favorites]


We're just gearing up for this. My wife was told to begin working from home yesterday, and I was told today the company is instituting a "liberal work from home policy." We have some complications (labs and closed spaces) that make completely working from home infeasible, but the thinking is that the fewer people physically in the office the better. We're still allowing "essential" domestic travel, but my trip next week was cancelled after discussing it with the program manager.

We had chorus rehearsal this week, but it was lightly attended and a ton of people dropped out of the season. The next day, we were told that rehearsals are suspended indefinitely and they may just cancel everything outright. That's going to be tough for a small community group, since they already have a bunch of sunk costs. They're going to offer some amount of dues refunds if they do cancel, but I'm just going to let them keep the full amount if it happens.

We still haven't tried to buy toilet paper yet, but we are running low so I think we're just going to try to grab a month's supply of paper products this weekend if any are still available for sale.
posted by backseatpilot at 10:54 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


Churches should bless large containers of hand sanitizer, and integrate that into services.

This is my >60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which is given for you. In the name of the WHO, the CDC, and 20 seconds of hand washing, amen.
posted by allegedly at 10:55 AM on March 12 [43 favorites]


I feel for smaller companies that have a bunch of IT staff working themselves to the bone to figure out how to make it work.

Our single IT infrastructure guy is working around the clock to fix things to handle the load. Our office was already 80-90% remote, but as of about an hour ago we’re not allowed in the building until “things calm down again”. I feel for him, and I’m glad I work with a bunch of good people who are actively pulling things off his plate as much as possible to give him room to breathe.
posted by okayokayigive at 10:55 AM on March 12 [9 favorites]


I work remotely (from Seattle) for a tech company based in Atlanta. This morning, the Atlanta headquarters announced that it is going remote-only starting on Monday. (They had already stopped all business travel, and canceled some planned conferences.) Kudos to them, especially since they are doing this before things are visibly very bad in Atlanta.

I know for a lot of people this is going to be a major hardship, but for companies like ours who can make the shift more easily than most (especially since we already have the infrastructure for remote workers like me), it makes a ton of sense to just do it. Looking at what's happening in China, Italy, and even here in Seattle... you're almost certainly going to see enforced social distancing everywhere eventually. Might as well start it early if you can, because that's when it will make the biggest difference.
posted by mbrubeck at 10:56 AM on March 12 [7 favorites]


Guess what yall, there are a shit load of people like me. I'm not some low paid service or gig app worker, I have a real career, but it still requires me to show up in person to do things with my (sanitized) hands.

Ignoring the quip about a "real career", as a service worker in an industry that requires me to show up to get paid, hotels, and no money in my bank account, I'm right there with you, but would also add that even were some of us in the service industry lucky enough to avoid getting sick or have paid time off, we might still be screwed as our industries themselves are already starting to take huge hits from people not going out. The hotel I work at has already lost thousands of dollars from cancellations due to virus concerns and that's not going to be uncommon. Many businesses themselves won't have the resources to survive a long drought and those jobs we have just might not be there for long even if we ourselves do everything right. That's not an argument for people to go out, just a grim reality check for some of us.
posted by gusottertrout at 11:00 AM on March 12 [59 favorites]


We just got an update from the Bishop saying not to use the communion cup.
posted by Biblio at 11:05 AM on March 12 [5 favorites]


Mass gatherings banned in Oregon under governor’s order (AP)
All gatherings of more than 250 people are banned statewide in Oregon for four weeks to try to stop the spread of the new coronavirus under an order issued by Gov. Kate Brown, who said “it’s time for us all to do what we can to slow its spread.”

A gathering is defined as any event in a space in which a minimum of three feet (one meter) cannot be maintained, the order issued late Wednesday specified. [...] Officials assume that thousands of Oregonians will get the new coronavirus. The governor of neighboring Washington state has predicted cases numbering in the tens of thousands there.

Brown, who was to speak at a news conference Thursday morning in Portland, said all non-essential school-associated gatherings and group activities should be canceled — such as group parent meetings, field trips, and competitions.

She also recommended businesses implement an increased physical space between employees, limit travel, and stagger work schedules where possible. “Nobody is immune to this virus, it can touch everyone,” she said in a statement.
posted by katra at 11:07 AM on March 12 [4 favorites]


MLB to Suspend All Operations Due to Coronavirus Outbreak


"Man, I really wish those cheating Astros would just get suspended next season."

*monkey's paw curls*
posted by Rhaomi at 11:08 AM on March 12 [88 favorites]


I am stress eating; seems like as good as anything else as a viable response after the basics are met.
posted by mightshould at 11:09 AM on March 12 [11 favorites]


I’m not hourly but I’m feeling nervous-to-pessimistic about job stability. During the last recession the company I now work for shed a ton of staff with very little notice. If things slow generally I expect the same will happen again.

For hourly people in hospitality and travel based industries especially, I think that is already hitting.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:09 AM on March 12 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile, my roomie who is a grocery cashier is going to work shortly. We're all collectively hoping that she and her coworkers are spared as much as possible, and not only for their own paychecks. Their employer (HEB, for you Texans) has a fairly well-deserved reputation for being decent to its service workers, but they're also going to be huge points of contact and stress as folks go nuts with the disaster planning.

Most service workers don't get any PTO for sick leave; they just... miss shifts. A friend of mine who works at the Royal Mail keeps dryly commenting that they're fine catching the virus or not, but that if they get banned from working for several weeks and they survive they're really fucked, so they'd prefer to just die if that's what the options are.

Meanwhile over here in the States, Pelosi and the Dems keep trying to pass paid sick leave bills, and the GOP keeps shutting them down and looking increasingly desperate for reasons to ignore them. HURRAH.
posted by sciatrix at 11:12 AM on March 12 [18 favorites]


The Latest: UK could have up to 10,000 total virus cases (AP)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called the coronavirus pandemic “the worst public health crisis for a generation” and said “many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time.”

Johnson called Thursday for Britons to unite behind efforts to slow the spread of the epidemic, saying “the most dangerous period is not now but some weeks away.” Britain has 590 confirmed cases of the virus and 10 deaths, but Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, said the actual number of infected people could be up to 10,000.

Johnson said from now on anyone with a fever or persistent cough -- symptoms of COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus -- should stay at home for a week.
posted by katra at 11:14 AM on March 12 [2 favorites]




Part of the exhortations to stay home is that they are aimed at people who can stay home, to protect the people who cannot stay home.

Doctors, Nurses, delivery folks, day care providers, grocery clerks, the list is long. Those are all real careers. People who live paycheck to paycheck also cannot stay home in our current economy, because everything that resembled a social safety net is gone.

Nobody is saying "do not earn a living." The message instead is "don't be gallivanting around town, triple cheek kissing every 6th cousin and long lost kindergarten classmate you meet."

And this is hard, because not going to movie theaters means that folks who work there may lose their jobs or at best be furloughed. Ditto airlines, restaurants, bars, florists, etc.
posted by bilabial at 11:19 AM on March 12 [55 favorites]


A lot of universities including my own have now cancelled classes or moved online but still have no clear top-down guidance on when/if staff are allowed to work from home as able. In the absence of senior administration making this decision, I feel like the least we can do is have most office workers stay home so that, for the custodial staff etc who are still reporting in person, there are as few people on campus as possible to spread among each other (and make their heavier cleaning load easier.)

I've also read that public transit is not itself a horrible vector for healthy folks, but again - if you can avoid it, you can break your own link of spreading it further..
posted by nakedmolerats at 11:22 AM on March 12 [11 favorites]


Ignoring the quip about a "real career", as a service worker in an industry that requires me to show up to get paid, hotels, and no money in my bank account, I'm right there with you

Ah I meant it in jest, I would never seriously call my job a "real" one :). I'm tired of hearing the people on the news and the radio talk about "low wage gig workers". The media seems to think there are two kinds of workers in this country: office people, and the app workers who bring them lunch. But we are all vulnerable here and I think the lack of cushion for small businesses is going to hurt more than anything. These large companies may be able to send their workers home temporarily, but they also depend on lots of contractors, freelancers, service workers, and small suppliers to keep their companies running. What happens when those service providers go out of business?

The tech companies have the cash to float them through it, but I don't think that's necessarily true of their caterers, cleaners, freelancers, and all the other people who make the world go round.
posted by bradbane at 11:22 AM on March 12 [7 favorites]


I think this is going to massively exacerbate the rich/poor divide. When the pandemic passes and all the WFH-ers get back to their commutes, they're going to find that the cities built around them - restaurants, cafes, hotels - will be gone.
posted by meowzilla at 11:23 AM on March 12 [19 favorites]


I'm in the Bay Area, working for a very very large computer / phone / watch maker that does not, historically, have much of a work from home culture. At the end of last week, we were told that we had the option of working from home Friday; over the weekend, that option was extended through this week.Today, we were told that, for the foreseeable future, while WFH was still 'optional', anyone coming to the office would have to answer a serious of questions about their health before being allowed in the building. I'll be spending this weekend setting up a real WFH work area rather than plopping myself and my laptop in the recliner in the living room.

A friend told me on Monday that her job had been told they'd be on WFH until at least April.
posted by hanov3r at 11:23 AM on March 12 [5 favorites]


I am staying the fuck home from my lobbying job. Five or so of my state's legislators went to one of those dipshit right-wing conferences and they had to scrub down our legislative chambers and also our worst Congressman (who went to the same dipshit conference) self-quarantined, but not until after stopping for tacos.
posted by Cookiebastard at 11:25 AM on March 12 [19 favorites]


I think we need a companion website, letyourstaffstaythefuckhome.com.

I get that many jobs simply cannot be done remotely. That is all the more reason why those of us who can have a moral responsibility to allow our employees to work from home if at all possible. That reduces the number of people that are around, interacting and potentially spreading infection.

It drives me up the fucking wall when lazy managers refuse to allow home working for their teams because, like newborns, they don't have enough object permanence to deal mentally with things out of their direct line of sight.

If I hear "how will I make sure they're working if they're at home?" from one more person, they're going against the wall once the lockdown is over.
posted by atrazine at 11:26 AM on March 12 [57 favorites]


What strikes me is the shift in messaging and talking points. Up to a few days ago, people and even institutions were still emphasizing/insinuating some vague prediction around the idea that "only the vulnerable are at greatest risk", and I wonder where those voices are now.

Also interesting to observe the US schools setting an example, days before government agency announcements, and then everything else following them in the days after.
posted by polymodus at 11:26 AM on March 12 [6 favorites]


If y'all haven't read "A Song for a New Day" by Sarah Pinsker.... now you know what to do with all your spare time.
posted by seanmpuckett at 11:27 AM on March 12 [5 favorites]


I was just told that I'm working from home for the next month. They split our team so half work out of the office and half from home so the whole team wont get sick at once. No one in my office has been diagnosed with COVID-19, they're doing it as a precautionary measure. I will still be going to bars and restaurants (unless I get sick) because I'll need to get out of the house.
posted by Kris10_b at 11:31 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


I work with high school students, and my work can't be done remotely (not my main job, at least. My tutoring can be done via Skype). Some of the private schools here in Chicago have pretty much shut everything down, but all of CPS is open for business, so that means I work with 15-year-old disease vectors all day.

It's a matter of "when," not "if," for me. Not looking forward to it.
posted by tzikeh at 11:34 AM on March 12 [3 favorites]


I was just in a No Frills (discount Canadian grocery store) and the place was a madhouse. Every cashier on at noon on a week day and crazy long lines of people with full carts. I immediately turned around and walked 20 blocks to the non discount grocery store which was less busy but only had 1 package of toilet paper left and it had 60 -- yes, 60! -- rolls in it.

Yeah, the No Frills near us was basically out of toilet paper the other day. The thing is, Canada has a large domestic softwood pulp supply and our toilet paper is manufactured domestically -- it's one of the last things we'd run out of. Panic buying is distorting the demand end of the supply chain for things like this.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:37 AM on March 12 [10 favorites]


Home, Job, School, Bank, Gas Station, Doctor, Grocery Store, and Family are the only things that are going to be tough to work around. What am I missing?
posted by Beholder at 11:38 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


I work in higher-ed IT in New England. Our classes just went online (but not labs ) for the next few weeks, but I suspect we won't be back in classrooms until summer or autumn.

Staff are still going to report, but again I suspect that won't last for most of us. Like a blizzard, some people will be "essential personnel" as long as the place is in business.

With regard to remote access systems, many of them are only limited by license codes issued by the vendor after you pay more: the hardware is up to the task already. And many vendors are offering free, time-limited license increases.

Rhode Island School of Design went online and they are clearing out their dorms. I feel bad for the students whose studio art courses are being converted to, like, art history lectures: they lose valuable experience, but the Seniors also won't be able to hold their individual Gallery Shows.

And I also feel bad for the counter staff at my local cafe: with all the colleges leaving downtown Providence, their customer base will be shrunk catastrophically overnight. The owner is a truly good shit, and I expect he will take care of his workers, but I might have to spend a little extra there in the weeks ahead to make up for someone who's not in town any more. And I can't single-handedly support every business I like!
posted by wenestvedt at 11:39 AM on March 12 [7 favorites]


From the take your small amusements where you can find them dept: I initially parsed Cookiebastard's comment above as

and they had to scrub down our legislative chambers and also our worst Congressman
posted by little cow make small moo at 11:45 AM on March 12 [23 favorites]


Cookiebastard, any way you can lobby from home to get them to cancel the goddamn Gatornationals?
posted by Don Pepino at 11:46 AM on March 12 [1 favorite]


It drives me up the fucking wall when lazy managers refuse to allow home working for their teams because, like newborns, they don't have enough object permanence to deal mentally with things out of their direct line of sight.

That's one thing that I've been really pleased with regarding how the company is handling things. From the president on down, the message has consistently been to treat the employees like adults. No justification required for working from home, deciding not to travel, or anything else. There's been a level of thoughtfulness and concern for the rank and file that I haven't seen elsewhere.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:47 AM on March 12 [12 favorites]


What does History teach us:
During the 1918 influenza pandemic, for example, fewer people died in cities that closed churches and schools early on. Cities like St. Louis, which closed movie theaters and canceled sporting events when only a few people had the flu, were able to reduce the spread of disease by around half. Philadelphia, which decided to hold a parade at the start of the outbreak, saw the number of cases skyrocket.The Verge
posted by theora55 at 11:48 AM on March 12 [32 favorites]


It drives me up the fucking wall when lazy managers refuse to allow home working for their teams because, like newborns, they don't have enough object permanence to deal mentally with things out of their direct line of sight.

Your comment is deeply insulting to newborns.
posted by medusa at 11:49 AM on March 12 [37 favorites]


If I hear "how will I make sure they're working if they're at home?" from one more person, they're going against the wall once the lockdown is over.

I've been thinking of expanding the freelance services I offer. I currently have availability, drop me a DM if you would like to discuss this project.
posted by bradbane at 11:49 AM on March 12 [5 favorites]


For what it’s worth - my employer (large global consulting firm) typically has anywhere from 5k-10k people traveling on any given day domestically in the US and probably in the low hundreds internationally on any day - we’ve just gone to a “work from home and only travel if approved as critical by senior company leaders and no international travel”. That’ll impact hundreds of client projects inflight. Most of my corporate clients have moved to a “no travel” posture for all their employees and consultants and are doing as much work from home as possible. The impact of this is going to be very significant - but people I’ve interacted with are taking this seriously.

But yeah boy do I feel sorry for the lunch places and other businesses that support onsite employees as this hits.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 11:50 AM on March 12 [4 favorites]


I work at an animal shelter in Seattle and while we're closed to the public for an indeterminate period of time starting this week, there's still dogs that need caring for.

It's above my pay grade, as I'm just a kennel attendant, but I worry what will happen if (when?) one of us starts showing symptoms. I have no idea if there's a plan in place for how to care for the animals if all the caregivers are quarantined.

One thing I know, I wish that the back office people would go the heck home. They don't need to be here and their presence just puts us all at greater risk.
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 11:52 AM on March 12 [19 favorites]


stayinghome.club - list of tech/tech-adjacent companies which are doing WFH, as well as cancelled events

If you can work remotely and your company won't let you, maybe this will help you make your case...
posted by airmail at 11:53 AM on March 12 [7 favorites]


Also interesting to observe the US schools setting an example, ...

The school at which I work and the schools several of my academic friends work at have gone to online-only for the students, but the staff still have to come in, in some cases even the faculty who are leading said online classes and who could do so perfectly well from home.
posted by telophase at 12:02 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]


Guardian: "Governor Gavin Newsom is recommending that everyone cancel or postpone all gatherings of 250 people or more until at least the end of March to slow the spread of coronavirus.
His recommendation Wednesday night followed San Francisco and Santa Clara County fully banning all gatherings of 1,000 or more.

Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) Changing our actions now will save lives in the days and weeks to come.

To protect the public health, CA has issued an updated policy --

Gatherings with 250+ people should be rescheduled or canceled at least through the end of March.

MORE: https://t.co/u5A2WbHBO3
March 12, 2020

The state recommendation also called for venues that do not allow social distancing of six feet per person to cancel or postpone events.
Guardian: New York state poised to ban large gatherings
New York governor Andrew Cuomo is about to ban large events.

Jesse McKinley (@jessemckinley) BREAKING: @NYGovCuomo announced closing of large public gethering of 500 or more in NYC because of #coronavirus fears March 12, 2020
posted by katra at 12:02 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


If I hear "how will I make sure they're working if they're at home?" from one more person, they're going against the wall once the lockdown is over.

It's a question that says more about the person asking it than anyone they might be asking it about. If you're afraid that your employees won't do any work unless they're in your direct line of sight you are a shitty manager that is bad at hiring and worse at managing.

Is that what you're saying, hypothetical manager asking me this? That you're bad at hiring and bad at managing people? Or should we just trust that this group of grown-ass professionals will act like grown-ass professionals and do their jobs because they're grown-ups?

Yeah, though so.
posted by VTX at 12:02 PM on March 12 [22 favorites]


The school at which I work and the schools several of my academic friends work at have gone to online-only for the students, but the staff still have to come in, in some cases even the faculty who are leading said online classes and who could do so perfectly well from home.

Yup, I work at university, too, that is not letting people who can work from home work from home. Universities only seem to do what other universities do. Hopefully Harvard or somewhere else prestigious, will lead by example soon, as they did with sending students home.
posted by Brain Sturgeon at 12:08 PM on March 12 [9 favorites]


Guardian: "Kate Connolly, the Guardian’s Berlin correspondent, has sent a summary of developments in Germany, where the number of people with coronavirus has risen to 2,527. [...]
Prof Lars Schaade, the vice president of the Robert Koch Institute, the leading government advice body for public health, said that the virus was spreading “very fast” in Germany. He said virologists would be closely observing developments over the next days and weeks, looking for any indication as to when the virus might start to “level off”. He warned that young people and those in good health were at risk of not taking the illness seriously.
They don’t belong to the risk group. But globally there have been cases of young people whose illnesses have developed into something more serious.
Younger people also had to show solidarity towards older members of society, he said, by curbing their activities so as not to contribute to the spread of the virus.

Germany’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who has cancelled almost all of his non-urgent appointments, appealed to Germans to help each other, and show solidarity particularly towards the elderly and sick by not undertaking any necessary journeys or activities. He said:
We need to change our daily lives, not gradually, but immediately. This is all about gaining time, so that the hospitals are not overwhelmed and there’s more chance to develop a vaccination.
posted by katra at 12:10 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]


selfnoise: “Currently trying to figure out how to convince my church to close. Any suggestions welcome.”
“The Church's Role in a Pandemic,” Tiffany Firebaugh, Sojourner's, 12 March 2020

“Community Without Communing: Resources for Virtual Church,” Sandi Villarreal, Id.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:12 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]


For what it’s worth - my employer (large global consulting firm) typically has anywhere from 5k-10k people traveling on any given day domestically in the US and probably in the low hundreds internationally on any day - we’ve just gone to a “work from home and only travel if approved as critical by senior company leaders and no international travel”.

I work for a large USG agency with mind-boggling numbers of travelers, not to mention thousands of employees worldwide (who I feel for, I couldn't imagine being an American living overseas right now). I received the same guidance this week: no official travel AT ALL, unless it's a critical life-safety issue and approved by senior leadership. Also travelers are being told to expect a two-week self-quarantine if they leave the US. Personal travel obviously can't be stopped, but is highly discouraged. For an agency with so many people constantly moving around, it was kind of nice to see that they're taking this somewhat seriously.

Remote work is being phased in this week, everyone is being assigned 1-2 days/week. Full-time would obviously be better but at least it reduces the number of people in the building (and considering the amount of pushback management has given to remote workers in the past, I'm surprised we're getting anything at all).
posted by photo guy at 12:13 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


Universities only seem to do what other universities do.

University of Maryland is rapidly battening down the hatches - my unit is on mandatory telework as of tomorrow, with no indication of when that might change. I'm getting invites for meetings that are typically face-to-face that have now been shifted to Zoom that are more than a month out, and travel has pretty much been canceled system-wide, or will be very shortly. The residential campuses (e.g. College Park) seem to be moving more and more quickly toward closing or canceling everything that can't happen online.

And the preschool my partner works for just announced they're closing until at least 4/1.

Feels like we are now well and truly in the thick of it, or will be by the end of the week.
posted by ryanshepard at 12:13 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]


Many churches don't have a lot of central authority, but one does. And, as far as I can tell, the direction from the Catholic church, despite the Vatican being in one of the disease hotspots, has not been stellar. Some googling has turned up dioceses recommending that people who are sick not attend mass and only ushers handle collection baskets, but there has not, AFIK, been much guidance from Rome. Correct me if I'm wrong! The impact in Latin America (about which I've heard little, frankly) could be significant.
posted by sjswitzer at 12:19 PM on March 12


Feels like we are now well and truly in the thick of it, or will be by the end of the week.

I've had a lot of changes today that weren't on the radar as of dinnertime last night. Things are moving fast. Or rather, attitudes are moving fast.
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:26 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


I said this in another thread but it seems appropriate here:

Considering the utter shitshow we are all (including your boss) about to witness ...Ain't nobody getting fired for having stayed home to try to prevent it.

#STAYTHEFUCKHOME
posted by sexyrobot at 12:27 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


Previously, the messaging was that “older adults” included people over the age of 60. Here was the message that went out on texts from the city this morning:

Notify NYC: New Yorkers over 50 or those with chronic health conditions should take extra precautions: avoid crowds and work from home if possible.
posted by blue suede stockings at 12:34 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


I think "if you have a choice, choose to stay the fuck home" might be easier to hear, since there are really so many people who don't have a choice.

I wish we could get some sort of emergency hazard pay for people working in grocery stores and similarly necessary but at risk jobs could be compensated in some small way.
posted by skewed at 12:35 PM on March 12 [28 favorites]


A training/court hearing I was supposed to go to tonight was canceled. The place I volunteer at is shuttered until April 2. Just last night I was still planning to go to the movies tomorrow and that is off the table now. I was supposed to go visit my mother Saturday and go out to dinner and 90% chance that is not happening.

The shift in attitudes in just 24 hours has been remarkable. I hope this bends the curve.
posted by Automocar at 12:36 PM on March 12 [10 favorites]


And this is hard, because not going to movie theaters means that folks who work there may lose their jobs or at best be furloughed. Ditto airlines, restaurants, bars, florists, etc..

In related news:

Broadway Shuts Down Due to Coronavirus: "New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Broadway theaters, which make up NYC's largest tourist industry, will close at 5 p.m. ET on Thursday night (March 12) through April 12."

Live Nation Planning to Pause All Tours Due to Coronavirus: "Tours affected include Billie Eilish, Jason Aldean, Zac Brown Band, Cher, Kiss, Post Malone, Tool, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Chris Stapleton and many others."

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Postponed Over Coronavirus: "The May 2nd event at Cleveland's Public Hall is on hold for now. "
posted by soundguy99 at 12:37 PM on March 12 [9 favorites]


Ain't nobody getting fired for having stayed home to try to prevent it.

This simply isn't true in America. There are many people who absolutely will be fired if they do not turn up for work.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 12:39 PM on March 12 [114 favorites]


There are many people who absolutely will be fired if they do not turn up for work

and the vast majority of them are living paycheck to paycheck, without any access to a social safety net bc this garbage country doesn't have one.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:42 PM on March 12 [80 favorites]


At this point, it seems like there will be a significant body count associated with forbidding employees from working from home when the company can support it. I wonder if, when all of this is over, it will be looked at this way and some of the people who made those decisions will be held to account.
posted by treepour at 12:44 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]


This is also why I think it's kind to stock up now and avoid stores for the next few weeks, because I can't prevent cashiers from getting fired, but I can at least not go to their store and infect them while they are being forced to show up.
posted by nakedmolerats at 12:45 PM on March 12 [9 favorites]


true but at the same time it's likely they'll just be fired without cause when the stores have to close later on. it's a horrible choice that these people have to make right now: stay home and try to stay safe, but lose their jobs; or go to work, maybe get sick, and then lose their jobs anyway later on either bc they're sick and can't come in, or bc the boss decides that shutting down will save money. no one working in a customer-facing job is going to have job security or sick/shutdown pay unless they have a union. maybe not even then.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:51 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]


I wonder if, when all of this is over, it will be looked at this way and some of the people who made those decisions will be held to account.

Thanks, I needed a good laugh.
posted by deadaluspark at 12:51 PM on March 12 [35 favorites]


anyway this country is a fucking nightmare and i think we should eat the people who are bad
posted by poffin boffin at 12:51 PM on March 12 [69 favorites]


In what I suppose is a sad bit of irony, given the complete failure of the US government to adequately prepare for such an event and that it will effect everyone in the country, now would be the perfect time for a general strike, but mass marches and picketing are not a healthy choice at moment.
posted by gusottertrout at 12:51 PM on March 12 [9 favorites]


anyway this country is a fucking nightmare and i think we should eat the people who are bad

This. is. not. social. distancing.
posted by deadaluspark at 12:52 PM on March 12 [123 favorites]


Fast and Furious 9 Release Pushed Back a Year Due To Coronavirus

Other delayed movie premieres include "A Quiet Place Part II" and "No Time To Die", the upcoming James Bond release.
posted by hanov3r at 12:55 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


I can do 99% of my job from home with a 0% hit to my productivity and a relative gain in my happiness and comfort levels. The same is probably true of most of our staff. We already have 4 remote employees on 3 continents. But somehow, company culture still resists WFH. On snow days or building emergencies for instance, WFH is entirely voluntary and we're given paid leave anyway.

Our IT guy is apparently advocating for a WFH stress test, but our management is probably waiting for the issue to be forced.
posted by Foosnark at 12:56 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]


askme how long must we sous vide the bourgeoisie in order to eliminate all traces of viral contaminants
posted by poffin boffin at 12:57 PM on March 12 [77 favorites]


This simply isn't true in America. There are many people who absolutely will be fired if they do not turn up for work.

I hate to burst your bubble, but there's about to be a lot of other job openings. I fear for the grocers today.
posted by sexyrobot at 12:59 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


Here in Sweden the education minister just gave a press conference explaining the decision to keep schools open, despite neighboring Norway and Denmark keeping kids at home. The justification was kids of nursing staff need a place to go during the day so their folks can do what needs to be done, and nobody wants to burden grandparents with taking care of potential disease transmitters. Seems legit, but still I have a hard time believing schools will be open next week. We're planning on the whole family staying home for a couple weeks.
posted by St. Oops at 12:59 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]


Way up above

Regarding the Schengen Zone travel ban: It seems to me all a nefarious person would have to do is fly to the UK, then the US, and then tell people they flew into the UK from somewhere outside the Schengen Zone. Am I wrong?

I know flying Schengen to UK/Ireland means that my passport gets scanned/swiped in both airports, but I’m not sure if that’s just checking it’s a valid, non-stolen passport or whether the details get registered somewhere. Or if the ID card most Europeans can use within the EU(+EFTA+CH+UK(?)) is linked in someway to their passport.

If I were to try it, I’d go via Dublin/Shannon as they have pre-clearance so if it didn’t work at least I’d be in Ireland rather than stuck in immigration in a US airport somewhere.

This is one of the reasons that most European countries didn’t go about travel bans - they preferred to let people in, and then report any symptoms, rather than having them “sneaking” in and then delaying reporting for fear of being caught.
posted by scorbet at 1:01 PM on March 12 [9 favorites]


sous vide the bourgeoisie
That's how you get prion disease.
posted by Don Pepino at 1:04 PM on March 12 [25 favorites]


the issue with closing public schools in the US, specifically here in nyc, is that there are a whole lot of kids in our schools who have nowhere else to get food or medical care otherwise. also something like 150k of them are homeless, and iirc some shelters still make you leave during the day.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:07 PM on March 12 [22 favorites]




If you are sous viding anything, hell if you know what sous viding is, you are the bourgeoise.
posted by Keith Talent at 1:10 PM on March 12 [37 favorites]


lol i only ever heard of it on metafilter
posted by poffin boffin at 1:13 PM on March 12 [28 favorites]


So a person in my place of work (works on a different floor but same building) was just diagnosed with COVID-19. We were told today to basically go the fuck home and stay there until someone tells us otherwise. Although they’ve not been at work since 3/2 and I didn’t have direct contact with them I am wondering what I should be doing. Obviously if I become ill I’ll self-quarantine but in the meantime I guess I’ll just go about my business but with a face mask and gloves when I’m public. I’m in the age and health group where I’ll be fine if I get sick, most likely, but I’ll feel awful if I lead to someone’s horrible death, even if I’ll never know that.
posted by Young Kullervo at 1:14 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


sousin la vida loca
posted by lazaruslong at 1:16 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


is that anything?
posted by lazaruslong at 1:17 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


anyway this country is a fucking nightmare and i think we should eat the people who are bad

This. is. not. social. distancing.


Anyone interested in my new bbq sauce? It's 60% alcohol, so it's a sanitizer also.
posted by 445supermag at 1:21 PM on March 12 [27 favorites]


I feel like I'm in a thread with Jonathan Swift and he's trying to make a Modest Proposal.

But yes, and Everclear-based BBQ would be good, thanks.
posted by deadaluspark at 1:27 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]


no one working in a customer-facing job is going to have job security or sick/shutdown pay unless they have a union

Our very own city now has mandatory sick leave for most employees and New York state has paid family leave to care for ill family members. I wonder if these will prove to have had any effect in slowing the spread, or whether they're inadequate.
posted by praemunire at 1:29 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


NCAA has cancelled March Madness and the other winter and spring NCAA championships
posted by inflatablekiwi at 1:32 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]


My university did an unclear 180 degree shift. They went from you have to discuss and make approved plans for online teaching one day to everything will go online starting in two days the next. Confusingly they immediately banned all special events and gatherings larger than 150 people, and the wording was so unclear no one knew if they had just canceled all of the large-class exams or not. In any case, everyone who can work from home is allowed and encouraged to, which is reassuring.

However, I'm an experimental scientist. I might need a theory project.
posted by lab.beetle at 1:38 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


I hate to burst your bubble, but there's about to be a lot of other job openings. I fear for the grocers today

I hate to burst your bubble, but indeed, jobs do open when individuals in precarious jobs are fired for not turning up.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:38 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]


So - they can't afford to test every American and have to fight for a guarantee that we are covered, meanwhile they'll QE the stock market for about 5 seconds with a 1.5 trillion cash injection (I saw 500m, then 1T, then 1.5T... 1.5 was last I saw from WaPo).

WHAT THE FUCK IF YOU JUST GUARANTEED EVERYONE GOT FUCKING PAID FOR THEIR SHIT - nope you can't extract rent from people if you didn't force them into economic subservience in dire straits.

I really really hope the news about Bolsonaro's aide having COVID19 means Trump and team get it so hard.

I wish we all COULD afford to just do a mass strike.

I feel like we should just do it, but organizing a thing and carrying it out are so hard. It's the "You have to convince people everyone else will do it" problem. As well as the "people aren't all rich and able to fuck off however they like and bosses totally don't care if you do"...

But hey guys "wash your hands, don't touch your face" (yes, it's good, but stop this asinine kindergarten shit and demand more from your leaders, corporate america).

My roomie has some immune issues and her friend has cancer and could go whenever (we doubt right this second, but she had planned to visit this weekend, and it makes it hard for her to do so).

I'm about this close to the nihilism meme where it says "nothing matters = all black/sad" and "nothing matters = cool kid with rainbows - hi five!"

like fuck all your society if you can't even do the basics. we'll DIY. (as I said before - I don't think we can at this point though, we're too uh... deluded in the "bootstraps" myth that we refuse to work together as a society).
posted by symbioid at 1:42 PM on March 12 [13 favorites]


1.5T is enough to eliminate all extant student debt in the US, isn't it.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:44 PM on March 12 [15 favorites]


1.5T is enough to eliminate all extant student debt in the US, isn't it.

Qasim Rashid for Congress @QasimRashid

Americans: We need $1.5T for:
SNAP for 700K Americans: $1.1B
End homelessness: $20B
Insulin for every diabetic: $40B
Universal Pre-K: $60B
Universal 4-yr-college: $70B
Cancel student debt: $1.4T

GOP: BuT HOw WiLl wE PAy fOr It

Billionaires: Market's look bad
FED: HERE'S $1.5T!
11:59 AM · Mar 12, 2020·Twitter Web App
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:47 PM on March 12 [62 favorites]


1.5T is enough to eliminate all extant student debt in the US, isn't it.

Yeah but there are more important things, like making the money number not go down for literally 15 minutes.
posted by Rust Moranis at 1:47 PM on March 12 [14 favorites]


Disneyland California is closing. I said it in another thread yesterday- but today seems even more like the "montage scene" in a disaster movie.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 1:49 PM on March 12 [21 favorites]


I hate to burst your bubble, but there's about to be a lot of other job openings. I fear for the grocers today.

What the everloving hell are you talking about?

Because if you mean that there are going to be lots of job openings because people are DEAD, 1) that's fucking morbid, 2) all evidence so far points to the people most likely to die being probably already out of the workforce and 3) if we get to the point where someone can be fired for not showing up to work when outwardly healthy and then waltz right into another job because lots of people are dead there won't be jobs to waltz into BECAUSE THAT MANY DEATHS = MAD MAX!

Jesus Fucking Christ.
posted by soundguy99 at 1:49 PM on March 12 [27 favorites]


Damn. I gotta admit, I didn't have Global Pandemic on my Trump Administration Shitshow Bingo card.

My office is 100% one of those "how do we know if you're working if you're not here?" places. We'll see what happens next. I'm in the continuing education department of the building. The first floor is a family medicine clinic. I would really appreciate working from home for my not-at-all mission critical job.
posted by corvikate at 1:52 PM on March 12 [14 favorites]


A Slack message at work whose text was along the lines of "as a manufacturing company, we are continuing to operate per CDC recommendations" but whose subtext was "no, we're not doing work-from-home for anyone even if it's totally possible" got a bunch of the "muscle" emoji reactions, because apparently it's not just tech workers in the Bay Area that are brainless, bootlicking boosters of The Company. It's so embarrassing to be surrounded by this type of willful pigheadedness.
posted by invitapriore at 1:52 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]


If you feel sick, stay home (NYT)
Even if you have no underlying health conditions, be extra cautious and protect other people if you are not feeling well
If Chancellor Angela Merkel’s warning is accurate, two in three Germans may become infected. That might well be a prophecy for the rest of the world, as the number of confirmed cases continues to rise quickly.

However, the majority of those who contract the coronavirus do not become seriously ill. If you get coronavirus, it’s likely you’ll just feel as if you have the flu. But keeping a stiff upper lip will not only be foolhardy, but could also endanger those around you.

So if you have a fever and a dry cough, followed by fatigue and shortness of breath, stay home. Don’t go to work; don’t take your children to school; don’t go to the store; don’t ride public transportation.

If you can work from home, do. If your employer does not traditionally offer sick leave, remind them of the threat or send them the guidance plan for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you develop a high fever, shortness of breath or another, more serious symptom, call your doctor.
also, fyi The New York Times is providing free access on the global coronavirus crisis.
posted by katra at 1:55 PM on March 12 [11 favorites]


However, I'm an experimental scientist. I might need a theory project.

I feel like there's going to be a LOT of that going around right now as experimental biologists who are being asked to minimize time on campus start going stir crazy, honestly. Especially those in younger labs who don't have datasets sitting around to analyze yet.

Incidentally, we've been asked not to wear n95 masks when working with our rodents unless we're animal resource center workers doing cage changes. Normally our IACUC is so strict about wearing masks and PPE with our guys that they've seriously attempted to suggest that we wear them in the field when we're hiking a mile through mountains to check traplines, so this is a pretty big warning sign for n95 shortages.

*Since my lab's colonies are lab-bred colonies of wild singing mice and prairie voles, they're worried about some kind of weird zoonotic bouncing out to us. Or possibly hantavirus.
posted by sciatrix at 1:56 PM on March 12 [20 favorites]


got a bunch of the "muscle" emoji reactions,

I hate this timeline.
posted by soundguy99 at 1:56 PM on March 12 [15 favorites]


katra, thank you for your very detailed, informative posts.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 1:57 PM on March 12 [12 favorites]




Was just told at a president's council meeting that per the advice of our county and state depts of health, we have no cases in our home county at the moment, so "business as usual," but go make plans in case.

We serve seven counties and get daily visitors from probably ten others.

My team, the one I lead, is doing on-site registrations for dual-enrolled students in 27 buildings in 25 districts.

I asked, can I decide that, for the good of the communities we serve and the staff I lead, we'll just find a way to do that remotely for now? I was told I could. I replied thanks, that'll give our school partners the message that the college is committed to using all resources available to mitigate the risk to their communities and our common students.

The state has 15 community colleges. Leaving such decisions to local control exposes health outcomes to factors like local budgets, local political and stakeholder agendas, local prejudices. The Dept of Ed needs to step up and provide leadership here and say, this is how, as a system, we prevent harm and serve our constituents. *That* is how you give credibility to the value of shared responsibility and action in a crisis.
posted by Caxton1476 at 1:58 PM on March 12 [10 favorites]


sous vide the bourgeoisie
That's how you get prion disease.


Just don't eat the brains!
(leave those for the zombies)
posted by Daily Alice at 1:59 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]


If you feel sick, stay home (NYT)

If your employer does not traditionally offer sick leave, remind them of the threat or send them the guidance plan for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If you'll get fired for staying home, annoy your boss so you get fired. The NYT doesn't realize that it's legal for people making under $85K/yr to read.
posted by Rust Moranis at 2:06 PM on March 12 [16 favorites]


Crap, I put this in the wrong thread. Sorry, whoever had to delete it. (I am barely functional because of the high distraction levels. I have five billion tabs open and am refreshing everything and have basically turned into a lab pigeon over this.)

Lindsey Graham and Rick Scott are staying home:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/03/12/coronavirus-live-updates/
posted by Don Pepino at 2:07 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]


"remind them of the threat" can be interpreted in so many exciting ways
posted by poffin boffin at 2:07 PM on March 12 [27 favorites]


I work in public health and this quickly went from "uh, what's our plan" to "you are working remotely starting next week" so yeah this is pretty surreal. I feel privileged to have a job that can be done remotely, lead by various clinicians and literal epidemiologists that take it seriously. I used to be a teller and can't imagine what I'd do right now if I was still in that position.
posted by Freeze Peach at 2:08 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]


Also I'm feeling 150% UNmotivated frankly.
posted by symbioid at 2:11 PM on March 12


katra, thank you for your very detailed, informative posts.

Thank you, and many thanks to the mods for supporting us during this challenging time.

And if you like the posts, maybe check out the MeFi Wiki Disaster Planning & Recovery page, and particularly the Medical / Pandemic section, where construction continues as resources continue to surface in all of these threads. Thank you everybody!
posted by katra at 2:13 PM on March 12 [16 favorites]


Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now
Countries that act fast reduce the number of deaths at least by 10x.
Stay at home. Talk your employers into letting people stay at home. Vote for officials who will sponsor and pass legislation for paid sick leave.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:17 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]


I am directing the closure of all K-12 schools in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Schools must close by Tuesday, March 17th and stay closed through Friday, April 24. (@GovInslee)

This is going to change the game for a lot of employers who are still stubbornly refusing to enact a work from home policy; I expect more local governors will follow suit.
posted by missmobtown at 2:24 PM on March 12 [11 favorites]


I immediately turned around and walked 20 blocks to the non discount grocery store which was less busy but only had 1 package of toilet paper left and it had 60 -- yes, 60! -- rolls in it. I had no choice but to purchase it even though I'm a single person.

Honestly not encouraging price-gouging, but you'd probably make a lot of friends if you sell off the extra rolls at cost and/or for trade. (Of course, let's see how "extra" those rolls will be in a few weeks...)

Every cashier on at noon on a week day and crazy long lines of people with full carts.

One of my friends works at Trader Joe's at the register and she's had to start hiding her bottle of Puracell after her last bottle was stolen by a customer. She's seriously starting to wonder how long it'll be before people really start turning on each other...
posted by gtrwolf at 2:25 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]


I was told this morning that the reasons why some universities are officially closing is that they have already had official coronavirus diagnoses there. The ones that haven't closed yet haven't had any official diagnoses forcing their hand yet.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:36 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


Okay, now the university I work at is asking us to start moving all of our files to the cloud to start preparing for the possibility of working from home, although we are not authorized to yet. Seems like progress.
posted by Brain Sturgeon at 2:39 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


I was told this morning that the reasons why some universities are officially closing is that they have already had official coronavirus diagnoses there. The ones that haven't closed yet haven't had any official diagnoses forcing their hand yet.

The university I work for has closed but has not had any cases. But it's also home to one of the leading medical schools in the country, and I think the administration was getting some pretty solid advice on making that call as soon as possible.
posted by jedicus at 2:42 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]


I'm in the Bay Area, working for a very very large computer / phone / watch maker that does not, historically, have much of a work from home culture.

Sounds like we're coworkers.

I think it's been more of "magic happens when people run into each other in the hallway" rather than a "we need to see you at your desk to make sure you are actually working". But, since I've been here (I came in 2014 via acquisition) the company has grown so much that half your coworkers are probably in Austin/London/Singapore/etc anyway. Which actually made this week a bit easier since almost everybody has previously had to AVCN into meetings with people in a different location, and doing the same thing from home is easy.
posted by sideshow at 2:44 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]




I was told this morning that the reasons why some universities are officially closing is that they have already had official coronavirus diagnoses there. The ones that haven't closed yet haven't had any official diagnoses forcing their hand yet

Sorry, but this seems very . . . unsubstantiated rumor-y? There are now 5 confirmed cases in Ohio, all over 50 I believe, but universities here were working on closing before the 5th case was confirmed, and in areas where there are no confirmed cases.

I suspect it has more to do with timing - lots of schools are already on spring break, so if you close when students are already gone it's easier logistically. Plus US colleges have had a rising number of students from overseas, so the chances of a young healthy kid catching C-19 at home/during travel but then not having serious/any symptoms because young & healthy seem good enough that keeping the kids from returning to school as much as possible sounds like the "better safe than sorry" option.
posted by soundguy99 at 2:51 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]


I work for a global networking company in Silicon Valley; our campus is closed to all non-essential staff. During the remote teleconference with the executives, the CEO mentioned that all contracted hourly workers (cafe staff, shuttle drivers, landscapers, etc.) will continue to get paid during the closure. Even though this is anecdotal evidence, it's nice to know that there are some glimmers of humanity left in the corporate culture here.
posted by JDC8 at 2:51 PM on March 12 [18 favorites]


> skewed: I wish we could get some sort of emergency hazard pay for people working in grocery stores and similarly necessary but at risk jobs could be compensated in some small way."
Definitely, this. Health care workers, the cafeteria staff at hospitals, anybody working at a place that must stay open.
posted by theora55 at 2:55 PM on March 12 [13 favorites]


Also in Bay Area, also work for tech company, also work entirely on a computer. My boss is in Colorado and my only actual coworker is working from home (because she was hospitalized for flu & pneumonia a couple of weeks ago) - but no, the office is not doing widespread WFH options yet. I'm a contractor; it's important for me to be connected to the Local Office Culture, y'see.

please do a bad job of putting your courses online.
YES THIS PLEASE.

Even in online schools, there's a huge technology issue - students who know how to learn in a classroom can't always translate that skill to a webpage. We forget that kids have had 10+ years to learn how to learn in a classroom, and America has had 150-ish years to figure out how to teach in a classroom. We've all had a couple of decades of endlessly changing tech to figure out how to make that work remotely.

It works badly. I would love teachers and administrators to consider the shift to "online schooling for pandemic reasons" as a test-case for "let's find out what doesn't work" much more than "let's make sure all these students are learning at the same rate as they were in the classroom." Because they won't be.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 2:56 PM on March 12 [18 favorites]


Really, stay home.

Florida cases doubled in the last 2 days to 35, consistent with the 2.8-3.5 day doubling time seen in China and Italy. The actual number is probably much higher given the government’s policy of limiting testing so Trump doesn’t look bad. From what I’ve read, based on the number of cases without contact to known, confirmed cases and epidemiological modeling, there could be actually 10-100x actual cases as compared to confirmed cases (link).

We decided to follow the CDC recommendations to stay home on Tuesday.

Went to the liquor store yesterday to stock up for a planned 6-8 week mostly home stay. The panic liquor buying hasn’t started yet locally. We got enough rice, beans, etc. to replenish our pantry early. (Here in coastal FL, we always have a few weeks of supplies for hurricane season.) We plan to limit our activities to gardening, playing music badly, walks in the (almost deserted) state park or beach, and surfing.

LPT: Consider what 6-8 weeks at home will be like; better stock up now yesterday.
posted by sudogeek at 2:58 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]


Talks on a sweeping aid package stumble on paid sick leave and, improbably, abortion.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, and Steven Mnuchin, the treasury secretary, spent Thursday negotiating privately over the contours of the measure, which would provide a substantial new paid sick leave program, enhanced unemployment insurance, free coronavirus testing and food assistance.

Many Republicans are opposed to the paid sick leave proposal, complaining that Democrats are using the coronavirus crisis to accomplish a long-held domestic priority that is exceedingly costly.

But another improbable sticking point has emerged: Republicans are trying to insert abortion restrictions into the emergency bill. The Republicans want to include the Hyde amendment, which would bar the use of federal funds for abortions, according to a person familiar with the deliberations. Republicans routinely push to include the language in legislation that governs the distribution of federal money.
posted by medusa at 2:58 PM on March 12 [12 favorites]


My university announced that it was going to mail students' belongings back to them at university expense. I wonder what they're going to do about all the drugs they'll almost certainly find. Not to mention other contraband (we're a tobacco free campus; weapons are prohibited; what if someone has a fish or something) and valuable or...sensitive...belongings. I don't envy the students or the staff who have to carry out that plan.
posted by jedicus at 2:58 PM on March 12 [20 favorites]


It feels like the U.S. narrative has forgotten that manufacturing companies exist. Most of my employer's staff need to be physically present to do their jobs; I'm fortunate to be a cubicle-dweller with more flexibility.
posted by superna at 3:00 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]


Sorry, but this seems very . . . unsubstantiated rumor-y.

Oh, it is. That was the explanation I was given as to "why are some UC's closed and others aren't?"
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:01 PM on March 12


WaPo: During a plague pandemic, Isaac Newton had to work from home. It became his ‘year of wonders.’

OK all you work-from-homers, you have your assignment.
We'll be expecting some great new scientific theories from all of you when we reconvene in a few weeks.
posted by Atom Eyes at 3:01 PM on March 12 [42 favorites]


since almost everybody has previously had to AVCN into meetings with people in a different location, and doing the same thing from home is easy

Zero Trust Information - "Google's larger contribution, though, happened five years ago when the company led the move to zero trust networking for its internal applications, which has been adopted by most other tech companies in particular. While this wasn't explicitly about working from home, it did make it a lot easier to pull off on short notice..."
posted by kliuless at 3:03 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


But another improbable sticking point has emerged: Republicans are trying to insert abortion restrictions into the emergency bill. The Republicans want to include the Hyde amendment, which would bar the use of federal funds for abortions, according to a person familiar with the deliberations. Republicans routinely push to include the language in legislation that governs the distribution of federal money

And of course those motherfuckers are spinning it as "NANCY PELOSI IS TRYING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE DISASTER TO PUSH HER BABY-KILLING LIBERAL AGENDA!!1!"

(Source: Twitter - not gonna link but if you've got the stomach for it take quick look at any #Corvid-19 or similar hashtagged posts.)
posted by soundguy99 at 3:04 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


Off topic, every time I get some email blast from someone about SALES or events coming up that I can go to, I am just boggling. Like, really? Maybe you should turn off your auto-send settings about that stuff right now?
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:06 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


Rather than edit - the Right-wing Noise Machine is pushing the idea that Pelosi is ADDING some kind of "pro-choice" elements to an otherwise straightforward relief bill.
posted by soundguy99 at 3:06 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


The "stop killing people" article in the post has a crucial point that needs to be shared more:
Fatality is the wrong yardstick. Catching the virus can mess up your life in many, many more ways than just straight-up killing you. "We are all young"—okay. "Even if we get the bug, we will survive"—fantastic. How about needing four months of physical therapy before you even feel human again. Or getting scar tissue in your lungs and having your activity level restricted for the rest of your life. Not to mention having every chance of catching another bug in hospital, while you're being treated or waiting to get checked with an immune system distracted even by the false alarm of an ordinary flu. No travel for leisure or business is worth this risk.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:17 PM on March 12 [31 favorites]


"If you can work from home, do. If your employer does not traditionally offer sick leave, remind them of the threat or send them the guidance plan for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COUGH ALL OVER THEM!"

FTFY
posted by symbioid at 3:20 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]


I'm really fortunate to work for a compassionate company that began rolling out company-wide WFH early last week. We've now transitioned into WFH for the "foreseeable future," which is ominous and interesting phrasing. Our IT department has imaged and delivered 500+ laptops in the last 7 days. Similar scenes are unfolding across peer companies. This is really a vast experiment into uncharted territory. I've primarily worked from home for the past 10 years or so and this was my first foray back into office life, so I'm almost sort of relieved, but most departments outside of engineering are looking at doing it live for the first time, which will be really interesting. This is going to stretch a lot of companies into shapes they may not bounce back from, for better or for worse.
posted by feloniousmonk at 3:25 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


"remind them of the threat" can be interpreted in so many exciting ways

“Hey boss, I’m gonna be working from home for a while. Yeah. Yeah. No, poffin boffin said I could. Yeah, you can take it up with her if you want but I gotta say she seems pretty hungry right now.”
posted by nickmark at 3:38 PM on March 12 [38 favorites]


Since my lab's colonies are lab-bred colonies of wild singing mice

...do you chuck scorpions into their cages, or do you just feed them with boring mice chow?
posted by tavella at 3:58 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


I wish we could get some sort of emergency hazard pay for people working in grocery stores and similarly necessary but at risk jobs could be compensated in some small way.
posted by skewed at 12:35 PM on March 12 [8 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]

One of my friends works at Trader Joe's at the register and she's had to start hiding her bottle of Puracell after her last bottle was stolen by a customer. She's seriously starting to wonder how long it'll be before people really start turning on each other...
posted by gtrwolf at 2:25 PM on March 12 [1 favorite −] Favorite added! [!]

Grocery worker here: Luckily I am not a cashier, though I do work in the meat department. We have been crazy for DAYS. It's not just toilet paper (though we had to limit them to two per person after one man tried to buy 27 bundles at once); it's not just canned goods. People are buying meats of all kinds to stuff their freezers full too. This is getting to be just as bad as when Superstorm Sandy was coming back in 2012 and lasting for days longer so far. I'm curious as to how any quarantine will work since even in natural disasters we are still expected to show up to work, and only full timers like me are entitled to three sick days A YEAR. We shouldn't be expected to use up our vacation time if it's the country that goes on a lock down.

Personally I'm just glad my kids are grown. If this had happened when I was a single mom and they were young, what the heck do you do? You HAVE to go to work - but the kids are home and there's no grandparents to watch them for you... I fully agree with what's been said upthread that there are NO safety nets in place for disasters like this, and businesses are only concerned with their bottom line.
posted by annieb at 3:58 PM on March 12 [14 favorites]


So I’m a fireman...AND a graduate student. I don’t have the option of working from home, and I’ve already had to get on my guys about wearing N95s (that we have left over from Ebola...remember that?) and gloves and washing hands and lysoling/bleaching the soles of our shoes and wiping down the truck after a call. I’m paranoid. Most of our year-round population is late middle age to geriatric and beyond, and these folks are in and out of the hospital all the damn time anyway. My boss (please don’t get me started) is continuing to take vacation time and FUCKING TRAVEL because he’s an idiot. I have a lot of Opinions™ about all of this, but I’m not really allowed to voice them and there has been ZERO leadership from the municipality’s governing structure. Or maybe there has and our boss hasn’t bothered to forward those emails to the command staff. I’m not kidding.

On the flip side, the UNC system is legit taking this seriously. I am an online student anyway (shift worker), and we’ve been on spring break this week. Spring break has been extended another week, and school is now (or will be shortly) online for everyone in the coming weeks. I think it is prudent to make these decisions now.

I had my annual physical today, and my GP, who is AWESOME, bumped elbows with me and we said “it’s comin!” and compared how we totally have personal stashes of N95s (I have done a lot of work on my house and work occasionally at a boatyard) and hand sanitizer. So the medical establishment, at least in this area with all of its tourists and ports and older population, is aware and moving forward. I’m in the middle of a few hiring processes, including one with the feds, so I’m a little extra squirrelly about the foreseeable future at the moment.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 4:03 PM on March 12 [15 favorites]


My band just cancelled our Saturday night show in a Quebec village on the Vermont border. I predict we will see live streaming replace live shows for a while. I wish we had the gear, the know-how and the bandwidth.
posted by Jode at 4:24 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


No, poffin boffin said I could. Yeah, you can take it up with her if you want but I gotta say she seems pretty hungry right now.

honestly she said she'd have to fight either me or you and you're not paying me enough for it to be me, so
posted by cortex at 4:33 PM on March 12 [12 favorites]


I don't envy the students or the staff who have to carry out that plan.

I dunno 'bout you, but that job seems like a quick way to develop a truly epic stash.
posted by aramaic at 4:38 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]


My understanding is that COVID 19 has an incubation time of approximately two weeks. So, if everyone stayed home for two weeks (plus actual illness duration for those who develop it after beginning quarantine), it would die out -- but obviously (in America at least) that's not gonna happen.

So, is there any point to staying home for two weeks (or a month or whatever) if, whenever you emerge, it's STILL going to be viable? Unless the whole country shuts down, I don't see how it will help. You stay in, then x amount of time later you rejoin the outside world, and COVID 19 is still going strong... ???

(I'm not asking for myself -- I have no choice but to go to work. I mean it as a genuine question.)
posted by tzikeh at 4:43 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


tzikeh, the more the spread is limited earlier on, the more it flattens the curve and keeps health care from being overwhelmed. That's the goal right now.
posted by medusa at 4:45 PM on March 12 [33 favorites]


I dunno 'bout you, but that job seems like a quick way to develop a truly epic stash.

Back a decade-plus ago when I volunteered as a Black Rock Ranger at Burning Man, I remember a couple of other Rangers who had been working Exodus (the slow process of getting 40,000+ people (at the time) off the playa via a 1-lane road) coming back to Ranger HQ carrying a box. Some enterprising Exodus worker had put it out at the exit gate with a sign "NEVADA IS A ZERO-TOLERANCE STATE".

I remember them sorting through the contents. "Does anyone recognize this pill? No? Okay… Here's some weed, but it looks suspiciously crystallized, anyone want it? No? Right. And this… this is something wrapped in foil labeled 'STRONG'. Uh, no." As I recall, it all got chucked into the middle of a huge bonfire with nobody standing downwind later that night.
posted by Lexica at 4:50 PM on March 12 [15 favorites]


I don't envy the students or the staff who have to carry out that plan.

I dunno 'bout you, but that job seems like a quick way to develop a truly epic stash.


Off topic but amusing: the university I work at is now public/no longer officially run by the religious denomination that founded it, but part of the agreement to hand over the university to public control peacefully involved keeping a divinity school vaguely affiliated, and hosting the annual local convention of the denomination. This is a denomination that, in its more strict forms, forbids intoxicants, and so the annual convention is supposed to be dry. Guy who used to be my building's head custodian said he'd always volunteer to clean the dorms after the convention, because you'd find so much hidden alcohol stash afterwards.

posted by eviemath at 4:50 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I think we are genuinely going to have to be expected to not leave the house for at least a month, or worse. I can't complain about the people stockpiling up because I think they have the right idea. I haven't done it yet but feel like I should be doing it?

Just came from my second coronavirus meeting of the day. A few managers are going to attempt to see how well they can work from home in the next few days, but enough people don't have laptops or VPNs or whatever so working from home to do all of the stuff we do isn't too likely, they don't think they will close the entire campus, so we'll probably still need to work here every day. They may rotate some people out, have online meetings, and there was some vague discussion of trying to borrow another office's window for in person services. I would also like to note that the last time they tried to have anyone work from home here was 2012. I pointed out that for a month when we were having memeable police issues they were publicly shut to the public and just had people running stuff back and forth behind a door, but no dice with that yet.

However, I'm lucky because I'm in a job where (a) my entire industry doesn't just die because it involves in person sales of food or recreational stuff, (b) I don't get paid to work in performing as my day job, (c) even if campus closes, I am 99% sure we will still get paid. So other than being more likely to catch it, I'm fairly fortunate.

Today I think I was doing therapy for my therapist, who is in New York right now because she had relatives die and is debating whether or not she should leave her 97-year-old mother. I think the conclusion I came to was that if you leave, you may never be able to come back and see her again.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:56 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


One of my friends works at Trader Joe's at the register and she's had to start hiding her bottle of Puracell after her last bottle was stolen by a customer. She's seriously starting to wonder how long it'll be before people really start turning on each other...

About that: my cousin is a doctor. She had a bunch of masks and gloves stolen from her (locked) office. Her area of the country isn't registering a bunch of COVID19 -- yet -- but it was such an insanely grim thing to hear.
posted by grandiloquiet at 5:05 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]


If this reporting by NPR is true, this is a terrifying revelation:
"In the case of Alex Azar, he did go to the President in January, he did push past resistance from the president's political aides to warn the president the new coronavirus could be a major problem. There were aides around Trump, Kellyanne Conway had some skepticism at times, that this was something that needed to be a presidential priority.

But at the same time, Secretary Azar has not always given the president the worst case scenario of what could happen. My understanding is he [President Trump] did not push to do aggressive additional testing in recent weeks, and that's partly because more testing might have led to more cases being discovered of coronavirus outbreak, and the president had made clear the lower the numbers on coronavirus, the better for the president, the better for his potential reelection this fall."

posted by They sucked his brains out! at 5:05 PM on March 12 [13 favorites]


LPT: Consider what 6-8 weeks at home will be like; better stock up now yesterday.

I bought my supplies last week, and felt like a fool for doing it. Given the pace of closings today, I thought I should go to the supermarket for a top-up.

There was a fight to get in to the store. An actual fight. Not much of one, but still.

The mood in my city has changed FAST.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:13 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]


Here in WI, the grocery store was busier than it usually is at 3pm on a Thursday, but I didn't have to wait in line to check out. Bread and toilet paper were looking a little bare but there was still a lot left, just not a ton of choice. But the governor had just announced the public health emergency earlier that morning; I suspect that once people got off work or had time to hear about it it got much worse.

Partner and I went to Trader Joe's for the first time ever and gave ourselves permission to splurge and grab anything that looked tasty. If we're gonna hole up here for weeks, might as well do it with good food. Trader Joe's was actually busier than the regular grocery store, and the cashiers there said it was much busier today than normal.
posted by brook horse at 5:25 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


anyway this country is a fucking nightmare and i think we should eat the people who are bad

This. is. not. social. distancing.


Social digesting. Can you sous vide in a wicker man?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 5:34 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]


the president had made clear the lower the numbers on coronavirus, the better for the president"

I mean, not that much of a revelation? Considering the numbnuts actually said on live TV during that CDC visit that he didn't want that one cruise ship landing because the numbers would go up. Like they didn't count as sick American citizens if they weren't actually touching American soil or something.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:36 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]


I always have a good stock of food and essentials like TP, but I topped off my supplies a couple of weeks ago and also added some backups of the otc medicines I use, plus a big thing of disinfecting wipes. But most importantly I bought three party sized bags of mini candy bars. I will have chocolate, dammit!

But now what's frustrating is I'm trying to get my regular shopping delivery, and on Monday they were so overloaded I got shifted to some third party delivery service, which left bags at my door (including frozen items!) and ran away without knocking, and worse, only left half my items. Then I ordered another delivery Tuesday for the missing items, and that one was flat out cancelled. I've got another scheduled Saturday and I'm hoping I actually get it.
posted by tavella at 5:37 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


(Note that I'm not blaming the delivery person for avoiding face to face, I just would like to have been notified by more direct/prompt means than a text message. Fortunately the frozen stuff was defrosted but not warm.)
posted by tavella at 5:40 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


I went grocery shopping today and PEOPLE WERE LOSING THEIR MINDS. There was no reason why the store should have been that busy at 3 p.m. on a Thursday usually. People were loading up carts like there was no tomorrow.

(I have already done a good job of gathering up stuff in the off chance I need to stay put for a week or two. I just needed ... groceries.)

But also, I'm glad people were deciding it was time to be prepared. After all, about an hour or so later, the governor of Maryland just closed all the schools until March 27 & plenty of other fun things.

Most of us at my company work from home 2-3 days a week (some work from home all the time). There are very few things we can't do from home, given a stable Internet connection and a VPN that's not overloaded. I don't know why they haven't decided we should just all work from home for the next week (at the very least).

I'm not really that worried about being sick myself. I'm in fairly good health and all. I do worry about passing it onto other people in my life who are at higher risk so ... mostly I just won't see them or people they're close to, like ... my boyfriend. If I knew I didn't have to go into an office (and the public-transit commute), I'd probably feel better about being around a few people.
posted by darksong at 5:45 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


I'm with you, darksong. I was at the store around 2-3pm and there was no TP, cleaning wipes, bleach, or bottled water. My mom and I do our weekly grocery shop on Thursdays so I've been stocking up a little bit extra every week as things have gone on--picked up some extra cat food today. Saw some folks at the store wearing masks and stayed away from them.

(I am on immunosuppressants and have myasthenia gravis which can cause breathing issues. Neuro has said I am to go directly to the hospital at the merest hint of a fever but otherwise to social distance and wash my hands and do all the usual illness-prevention things that I normally do.)

Currently in suburban Maryland (Montgomery County)--my office is still open and my job isn't one that can be done from home, but I told my boss that I'm going into hiding if I have to.
posted by sperose at 5:53 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


Good news: My local wholesaler was unusually busy but not overrun, and I was able to pick up over $100 worth of tuna, pasta, rice, peanut butter, and a big tub of hand soap.

Okay news but maybe not?: No cases reported here in AL yet... although the Trumpy state government has done virtually no testing, so who knows what the real number is.

Bad news: Nobody I know here is taking it seriously, even after the stock market crash, Oval Office speech, and omni-cancellation of public events. For example, my mom runs a small paint-and-sip studio on the side (not even her primary income), and she's not only not cancelling any bookings (which include children's birthday parties and VA hospital classes), but is planning to continue visiting her mother upstate once a week like clockwork. And going to a wedding in Florida next month. Hopefully the rising panic causes everyone else to cancel on her, but I live in dread that one or both will contract a severe form of the virus for no good reason beyond stubbornness.

Among other things, I have a part-time customer-facing job and am seriously considering quitting or at least severely cutting back my scheduling for the time being.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:59 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]


I work for an agency of USDA in Maryland. We managers have spent most of this week writing pandemic plans, preparing non-teleworkers for WFH, and identifying critical laboratory/infrastructure tasks that must continue when we send people home (the cows need feeding and milking every day). We've all been directed to telework Monday for the purpose of stress-testing our WFH infrastructure. I'm anticipating that it will be a disaster, and I'm not really sure what can be done about out woefully inadequate network infrastructure after that happens. I don't know what will happen, but I expect that they're going to activate our pandemic plan later next week. It's the right thing to do, but it feels weird given the Secretary's long-standing antipathy towards telework. I'm very grateful that we'll continue to be paid and I hope to catch up on some research, but it's a real strange vibe here right now.
posted by wintermind at 6:15 PM on March 12 [6 favorites]


I got an email from my favorite local restaurant about how they’re using sanitation measures and also saying that their employees get sick leave. This place also hires a lot of people in recovery. I really want to support them, but I’m old and immunocompromised and can’t risk eating out. My roommate told me she’s heard that we should buy gift cards from businesses we want to support if we can’t go out, which I think is a great idea for those of us who can afford it. I know that if they go under, I’ll just lose my money, but I’m willing to take that risk.
posted by FencingGal at 6:16 PM on March 12 [32 favorites]


I'm in Austin which has no confirmed cases (as of yesterday, things change fast). I work at a less large tech company and all sites throughout the world were told to WFH if possible. And that it was expected to last at least through the end of March. I've heard of quite a few other companies doing the same.

Austin Independent School District is business as normal ATM, but my senior son says that the rumors say that changes very soon. Next week is spring break so it's a natural point to end classes somehow.

HEB wasn't too crazy at 3pm though.

The last 24 hours have been really crazy. I was texting a friend about how things felt before the bigger news yesterday (NBA/Tom Hank/Trump's confused address/etc) about how it felt like a real liminal state. Turned out to be liminal as fuck.
posted by jclarkin at 6:24 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


The Biden and Sanders campaigns close offices and tell staff to work from home (NYT)
Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential campaign told staff members to work from home, closed all its offices to the public and said it would begin holding smaller events and virtual fund-raisers, according to an internal campaign memo released Thursday.

Mr. Biden’s main rival in the Democratic primary, Senator Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, took similar precautions. Mr. Sanders’s campaign said that it had asked all staff members to work from home and that it would no longer hold large events or door-to-door canvasses, focusing on digital outreach instead.
Coronavirus closes Smithsonian museums, cancels some National Cherry Blossom Festival events (WaPo)

Cancellations hit Trump’s hotels and clubs amid coronavirus outbreak (WaPo)
The Trump Organization is still owned by President Trump but is run by his adult sons. The company did not respond to requests for comment about how it was addressing the coronavirus. [...] Event cancellations have already begun to affect the company: a group of Texas bankers called off a March 22 reception at the Trump International Hotel Washington D.C. as part of coronavirus precautions. And a convention for the auto-repair industry now won’t be held at Trump’s Doral resort in Miami. [...] At Mar-a-Lago, one person familiar with the club's operations said that a multiday, lavish wedding had been postponed because of coronavirus fears, and a brunch had been called off.

[...] Several hours after the Brazilian official's positive test was announced, there had been no guidance from the club about how to react, the person said. “I was there all weekend,” said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the club’s private operations. “Now, I'm concerned.”

But the club appeared to be allowing other events to proceed.
posted by katra at 6:26 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]


I guess some people have to figure out how to make a buck somehow....

I'm sure these shirts will go over well with your spouse that you are now stuck in the house with.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:35 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


HEB wasn't too crazy at 3pm though.

The Target on 51st this afternoon c. 630 was almost denuded of toilet paper and had no apparent hand sanitizer left, with big signs telling people not to buy too much and announcing limits on how many any single person could buy. I'm desperately hoping that by the time we run out of toilet paper in like, a week or so--we habitually buy ours at Costco--the rush on toilet paper and the stockpiling will have eased off a bit.

I'd report on my roomie's HEB shift but a) she's not home yet and b) she's at one of the shabbier, lower-income ones, and folks there tend to be pretty good about supporting fellow community members and not going absolutely nuts on each other. So there's that.
posted by sciatrix at 7:49 PM on March 12 [4 favorites]


Tech worker in Boston. Company I work for is going WFH for at least the next two weeks, starting Monday. I’ve already been WFH, starting today. Fuck companies who won’t let people work from home when their job could be done anywhere.

I plan to stay home, besides maybe taking a walk around the block every so often. Trying to take social distancing seriously.
posted by defenestration at 7:50 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


My Seattle-based employer has long had a "don't work from home policy." They have the tech in place for it, mostly geared toward emergencies or travelers or the occasional work in the evening...but during office hours, you're expected to be in the office. It was all about "collaboration" -- we have a very high-touch culture, and people are encouraged to talk face to face with one another.

Then we had the bad fires in the summer of 2018, and one of our best people couldn't work because she was trapped in her house because of her asthma. Under the radar our department started improving our work from home technique. It wasn't sanctioned by management, but people averted their eyes, so to speak, and working from home when waiting for a repair-person or to be less disruptive when having to go to the doctor became pretty regular.

Then the coronavirus hit China, and our Chinese workers had to learn really quick to work remotely. It was good practice for our networking staff. Almost a week ago, we were encouraged to work from home as much as possible. The office isn't closed...but if we can stay home, off the buses, away from downtown restaurants and coffee shops and stuff, we'd stay healthier. And it has been working pretty well.

Maybe this will change our culture a little bit. Maybe they'll let us start working from home one or two days a week, once we can come back to the office.
posted by lhauser at 8:06 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]


We could #StayTheFuck home. We're in north county San Diego. We've got multiple cases cropping up a bit north and south, but not yet in our immediate area. Everything is ramping down, though. My husband works in Orange County at a company with long distance commuters from both directions. They're making preparations for employees to work from home.

Schools in our district aren't closing, yet, and I am glued to the news wondering, when do I unilaterally decide: I'm taking my kid out, deal with it? At what point do I pull the trigger? What's the critical mass? Maybe that's another Ask.
posted by moira at 8:18 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


The Canadian prime minister will be staying the fuck home, too. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, wife of Canadian Prime Minister, tests positive for coronavirus (CNN, March 12, 2020) "She is feeling well and has mild symptoms, and will remain in isolation for 14 days, according to a statement from the Prime Minister's office. He is not being tested at this time." Both Trudeaus will be in isolation for the next 14 days.

Justin Trudeau, on Twitter, 10:07 AM · Mar 12, 2020: I have some personal news to share today. Sophie recently returned from a speaking event in the UK, and last night she was experiencing mild flu-like symptoms. She‘s feeling better, but following the advice of our doctor she is self-isolating as we wait on COVID-19 test results... Out of an abundance of caution, I too will be self-isolating & self-monitoring until we get Sophie‘s results back. But I‘ll be busy working from home. Today, I‘ll be speaking with some world leaders and joining ministers for a Cabinet committee discussion on COVID-19.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:31 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]


But why would he NOT be tested at this time? Same deal with Trump/Pence, who were hanging with someone who had it? Wtf
posted by Windopaene at 8:35 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


This weekend’s season-opening Formula One Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne has been cancelled. The news follows McLaren’s withdrawal from the race on Thursday, after one of their team members tested positive for the coronavirus.

They downplay the part about how they announced this news to the thousands and thousands of fans waiting amassed at the gates of Albert Park to get in to see the first Free Practice session of the 2020 season within minutes of the scheduled start time of FP1.
posted by some loser at 8:41 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


Trump and Pence have been tested. They just can't admit to it.
posted by great_radio at 8:42 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]


For those who may have missed it:

Congressional Representative Katie Porter convinced CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield to guarantee free COVID testing for every American, regardless of insurance or insurance status.

News reported here and here, as well as many other places.

Watch her get that commitment from him, in today's congressional hearing on the government's response to COVID 19, here (Twitter) and here (Rolling Stone).
posted by tzikeh at 8:43 PM on March 12 [25 favorites]


moira: when do I unilaterally decide: I'm taking my kid out, deal with it? At what point do I pull the trigger?

Yesterday.
posted by tzikeh at 8:46 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


But why would he NOT be tested at this time? Same deal with Trump/Pence, who were hanging with someone who had it? Wtf

He’s already isolating so there’s not much point. There’s not really anything else to be done, unless symptoms become severe. I’d hope he gets tested before returning to face-to-face public life, though.
posted by rodlymight at 8:46 PM on March 12 [8 favorites]


All the music/performance venues in the Bay Area are basicallly shut down. I’m functionally unemployed until that changes. My homies who travel along with the music festival circuit are fucked. The bar and concessions staff, security, roadies, electricians, set and tent builders, we’re not the kinds who generally have insurance, or a lot of savings. The whole circuit shutting down is a fucking cataclysm in my circles.

I’m luckily married to someone who has a WFH-capable job with health insurance, so that’s something.

So, you’re going to be cooped up in your apartment for a long time and not get out much, but you want to say in shape without access to the gym. Luckily, that particular problem has been solved.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:47 PM on March 12 [13 favorites]


Congressional Representative Katie Porter convinced CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield to guarantee free COVID testing for every American, regardless of insurance or insurance status.

I love what Congresswoman Porter has done for average Americans, but how is this enforceable? They'd come up with some loophole, right?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 8:47 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


But why would he NOT be tested at this time?

Not a good use of resources, presumably. Or maybe he has been tested.

If he's feeling fine and is isolated from direct contact with others, what does it matter? I'm not a massive fan of Trudeau, but I think he's trying to get across the message that if you're asymptomatic and isolated, you shouldn't freak out and start screaming at health care workers to test you. Projecting a calm, reasonable approach to your spouse being infected is the right call as the elected leader of the country, IMHO.

As regards the toilet paper thing, the thing I'm finding really weird is people not understanding that (particularly) if they're staying at home (assuming a bit of able-bodied manual dexterity that not everyone has) there are ways of cleaning the human undercarriage that don't require obscene amounts of paper products, provided they have a reliable supply of running water and some soap.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:48 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]


But when you are the leader of a country, and your wife, who you are in isolation with has it...?

Just seems weird.
posted by Windopaene at 8:51 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


Just seems weird.

When viewed in the context of being next door to a grown-ass man who is theoretically in charge of the largest nuclear weapons arsenal in the world, and who couldn't handle the minor task of 10 minutes of reading a prepared statement late last night, not so much.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:56 PM on March 12 [26 favorites]


My work is a plant tissue culture nursery; the tissue has to be regularly passaged and we have way too much tissue for the amount of people already. If techs don't show up, the stock dies. The techs are woefully paid, some living far away with most relying on transit (or unreliable cars).

On top of that, we have a whole bunch of orders big and small but all complex coming up - and since we just started, we've only fulfilled our first order.

Since we're in a regulated industry, someone with security clearance has to be present during operations. There's only two of us on site (I know, I know), one other person with clearance left recently, and the rest of the clearance holders are c-suite/ director types.

Someone swiped our reserves of face masks early on, there is absolutely none to be purchased except at profiteering prices. We ran out and borrowed against goodwill from a friendly lab, but those are running out fast. We're considering getting a bunch of, albeit less effective, cloth surgical masks and washing and autoclaving them after every use.

At least we have lots of isopropanol. Hopefully VWR can keep supplying us with it.

Bong and glass users around here are terribly distraught that 99% iso can't be had for money or petty crime at retail stores (iso + kosher salt is used for cleaning resin/ buildup in glassware for smoking Cannabis).
posted by porpoise at 9:03 PM on March 12 [12 favorites]


We got an email today from the corporate office that said all corporate locations (we have franchises as well) must be fully prepared by end of day tomorrow to work remotely. There's only 4 of us in this branch, and one is almost never in the office, so we aren't bad off there. But I'm already set up and ready to work from home and I am not complaining about that. Pantry is stocked, we have plenty of toilet paper and paper towels from a Costco trip from before the outbreak... can't say everything is perfect but we're not in bad shape. Now I just wish my wife could work from home... impossible though with her line of work.
posted by azpenguin at 9:04 PM on March 12


I'm worried this whole thing will be like so many IT / systems problems:
when prevention works, average schmucks see it as a sign that prevention was an overreaction. (facepalm)

Like... IT does their job preparing for Y2K and then nothing breaks and then the users are all like "Why were you worried? Not like the banks fell over at midnight... jeez, you nerds are always so paranoid."

Now it might be the same thing. "You said we had to cancel all this stuff and not travel and wash our hands all the time, and in the end only a couple thousand people died in the whole world, so why were you so paranoid? Grumble grumble doctors bad, etc." I'm worried protection measures will be a [PR] victim of their own success, just like vaccines.

Maybe not, boy I hope not, but it's definitely a concern. I hope it doesn't play out like that though and that (if we can slow this thing) people see it's because of these measures. I hope they see that avoiding an apocalypse doesn't mean the fears were unfounded; it means that everyone's efforts worked!

('course we gotta get there first...)

Interesting times we're in, that's for sure!
posted by -1 at 9:06 PM on March 12 [39 favorites]


sciatrix: I feel like there's going to be a LOT of that going around right now as experimental biologists who are being asked to minimize time on campus start going stir crazy, honestly. Especially those in younger labs who don't have datasets sitting around to analyze yet.

At our management meeting this afternoon, we decided to get the senior research leads to invent two week projects for our current crop of a dozen or so co-ops. They're all normally lab staff, but we'd much rather have them home safe, doing even limited work and still justifiably earning a paycheque than either laid off or exposed to both public transit and their colleagues all day.

Stuff is moving quickly. The continuity plan was invoked this afternoon (which basically puts everyone on notice to be ready). I wouldn't be surprised to see us go to essential emergency staff only next week.
posted by bonehead at 9:07 PM on March 12 [3 favorites]


Trump and Pence have been tested. They just can't admit to it.

Reminds me of another unprepared president overwhelmed by crisis. In 2001 after the 9/11 attacks there was the anthrax terrorism. People had no idea if anthrax would be rampant around the country.

The press asked Bush if he had been tested. Bush refused to answer. He just repeated obstinately "I don't have anthrax. I don't have anthrax. I don't have anthrax."
posted by JackFlash at 9:25 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]


I had run out of both toilet paper and ADBAC wipes organically and I felt like such a huge arsehole being seen picking up the last two units off wipes the shelves on a recent grocery run.

Also didn't help that they had pallets of Chef Boyardee on sale (with limits) - I'm nominally a gourmand, but after my first round of grad school, it's kind of a comfort food for me.

Funny, though. Zero shortage of soap and detergents - both very effective in inactivating coronavirus.

Dropped by the (government run monopoly) liquor store and asked them to special order me a case of my favourite liquor, though. Didn't sound like there was a supply problem (yet) - it's not rare, but the production capacity pales against brands owned by Diego/ other extranationals.

Choosing not to stockpile cigarettes, maybe this ] might end up being my excuse to break the habit.

I'm cautious but definitely not paranoid but... I've seen people at gas stations generously consume hand sanitizer after pumping; I threw a fistful of nitrile gloves in my car's glove compartment.

Glove up right hand, take out payment card, use gloved hand for interfaces, left hand to retrieve card (goes in pocket, put back into wallet after glove is removed), gloved hand to fuel, when done peel off and discard.
posted by porpoise at 9:27 PM on March 12 [9 favorites]


I had run out of both toilet paper and ADBAC wipes organically and I felt like such a huge arsehole being seen picking up the last two units off wipes the shelves on a recent grocery run.

You're good. You're not these assholes:

‘We’re hustlers’: Amid coronavirus fears, this couple has made more than $100,000 reselling Lysol wipes

Also didn't help that they had pallets of Chef Boyardee on sale (with limits) - I'm nominally a gourmand, but after my first round of grad school, it's kind of a comfort food for me.

Why not? YOLO!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:34 PM on March 12 [10 favorites]


Love the StayTheFuckHome hashtag. It's about all of us, including our most vulnerable. I work at Trader Joes & was wearing gloves and frequently sanitizing them, especially after handling money. Obviously, I don't sanitize them for myself but I touch food. A woman with Leukemia said she was glad I was doing that and only wanted to come to my line from now on. I think everyone should sanitize the fuck out of their hands after touching money; it's filthy.

I had a friend from Santa Clara (one of the hot spots, unbeknownst to me) visit me and after being in my place for hours, tell me about his hacking cough and cold that went on for a month. Thanks bud. It's probably just the flu, but seriously, wait a fuckin' week or two out of consideration.

On the lapse of civility, one customer actually stole an item from someone else's cart when they were looking away as we run out of items. The second woman said "Hey! Stay out of my cart" and the cart-thief said "You snooze, you lose". This is the kind of thing I'm afraid of seeing at my supermarket; people losing it and fighting over things.

On the positive side, lots of customers have had an air of rising to the occasion and being extra nice to everyone and wishing me luck in the stress. Not all of us have lost our sense of humor. As I like to say about the hoarding, we're out of toilet paper because everyone is shitting themselves.

I try to reassure people that it's a matter of demand, not supply, that even though our shelves become bare, we still get new stock in twice a day. We're trying to hold down the fort, give folks what they need, and keep calm.
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 9:34 PM on March 12 [21 favorites]


well, this ...this is how you get a revolution.
posted by schadenfrau at 9:36 PM on March 12 [7 favorites]


Liking the #staythefuckhome movement. Unpopular opinion: Not liking the new tendency to judge and shame others about whether their need/reason is urgent enough to go to work/take a trip/ go to a restaurant. I've seen some very unpleasant conversations which seemed like personal phobia masquerading as concern for public health and trending into hysteria.

This is a marathon, not a sprint. You don't know the details of the choices people need to make. Acting like someone flying to visit their pregnant wife is the same as an asshole going: COOL! CHEAP FLIGHTS! LET'S PARTY! isn't a good look either.

Many of us have been living with COVID for many months now. Best lesson I have taken out of it so far is to support each other.
posted by frumiousb at 9:49 PM on March 12 [24 favorites]


my corner store hasn't run out of anything and everyone is perfectly calm about being there, and they looked at me a little weirdly when i asked if they were staying open. full of cops, though. didn't like that.

no i will not tell you where it is, that toilet paper is mine
posted by poffin boffin at 9:49 PM on March 12 [9 favorites]


I’m a nurse in Vegas and so far we’ve been told that a) they won’t pay us if we end up quarantined b) no masks unless you haven’t had a flu shot and c) come to work no matter. So, I’m feeling optimistic 🙄
posted by yodelingisfun at 9:52 PM on March 12 [24 favorites]


I’m a nurse in Vegas and so far we’ve been told that a) they won’t pay us if we end up quarantined b) no masks unless you haven’t had a flu shot and c) come to work no matter. So, I’m feeling optimistic 🙄

Oh that's just awful. And with the elderly and reckless combination in Vegas, it's even worse. So sorry.
posted by frumiousb at 9:53 PM on March 12 [9 favorites]


my band's tour just got cancelled. probably the right call. it was going to be our biggest tour ever though. 5k-8k venues. half of them sold out already! (my stupid band were just the openers on the 3 band tour package so i'm not taking credit for that)

i am super bummed, but i know it was the right call to do this. i don't depend on my band for my main income though...i know that a lot of TM's, and techs, and sound people, and stagehands, and drivers, and.....lots of people are being very hurt by this financially. and this is just one tour.

i know it goes against social distancing rules, but i think i gotta hit up all my small local music venues this weekend and overtip heavily.

it's hard to know what to do .
posted by capnsue at 10:03 PM on March 12 [20 favorites]


...reselling Lysol wipes

The physical material of the wipe itself that Lysol uses is terrible. It's, like, lint/ residue/ stuff phobic and just moves it around instead of absorbing it.

For my money, the physical material of the Chlorox brand wipes seem more "absorbent" and actually picks up visible material.

Don't be fooled by the 99.99% KiLls VIRUSES!1!! on the label.

It's got an asterix or two next to that claim; you need to leave full strength ADBAC on the surface, wet, for at least 10 minutes for the claims to work - and that's on very "narrowly defined" surfaces.

Wipes are super convenient, but their antimicrobial properties are very highly over-hyped.


I prefer bleach (and 10% SDS [Sodium dodecyl sulfate] - hand soaps that say "No SLS" [Sodium laureth sulfate] or "No SDS" aren't effective against coronavirus), having found respect for it (them) while spending a lot of time in a BSL3+ virus facility in grad school (second time around).

But I have ruined so much good clothing to being around bleach being used as a routine surface sanitizer in a plant tissue culture lab (usually while giving unexpected VIPs tours of the production areas - I'm sure some of the visitors have had "wtf, clothing" reactions after the next laundry/ dry-cleaning day).
posted by porpoise at 10:08 PM on March 12 [14 favorites]


oh update they looked at me weirdly bc there is blood on my face from the big zit i popped at my hairline
posted by poffin boffin at 10:09 PM on March 12 [15 favorites]


Such a crisis for performers and all the people employed by such things. Hope you will all make it. Socialism is looking pretty good right now...

Do what you can to support your world, and the people in your world. And wash your hands again.
posted by Windopaene at 10:13 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


To the nurse in Vegas, your employers are straight up evil. Also, why would they want a sick nurse without a mask???
posted by GospelofWesleyWillis at 10:14 PM on March 12 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: brainless, bootlicking boosters of The Company.

MetaFilter: It's so embarrassing to be surrounded by this type of willful pigheadedness.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:24 PM on March 12 [5 favorites]


Lin-Manuel Miranda Offers A Free Unreleased Cut From ‘Hamilton’ To Soothe Fans In Turbulent Times (Deadline, March 12, 2020) "The Hamilton creator has issued a free cut from the Broadway smash musical called I Have This Friend. He tweeted it out this afternoon and linked to the SoundCloud service. The raw track features Miranda and Christopher Jackson in their roles as Alexander Hamilton and George Washington, singing with a simple background accompaniment of drum machine and keyboard."
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:00 PM on March 12 [13 favorites]


There's a lot of outrage about how screwed up and inhumane a lot of the US response to this crisis is - I think Americans should not forget that we are only a first world country in terms of economic development, and military strength. Culturally, we are much closer to the emerging third world nation of two centuries ago than most would care to admit. The big problem with that is a frontier mentality retards the development of a healthy, modern society when there is no more frontier.

Fight the good fight for necessary changes - just don't lose sight of the fact that the benefits may only accrue to your descendants, and that you're probably going to lose a lot of your battles.
posted by Calloused_Foot at 11:19 PM on March 12 [17 favorites]


> zero trust networking

Wow, that would be great. My large employer still uses VPN, which fortunately they've now provisioned adequately. I was wondering how this was going to work when it was soooo slow on Monday.

They love their physical plant so much that if you find an ethernet jack in one of their buildings, you have a lot of access. They're finally turning on 802.1x authentication, but it's only optional at this point.
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 11:21 PM on March 12 [2 favorites]


We're officially going WFH starting next week, for those who can. Folks who work hands-on (e.g. manufacturing) are going to be staggered out in some fashion.
posted by Standard Orange at 11:28 PM on March 12




Here in Sweden the education minister just gave a press conference explaining the decision to keep schools open, despite neighboring Norway and Denmark keeping kids at home. The justification was kids of nursing staff need a place to go during the day so their folks can do what needs to be done, and nobody wants to burden grandparents with taking care of potential disease transmitters.

Well, in Norway daycare/schools are open for kids where both parents are in critical sectors. Radically reducing manning needed, of course.
posted by Harald74 at 2:31 AM on March 13 [5 favorites]


Here in Norway we've closed the country down for the duration. All schools, daycares etc are closed. Restaurants have to close if they can't accommodate regulations which include space between patrons and increased cleaning schedules. I just got an SMS telling me that my youngest's dentist appointment is cancelled. Most everyone from my work are at home telecommuting. But we're software developers, so that's not so difficult.

Everyone not able to work from home gets sick pay. Nobody sick has to pay for their treatment. But that't just how we roll here in socialist hellhole Norway.
posted by Harald74 at 2:54 AM on March 13 [53 favorites]


My biggest immediate concern right now is keeping Dad's Home School rolling. All my kids have iPads from school where they are assigned work and can turn it in, but the system is reeling from the increased demand. Hopefully it's easy to deploy more resources.

I've already decided that Dad's Home School has PE every single day. And Home Ec.

And the dog is very happy about the situation.
posted by Harald74 at 3:00 AM on March 13 [18 favorites]


From way up: Please do a bad job of putting your courses online
Right now at this minute I am having open office hours online. And yes, students are not prepared for online teaching. For one, they can't access their library material and some of the required software.
I'm not prepared either. I am trying to figure out how to design new requirements for the course and how to organize our exam. To make things worse, our exam was supposed to be in Rome, on a study trip, with the students presenting their material there.
And as one of my friends and colleagues said Wednesday: email escalates everything. Advice given face to face in the classroom can work fine. The exact same advice can cause a panic attack and complaints when given by mail or in a class forum. Which leads to the next issue: every single one of my students are writing to me at my private mail, claiming that the uni mail and the forum doesn't work. Neither I nor IT can see than they are right about this, but we can't disprove it either. So there is a huge documentation problem as well (I'm saving the private mails and everyone is on track to a good result, so it won't be an issue, but other years it could have been).
The positive thing is that I am in my PJs and following Metafilter while the students are incredibly slow to respond.
posted by mumimor at 3:14 AM on March 13 [9 favorites]


A friend runs a coffee roastery and cafe, and he posted last night about some sensible measure they're enacting: no BYOD discount, always using fresh cups, etc. -- and also, a request to use contactless payment cards or at least credit cards, so that the staff doesn't have to handle cash.

--
On Monday the orthodontist said that we could start my daughter's braces in a week. I wonder if that offer still stands....
posted by wenestvedt at 6:01 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


Terse, actionable, expert information:

Notes from UCSF Expert panel - March 10

Note especially their bolded portions, including:
  • Appears one can be infectious before being symptomatic. We don’t know how infectious before symptomatic, but know that highest level of virus prevalence coincides with symptoms. We currently think folks are infectious 2 days before through 14 days after onset of symptoms (T-2 to T+14 onset).
  • Anyone over 60 stay at home unless it’s critical [due to the elevated mortality rate in older adults]
(crossposted to the modeling thread)
posted by Westringia F. at 6:36 AM on March 13 [8 favorites]


Two confirmed cases here in Austin and AISD have closed the schools.
I have faith that the singing mice will save us though.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 6:49 AM on March 13 [5 favorites]


Two confirmed cases here in Austin and AISD have closed the schools.

If this follows the pattern of other school districts in other states, the schools will remain closed through the rest of March --or longer. Hundreds of Teacher's Assistants and Substitute Teachers will be out of work, without pay. Thousands of kids who depend on the schools for two meals a day, (breakfast and lunch,) will be going without food. That's also thousands of parents who now have to figure out daycare for those same children.

So please remember that #StayTheFuckHome, while undoubtedly a sound policy, is hugely problematic and a hard slap in the face to many people who are struggling at this time.
posted by zueod at 7:39 AM on March 13 [6 favorites]


#SubsidizeStayTheFuckHome

Telling people to stay home is correct. Telling people to stay home without giving them cash and support is not. But then the government isn’t really telling people to stay home, for precisely this reason. It is all very, very fucked.

I thought it went without saying that StayTheFuckHome was for people who can stay home. It’s even more urgent that you do if you can in order to protect the people who can’t because of our fucked up policies.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:53 AM on March 13 [38 favorites]


So please remember that #StayTheFuckHome, while undoubtedly a sound policy, is hugely problematic and a hard slap in the face to many people who are struggling at this time.

It's also like the most Republican policy ever. Don't gather/ pile food in your mcmansion/ public transport and social spaces are the devil/ what your apartment is more boring than a 3k sq ft house? too bad/ hope you have a great internet tv package/ people who have to be work in specific locations don't really count/ let's judge everyone for their reasons for not staying home/public schools are disease vectors, you can teach just as well at home/suburbia is going to dominate large cities in the convenience, actually ability to socially isolate/universities suck too. Hey which countries got it worse: the ones the US is currently beefing with. Just wait until Mexico and Central America gets it./ Weak justifications for tighter border security and more travel bans.

And after a few weeks its somehow going to go away? We are going to have to do this every year from now on, basically, until a reliable vaccine is ready.

The social/societal impacts of this are going to reverberate for a very long time.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:53 AM on March 13 [7 favorites]


My entire team could be WFH with no problems. I'm a writer. But nah, our company owner said we're going to wait and see. While I saw a guy licking his fingers at our stupid all team breakfast and then cough. I hate it.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 7:56 AM on March 13 [5 favorites]


I work in music, and yesterday was the day every event got canceled. Strangely like dominoes. The event based industries are cancelling, wonder how long before other businesses follow.
posted by iamck at 7:56 AM on March 13 [3 favorites]


I am pleased that the New Mexico governor has banned gatherings of more than 100 people, although there are exceptions. All public schools in the state are closing. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is closing churches and schools. Most political events around here have either been cancelled or moved to Facebook. We have only six cases in the state so far.
posted by NotLost at 8:01 AM on March 13 [3 favorites]


As of now, the Danish government recommends all unnecessary travel to stop, and all Danish residents to come home ASAP. Also all Danes abroad should register on a site at the the Foreign Ministry.
posted by mumimor at 8:08 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


I like this framing of the directive to stay home, from a poem by Lynn Ungar I ran across this morning:
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
Entire poem, "Pandemic," here.
posted by miles per flower at 8:16 AM on March 13 [33 favorites]


I am pleased that the New Mexico governor has banned gatherings of more than 100 people, although there are exceptions. All public schools in the state are closing. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe is closing churches and schools. Most political events around here have either been cancelled or moved to Facebook. We have only six cases in the state so far.

It gives me a bit of comfort that some states and localities are trying to do the right thing, even if that's not the case at the federal level.
posted by SteveInMaine at 8:20 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


So without even trying to coordinate it, most of my team decided to work remotely today. Like a spontaneous strike. Which prompted management to decide we would implement a WFH schedule starting Monday where half the team is on-site on any given day.

So hey, that's some harm reduction, a little better than nothing. So I wrote my manager saying that while 100% WFH was ideal, I appreciated this concession.

His response was that I could WFH indefinitely if I felt uncomfortable coming in. Ugh! That's not the point! American individualism is a disease. I don't want to stay home. I want everyone to stay home!
posted by great_radio at 8:24 AM on March 13 [16 favorites]


I got permission to WFH two days next week when I have my son, whose school is closed. Otherwise I'm expected to be in the office.

Also our company president is traveling to Germany right now.

I bet that asshole is the one who carries it to our office.
posted by Fleebnork at 8:31 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


Kaitlyn Tiffany (The Atlantic) interviewed a panel of public health experts about exactly what we should and shouldn’t be doing during the pandemic: The Dos and Don’ts of ‘Social Distancing’

Also, The Atlantic has made their coronavirus coverage available for free, without their usual paywall (as are the New York Times and Seattle Times).
posted by mbrubeck at 8:36 AM on March 13 [10 favorites]


Regarding the Schengen Zone travel ban: It seems to me all a nefarious person would have to do is fly to the UK, then the US, and then tell people they flew into the UK from somewhere outside the Schengen Zone. Am I wrong?

If you're travelling into and out of Schengen, and you're not an EU citizen, you'll get a stamp in your passport. If you're an EU citizen, I would assume you'll face difficulty at the US border no matter where you're coming from. Travel around Schengen is also restricted: for example the border from Germany to Czechia is closed.

Trumps hatred of the EU is sickening in either case.
posted by romanb at 8:40 AM on March 13 [6 favorites]


deadaluspark: Don't get me started on how my credit union is trying to give me fucking LOANS to "help you through this crisis."

Sorry if this has already been addressed, but you can probably see from comments in this thread how this offer is not a terrible thing, given the current state of the country (USA). Some people are already impacted by shutdowns, because they have no mechanism to be paid except for showing up in person to do their work. Without a loan, it's likely that they can't feed themselves and pay bills. Yes, the credit union will make some profit off of this, but the alternative for some people is that they 1) take high interest loans and are stuck in debt for a long time, or 2) go without water, heat and/or food, and get evicted.


NotLost: I am pleased that the New Mexico governor has banned gatherings of more than 100 people, although there are exceptions.

On top of this, our office is trying to figure out how to limit gatherings to no more than 5 people, which means we need to figure out the work from home thing. VPNs were limited to executive-level folks before, and now there's a long waiting list for IT to set up VPN for folks. In short, we're still in the office today, and will likely be back on Monday. On the up-side, we're a pretty small group, and we're cancelling all of our meetings. On the down-side, I'm not taking the train to work, because that's a lot of people in an enclosed space for two hours a day.

New Mexico public schools are also shutting down for the next 3 weeks, of which 1 week was already set for spring break. Our daycare is figuring out what they'll do, because for some people daycare is critical to them being able to work.

Still, I'm happy that our governor is pro-active in this. We were talking at work about what this could have looked like under the prior administration. I'm sorry for everyone whose government is working against the health of their communities.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:41 AM on March 13 [8 favorites]


It's very obvious that not enough bosses suffer consequences for being irredeemable assholes. Sugar in their gas-tank at a minimum. Solidarity with all y'all who suffer.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:43 AM on March 13 [5 favorites]


Yes, the credit union will make some profit off of this, but the alternative for some people is that they 1) take high interest loans and are stuck in debt for a long time, or 2) go without water, heat and/or food, and get evicted.

Right, and my point was always that it is royally fucked that we have no safety nets for such a situation and that the only solution is to allow a private company to profit off the disaster. I literally said that it is CRIMINAL that a moratorium on rents and mortgages hasn't been pushed forward. But that's par for the course for the USA, one of our two political parties is nothing but criminals.

Maybe, just maybe instead of being so thankful the service is there, like we have been for fifty-some years, we should actually start getting angry that this is the only effective solution available in crisis.

Maybe the whole fucking problem is you shouldn't have to be taking a loan to get through a PANDEMIC, something that is outside almost everyone's control. It's a slap in the face to humanity, I don't give a fuck if it works in our current system, the point is OUR CURRENT SYSTEM PAINFULLY OBVIOUSLY DOESN'T FUCKING WORK AT ALL. Like, what about all the people with credit too shitty to get one of those loans that they're being advertised? So it's okay that THEY starve and die? If they lost their fucking job how are they supposed to pay back the loan? It's fucking INSANITY.

So yes, it's been fucking addressed.
posted by deadaluspark at 8:46 AM on March 13 [22 favorites]


At bare minimum, such loans proffered during such a crisis should have NO INTEREST. Bare minimum it should be you pay back exactly what you borrow.

Anything less is CRIMINAL and PUTTING LIVES AT RISK.
posted by deadaluspark at 8:55 AM on March 13 [23 favorites]


Comcast is giving 2 months of free internet to low income families who sign up for their Internet Essentials package, as a way to help families impacted by COVID-19.
posted by hanov3r at 8:56 AM on March 13 [12 favorites]


deadaluspark, agreed and co-signed.

My thought is that such offers from credit unions are not the core problem, but something not great that spawned from the core problem (lack of reliable safety nets and appropriate responses for dire circumstances).

And I agree with no-interest loans, but there are bigger criminals running things now for their own profits, so these wrongs are not likely notable enough to get much discussion. As long as there are high-interest loan sharks preying on those in dire need in non-pandemic times, credit unions charging a (relatively) low interest rate aren't where I focus my anger.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:58 AM on March 13 [8 favorites]


I shared this write-up by risk communication specialists in the MetaTalk check in thread, but I share it again here because encapsulated my states of mind: Strange COVID-19 Bedfellows: Gnawing Anxiety and Under-Reaction by Peter M. Sandman and Jody Lanard
People you know are probably experiencing exactly this contradiction as we confront the COVID-19 pandemic together:
On the one hand, they feel a gnawing anxiety in the pit of their stomachs that just won’t go away.
On the other hand, they haven’t changed their daily lives much yet, or even planned much for the life changes that they sort-of suspect are just around the corner.
My family (parents and other extended family) and a bunch of close friends live in South Korea, so I had been simultaneously living my life basically as usual (+ diligent handwashing) while also watching loved ones completely upend their lives since early February. Cancel alumni reunions, cancel weddings, go entirely virtual for church attendance, stand in line for hours to get face masks, lose work, and isolate themselves entirely. So in that respect, I am emotionally more ready for this than I think my normal "la-la-la my anxiety can't handle risk assessment so let's just be wildly optimistic" tendencies.
posted by spamandkimchi at 9:03 AM on March 13 [5 favorites]


U-Haul providing 30 days of free storage to displaced college students.
posted by hanov3r at 9:19 AM on March 13 [6 favorites]


filthy light thief, that's a reasonable attitude. You'll have to excuse me, I'm normally pretty passionate, but all this nonsense has my anxiety and anger that nothing rational is being done twisted up to 11.
posted by deadaluspark at 9:26 AM on March 13 [4 favorites]


When I know my anxiety is about to kick in, I try to look for a little bit of laughter in those dark times.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:35 AM on March 13 [9 favorites]


deadaluspark, I understand.

(hugs) if you want them, for you and anyone else here who is stressed and struggling.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:36 AM on March 13 [9 favorites]


It's very obvious that not enough bosses suffer consequences for being irredeemable assholes. Sugar in their gas-tank at a minimum. Solidarity with all y'all who suffer.

Yeah my boss is such a prick he had to remind us that our working remotely is "not a vacation." Dude is in the office today despite us all being sent home by the company to work remotely yesterday. Not even an hour after that announcement, which was sudden and definitely "GTFO NOW", he demanded to know where everyone on the team was in this mandated training he put into effect. No "Is everyone safe, do you need anything, are you set up, let's be compassionate while everyone transitions" just "Where is everyone in this training?"

What a narcissistic prick.
posted by Young Kullervo at 10:17 AM on March 13 [14 favorites]


Meanwhile the UK Government is not looking to suppress the disease entirely but to try and build up a "herd immunity"

I think the logic behind this is that a sudden, intense lock-down now would only be accepted for a limited time, maybe a month, before it started to break down. You'd trade a 'success' now for a longer term failure with a second wave of the virus.

It is currently predicted that peak of the epidemic in the UK is “something like 10 to 14 weeks away”. The panic buying of toilet rolls continues.
posted by Lanark at 10:30 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


The panic buying of toilet rolls continues.

How many do I need? I have 9 right now. That's a lot of ass-wiping! I went for a pre-dawn supply run, as stated above, and there was none on the shelves.
posted by thelonius at 10:38 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


If this is the UKs strategy and not ours, how does the WH justify exempting them from the Euro travel ban?
posted by Selena777 at 10:41 AM on March 13 [3 favorites]


Because Golf!
posted by Lanark at 10:43 AM on March 13 [4 favorites]


Guys, the company decided to buy us all lunch today. So now there's going to be a line of 500 people grabbing pawed over sandwiches and cookies. They have never done this before. So why do it today of all days???
posted by great_radio at 10:46 AM on March 13 [9 favorites]


It's a little too neat and convenient that Trump has golf courses in Europe (the continent, not the EU) outside of the banned area, but there we go.
posted by fragmede at 10:48 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


BREAKING NEWS: Canada to form Organisation of Toilet Paper Exporting Countries. Press release begins, "You're all fucked now, eh."
satire
posted by thatwhichfalls at 10:50 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile the UK Government is not looking to suppress the disease entirely but to try and build up a "herd immunity"
OK, that's insane.
Dear UK mefites, stay home if you can. I'll pray even though I don't believe because that's what's left.
I can see my stepdad has tried to call me through the day as he regularly does when the Government does something insane. So this is why. I don't know how I can help him. I can probably move him back to Denmark, but after a lifetime in the UK, he won't go directly into the health system. I'll have to check up on that. They won't let him die on the street. But right now, travel is discouraged.
posted by mumimor at 10:51 AM on March 13 [4 favorites]


So why do it today of all days???

Maybe there's less paperwork for an employee dying than there is for laying someone off? Also, if they die, they won't be collecting Unemployment Insurance, a thing I have never met an employer who didn't viscerally HATE paying for.

Sorry to be assuming the worst of our leaders, but... I mean, if you've been alive in this country for the last thirty years and don't assume the worst of our leaders, well, I guess you haven't really been paying attention, now have you?

I mean, it's not like Walmart used to take out life insurance policies on their most vulnerable workers, paid out to Walmart when they died.

Yeah, it's absolutely reasonable to assume the fucking worst of them. If they're trying to gather you all in one room during a pandemic, let's not assume they don't know what fuck they're doing. They know exactly what they're doing, and they intend to profit off of the death and destruction somehow.
posted by deadaluspark at 10:52 AM on March 13 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile the UK Government is not looking to suppress the disease entirely but to try and build up a "herd immunity"

pro-eugenics governments gonna eugenics
posted by Rust Moranis at 11:00 AM on March 13 [4 favorites]


Austin ISD is trying (inadequately, but something?) to help children who depend on meals at school. This is from the email I just recieved:

Austin ISD Food Services will prepare and distribute meals for children under the age of 19 at 14 sites while school is closed due to COVID-19 precautions. AISD is working in collaboration with the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Curbside lunch meals will be provided for each child in the car. The meals will be packaged together and provided today March 13 as well as Monday-Friday starting March 23 if schools continue to be closed. Children must be present to receive a meal package. Meals are not available for adults.

The healthy meals served will include protein, grains, fruit and vegetables. The option of milk and compostable cutlery will be available.

Curbside meal sites, open from 12 to 1:30 p.m, are listed below. Sites were chosen based on 50 percent or more students receiving meal benefits. Families are advised to stay in their cars and not enter buildings during meal pick up.

------------------------------------

Clearly this isn't enough. Eg, what about kids in families without cars? It's incomprehensible how some in the US claim it's a Christian nation (or should be) but didn't get the message about feeding the hungry, healing the sick, etc.
posted by jclarkin at 11:01 AM on March 13 [16 favorites]


So far, I've had one business trip canceled (I've never been on a business trip and was looking forward to that), a mini European vaccay canceled (which was going to be a lot of fun), and a big European vaccay canceled (which I've been working on for two years).

And now I just got word that Buddy Guy is postponing his shows. (And of course -- we must protect Buddy at all costs.)

Damn right I've got the blues...
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:21 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


Mayo Clinic has apparently developed a test.
The test has been fully validated, and data from will be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration for review and emergency use authorization.
posted by Bacon Bit at 11:26 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


Clearly this isn't enough. Eg, what about kids in families without cars? It's incomprehensible how some in the US claim it's a Christian nation (or should be) but didn't get the message about feeding the hungry, healing the sick, etc.

This is going to be an enormous catastrophe in the US. I wonder if it will lead to equivalent change.
The Russian and Chinese revolutions happened because the disconnect between the people and the government had grown too wide. I'm not a marxist (and not a fan of Bernie Sanders) but I feel that if radical change doesn't happen, even the great nation of the USA can't survive this disruption.
posted by mumimor at 11:29 AM on March 13 [4 favorites]


In slightly lighter news, Kruger (a major paper products company) has confirmed that Canada's shit ticket supply is not in jeopardy.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:46 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


We had a last shopping trip today, and if I can’t get them to deliver my husband’s meds, I’ll have to go to the chemist to pick them up, but fuck Boris and his fucking eugenics experiment, my other half has a month left of his sabbatical, and we are locking the fuck down and staying home.
posted by skybluepink at 11:52 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


The panic buying of toilet rolls continues.

No kidding. I went to the grocery store today for a regular shopping run, and everything was in stock on every aisle except TP. I have a few weeks' supply already so it's not an issue for me, but I can only imagine the stress the empty shelves would cause someone who, say, has kids and is almost out of the stuff. Not everyone has the money (or storage space) to buy ahead even at the best of times.

I am really moved at the efforts the school district here is making to try to ensure access (e.g., providing laptops and hotspots to students who don't have internet access at home), and to try to continue to provide meals to the kids that rely on them. But it is also so incredibly angering that schools have had to become effectively a last-ditch safety net for so many families. It breaks my heart to think about how many kids are missing meals this week -- epidemiologically, closing the schools was the right thing, but the cost of this is being born by those with the least resources.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:24 PM on March 13 [7 favorites]


You know, talking to my kids, I realize how this is going to be something their kids will be asking them about. My lingering memory of after the September 11th attacks was the days of no planes in the sky. I wonder what my kids will remember. They have seen all the empty stores every hurricane, so that's no big deal. All the empty public places, that's new.

Good luck everyone. Lots of love.
posted by BeeDo at 12:28 PM on March 13 [13 favorites]


In-person everything is now winding down at my (CA, public) university--next week was our last before spring break, and all instructors have been given the option to either immediately switch to "distributed modalities" for instruction, or cancel face-to-face classes until after break, to allow ~3 weeks for course conversion. We will not meet in-person at all for the remainder of this semester (through May 22). The university is doing what it can to provide hardware (free laptop checkout) or mobile wifi hotspot account access to students or faculty who may not have adequate resources at home (though campus faculty offices are still available for faculty to use).

We decided early this past week, before definitive guidance from the upper admin, to cancel a couple of concerts in our department (scheduled for the past couple of days), which seemed maybe a little premature on Tuesday but not at all by Wednesday. I'm very lucky that I can mostly stay home for the next couple of months, while continuing to work. Everything around me is quickly becoming nightmarish, though--I live & work in a very wage-driven region, and jobs and events being cancelled will impact people's paychecks immediately and in large numbers. I am just plain furious and despondent over the psychopathy of the federal government, and that's all I can really say without this comment turning into a profanity-laden tirade. Stay well, all.
posted by LooseFilter at 12:30 PM on March 13 [3 favorites]


I'm not exactly sure where to file this, but I have recently needed to help with the day-to-day education of a young child, so I thought I'd pass along links to these Highlights Learning and Scholastic Success workbooks. They've been extremely helpful in providing a structured way to cover the basics. Also, If you can look past some of the framing and funding appeals, there's also Dad's Worksheets, which has printable math practice pages for elementary school kids.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:35 PM on March 13 [10 favorites]




Yeah my boss is such a prick he had to remind us that our working remotely is "not a vacation."

Yeah, we got admonished like this too. During the same talk in which he said "and our department should be able to adapt to this reasonably well, since something like 90% of us work remotely at least part of the time." So are you saying that we've all been slacking and you expect us to continue slacking off, or was that implied criticism of the few people (the admin assistants) who don't work remotely and whom you're implying will be lazy and irresponsible?

There's also been a fair bit of tech just dropped on people with no instruction or training. "Here's a Slack channel for the department that you can use over the next three weeks working from home!" Nothing about what it should be used for or what the expectations are. I'm probably one of the most Slack-familiar people in the department and I'm basically ignoring it until we get some direction.

My husband works in catering and event services and is effectively unemployed until it's okay to have large gatherings again. We were very glad to see this tweet from Governor Newsom:
BREAKING: CA has waived the 1 week waiting period for those unemployed or disabled as a result of COVID-19.

If a medical professional says you’re unable to work, if your hours have been reduced, or your employer has shut down -- you can file a claim.
—> https://edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019.htm
For now, since he's got no work, he's been doing things like dumping and refreshing the 5-gallon emergency water supply and is now in the kitchen taking a pantry inventory so we know what we need to restock.
posted by Lexica at 1:14 PM on March 13 [4 favorites]


Juuuuust in case anyone missed it:

Trump declares national emergency due to highly infectious disease.

Trump immediately shakes hands with everyone in the Rose Garden.
posted by soundguy99 at 1:41 PM on March 13 [36 favorites]


Nope, nobody learned from the NBA.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:47 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


Management at my company is still dragging their feet, even though for almost all of us, our work is definitely of the type that can be done remotely.

They've put out a kind of wishy-washy "be safe!" and "it's ok to stay home if you have people to care for" email (after massive pushing by our risk managers) but there's still this perception that we shouldn't just tell people to stay home flat out...for some reason...that really boils down to, we don't trust people or else we are in denial.

I was told by my boss that so long as I did not email (no trail) I could reach out to my team and tell them they could stay home. So I reached out to all of them and said, hey, it's ok if you just stay home next week and work from there. Let me know.

My team includes moms of new babies (2!), people who've had recent surgeries, and people with conditions like diabetes. I hope they all stay home.
posted by emjaybee at 1:49 PM on March 13 [3 favorites]


#StayTheFuckHome continues for my company next week, with one change: If you work on the campus where I work, and you can do your job remotely, instead of that being encouraged like it was this week, it's now mandatory. They're going to shuffle people from other offices around to work on our campus, which has more room for social distancing.

The St. Patrick's Day party where my band is scheduled to play tomorrow is still on, even after our governor declared a state of emergency yesterday and Trump declared a national one today.
posted by emelenjr at 2:01 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


BattleBots has delayed the 2020 tournament until "later in the year" when "the crisis is over".
posted by hanov3r at 2:12 PM on March 13 [5 favorites]


The President assures us that he can't have contracted COVID-19 from shaking hands with Bolsinaro's aide because he "doesn't know the guy". This is similar to how he can't have been part of Paul Manafort's interactions with Russian Intelligence because he "doesn't know the guy".
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:34 PM on March 13 [11 favorites]


So are you saying that we've all been slacking and you expect us to continue slacking off, or was that implied criticism of the few people (the admin assistants) who don't work remotely and whom you're implying will be lazy and irresponsible?

I think it's partly this and partly that senior management literally has no idea all the work admins do besides answering phones/walk-ins, so they suddenly get concerned about whether we're earning that $14 an hour or whatever while we're "not even at our desks."

Our directive was that we must, MUST update our voicemail greeting to specify that we are working remotely. Even though we can check voicemail remotely. Even though answering the phone on my desk is like 2% of my job. They literally think this is the most important thing to do.
posted by nakedmolerats at 2:35 PM on March 13 [8 favorites]


BattleBots has delayed the 2020 tournament until "later in the year" when "the crisis is over".

What, no Tombstone-Witch Doctor matchup?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:46 PM on March 13 [5 favorites]


I was told by my boss that so long as I did not email (no trail) I could reach out to my team and tell them they could stay home. So I reached out to all of them and said, hey, it's ok if you just stay home next week and work from there. Let me know.

So no comment and do not listen if it is not helpful but for their sake and if you're in a position to take the heat, I'd suggest making an email trail so they don't get in trouble

ok unaskedfor advice over sorry
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:02 PM on March 13 [5 favorites]


Schools closed through March 27
The City School District of Albany (NY) is closing all schools for two weeks out of an abundance of caution in response to the spread of COVID-19.

All district schools will be closed from Monday, March 16 through Friday, March 27. Our schools will reopen Monday, March 30.

We will have much more information for students, families and employees later in the day Friday.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and partnership as we work together to address this serious health concern.
Going to have to plan out a syllabus for 10th and 8th grade curricula. Perhaps some nuclear physics. The first 200 pages of Richard Rhodes' _The Making of the Atomic Bomb_ will serve marvelously.
posted by mikelieman at 3:07 PM on March 13 [3 favorites]


The President assures us that he can't have contracted COVID-19 from shaking hands with Bolsinaro's aide because he "doesn't know the guy".

I have caught a couple things from guys I didn't know.
posted by great_radio at 3:08 PM on March 13 [30 favorites]


Los Angeles and San Diego Unified school districts are closing.

I hope they have something in place for the food and healthcare programs.
posted by snsranch at 3:16 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


Our directive was that we must, MUST update our voicemail greeting to specify that we are working remotely. Even though we can check voicemail remotely. Even though answering the phone on my desk is like 2% of my job. They literally think this is the most important thing to do.

We were explicitly told NOT to set our email out-of-office messages to say anything about this because "You're working! You're just doing it somewhere else! You're not on vacation!"

Grrr.
posted by Lexica at 3:16 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


I just recently started working in the wonderful world of libraries and I spend a lot of time on desk helping out in the computer lab, to which I am giving serious side-eye right now. We don't have confirmed cases here yet, but public computer labs should not be open right now if you don't have the space to spread out the computers and the resources to keep them disinfected as much as possible. We did remove toys from the children's areas and shut down programming and meeting space bookings, but computer labs are hygienically not great on a good day just by their nature and it kinda seems like an oversight.
posted by jason_steakums at 3:19 PM on March 13 [4 favorites]


Jason Kenney, premier of Alberta, just gave a press conference. Highlights:
  • Nobody should have to choose between supporting their families and protecting public health
  • Paid sick leave (Note: this is not the same as long term leave or disability) no longer requires a doctor’s note, is extended to 14 days, and is available for everyone, not just those on the job for at least 90 days. Further measures coming for the self-employed.
  • Further wage supports for others that are self isolating. Nobody should have to go to work and put their co-workers and clients at risk.
  • "It is important that we all support each other"
By some accounts, this guy is the face of the far right in Canada. But compare and contrast with the Republicans
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 3:25 PM on March 13 [19 favorites]




Seattle public libraries have closed their doors today and a friend of mine who works at a library in Colorado says that they're seriously debating whether to stay open. They probably should have closed yesterday. I imagine that, after hospital waiting rooms and schools, libraries are serious breeding grounds for germs.
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 3:29 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


New York Public Library is closing until the beginning of April. My former coworkers at Brooklyn Public Library are very anxious that BPL and Queens Library haven't reached a closing decision yet.

I understand library leadership wanting libraries to stay open because a lot of people in the community don't have other places to go, and because students whose schools are shut down count on libraries for internet access and other services - but libraries are petri dishes.

I went into the local small-town library today to print out my passport renewal forms (my passport has been expired for 11 months and if it reaches 12 months I have to find a doctor or lawyer or university dean who I've known for two years to be my guarantor), partly because I was anxious that if I waited any longer the library would close down. The person across from me was clipping her nails at the computers. Librarians, we all know how gross a small number of our patrons are! Let's try not to provide a place for them to congregate!
posted by Jeanne at 3:29 PM on March 13 [5 favorites]


the CEO mentioned that all contracted hourly workers (cafe staff, shuttle drivers, landscapers, etc.) will continue to get paid during the closure. Even though this is anecdotal evidence, it's nice to know that there are some glimmers of humanity left in the corporate culture here.

We may be co-workers. If I'm right, said company announced at around 11:30 Pacific today that WFH was mandatory for everyone in US and Canada.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 3:30 PM on March 13


It's like I said to my librarian friend - while I appreciate that libraries provide many essential services to the homeless and people with limited means, librarians are not Healthcare workers and shouldn't be expected to risk that level of exposure. Close the damn libraries.
posted by Laura Palmer's Cold Dead Kiss at 3:37 PM on March 13 [7 favorites]


As of today, Airbnb extended their full-refund policy to cover the entire United States. So if you anyone was letting the forfeited cost of your bookings guide your travel plans, go ahead and cancel now! Details from Airbnb's site.
posted by polecat at 3:38 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


Could we get cortex to do a remix of his voting song for this? "Stay the fuck at home, brother, stay the fuck at home...."
posted by JHarris at 3:39 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


Coronavirus testing in the US is covered thanks to Rep. Katie Porter's grilling of CDC Director Robert Redfield:
Rep. Katie Porter showed federal health officials what it costs to get tested for coronavirus if you don't have insurance, and showed CDC Director Robert Redfield that he has the authority to make those tests free. Then she got him to say he will do it.
Note that this doesn't mean there's a simple way to get that payment managed - but he agreed that the CDC will cover the cost of testing for anyone in America who needs it.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 3:51 PM on March 13 [10 favorites]


Could we get cortex to do a remix of his voting song for this? "Stay the fuck at home, brother, stay the fuck at home...."

Honestly I mostly just want to re-up Everything Is Fucked (Keep On Going) as is and leave it at that to save myself the labor.
posted by cortex at 4:01 PM on March 13 [10 favorites]


The primary benefit of testing is for public authorities to understand how the epidemic is spreading and how to best manage it. It has little to no benefit to the person tested since treatment is symptomatic anyway. So, putting the cost of testing on an the patient is just plain stupid (not to mention cruel).

But let's suppose you're tested and you turn up positive. That puts you in a world of responsibilities and possible financial costs and liabilities. So you have another reason not to get tested unless you have amazing platinum insurance coverage and can never expect out of network charges!

Which is to say that covering testing is an absolute no-brainer but does not even scratch the surface of what a serious response to this crisis requires.
posted by sjswitzer at 4:32 PM on March 13 [20 favorites]


Except that some stupid big box companies will not give any paid time off (to only the few full time employees, natch) unless there's a note from a doctor that one is quarantined due to covid19. Good luck getting that test. And the local big insurance company says it will only waive the copay amount - not the remainder (you know, what the insurance company would pay.)
posted by mightshould at 4:47 PM on March 13 [4 favorites]


Whole Foods CEO suggests employees who are not sick "donate" their vacation time to employees who are sick

Whole Foods just published a blog post in response to our article in which it says "We have relaxed our policy to allow Team Members to call out of work due to illness, without penalty." I am not sure what the "penalty" for calling in sick before was but a punitive sick leave policy is definitely what you want at a grocery store
Crises are a good way to lay bare the bedrock ghoulishness of a country.
posted by Rust Moranis at 5:00 PM on March 13 [39 favorites]


This comic from our local independent media source here in Alberta I thought was really nice:
Pulling together - even as we move apart.

And my wife got an email from our grocery store (who were doing a top notch job shelving more toilet paper yesterday) saying that they would be delivering care packages of non-perishables to anyone who had to quarantine themselves.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 5:05 PM on March 13 [9 favorites]


Rust Moranis's twitter links are in response to this: Whole Foods Suggests That Workers Share Paid Time Off During Coronavirus (Vice.com, March 13, 2020)

On Wednesday, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey sent out an email to grocery store employees with a list of benefits and options for those who fall sick during the coronavirus pandemic. Among his six suggestions was an option for employees to “donate” their paid time off (PTO) to coworkers facing medical emergencies. [...]

In that same email, Whole Foods also said that it will offer unlimited, unpaid time off during the month of March and two weeks of paid time off for workers who test positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus—a policy announced this week for all Amazon employees and contractors that has also been adopted by tech companies like Uber, Lyft, and Instacart.

As a subsidiary of Amazon, the world’s biggest company, Whole Foods could easily afford to pay its hourly employees for sick days taken during the coronavirus outbreak without breaking the bank. Instead, the company has put the onus back on workers, and they're not happy about it.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:11 PM on March 13 [26 favorites]


Earlier I wrote: The primary benefit of testing is for public authorities to understand how the epidemic is spreading...

But now I see that healthcare and other benefits often depend on whether you are properly certified as affected. So now I feel stupid for not fully realizing how bad our healthcare system is.
posted by sjswitzer at 5:22 PM on March 13 [4 favorites]


For anyone not familiar with Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, this is 100% par for the course. He’s a libertarian prick with zero empathy, and always has been.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 5:27 PM on March 13 [20 favorites]


So now I feel stupid for not fully realizing how bad our healthcare system is.

Don't feel stupid. The badness of our healthcare system is literally unfathomable. No human intelligence can realize how bad it is!
posted by medusa at 5:29 PM on March 13 [23 favorites]


So as of today in my state there are thousands, and presumably soon millions nationally, who are being asked to work from home while their children's schools and daycares have been cancelled or are attempting some sort of remote learning. How are parents expected to WFH in these circumstances?
posted by chortly at 6:36 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


To follow up on my earlier comment, these suggested student schedules for pre-school to high school age kids prepared by the Khan Academy, with links to grade-appropriate K.A. activities, looks really great. As in, wow we've been doing it totally wrong in terms of spacing out school time during the day. That might explain the push back we get.

I will add that the Khan Academy is really pretty great. It also helps little kids get time learning to use the mouse and keyboard but isn't the video game.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:45 PM on March 13 [11 favorites]


In 'extraordinary' move, B.C. officials ask retired doctors to re-register in case COVID-19 worsens

This was commanded to my attention by a friend who is an MD in British Columbia. He is a clinical psychiatrist who was in medical school a decade or three back and is pondering how far into the roster we have to get to get before psychiatrists or diagnostic imaging specialists doing general medicine.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:48 PM on March 13 [8 favorites]


For now, since he's got no work, he's been doing things like dumping and refreshing the 5-gallon emergency water supply and is now in the kitchen taking a pantry inventory so we know what we need to restock.

Is there some reason to think the water supply will fail? Or is this just periodic earthquake preparedness?

I just went and bought a few hundred bucks worth of non-perishable, extended shelf life groceries and meat to freeze (couldn't get bulk rice, beans and grains, sals suds, ingredients for DIY sanitizer or -- of course -- TP ) and I'd like to not have to freak out about water now.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:52 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]




Yeah, that's what the Capitalists have to explain.

I'm not thinking that will go well.

EDIT: Response to chortly
posted by Windopaene at 6:56 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


Donald McNeil (NYT health reporter) on Maddow's show talking about the Chinese approach to testing and quarantine: video.
posted by maudlin at 7:06 PM on March 13


I'd add I'm a single person living alone, so am not particularly worried about running out of housewares, but seeing the stores as picked over as they were did encourage me to do about 2/3 of my typical monthly shopping of anything that doesn't spoil and was in stock.

Weird feeling.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:09 PM on March 13 [5 favorites]


how far into the roster we have to get to get before psychiatrists or diagnostic imaging specialists doing general medicine

Happening in Italy right now. I'm using my enforced quarantine to review med school microbiology and critical care medicine. Haven't thought about this stuff in a decade. But if I can offload mild or moderate cases, that'll free up internists to take care of the sicker folks.
posted by basalganglia at 7:12 PM on March 13 [27 favorites]


Why aren't we training health care aides or workers in massive numbers right now?
posted by medusa at 7:21 PM on March 13 [7 favorites]


because we've shuttered schools and banned large gatherings?

(not that you wouldn't hope for better coordination than that, maybe it will happen yet...)
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:36 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


And my wife got an email from our grocery store (who were doing a top notch job shelving more toilet paper yesterday)

Not so much here. We last stocked up in this house before... well, before, and were down to the last half-dozen rolls by yesterday. I was not working today so the missus asked me to see if I could find some today while I was out. Six stores later, I came up empty-handed. Fortunately, she found the drugstore near her had a small supply, so she bought a package of twelve for an extortionate $32. A curious new price scheme for a national chain that promotes itself as open and friendly. (Incidentally, I checked the news section of their site to see what they have to say about a pandemic with bigger ripples than anything on living memory -- all of their posted news from the last year is twelve monthly results of the customer satisfaction surveys. Cool.)

Anyway, Dame Biscuit and I were in our local grocery store at ten o’clock last night and found half the shelves noticeably bare: all the toilet paper and hand sanitizer and such long gone, and most of the rest at sharp discounts, because I guess the store would rather sell all its raisin bread and frozen lasagna and the like at 40% off, rather than throw it in the dumpster for no return at all. It felt more apocalypse movie than I have ever seen in a functioning business in this country.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:04 PM on March 13 [3 favorites]


It is feeling super weird, that's for sure.
posted by Windopaene at 8:06 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


Off topic, every time I get some email blast from someone about SALES or events coming up that I can go to, I am just boggling. Like, really? Maybe you should turn off your auto-send settings about that stuff right now?
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:06 PM on March 12


I live in Seattle and I got an email today from the thrift store Value Village: 50% off sale in all their stores this Sunday. My first thought was how heartless it was, many of their customers are elderly or homeless and may be drawn to risk their health, because they can't afford the clothes otherwise.

They did send out an email prior to this, addressing the virus:

"In light of COVID-19, we are implementing some new measures for our collective health and well-being. While our stores are cleaned and sanitized daily as part of our normal course of business, as an added precaution, our teams have increased the frequency and extent of those cleanings with a focus on "high touch" areas and surfaces that receive frequent contact."

So hopefully they're wiping off the dressing rooms, but I hope they reconsider these sales events until the illness is contained. How long does the virus survive on clothing after someone's tried it on anyway?
posted by Feyala at 8:15 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


But, after Crown Hill closed, there are no VVs in Seattle...

As a game thrifter... :(
posted by Windopaene at 8:23 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


? I got two 12-packs at Shoppers late yesterday evening as well. Not much selection (I ended up with PC brand) but the price was normal.

On preview: I guess Ricochet Biscuit went out for TP today, not yesterday
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 8:33 PM on March 13


Just got this email from Barnes and Noble:

"We’re living through turbulent times together. Our booksellers are your neighbors, your friends and family. Your stories are our stories, and we know how resilient our communities are."

That was it.
I am really not sure what the heck I am to make of it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:51 PM on March 13 [11 favorites]


I've noticed that that COVID-19 has exposed every email list I might be on. I've gotten emails from so many companies and organizations to assure me they are cleaning and disinfecting for my safety.
posted by perhapses at 9:04 PM on March 13 [24 favorites]


Yes, Comcast felt it very important to inform me that they are diligently maintaining the cleanliness of their retail stores and are encouraging their employees not to work when they are ill. My first thought was not a positive one. Shouldn't that be the normal baseline of reasonable treatment of employees? Most people don't sound so proud of their poor behavior
posted by wierdo at 9:13 PM on March 13 [10 favorites]


Whole Foods CEO suggests employees who are not sick “donate” their vacation time to employees who are sick.

For anyone not familiar with Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, this is 100% par for the course. He’s a libertarian prick with zero empathy, and always has been.


Christ, what an ass (W)hole (Foods).
posted by New Frontier at 9:26 PM on March 13 [8 favorites]


So when we read about the number of ventilators and ICU beds that are available in the US, does this number take into account what the military has available? From my understanding, there should be a pretty substantial surge capacity there in the form of the contemporary equivalent to the old MASH units and such, including large amounts of pre-positioned supplies in various locations throughout the world, but who knows how the equipment and/or readiness stacks up. I noticed the other day that California relatively quietly (given all the other news) announced it has activated its power to seize hotel rooms. I'm wondering if we're going to see Army/National Guard hospitals popping up in heavily impacted areas.
posted by feloniousmonk at 9:26 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


I've noticed that that COVID-19 has exposed every email list I might be on. I've gotten emails from so many companies and organizations to assure me they are cleaning and disinfecting for my safety.

I got an email from the NHL, for some damn reason.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:32 PM on March 13 [5 favorites]


So when we read about the number of ventilators and ICU beds that are available in the US, does this number take into account what the military has available?
I mentioned in one of these threads that Denmark has found old ventilators and ventilators used in field hospitals by the military. Which was great. And then the health authorities realized that skilled personel are needed to use them, and that personel doesn't exist. So non-necessary medical care is already cancelled from yesterday to give time for nurses and doctors to take courses on intensive care.
posted by mumimor at 9:35 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


So... can we set up a MeFi swap or something where the Canadians can help out their neighbors to the south by shipping some TP?
posted by tzikeh at 9:38 PM on March 13 [3 favorites]


No. The rest of the world has their own illnesses. Canada is not a pretend country.
posted by kanata at 9:53 PM on March 13 [10 favorites]


Our electricity went out and we walked out of our homes to meet other people, who are also wondering what is going on, and just more than a bit terrified about what's going on with the country. Trump is really making people afraid. The people in charge are really not up to the job. I can't put it any other way.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:56 PM on March 13 [16 favorites]


Yes, Comcast felt it very important to inform me that they are diligently maintaining the cleanliness of their retail stores and are encouraging their employees not to work when they are ill. My first thought was not a positive one. Shouldn't that be the normal baseline of reasonable treatment of employees? Most people don't sound so proud of their poor behavior

Yeah, it is a curious thing when organizations (or indeed people) want extra credit for what many would consider baseline reasonable — or legally required — behaviour.

Turning away from the pandemic for a moment: I worked for a place once for five months and change. I got canned for a flimsy rationale but I was okay with this: there was nothing more I could learn there or teach anyone so I didn’t care to stick round any longer. As well, there was a major crisis with a friend of mine halfway across the country where my presence could do some good.

What irritated me more than my boss inventing a lazy pretext to fire me was his dogged insistence that as a gesture of good faith, they were going to throw in a severance bonus of one week’s pay. I said okay, but that is the legal obligation under provincial labour law here for any employee of more than three but less than six months. No, he insisted, they did not have to do this but after careful consideration, the board had decided to do this. Sure, dude, whatever. Make with the cheque.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:56 PM on March 13 [13 favorites]


> I will add that the Khan Academy is really pretty great.

fwiw, just came across mathigon!* :P
posted by kliuless at 10:55 PM on March 13 [4 favorites]


The rest of the world has their own illnesses. Canada is not a pretend country.

and we also have mostly empty shelves of toilet paper ... because people are confused all over.

I'm personally doing okay having visited the trading post (aka Costco) more than a week ago, with a few cubic feet of TP on the shopping list. I did notice that pretty much everybody else in the lineup had at least one BIG bag in their cart, including a few who had two or three. And I did wonder, is this the beginning of something perhaps irrational? Should I maybe grab some more ... just in case?

But a little voice said to me, "If shit gets so bad you're going to need eight months worth of f***ing toilet paper, might as well just walk into the ocean right now because who needs a f***ing zombie apocalypse? We all lose in that dumb movie."



but I did buy a big bag of brown rice and a bunch of stewing beef
posted by philip-random at 11:46 PM on March 13 [13 favorites]


Am I the only one who keeps doing a doubletake every time they see an update about the CDC, wondering why Robert Redford is involved with Congress and dealing with Coronavirus?
posted by kitten kaboodle at 12:30 AM on March 14 [7 favorites]


My parter had to stick his neck way out and agitate his bosses three levels up to get a large event cancelled at work on Friday. Fortunately our governor recommended canceling events with more than 100 people so he was able to use that. His leadership is now kind of pissed at him to the point where he’s concerned about getting managed out. When he was trying to share information and best practices, his boss literally asked him if the source of the information was a democrat.

It’s concerning as they are a big retail operation and a big donation operation that tends to serve the poor and elderly.

My work has been great, but I work for a health care consulting firm run by doctors and people with a lot of health care background. So even when they are dyed in the wool republicans, they understand public health. We start full mandatory work from home on Monday.
posted by jeoc at 6:00 AM on March 14 [20 favorites]


Trump’s ChernobylThirty-four years ago in Moscow I watched the government mishandle a disaster. Why does it feel like it was just yesterday?
posted by tonycpsu at 6:46 AM on March 14 [6 favorites]




Trump’s Chernobyl —

this came up in discussion yesterday. Somebody was comparing it to Katrina. Somebody else said, "No, that's selling it way short. The fuck up that brings Trump down would have to be on a much bigger scale."

"So more like Chernobyl then," said somebody else. And everybody simultaneously nodded and felt a cold shiver.
posted by philip-random at 8:00 AM on March 14 [5 favorites]


Trump’s Chernobyl —

The US covid death toll has already exceeded Chernobyl's acute radiation syndrome deaths and we're a few weeks out from exceeding its indirect death toll from cancer.

In popular culture and opinion we view the disastrous mishandling of crisis in the late period Soviet Union as indicative of a moribund empire in terminal decline. And we're right about that. It wasn't Gorbachev himself who blew the reactor, it was the entire system.

This is the American hierarchy's catastrophe to own, not simply Trump's, not even just the GOP's. America tore its own guts out for 40 years and is realizing too late that it's actually pretty important to have innards.
posted by Rust Moranis at 9:09 AM on March 14 [62 favorites]


... the key difference being perhaps that with America there's no wall to tear down, but there are a few that may go up.

Will Canada close its border with the United States?

the quick answer is NO -- govt spokesperson has already stated that closing the border is not an option, that it's too long, too undefended, people will find away across regardless. But people are suddenly talking about it, and don't be at all surprised if it suddenly gets WAY harder to cross into Canada from the states ... for a while anyway.
posted by philip-random at 10:13 AM on March 14 [1 favorite]


Some useful COVID-19 links for Australia from getup.org.au
posted by flabdablet at 11:02 AM on March 14 [2 favorites]


What... are we supposed to take from the pollution anecdotes from Italy and China? That we can save the planet if we all just bunker down in our homes like we’re enduring a bombing raid until we run out of money?
posted by Selena777 at 11:49 AM on March 14 [4 favorites]


I read it as just an interesting fact, perhaps indicating that people are definitely staying home. I'm not sure criticism was intended.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 12:36 PM on March 14 [4 favorites]


What... are we supposed to take from the pollution anecdotes from Italy and China?

In the case of China, the reduction in hospitalizations for respiratory conditions due to air pollution freed up resources for COVID-19.
posted by hydropsyche at 12:42 PM on March 14 [7 favorites]


It looks like France is going into lockdown mode similar to Italy.

link
posted by great_radio at 12:55 PM on March 14 [4 favorites]


... if we could just figure a way to stop commuting. That would be huge.
posted by philip-random at 12:55 PM on March 14 [3 favorites]




Does anyone know of a good piece comparing how different countries, states or localities are handling the outbreak, and maybe linking that to the results?
posted by NotLost at 2:13 PM on March 14 [1 favorite]


"So more like Chernobyl then," said somebody else. And everybody simultaneously nodded and felt a cold shiver.

Well, I have been telling people that it’s “Not great. Not terrible.” for awhile now...
posted by Huffy Puffy at 2:22 PM on March 14 [2 favorites]


Does anyone know of a good piece comparing how different countries, states or localities are handling the outbreak, and maybe linking that to the results?

They’ve Contained the Coronavirus. Here’s How. (Benjamin J. Cowling and Wey Wen Lim, NYT Opinion) (MSN reprint)
Since identifying the first infections (all imported) on their territories — on Jan. 21 in Taiwan and on Jan. 23 in both Hong Kong and Singapore — all three governments have implemented some combination of measures to (1) reduce the arrival of new cases into the community (travel restrictions), (2) specifically prevent possible transmission between known cases and the local population (quarantines) and (3) generally suppress silent transmission in the community by reducing contact between individuals (self-isolation, social distancing, heightened hygiene).
posted by katra at 3:32 PM on March 14 [7 favorites]


US hospitals – including those in Wisconsin – will run out of beds if coronavirus cases spike (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / USAToday)
No state in the U.S. will have enough room for novel coronavirus patients if the surge in severe cases here mirrors that in other countries. A USA TODAY analysis shows that if the nation sees a major spike, there could be almost six seriously ill patients for every existing hospital bed. That analysis, based on data from the American Hospital Association, U.S. Census, CDC and World Health Organization, is purposely conservative.

[...] USA TODAY found that in a surge, only eight states would have enough hospital beds to treat the 1 million Americans 60 and older who could become seriously ill with COVID-19. Most were in the Midwest: both North and South Dakota as well as Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Mississippi and Wyoming. All eight have significant rural populations served primarily by small hospitals, which typically are not equipped to handle multiple patients who need intensive care.

At the local level, about two-thirds of American cities would not have enough beds to serve 60 and older residents who became seriously ill. Based on an evaluation of about 400 metropolitan areas in the United States, some would need to increase their capacity fourfold or more.

For instance, New Mexico has four metropolitan areas: Santa Fe, Farmington, Las Cruces and Albuquerque. In those cities, hospitals would need to increase their capacities by 50% to 200% to accommodate people 60 or older.

Savannah, Georgia, might be able handle an estimated surge of 1,060 serious COVID-19 cases among people 60 or older because the metro area reports nearly 1,300 hospital beds. But an hour southwest, Hinesville could see 150 cases for just 25 beds. A half hour northeast of Savannah is Bluffton, South Carolina, where there could be 961 serious cases for just 331 beds.
posted by katra at 3:46 PM on March 14 [9 favorites]


[While clearly the Dakotas are not part of the Midwest, we're not going to sit here and have an argument about it.]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:49 PM on March 14 [9 favorites]


[All you non-Midwesterners can stop flag-with-noting me to tell me I'm wrong, big bluestem or GTFO. ;) ]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 5:18 PM on March 14 [18 favorites]


only eight states would have enough hospital beds to treat the 1 million Americans 60 and older who could become seriously ill with COVID-19

And as the article hints, the amount of actual beds in which to put people is more-or-less irrelevant in at least half of those states. My family's town on I80 Wyoming does not in fact have a functioning hospital right now, because the hospital flooded, and in Cheney's Wyoming prosperity gospel says fuck you, got mine. So when there was a 100+ car accident on the interstate a couple weeks ago, they were flying people to Rock Springs and Denver.

Also as someone born in more-or-less the geographical middle of the West, y'all can take any sort of "authentic" idea of the midwest and try to make DIY hand sanitizer out of it, because out in the real Midwest we've got pronghorns and spanglish (and skyline chili is neither skyline nor chili).
posted by aspersioncast at 6:31 PM on March 14 [5 favorites]


... if we could just figure a way to stop commuting. That would be huge.
It's easy to think of this as suggesting only that telework be more broadly supported, but we also have, in America, at least, the terrible habit of hiring people for service jobs that don't live in the areas they serve.

Ask someone working the front desk at a medical office where is the closest place for lunch/manicure shop/atm/shoe store/taco place and many will say "I'm sorry, I don't live in this neighborhood, I only come here for work."

And that actually says at least two things.

First, we are creating unnecessary commutes (this is often a particular kind of racism where appropriately skilled people who will accept the low offered wage from "this neighborhood" are somehow deficient in education or work ethic or something else so we need to hire the "better" people from some other neighborhood). So many people from the Bronx are working in a (medical office, lunch spot, manicure shop, bank, shoe store, taco place) in Harlem while Harlem residents are going to work in the equivalent places in the Bronx.

And the second is that often people are not earning enough money to go out for lunch, a manicure, are unbanked, etc, and on top of that they are robbed of the time to do other important things in their lives like cooking and being with loved ones.

The folks most affected by this virus, and by pollution have a lot in common. Many disabled folks are suffering unnecessarily, as are many older folks, but also people of color whose neighborhoods are not well served by the medical infrastructure to begin with, and who are not themselves taken seriously by many medical practitioners for their whole lives are now facing another situation where even if doctors believe them, testing and proper treatments are simply not available.

These shortcomings are the system working as it has been planned. Whiteness and wealth reinforce their power.

I really regret attending that conference last week, it seemed so vitally important at the time and I made the wrong choice.
posted by bilabial at 7:23 PM on March 14 [10 favorites]


the terrible habit of hiring people for service jobs that don't live in the areas they serve.

In Arizona, there are huge problems keeping teachers due to pay and working conditions and the general disregard at the state government level for education. One district in an outlying suburb here actually looked at possibly building housing for teachers, because they admitted that most of the teachers can't afford to live in the district. (As far as I know, they haven't gone ahead with that proposal.) But there's several districts like that and it's a perfect example of what you're bringing up.

(On a side note, I live 20 miles from work. Our company has gotten more and more liberal about working from home. It's an option I've always had as long as I didn't go too crazy on it, and as long as I got everything done. Now, however, the majority of my department at the corporate level is actually working from home full time. It's not just the hassle, fuel costs, pollution, and increased risk of accidents from a commute, but the freedom and flexibility is fantastic. The other day, it was 15 minutes before my start time, and I thought, "better feed the doggos, then get cracking on work" without a thought of having to be doing all that a half hour earlier and then jumping in the car. I can toss a load of laundry into the washer really quick. I can make another French press pot of coffee. Lunch... I don't have to plan ahead to pack a lunch. With fuel and such, it's like getting a $100 raise a month and an extra hour every day.)
posted by azpenguin at 7:35 PM on March 14 [12 favorites]


NYT reporting that the wife of the Spanish prime minister has COVID-19. Feeling crazy to think this, but are politicians getting it but not wanting to admit it? But somehow spouses having it is safer to admit?
posted by medusa at 8:22 PM on March 14 [5 favorites]


Today our petsitter sent out an email asking their dog-walking clients to please consider not canceling the service even if they're WFH :(
posted by Westringia F. at 9:00 PM on March 14 [3 favorites]


Avoid the coming epidemic in Chicago, if you can: https://mobile.twitter.com/BrookeGMcDonald/status/1238986272137502720
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:39 PM on March 14 [15 favorites]


That's just insane. Holy shit.
posted by Windopaene at 9:52 PM on March 14 [3 favorites]


O'Hare's tweet in response to the revelation of their criminal incompetence is, uh, banal

Everyone in that crowd might as well be soaking in it. For every passenger they catch with an active fever, god only knows how many will be undetectably infected right then and there.
posted by Rust Moranis at 10:03 PM on March 14 [2 favorites]


I've decided to try and stay home as much as possible for my sake, in case I need to help my aging parents, and to give the virus fewer potential resources. I need to go into the office tomorrow, but plan on hunkering down as much as possible after that. I have conflicted feelings about it - some of my friends think this is NBD and a few even went to big St. Paddy's day events that seem custom made to give the virus a middle finger. It makes me feel like I'm overreacting as I'm doing an inventory of my pantry and guessing how many meals I have on hand (about 27 days worth, if nothing perishable goes bad, and I budget). The stories from Italy have been sobering for me, as is the general lack of concrete knowledge about how this disease actually works (bolstered by the monstrous face-saving of national governments who are withholding or ignoring information to win an election or calm a market). I have no idea if what I'm doing is right, but it feels like as much of a plan as anything...
posted by codacorolla at 10:30 PM on March 14 [4 favorites]


Wow. That is... not good. (For the Twitter averse, here's a news article: https://abc7chicago.com/travel/covid-19-screening-forces-large-crowds-to-wait-hours-at-ohare/6014169/. Basically, arriving international travelers are being tested for COVID. Which is causing huge delays getting through customs. So everyone is being packed together for hours waiting, creating a perfect environment for spreading the disease.)
posted by Tsuga at 10:34 PM on March 14 [8 favorites]


The governor of Illinois is begging the federal government to act through Twitter. Our systems of governance seem completely dysfunctional. https://mobile.twitter.com/GovPritzker/status/1239021033191018497
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:40 PM on March 14 [3 favorites]


Is it just O’Hare doing that? Or is that what every US international airport is looking like right now?
posted by notoriety public at 5:45 AM on March 15


Avoid the coming epidemic in Chicago, if you can:

Unfortunately... it's not just gonna be Chicago. My understanding is that those are international travelers who are waiting to be screened after their arrival from Europe, and the line is so long because O'Hare is one of the only US airports conducting that screening, so most passengers are being routed there.

After they make it out of that human traffic jam, most of those passengers are probably headed directly for another flight to take them to the city or state where they actually live, aka a community near you.
posted by the turtle's teeth at 5:55 AM on March 15 [11 favorites]


We were supposed to celebrate my MIL's 70th this weekend. We decided to cancel. And as we're learning that Norway now is closing airports and harbours, and think we made a very good decision (not to mention not helping the disease travel....)
posted by Harald74 at 6:14 AM on March 15 [1 favorite]


Today our petsitter sent out an email asking their dog-walking clients to please consider not canceling the service even if they're WFH :(

I've already decided that as long as I have my job, I'm going to continue to pay my cleaning people even if a quarantine prevents them from coming. I've already budgeted for this. If I still have income, there's no reason not to do this. I don't need to use the pandemic to ramp up my savings.
posted by great_radio at 6:15 AM on March 15 [24 favorites]


Here's a machine translation of Danish author Carsten Jensen's impressions from his recent lecture trip to the US.
posted by Harald74 at 6:18 AM on March 15 [2 favorites]


Is it just O’Hare doing that? Or is that what every US international airport is looking like right now?

There are a small number of airports (11? 13?) where all travelers returning from Europe are being sent, supposedly to limit the possible spread and do thorough screening. Dallas-Fort Worth is another with similar scenes.

Of course, since Glorious Leader announced the travel ban with no warning and managed to even fuck up the announcement, there's been a massive panicked rush of people returning to the US before the airports & security & health could prepare for a sudden influx of people. So this will be more blood on Trump's hands.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:23 AM on March 15 [3 favorites]


Interesting simulation of four different scenarios for containing the spread of an infectious disease, free-for-all, attempted quarantine, moderate social distancing. and extensive social distancing.

Note that simulation is for a fictional disease, but has implications for covid-19.
posted by needled at 6:41 AM on March 15 [9 favorites]


Things are changing by the hour here in Austria. I live about 20 minutes north of the Italian border, to the east of the northern Italian coronavirus epicenter.

I don't like the (neoliberal, GOP-lite) party in charge here right now, but the government seems to be doing a good job of managing this situation right now. It seems they have been gradually ramping up restrictions to avoid a panic. For instance, this morning, the plan was still for restaurants and cafes to be able to stay open until 3PM so workers could buy food. A couple of hours ago, they announced that all restaurants and cafes will be closed as of 3PM tomorrow, and will not reopen on Tuesday. They'll remain closed indefinitely.

The government seems to be slow-walking something like a total quarantine. Today they announced the closure of all parks and playgrounds. They've also forbidden congregations of people who don't share a housing unit. According to my wife, 4 people who don't share a housing unit can gather. More than that is too many, and violators can be fined up to 3,600 Euros. The only retail businesses that will be allowed to open starting Tuesday are grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and tobacconists. All of that was announced today, and is stricter than what had been announced yesterday.

The Austrian parliament met yesterday and again today to pass several emergency laws (all passed with unanimous votes, which is uncommon).

The convention center in Vienna has been converted to a field hospital with 800 beds. They're not using the beds yet, but have them ready in case they're needed.

As of yesterday, my wife was supposed to go to work on Monday. As of an hour ago, she's been told to stay home. I already work from home 100%, so no change for me. Kindergartens and schools are open for students younger than 14, but only as childcare for kids whose parents can't care for them due to work. Lessons have been cancelled for now. I half suspect they'll announce more drastic school closings soon.

Tyrol, the Austrian state just to the west of us (about 45 minutes by car) is on lock down. If you don't live there, you have to leave (and/or are not allowed to enter). If you do live there, you are not allowed to leave (with a few exceptions). Several villages there are under total quarantine (no Austrian citizens allowed in or out for the time being, but foreigners can leave to return to their home countries).

Surreal.
posted by syzygy at 7:47 AM on March 15 [16 favorites]


In the parallel universe: Trump Supporters Know Where to Turn in a Crisis: To Him (NYTimes but they say the paywall is off for Coronavirus news).
The Trumpists are literally a cult at this point. Do they think the situations in China, Iran and Italy are all set up as part of a Democratic plot? It makes no sense at all. And so many of them are vulnerable and among those who may need hospital care.
posted by mumimor at 9:08 AM on March 15 [8 favorites]




‘We’ll improvise’: A resource-starved rural hospital steels itself for coronavirus’s arrival (WaPo)
DAYTON, Wash. — The hospital was still waiting on a test result for its first possible case of the novel coronavirus when the staff crowded into a meeting room late last week to finalize plans for a potential outbreak. Employees at tiny Dayton General Hospital had spent the past month marshaling what few resources they could as they watched the virus spread from China to Italy to Seattle and finally toward them in rural America, which they worried was the most vulnerable place of all.
“How are we on masks and protective gear?” asked Shane McGuire, the hospital’s CEO.
“Getting low,” the supply manager said. “I can’t buy anything. Everything’s out of stock.”
“How about our staffing?” McGuire asked. “We need to make contingency plans in case some of us get exposed and need backup.”
Nobody answered, and McGuire looked around the room at his pharmacy department of one, at his 70-year-old doctor, who was working alone in the emergency room, and at his lab director, who was now also in charge of infection control. Most people on his staff were already working multiple jobs to keep the hospital functioning. “I know we’re stretched thin as it is,” McGuire said. “We’ll improvise and make it work however we can.”
posted by mumimor at 9:12 AM on March 15 [6 favorites]


Harvard’s coronavirus response highlights how college closings are hurting low-income students (Li Zhou, Vox)
'Students have turned to crowdfunding to cover unexpected costs.'

Harvard, like a number of schools, has requested that its students move to online classes and leave campus in order to reduce the spread of the outbreak. Yet, while the college will provide students in need of aid with some financial assistance — including for storage, transportation, and emergency housing — it won’t be addressing several other major costs that have emerged.

For instance, despite its $40 billion endowment, the university will not be offering aid for internet access that some students have said they will need in order to attend class remotely, and it has not announced plans to provide compensation for missed wages that a segment of students rely on to support themselves and their families.

It is, of course, far from the only school grappling with how to address the challenges posed by the coronavirus — but Harvard’s initial messaging rollout and expansive set of resources, in particular, have raised questions. As one student explained on Twitter, the college’s early communications didn’t offer many details about what financial support would look like for the transition.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:35 AM on March 15 [11 favorites]


I've been worried about people held by ICE; per "Coronavirus could pose serious concern in ICE jails, immigration courts" (WaPo, March 12, 2020): Immigration and Customs Enforcement detains nearly 38,000 people in more than 130 private and state-run jails and prisons across the country, many of which sit in rural areas and operate with minimal public oversight. [...] ICE officials said that as of March 3, four detainees had met the criteria for coronavirus testing, but none has tested positive. The number of confirmed cases across the United States has jumped from a few dozen to more than a thousand since then, but the agency declined to say whether any more detainees have been tested as infection numbers climbed nationwide."

(I still find Kirstjen Nielsen's Dec. 2018 House Judiciary Committee testimony pretty chilling; if you'll recall, the then-Homeland Security Secretary didn't know "the exact figure" when asked how many people had died in custody. Now, "Congressional requirements described in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Bill (2018) require ICE to make public all reports regarding an in-custody death within 90 days.")
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:39 AM on March 15 [12 favorites]


Illinois Governor Considers Locking Down Restaurants and Bars in Wake of Coronavirus

Governor Pritzker’s remarks come after Saturday when St. Patrick’s pub crawls packed bars and ignored social distancing


Pritzker fucked up here. We all knew how St. Patrick's day was going to go. Now it's too late. Between this and the O'Hare fiasco, I wonder how many new cases we'll have in Chicago this week.

Oh that's right, we won't really know because no one is doing adequate testing.
posted by great_radio at 10:23 AM on March 15 [12 favorites]


Things are changing by the hour here in Austria.

That's not an exaggeration – in my household, we're literally all refreshing the Der Standard news ticker to know what exactly is happening.

In Vienna, people were still hitting the bars and hanging out on Mariahilferstraße as recently as last night, so the further restrictions feel like a response to people not listening to the pleas of both the government and the chancellor to voluntarily self-isolate.

Right now, the list of permissable activities outside (as of Tuesday) are:
  • Going to/from work, if you are in a necessary job that cannot be done remotely.
  • Shopping for essentials: Food, medicine, cigarettes.
  • Travelling to care for someone
  • Short walks, only with people with whom you live.
The background fear is that, at current rates of infection, per researchers at the TU Wien and the MedUni, Austria will run out of capacity to take in all patients by the beginning of April, and all the measures being taken are with an eye to delaying that point as long as possible. This is especially terrifying, because Austria has a very well-funded medical system, and if that collapses under the strain, then I fear for everyone in countries where healthcare has been cut to the bone.

Also, I don't have any sources on it in English at the moment, but I hope that officials in Ischgl, at the very least, are prosecuted over this. They chose, knowingly, to allow the virus to spread, despite specific warnings, until the federal government forced a shutdown, because closing the slopes or ending the après-ski would be economically and politically difficult.
posted by frimble at 11:28 AM on March 15 [6 favorites]


I was already a WFH employee, until Tuesday, that is. I was laid off and my last day was Friday. I was working as a producer/production manager for a company that creates audio and mobile guides for museums and tourist sites. That sector is hurting, thanks to their clients shutting their doors (and this is the slow time of the year as it is). At least I'll have plenty of time to really buckle down and look for a new job. At least I'll have enough money to pay bills for a few months, and I hadn't spent very much on my credit card (which I've put away for now).

In the women/POC in media production groups I'm part of, many people posting to the various forums and social media spots are upset and scared. Most productions are shut down, and if they aren't working, they aren't paid. The vast majority of jobs in entertainment are freelance, and I feel worst for the non-union and below the line crews and show staff on all the films and TV shows, for concerts, and so on. My feeling is that it's going to be a pared-down leisure/tourist/entertainment industry across the board after all this, and I wonder what work there will be once the shake out is over.

Can't a moratorium be declared on rents, mortgages, and utility payments? This emergency could last for 8-12 weeks. There's going to be many who don't survive, thanks to the current federal, state, and city governments, and their lack of cohesive social health and welfare policies. There are a lot of people living paycheck-to-paycheck who aren't going to fare well financially, and who will lose their jobs due to working for companies that are operating on thin margins.

But gee, Feds, sure, why not drop $500,000,000,000 on the stock market without even so much as a by-your-leave? Go off, then.
posted by droplet at 11:49 AM on March 15 [25 favorites]


The half marathon in Bath, England went ahead today, of the 15,000 registered runners just 6,200 actually turned up, meaning that around 8800 decided to sensibly stay away. Bath Rugby Foundation (major sponsor) and the local hospital charity both withdrew their support and did not attend. The local MP plus the leader of the local council also asked them to cancel yesterday morning. In response Andrew Taylor, director of the Bath Half said he had "not received any advice from public health officials not to go ahead". After the event he complained to the BBC about the high level of abuse he has received from "anonymous keyboard warriors on Facebook".
posted by Lanark at 12:17 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]


I'm fortunate in that I work for a stable company, and that I can work from home. But I'm terrified for other people. Anyone that works in tourism is going to get hit hard, and many already have. There's plenty of other people that are either taking or are about to take a sudden loss of most or all of their income. And then on the back of all of this, once the virus has peaked and mostly fallen off for the warm season, it looks like there's going to be a pretty massive recession that hits most people, likely including me. There are tons of car payments, mortgage payments, rent payments, credit card payments, and more that are just not going to be able to be made. Upthread droplet is asking if a moratorium could be declared, and I 100 percent agree. This crisis has the potential to scramble the economy as bad or even worse than 2008. We're looking at a weeks-long period with drastically reduced economic activity down to the street level. Many people just will not have a paycheck. I hope that the govenrment does not turn their backs on them.
posted by azpenguin at 12:43 PM on March 15


....concerts, and so on

The warm weather season for tours and festivals is just about to start, and I think it is all pretty much being cancelled. It's going to be a very hard time for people who depend on that work to make it through the year.
posted by thelonius at 1:21 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]


There are Constitutional limits on the ability of the US or state governments to modify private contracts, so far as any rent or mortgage moratorium here is concerned.

Normal legal process to enforce those contracts (e.g. the unlawful detainer fast track) can be extended or suspended by emergency orders. In California, it's for the Chief Justice and the Judicial Council in cooperation with the local courts to make those decisions.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:24 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]


Granted panic-shopping/hoarding plays a big part, but profiteers like this asshole (buying up all the supplies in a store/area early on and then reselling them at a super-marked up price) have contributed to more than a few empty shelves as well. Don't know if his "Providing a public service" arse is self-deluded or just BSing, but he doesn't seem to see nor care about the cause-effect of his actions. (Note: this article didn't have the NY Times registration wall around it yesterday but it seems to have it today)
posted by gtrwolf at 1:29 PM on March 15 [5 favorites]


The big retailer I work at made a public announcement that the restrooms, checkouts and breakrooms were receiving extra cleaning. ...... yeah, not happening so far.

And an employee facing memo explained that we employees weren't at any heightened risk, (implying ... don't stay home from work because you need to be here to sell stuff and make us a big profit). Right.
posted by mightshould at 1:50 PM on March 15 [5 favorites]


Trump’s Chernobyl

It’s not Chernobyl, this is our world war. America’s just a little behind, as usual. It’s going to take a real war-effort, societal reorganization, extraordinary government powers, and international allyship to get us through it. It’s going to suck, but at least it should put to bed any notion that the current generations are spoiled or weak or somehow lesser than the olds.
posted by rodlymight at 1:57 PM on March 15 [7 favorites]


I'm still on my old university unit's listserv and they just emailed their staff that there are "too many" requests to WFH for the laptops they have, so unless you have one, you still have to show up or use PTO tomorrow. This is absurd.
posted by nakedmolerats at 3:40 PM on March 15


It’s going to suck, but at least it should put to bed any notion that the current generations are spoiled or weak or somehow lesser than the olds.

well, let's earn this first. So far so good through most of my network, but so far most of the action has been anticipatory, even theoretical.
posted by philip-random at 3:46 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]


It’s going to suck, but at least it should put to bed any notion that the current generations are spoiled or weak or somehow lesser than the olds.

Eh, most of the people whose minds would purportedly change exhibited their "strength" by way of opening their pockets to de facto apartheid for decades. I'm more impressed by anyone who has made it to thirty in this economy than those that made it to 60 with a mind to turn around and judge the merits of those coming after. Those coming after are working two or three jobs with no benefits and tens of thousands in debt. They've been sick and had to work manual labor countless times, lived with untreated illnesses, and lost jobs and loved ones because Capital said fuck you.

The current crisis* of job loss, debt default, and going sick without treatment, it's not new. It's just happening all at once. Each of these restaurant workers, Uber drivers, warehouse workers, and delivery drivers (to name a few) were just as precariously employed, just as indebted, and a paycheck away from eviction before COVID. It's just that when they all scream separately it's just not as loud. We'll see if they get short term relief, at least.

*This crisis is multifaceted
posted by avalonian at 4:30 PM on March 15 [5 favorites]


The warm weather season for tours and festivals is just about to start, and I think it is all pretty much being cancelled

So far I'm seeing a lot of stuff *theoretically* pushed back to like June or later, depending on the size of the event. And venues & promoters are still announcing/promoting stuff that was already scheduled for later in the year. This may be mostly wishful thinking, though.

. My feeling is that it's going to be a pared-down leisure/tourist/entertainment industry across the board after all this, and I wonder what work there will be once the shake out is over.

I think this depends a lot on how long the social distancing rules & guidelines last - if things ease up by May or June I think we'll see a big boom as everyone tries to play catch-up and get the cash flowing again, and it could last through the end of the year. If we're all still in lock down by August or September there's going to be too many companies who can't survive that long.

There are Constitutional limits on the ability of the US or state governments to modify private contracts, so far as any rent or mortgage moratorium here is concerned.

Which is exactly why giving people actual cash money is probably the only way to keep a business/consumer slowdown from snowballing into a full recession.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:59 PM on March 15 [4 favorites]


No gatherings of 50 or more for now, urges the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (NYT, March 15, 2020) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Sunday that no mass gatherings with 50 people or more — including weddings, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events or conferences — be held in the United States for the next eight weeks in one of the federal government’s most sweeping efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The C.D.C. said that its recommendation, which would dramatically change life in the United States for the next two months, does not apply to “the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses” and added that it was not intended to supersede the advice of local health officials.
---
Puerto Rico Imposes Curfew, Shuts Businesses Over Coronavirus (NYT, March 15, 2020) Chiding Puerto Ricans for failing to heed warnings to stay home and observe social distancing, Gov. Wanda Vázquez signed an executive order instituting a two-week closure for the majority of businesses on the island, and a 9 p.m. overnight curfew through March 30. The only exceptions to the closure orders are supermarkets; restaurants offering carryout or delivery; pharmacies; medical equipment stores; gas stations and banks, along with suppliers to those businesses.
---
Gov. Newsom asks California bars to close, tells older residents to isolate due to coronavirus (Sacramento Bee, March 15, 2020) Faced with mounting coronavirus infections, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday issued sweeping new restrictions in California, calling for home isolation of everyone in the state over age 65 and people with chronic disease, both high-risk populations.

He also asked for closure of bars, wineries, night clubs and brew pubs, and called for restaurants to reduce their occupancy by half. He called that “deep social distancing” and a “pragmatic response to the moment.” The dramatic announcement, designed to keep people away from each other, stopped short of closing restaurants. Instead, the governor said they can also operate at reduced capacity and with curbside food service and at-home food deliveries.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:07 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]


So much for my karaoke bar. Okay, so I knew I couldn't go any more and this was going to happen, but the DJ was so excited about getting to work on St. Patrick's Day....

So far my friend is willing to self-isolate, my mom was all "thank you for your concern, we are fine." Oy.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:17 PM on March 15


People who lie about their potential exposure.... and then go waltzing around the country. But this one is a story about an imported case in China.
No Free COVID-19 Treatment for Dishonest Patients, City Says (March 14, 2020)
“Because the virus is so tricky and people can arrive without symptoms even if they’ve already been infected, it puts our home city at great risk. If people lie, it will make the situation even worse.”

A case confirmed Wednesday in Zhengzhou, capital of the central Henan province, attracted national attention this week. The 29-year-old patient had traveled from Beijing to Abu Dhabi, then onward to Milan and Paris, between March 1 and March 6. He caught a train in Beijing and arrived March 7 in Zhengzhou, where he went straight back to work.

The man ran a fever on March 10, but he and his family lied about his travels abroad. After he was ultimately diagnosed with COVID-19, his name became a trending hashtag on microblogging platform Weibo, attracting 480 million views by Saturday afternoon. Thousands of people have blamed him and his family for what they see as flagrant irresponsibility. Prior to this case, Henan — one of the most populous provinces in China — had not recorded a single new COVID-19 infection for 12 days.
posted by spamandkimchi at 6:49 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]


Hospitals are overwhelmed because of the coronavirus. Here’s how to help. (Leana S. Wen, WaPo Opinion, Mar. 15, 2020)
Leana S. Wen is an emergency physician and visiting professor at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Previously, she served as Baltimore’s health commissioner.
The federal government’s projections show that, in a moderate disease outbreak, 200,000 people will need intensive care. Today, there are fewer than 100,000 ICU beds in the United States, and most of them are already occupied. If hospitals are inundated with critically ill patients all at once, clinicians will be forced to ration scarce resources such as ventilators and ICU beds. [...]

This is why public health experts talk about “flattening the curve,” or slowing down the rate of transmission so that even if many people still get infected, the infections disperse over many months. Ideally, the delay could help us get to the point where a vaccine can be widely distributed. And even if it doesn’t, spreading out the rate of infection would avoid the worst-case scenario of overwhelming hospitals in a concentrated period of time.

In the past week, we have seen aggressive actions by state and local officials to restrict mass gatherings, close schools and urge people to work from home. These social distancing measures are our best chance to flatten the curve. The novel coronavirus is transmitted by person-to-person contact. Without contact, the virus can’t spread.

Those who are especially vulnerable — the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions — should be the first to reduce their exposure, but the young and healthy should also do their part. No one should be blasé about getting the virus — even if someone recovers without difficulty, they could have infected many others. Everyone should minimize social contact, in addition to practicing good hand and face hygiene and taking other preventive measures.
posted by katra at 7:00 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]


The nightmare of rationing health care (Thomas D. Kirsch, WaPo Opinion, Mar. 15, 2020)
Thomas D. Kirsch is a board-certified emergency physician and expert in disaster management.
Shocking news is coming out of Italy about hospitals overwhelmed by the onslaught of covid-19 patients — not enough beds, not enough staff, not enough ventilators. I’ve always known this was coming, some horrible catastrophic event where there isn’t enough to care for everyone, and we would have to stand by and watch some die. Could this be it?

The situation in Italy has reached such a critical state that the Italian College of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care published thoughtful guidelines to help doctors and nurses make the agonizing choice of who to treat, and who to not.

The guidelines warn that the next few weeks could bring “an enormous imbalance between the real clinical needs of the population and the actual availability of intensive care resources.” Then they proceed to describe how to make choices when the choice includes letting someone die. The Italian guidelines call it “disaster medicine.” In the United States, we have discussed it, too, under the soothing rubric: “crisis standards of care.” We used to say “altered standards of care” but were concerned about the lawyers, so we resorted to other euphemisms, always avoiding the grim reality: This is rationing.

A 2009 report by the Institute of Medicine offered recommendations that were encouraging but vague. “Healthcare practitioners must adhere to ethical norms,” the report advised; even in crisis situations, providers should give “the best care possible.” But the medical ethical norms I was taught were that I must provide the best care for every patient equally. That is not possible when you don’t have enough.

[...] To all the health-care workers facing this new world, I say, the time to think about this is now. Talk with your colleagues about each patient. Form a committee to decide. Don’t make these choices alone. We do not have the right. We do not have the strength.
posted by katra at 7:08 PM on March 15 [6 favorites]


New York City schools, restaurants and bars will close, mayor says. (NYT, March 15, 2020) New York City’s public school system, the nation’s largest with 1.1 million students, will begin to largely shut down this week, in what is the city’s most aggressive and disruptive effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. [...]

[Mayor Bill de Blasio] also announced on Sunday night that he would order all bars and restaurants to close, limiting them to takeout and food delivery.

Public schools in Long Island and Westchester County will also close this week, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Sunday.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:38 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]


I’m an epidemiologist. When I heard about Britain’s ‘herd immunity’ coronavirus plan, I thought it was satire (William Hanage, Guardian Opinion)
Let me take the arguments on their merits. The stated aim has been to achieve “herd immunity” in order to manage the outbreak and prevent a catastrophic “second wave” next winter – even if Matt Hancock has tried to put that particular genie back in the bottle this weekend. A large proportion of the population is at lower risk of developing severe disease: roughly speaking anyone up to the age of 40. So the reasoning goes that even though in a perfect world we’d not want anyone to take the risk of infection, generating immunity in younger people is a way of protecting the population as a whole.

We talk about vaccines generating herd immunity, so why is this different? Because this is not a vaccine. This is an actual pandemic that will make a very large number of people sick, and some of them will die. [...] Is everyone in a high-risk group supposed to withdraw themselves from society for six months until they can emerge once the (so far entirely imaginary) second wave has been averted?

About that second wave: let me be clear. Second waves are real things, and we have seen them in flu pandemics. This is not a flu pandemic. Flu rules do not apply. There might well be a second wave, I honestly don’t know. But vulnerable people should not be exposed to a virus right now in the service of a hypothetical future.

Keeping people safe means self-isolation if you develop symptoms, but the official advice here is also misleading. While it is of paramount importance that sick people stay at home to avoid infecting others, it is increasingly clear that transmission can occur before symptoms develop. We know this is true from modelling and observational studies. I have seen it happen myself. We do not know how often it occurs or how important it is in the epidemiology, but it definitely does happen.

However, arguments about the case fatality rate, the transmission parameters and presymptomatic transmission all miss the point. This virus is capable of shutting down countries. You should not want to be the next after Wuhan, Iran, Italy or Spain. In those places, the healthcare systems have broken down. In Italy, the choices of whom to save and whom to allow to die are real. You should instead look to the example of South Korea, which, through a combination of intense surveillance and social distancing, appears to have gained some semblance of control over the virus. We can learn from South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan, all of which have so far done a good job mitigating the worst outcomes despite having reported cases early in the pandemic, and in the case of South Korea, suffering a substantial outbreak.
posted by katra at 7:55 PM on March 15 [12 favorites]


Someone on Reddit labeled the Brit “herd immunity” plan the Lord Farquaad strategy. “Some if you may die, but that is a risk I’m willing to take.”

Went to the nearby Dollar General for a few last minute necessities like shampoo and soap that we were low on. The cashier and a customer were talking. “I don’t know what everyone is freaking out about. There’s only two cases in Pima County.” “Yeah, everyone is panicking and it’s probably nothing.” Hoo boy.
posted by azpenguin at 9:05 PM on March 15 [5 favorites]


Austerity has destroyed the UK. Utterly and beyond hope. The proof is in that public health policy, which essentially admits that you are on your own — especially if you are older than a certain age.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:07 PM on March 15 [4 favorites]




Reframing social distancing as alluring @Sarklor
"Self-isolation":
- Boring, clinical
- Following the orders of a government
- Nobody will notice your effort

"Exiled for the good of the realm"
- Mysterious
- Sexy
- Everyone will wonder what you did
posted by spamandkimchi at 9:47 PM on March 15 [26 favorites]


Three people now in Pima County, azpenguin. And the state of Arizona has just closed the schools until at least March 27th.
posted by MrVisible at 9:56 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]


Lahav Harkov in Israel: Cabinet meeting taking place in 6 different locations to set an example of social distancing [Twitter, with picture]

The new Knesset was sworn in today, but instead of assembling together they were sworn in three at a time. But Israel doesn't have a government yet; at some point they're going to need to take a vote on it. I have no idea what they plan to do, maybe hire a sports stadium so they can sit at safe distances, and shout.

Oh, and they're planning on implementing what I think South Korea did: trace everybody's movements through their mobile phones.
[...] the Shin Bet was permitted to use phone data — notably which cell towers the device is connected to — in order to retroactively track the movements of those found to be carriers of the coronavirus in order to see with whom they interacted in the days and weeks before they were tested in order to place those people in quarantine.

The Shin Bet will relay the information to the Health Ministry, which will send a message to those who were within two meters (6.6 feet) of the infected person for 10 minutes or more, telling them to go into quarantine.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:51 PM on March 15 [4 favorites]


De Blasio: NYC schools will close as of Monday, may not reopen this year (Politico)
The mayor said he was weighing more aggressive steps such as curfews or shutting down bars and restaurants if people continue to gather socially.

“We’re going to be making day-to-day, hour-to-hour decisions,” he said. “I’m not ruling anything out. We’re going to make each announcement the second it's ready. Every option is on the table.”

He said he would not prevent people from going outside their homes yet, but added "we may say that very, very soon."
posted by katra at 11:20 PM on March 15 [1 favorite]


Please, Don’t Go Out Tonight / Please, Don't Go Out to Brunch Today (Charlie Warzel, NYT Opinion)
In Seattle, where one hospital is reportedly preparing for Northern Italy levels of infection and already running low on some supplies, bars in the Capitol Hill neighborhood have been full of people. On Friday evening, a Twitter search for the phrase “the bars are packed” yielded hundreds of tweets from cities like Baltimore; Columbus, Ohio; Los Angeles and New York City. On Saturday in Chicago, one reporter tweeted a photo of a line around the block for a St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl at 8 a.m.

[...] While the federal government has issued some guidance for older and high-risk Americans, the administration has offered little definitive advice for how stringently low-risk people should isolate. And so it seems that for many it’s business as usual.

[...] Continuing the weekend tradition of packing the bars is selfish and reckless during this pandemic. [...] The idea is simple: If low-risk people don’t socially distance, then the entire containment process is not effective. Generally, there are fewer high-risk individuals — the sick and the elderly — and they don’t tend to move around as much as lower-risk individuals. Therefore, it’s more likely that a low-risk individual will expose a high-risk individual to the virus.

Wanting to socialize right now is understandable. People are stressed. It’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend. People (rightly) want to support local businesses. Younger people feel less vulnerable. But the consequences are dire. Just look at Italy — a country thought to be a week to 10 days ahead of the United States in its outbreak — where the health care system is collapsing under the strain of new cases. In The Boston Globe on Friday, the Italian journalist Mattia Ferraresi offered a chilling warning to U.S. readers not to follow Italy’s lead. “Many of us were too selfish to change our behavior," he wrote. “Now we’re in lockdown and people are needlessly dying.”
posted by katra at 11:31 PM on March 15 [5 favorites]


Via The Stranger: How babies are delivered during the coronavirus crisis
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:51 PM on March 15 [2 favorites]


Monday morning in Sweden and my daughter's off to school and my wife's off to work like normal. The national Public Health Agency hasn't provided any more guidance and is encouraging kids to continue going to sports training. I'm scheduled to attend a conference tomorrow that the Public Health Agency is hosting and have received an email from them informing us that it is to go on as planned, since less than 500 people are exptected to attend.

Those who dare question the wisdom of any of this are harrangued for challenging the expertise of the authorities and contributing to the atmosphere of disinformation.
posted by St. Oops at 12:34 AM on March 16 [3 favorites]


Whoop, new email from the conference organizers. It's now been postponed.
posted by St. Oops at 1:20 AM on March 16 [6 favorites]


From one of St. Oops' links there is a link to this tweet from Richard Horton (editor -in-chief of The Lancet):
I repeat again: I am not being alarmist. What is happening in Italy is real and taking place now. Our government is not preparing us for that reality. We need immediate and assertive social distancing and closure policies. We need to prepare the NHS. This is a serious plea.
posted by mumimor at 1:37 AM on March 16 [1 favorite]


Someone posted a German article about the Trump administration trying to buy a German company in order to monopolize a future vaccine, here is a Guardian story: 'Not for sale': anger in Germany at report Donald Trump seeking exclusive coronavirus vaccine deal

(I've also heard it confirmed by a professor in virology on the Danish state radio).
posted by mumimor at 1:47 AM on March 16 [5 favorites]


Thanks to the evangelicals' deal with the devil, this is what we are up against. It reads like satire, but I assure you it is entirely real. Stay until the very end, I promise you it is worth it.
posted by wierdo at 2:49 AM on March 16 [3 favorites]


Someone posted a German article about the Trump administration trying to buy a German company in order to monopolize a future vaccine

Up next: Presidential Medal Of Freedom for the guy who hoarded a storage unit full of hand sanitizer to price-gouge
posted by thelonius at 3:34 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]


pastor Guillermo Maldonado, who goes by the term of “apostle,”
"Mal donado" is Spanish for "badly donated" and Guillermo is the same name as William, so I guess that makes this guy a badly donated bill.
posted by flabdablet at 4:08 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]


Up next: Presidential Medal Of Freedom for the guy who hoarded a storage unit full of hand sanitizer to price-gouge

Hixson man faces price-gouging investigation for attempt to profit from sanitizer sales amid coronavirus outbreak (Mary Fortune, Chattanooga Times Free Press)
A local church and representatives of the Tennessee Attorney General's Office hauled away box after box of hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes and medical masks from Matt Colvin's home and storage units on Sunday morning, leaving the Hixson man to contemplate what comes next. [...]

Colvin, 36, was featured in the New York Times on Saturday in a story about the massive stash of hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes and face masks he and his 21-year-old brother picked up in bulk in early March to resell for a profit on his Amazon store as coronavirus concerns grew.

When Amazon shut him down on March 5 to prevent him from cashing in on a public health crisis, Colvin thought he'd become the face of frustrated online sellers who are stuck with in-demand inventory they can't move. Instead, he became the face of profiteering in a time of fear, the target of death threats, pranks and a relentless barrage of hate both online and off. [...]

The church that took the inventory plans to distribute the supplies to first responders — the Chattanooga Police Department, Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, Chattanooga Fire Department and others. But the church doesn't want to be named.

"They're worried about the backlash," Colvin said. "I don't blame them."

The church offered to buy the supplies, but Colvin didn't want the money, said an associate pastor, who asked not to be named.

Representatives of the Tennessee Attorney General's Office loaded about one-third of the supplies into a black pick-up truck bound for Kentucky, where the brothers originally bought it. The rest will go to the local church.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:01 AM on March 16 [4 favorites]


Colvin thought he'd become the face of frustrated online sellers who are stuck with in-demand inventory they can't move. Instead, he became the face of profiteering in a time of fear,

It's like he doesn't even know he's an asshole...
posted by Harald74 at 5:32 AM on March 16 [14 favorites]


Apparently my company president made it back from Germany yesterday AND he's planning on coming to the office today.

Welp.
posted by Fleebnork at 5:48 AM on March 16 [1 favorite]




Apparently my company president made it back from Germany yesterday AND he's planning on coming to the office today.

CEOs are selected for people who can get used to and think nothing of constant travel, and who think they have a magical personal touch that influences events. Not a surprise many of them will think in person meetings are still essential.
posted by benzenedream at 8:11 AM on March 16 [5 favorites]


also sociopaths self select to become CEOs
posted by Lyme Drop at 8:15 AM on March 16 [10 favorites]


METAFILTER: It's like he doesn't even know he's an asshole...
posted by philip-random at 8:53 AM on March 16 [5 favorites]


He should have hired a PR person to tell everyone that he will give free hand sanitizer to anyone with a positive test. Then he'd be a regular American business instead of a gouger.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:00 AM on March 16 [1 favorite]


Wierdo, was expecting this bit in the Miami Herald article, and found it:

“Now is not the time to hold back your giving, now is not the time to hold back you tithe, because if you do that, you could be like one of those who one day had, and now a few weeks later, a few days later, have nothing,” said Pastor Frank Hechevarria. “Your economy is not the economy of the world. You operate in a higher economy and the economy of the kingdom of God.”


I wish I believed in Hell. Ugh, straight onto a spit for these selfish, exploitative fuckers.
posted by droplet at 9:52 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]


This ABC (AU) Four Corners special with footage from Wuhan was uploaded on Feb. 24. TW: just...horror. Apartment building doors welded shut. You may not want to watch this.

JAMA editor in chief interviews an Italian doctor treating patients in Milan and Lombardy and who has authored some findings and care recommendations.

SkyNews interview with an Italian doc amidst the setup of a Covid ICU based on those recommendations in another area, in expectation of spread and a surge there. So, similar to a lot of areas where social distancing has come late.

This weekend's PBS News Hour
was a special on the Coronavirus.

I don't think I've seen these posted here, apologies if they're dupes.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:33 AM on March 16 [2 favorites]


‘It's chaos’: New York, New Jersey and Connecticut close bars and restaurants (Guardian)
Bars and restaurants in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will become takeout-only and businesses from movie theaters and casinos to gyms and beyond will be shuttered because of the coronavirus, the states’ governors said on Monday.

The governors said essential businesses such as supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies would be able to stay open after 8pm on Monday, though all non-essential businesses must close. Restaurants will be able to offer takeout and delivery.

[...] New York City bars and restaurants were already set to shut dining rooms and take up their barstools on Tuesday morning, under a plan the Democratic mayor, Bill de Blasio, announced on Sunday. Illinois, Ohio, Massachusetts and Washington state are among places that have ordered bars to close and restaurants to stop dine-in service.
posted by katra at 10:54 AM on March 16


You may not want to watch this.

That would have been good advice for me to take.
posted by lostburner at 11:29 AM on March 16 [5 favorites]


"You can't stop rock'n'roll!!": Rev. Horton Heat pushes back against cancellations.

He claims that his "crew have bills to pay". Of course it has nothing to do with him losing any income as well (or that the possibility of either him or his Crew getting sick has made an impact upon him)...
posted by gtrwolf at 11:49 AM on March 16


It's like he doesn't even know he's an asshole...

Local news interviewed him and asked him if he had any regrets about his behavior. He responded at first with a different question (voiced to himself) about whether he regretted wasting his money stockpiling gear he couldn't sell. Then he took a break of about 15-20 seconds, trying to decide how to answer, before giving a "no" to the original question.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:54 AM on March 16 [1 favorite]


"You can't stop rock'n'roll!!": Rev. Horton Heat pushes back against cancellations.


It's like yelling "FIRE!" In a crowded theater, except he's yelling "NO FIRE!" outside of said burning theater.

Either way, should be criminal. Attempted involuntary manslaughter at the least.
posted by avalonian at 11:58 AM on March 16 [1 favorite]


I got an email from a business I patronize yesterday saying that they are open because otherwise nobody can get paid. Haven't even canceled classes there, said they were leaving that up to instructors. I feel bad for them because I know they are losing their lease next month and have to move on top of that, but oy. My volunteer job is also not closing, which surprises me. I'm not working shifts there any more (just teaching but not until summer) but sheeeesh.

We're not shut down in this county yet, but I assume now that will happen soon.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:02 PM on March 16


6 counties in the SF Bay have been ordered to 'shelter in place.' (Incorrect number in the URL apparently)
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:16 PM on March 16 [3 favorites]


The governors said essential businesses such as supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies would be able to stay open after 8pm on Monday, though all non-essential businesses must close. Restaurants will be able to offer takeout and delivery.

Does anyone have a handy list of quarantine job relief resources (I'm making a big assumption there are any). Doing this is 100% necessary, but doing it without a plan in place to care for the financial needs of service workers is borderline criminal.
posted by codacorolla at 12:26 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]


'Stay home': Justin Trudeau closes Canada's borders over coronavirus (Guardian)
Canada has closed its borders to all foreign nationals except for US citizens, as the country’s prime minister unveiled “increasingly aggressive” measures to contain the new coronavirus outbreak, and urged people to stay at home.

“Over the past few days, we’ve seen Covid-19 spread around the world at an even faster pace. Canada is no exception,” Trudeau, speaking from outside his home where he is in self-imposed quarantine after his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau tested positive for the virus last week.

“We assured you that as the situation evolved, our response would evolve too as the virus continues it spread. We’ve decided to take increasingly aggressive steps to keep you and your family safe.

“All Canadians as much as possible should stay home,” he said.
posted by katra at 12:31 PM on March 16


Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine Test Begins as U.S. Volunteer Receives First Shot (Time, March 16, 2020) With a careful jab in a healthy volunteer’s arm, scientists at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Research Institute in Seattle begin an anxiously awaited first-stage study of a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed in record time after the new virus exploded from China and fanned across the globe. [...]

The Associated Press observed as the study’s first participant, an operations manager at a small tech company, received the injection inside an exam room. Several others were next in line for a test that will ultimately give 45 volunteers two doses, a month apart.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:31 PM on March 16 [4 favorites]


Cont'd: This vaccine candidate, code-named mRNA-1273, was developed by the NIH and Massachusetts-based biotechnology company Moderna Inc. There’s no chance participants could get infected from the shots because they don’t contain the coronavirus itself.

It’s not the only potential vaccine in the pipeline. Dozens of research groups around the world are racing to create a vaccine against COVID-19. Another candidate, made by Inovio Pharmaceuticals, is expected to begin its own safety study — in the U.S., China and South Korea — next month.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:32 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]




Canada has closed its borders to all foreign nationals except for US citizens

Emphasis mine. Why though? The US is dealing this in almost the worst possible way.
posted by joannemerriam at 12:40 PM on March 16


Trump recommends avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people (Politico)
President Donald Trump released guidelines Monday instructing Americans to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people for the next 15 days to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The White House’s new guidelines also advises Americans to avoid eating and drinking at bars, restaurants and food courts; going on shopping trips and making social visits; and visiting nursing homes and retirement or long-term care facilities.
posted by katra at 12:41 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]


Emphasis mine. Why though? The US is dealing this in almost the worst possible way.

It's the only way a lot of americans can get their medications
posted by Rust Moranis at 12:42 PM on March 16 [10 favorites]


Universal Becomes First Studio to Offer First Run Films in the Home (io9/Gizmodo, March 16, 2020) The company just announced that starting Friday, March 20, current theatrical films like The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and Emma “will be available on a wide variety of the most popular on-demand services for a 48-hour rental period at a suggested retail price of $19.99 in the U.S. and the price equivalent in international markets.” The release of Trolls World Tour on April 10 will happen both in theaters (if they’re open) and also online.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:45 PM on March 16 [4 favorites]


It's the only way a lot of americans can get their medications

Maybe so, but that would not factor into this decision.

Trudeau kept saying "closed to all except citizens and PRs" but then only "and except Americans" as a response to follow up questions. It was weird.

Maybe the border will be closed for real if Seattle/WA state continues course. Trudeau did say no options were off the table.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:04 PM on March 16


Reading some speculation that the reason Americans are allowed is a stalling tactic so we have time to figure out how to allow trade to continue.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:09 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]


You can't stop rock'n'roll!!": Rev. Horton Heat pushes back against cancellations

Yah, real bold move there, Jim, claiming you're going to stop a thing that's already happened.

He claims that his "crew have bills to pay".

So do all the bartenders and security folks and audio & lighting techs who work at the venues - all of whom make less than you and your crew and many of whom are not W2 employees and so are ineligible for unemployment.

It's like yelling "FIRE!" In a crowded theater, except he's yelling "NO FIRE!" outside of said burning theater.

Either way, should be criminal. Attempted involuntary manslaughter at the least.


Nah - it's way dumber than that. It's standing outside a closed theater yelling, "OK I'M HERE FOR MY GIG!!" Pretty much literally.

If there's any thought behind this except basic truculence, it's that he's trying to establish a basis for claiming that promoters or venues still have to pay him his guarantee, since it wasn't him that cancelled the show. (NotALawyer, but I'm pretty sure this wouldn't hold up under the "Acts of God" clause that's in every contract.)
posted by soundguy99 at 1:14 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]


CDC Tells Morticians to Livestream Funerals (Eleanor Cummins, Motherboard.Vice)
In the United States, the CDC advised organizers to cancel or postpone any events of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks across the country. This extends to “large funerals,” said David Berendes, an epidemiologist with the CDC. (It also applies to weddings, which should also be canceled.)
posted by ZeusHumms at 2:10 PM on March 16


CDC Tells Morticians to Livestream Funerals

I mean, I know we're all starving for new streaming content during the quarantine, but this is a bridge too far...
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:20 PM on March 16 [6 favorites]


the "Acts of God" clause that's in every contract

It's the doctrine of force majeure. It has been in flux around the some of the post-disaster environmental litigation (e.g. Deepwater Horizon).

I'm trying not to think too much about the potential for a spiraling underwriting crisis in which too many claims for business interruption after contracts are cancelled on that basis could lead the industry to start denying them as outside the policy. I'm not an insurance expert, I'm not sure how that would play out.

There's also the mortgage insurance system to worry about, because though its ostensibly regulated the post-2008 measures were never enough, and things have been relaxed since.

I suppose there's also the overnight commercial paper market to worry about.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:22 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]


CDC Tells Morticians to Livestream Funerals

Yeah I read this as a way to get people to take things more seriously.

The actual explanation makes much more sense.
posted by EarnestDeer at 2:40 PM on March 16 [5 favorites]


As coronavirus spreads, 6 Bay Area counties ordered to shelter in place
Six counties in the San Francisco Bay Area will be placed under a shelter-in-place directive by public health officials in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus, a move that will close virtually all businesses and direct residents to remain at home for the next three weeks.

San Mateo Mayor Joe Goethals said he believed that the order, announced in a pair of press conferences Monday afternoon, put the six counties — San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda — on perhaps the most restrictive public health footing anywhere in America since the outbreak of the potentially deadly coronavirus.
posted by Lexica at 2:48 PM on March 16


Irish-developed kit confirms infection in 15 minutes

The tests have been developed with the same technology contained in pregnancy tests and although they are in a pilot phase, they could reduce testing times dramatically from four hours to just 15 minutes.

Assay Genie, a Reagent Genie brand, will be releasing the rapid POC (Point of Care) kit within weeks globally and already some Irish hospitals have been in touch to sample the product, according to Colm Ryan, biochemist and chief executive of Assay Genie...

The kit uses lateral flow technology to detect Covid-19 within just one drop of blood.

Currently, the virus is detected via an advanced molecular technique called quantitative real-time PCR, which takes four hours to deliver a result.

The Assay Genie kit uses colloidal gold immunochromatography to detect the virus and antibodies in human blood, serum and plasma.

Positive samples are shown by a colour change within the test kit.

The kit is so far a research-use only test but there have been "lots of contacts from Irish hospitals and in the UK, and round the world," Mr Ryan said.

"They're taking free tests on the first batch. We should have a consignment out in seven days."

posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:48 PM on March 16 [8 favorites]


I'm trying not to think too much about the potential for a spiraling underwriting crisis in which too many claims for business interruption after contracts are cancelled on that basis could lead the industry to start denying them as outside the policy. I'm not an insurance expert, I'm not sure how that would play out.

My understanding -- though property/casualty is not my area of actuarial work -- is that virus-caused business interruptions tend to be explicitly excluded from general commercial property coverage nowadays, thanks to the impact of SARS a decade ago. Keep an eye on New Jersey, where there's currently a bill up in the legislature that would force insurers to cover virus-related BI losses even when they're explicitly excluded in the commercial insurance policy terms. (source)
posted by bassooner at 3:12 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]


Lateral flow is typically to detect antibodies, but anti-sense nucleic acids are also possible (it contains the anti-sense of viral RNA, so any viral RNA binds specifically to it, forming a double stranded entity; a pre-made antibody against this double stranded nucleic acids will bind and a subsequent reagent causes a colour change when there is sufficient anti-ds antibody is concentrated).

The sensitivity tends to be pretty poor, though. The 'lateral flow' refers to the mechanism to make this all happen on a strip, the colloidal gold immunochromatography is well established, but can also suffer from poor sensitivity and 'scoring' a positive/ negative can be problematic.

Everything helps, and if this can be validated, could be a first-pass screen for people with very high viral loads.

The 15 minutes is about as fast as these types of tests can be run, but adding in a lysis (burst open all cells/ membranes) step first could improve sensitivity but adds time; typically after lysis the nucleic acids are purified (requiring time and another set of reagents) but crude lysates can work providing that the lysis buffer/ reagents don't interfere with nucleic acid pair-bonding and antibody detection.
posted by porpoise at 3:24 PM on March 16 [10 favorites]


Rita Wilson & Tom Hanks are out of the hospital and self-quarantined in a rented home in Australia. Idris Elba is self-isolating, too: “This morning I tested positive for COVID-19,” the Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw actor announced on Twitter on March 16. “I feel OK, I have no symptoms so far but have been isolated since I found out about my possible exposure to the virus." (Both links to People Magazine's people.com, March 16, 2020)
--
Back from running necessary errands for a friend who's in her 80s. Many people in the drugstore in face masks, here in San Diego -- the disposable paper kind (with and without the n95 valve), and at least half a dozen people wearing reusable half-mask respirators with screw-in filter cartridges. Maybe that's what they had in their emergency, wildfire-smoke-related gear? (I hope.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:48 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]


Federal courts in northern Ohio postpone jury trials, limit grand jury meetings until May 1.

Cuyahoga County’s chief judge declares ‘judicial emergency: "The four-page order postpones most non-emergency civil court hearings, postpones foreclosure proceedings and sheriff’s auctions for 60 days, and says that anyone who enters the Cuyahoga County Justice Center may be subjected to a health screening and denied entry based on the results of their screening. Emergency civil hearings, like applications for temporary protection and restraining orders, will continue to take place, the order says.

The order also says criminal hearings will be evaluated on a “case-by-case basis” and urges judges to use video and telephone conferencing whenever possible."

The Ohio Department of Health will indefinitely close all fitness centers, gyms, bowling alleys, recreation centers, movie theaters, water parks, and trampoline parks in the state effective at the end of business on Monday because of the spreading coronavirus, Gov. Mike DeWine announced Monday.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:03 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]


half-mask respirators with screw-in filter cartridge

That's what I have bc I already had it for painting and drywall and other stuff involving airborne irritants, but I feel like wearing it to the market etc would freak people out.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:03 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]


Idris Elba is self-isolating, too:

CBC ran some footage a few days ago of various famous people cavorting with Sophie Gregoire Trudeau (the prime minister's wife, who is infected). Idris was one of them.
posted by philip-random at 4:33 PM on March 16 [1 favorite]


snuffleupagus, same. I'd wondered if the recommendations had changed.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:39 PM on March 16


Although the tweet I saw him post had what looked like his daughter? standing right behind him in the photo...?
posted by Windopaene at 4:40 PM on March 16


Lol I'm pretty sure that's his wife
posted by grandiloquiet at 5:25 PM on March 16


OK, She looked very young...

But still, if I get it, I'm pretty sure I'm being shunted off to the basement, and not taking photos with my wife...

More afraid of infecting her than I am me. Not thinking that photo will happen here...
posted by Windopaene at 5:35 PM on March 16


Sabrina Dhowre is 30, and her husband, Idris Elba, is 47; maybe she attended the same March 4th "WE Day UK" event as Elba and Trudeau? (Other speakers that day: chef Jamie Oliver, singer Leona Lewis, actor Gwendoline Christie, and former Canadian First Lady Margaret Trudeau.)

Quantum of Solace actress Olga Kurylenko has tested positive for COVID-19, too. (CNN, March 16, 2020) "I've actually been ill for almost a week now. Fever and fatigue are my main symptoms," Kurylenko wrote [in her Sunday night Instagram post].
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:55 PM on March 16


NBC News: Rep. Louie Gohmert delays House coronavirus relief bill from moving to Senate. This is the food aid and paid sick leave bill that passed 363 - 40 with support from Trump. Gohmert is going to get people killed.
posted by jedicus at 5:58 PM on March 16 [12 favorites]


Christ, what a Republican...
posted by Windopaene at 6:18 PM on March 16 [20 favorites]


An island town in Maine and coronavirus. You can just start to see the effects on their website.
posted by gudrun at 7:39 PM on March 16 [3 favorites]


COVID-19 spread caused by socially irresponsible behaviour (Singapore Ministry of Health)
Failing to minimise social contact when unwell

About 35 of the 160 confirmed cases had not minimised social contact even when they had developed a fever or respiratory symptoms.

They had also not consulted a doctor early.

Continuing to work and going about with daily routine, even when unwell

22% of confirmed cases continued to work or carried on with their daily routines, despite being sick.

Cluster examples

Wizlearn Technologies
Of the 14 cases in this cluster, 9 were staff – 3 of them continued with daily activities despite feeling unwell. One staff also spread the virus to a family contact, who also carried on with daily activities while symptomatic. This resulted in an additional four cases who did not work at the company.

SAFRA Jurong
One case had attended the private dinner function at SAFRA Jurong on 15 Feb when unwell, who could be the reason for another 18 additional cases from the dinner. 10 of these 18 cases continued with daily activities despite feeling unwell, resulting in an additional 17 confirmed cases who were not present at the dinner.
posted by katra at 10:34 PM on March 16 [3 favorites]


Gohmert is going to get people killed.

There are federal government facilities where materiel for this kind of contingency is stockpiled, and yet Trump told states they will need to fend for themselves.

I'm convinced we will need something like Nuremberg Trials to hold the Trumps and the Gohmerts to account for their acts of manslaughter, in the weeks and months to come.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:56 PM on March 16 [16 favorites]


French health ministry official Jérôme Salomon said Monday that of the 300-400 COVID-19 patients in the ICU units of Paris hospitals, about half are under 65, according to the New York Times. Salomon described the situation as “deteriorating very quickly.” According to the Times, Salomon wants to "dispel the notion that the virus seriously threatens only the elderly.” [...] As of Monday, France had more than 5,400 cases. Deaths increased by more than a third on Sunday to 127. While ICUs are treating many under-65 patients, most of the fatalities have been patients 75 and older. (SFGate.com, March 16, 2020)

Kentucky Derby postponed - The 146th running of America's premier horse race will be pushed back, sources told The Courier Journal, with Churchill Downs officials expected to announce a new race date of Sept. 5. (Louisville Courier Journal, March 16, 2020). "For the first time since World War II, the Kentucky Derby will not take place on the first Saturday in May. [...] In 1945, the Kentucky Derby was held on June 9, about a month after the government lifted a ban on horse racing that it put in place because of World War II. The only other year the race did not take place on the first Saturday in May was in 1901." (NYT, March 16, 2020)
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:07 PM on March 16 [2 favorites]


I know there's been a mention of copywriting work summarizing Covid-19 news maybe available to actual librarians facing furlough or firing in one of these threads -- could someone link it for me (here or via memail) so I can forward it to a librarian in that position?

Thanks in advance.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:24 PM on March 16




With apologies

Love in the Time of Corona

a thousand pardons
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:13 AM on March 17 [1 favorite]


Soon we’ll start seeing the first C19 casualties among ‘famous’ people, the Rock Hudson’s and the Arthur Ashe’s and the Keith Haring’s...
posted by growabrain at 3:00 AM on March 17 [3 favorites]


Also, before his inauguration, trump’s team received full briefings about a plague just like the one we now have, and (like Michael Lewis had documented) didn’t pay any attention to them.
posted by growabrain at 3:19 AM on March 17 [7 favorites]


So, I am starting to have employees tell me they heard there's a national quarantine coming, etc. This appears to be a talk radio hoax, but given that things really are moving quickly, I have no idea how to combat that rumor.
posted by freecellwizard at 6:11 AM on March 17


Is it a rumor or just well, logic these days?

I have been going around telling certain people in my life that we may not be allowed to go out At All any more VERY SOON, and you'd better not assume that you can just go back and forth between your house and someone else's house. I told a coworker with a boyfriend in Santa Clara (she's said she likes the 2-ish hour distance between them so she has space) that either they decide to shelter together now, or they won't be seeing each other for months. So he's moving in.

Likewise, I told my mother this because I would REALLY rather she live with her boyfriend than alone for months for various reasons, but she still thinks they're going to be allowed to go back and forth. Admittedly they live about a 5 minute drive from each other so her situation is not as bad and maybe she's right, but we can't assume that we're going to have any outdoor freedom from this point on, y'all.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:58 AM on March 17 [1 favorite]


Yeah, a "national quarantine" shades into FEMA conspiracy theory stuff; but it seems reasonable to presume that all major metro areas are going to wind up under at least some kind of voluntary restriction that goes beyond just closing dining rooms, movie theaters and event spaces, etc.

They're slow walking it so people don't panic. Or, don't panic more than they already are.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:02 AM on March 17 [4 favorites]


> I feel OK, I have no symptoms so far

So how the heck did he get a test? Argh, this is no way to run a planet.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:15 AM on March 17


Also, before his inauguration, trump’s team received full briefings about a plague just like the one we now have, and (like Michael Lewis had documented) didn’t pay any attention to them.
posted by growabrain at 3:19 AM on March 17 [6 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]

Again, the Trump administration reminds one of the bunch of jocks in your high school history class, driving the teacher to despair.
posted by mumimor at 7:17 AM on March 17 [2 favorites]


So how the heck did he get a test? Argh, this is no way to run a planet.

He's famous and was exposed to Sophie Trudeau.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:19 AM on March 17 [2 favorites]




The Smithsonian will offer new distance-learning resources to support teachers and students facing nationwide school closures due to COVID-19. The resources, which focus on pre-K-12 education, include tailored lesson plans tied to national learning standards and added support for educators and parents. Teachers can find these recommended activities sorted by grade and subject on the distance-learning resource webpage. In addition, parents can find activities designed specifically for them to work with their children at home. These distance-learning resources include options for every learning environment, ranging from technology-free activities that don’t require computers to resources for students and educators in high-tech learning environments.
posted by gudrun at 8:22 AM on March 17 [5 favorites]


i would like to be exposed to idris elba
posted by poffin boffin at 8:35 AM on March 17 [12 favorites]


Would you like Idris Elba to be exposing himself to you? ;)
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:38 AM on March 17


i mean yeah otherwise it would be p awkward
posted by poffin boffin at 8:40 AM on March 17 [6 favorites]


Folks even an Elba bump can expose you to the virus
posted by benzenedream at 8:47 AM on March 17 [23 favorites]


#notevenforIdris

I’m still stumped as to how to convert a class that’s literally a collaborative praxis (large ensemble music performance) to mediated instruction. None of my colleagues have any solutions either, AFAICT.

Stay well, all.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:25 AM on March 17 [4 favorites]


Alexandra Petri weighs in: "I didn’t stop going out after 9/11. Why should I stop going out now, when I am on fire? Those are two totally identical situations, and I will take no further questions."
posted by Flannery Culp at 9:33 AM on March 17 [18 favorites]


The president’s guidelines are not mandatory and do not go as far as health officials had urged. (NYT)
The national guidelines, which also advise home-schooling and the curtailing of visits to nursing homes and long-term care facilities, are the most robust response so far from the Trump administration. But the guidelines, which officials described as a trial set, are not mandatory and fall short of a national quarantine and internal travel restrictions, which many health officials had urged.

And they do not reflect the urgency of actions taken around the world as governments in Italy, France, Spain and elsewhere began imposing stringent lockdowns on citizens. Even within the United States, local governments were imposing shelter-at-home orders and police-enforced quarantine zones.

[...] The president’s guidelines appeared to be driven by a new report from London that predicted that without action to stem the spread, the virus could cause more than two million deaths in the United States, and the most effective way to reduce that is to limit interactions among people.

[...] In the briefing with reporters, Dr. Fauci stressed that some of the White House guidelines were inconvenient, but that they would stop the spread of the virus. He conceded that some would say the government was overreacting, but he was emphatic: this was not an overreaction. “I’ll say it over and over again,” Dr. Fauci said. “When you’re dealing with an emerging infectious diseases outbreak, you are always behind where you think you are if you think that today reflects where you really are.
posted by katra at 9:45 AM on March 17 [2 favorites]


Re: House sends coronavirus relief bill to Senate after delay by Rep. Gohmert.
From Mnuchin pitches Senate Republicans to approve $850 billion economic package (CNN, March 17, 2020) In addition to the coronavirus legislation, the Senate also had to consider a measure to renew key authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which expired on Sunday.

The Senate was prepared to take steps to pass the House's bipartisan FISA reauthorization bill, which passed last week, but objections from critics like GOP Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah threatened to eat up several days of the Senate calendar to overcome a filibuster and approve the measure.

Instead, McConnell cut a deal with Lee on Monday that paved the way for the Senate to focus on the coronavirus legislation. The agreement included a two-and-a-half month extension of the three expired FISA authorities, which passed the Senate by unanimous consent, and agreement to consider amendments from Lee and Paul related to representation for targets of FISA surveillance warrants and limits on searches that can be conducted under the law related to US citizens and the internet.
--
Previously: Rand Paul and Trump thrust fate of surveillance law into doubt (Politico, Feb. 27, 2020) [Sen. Rand] Paul said Trump is “very supportive” of his amendment to prevent the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act from targeting Americans, a reflection of conservative unease over the way the Trump campaign was surveilled in 2016.
--
These people, they never stop. Even in a pandemic. Every Republican carries a minimum of five shoehorns, waiting for an opportunity.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:17 AM on March 17 [11 favorites]


Minneapolis now has free citywide wifi - presumably enough people said "hey, it's great you gave all the schoolkids iPads, but not everyone has home internet access and the libraries and coffeeshops have also closed".
posted by Flannery Culp at 10:57 AM on March 17 [18 favorites]


Workers Shut Down Mercedes Factory That Called Them In During Coronavirus (Jalopnik, March 16, 2020) "Spain might be on lockdown as a country, but that didn’t stop Mercedes from calling in 5,000 employees to assemble vans in its Vitoria factory in Gasteiz. They weren’t having it." [Also: "The factory had at least one case of coronavirus and 23 workers in quarantine, as eldiario.es reports" & "Nissan, Renault, Seat, and Michelin had shut down factories already amid coronavirus, as eldiario.es reports, so the Basque Mercedes plant was a worrying holdout."]
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:32 AM on March 17 [17 favorites]


17 March 2020 - Macmillan Abandons Library E-book Embargo (Andrew Albanese, Publisher's Weekly)
“There are times in life when differences should be put aside,” reads a brief memo from Macmillan CEO John Sargent addressed to librarians, authors, illustrators, and agents. “Effective on Friday (or whenever thereafter our wholesalers can effect the change), Macmillan will return to the library e-book pricing model that was in effect on October 31st, 2019. In addition, we will be lowering some e-book prices on a short term basis to help expand libraries collections in these difficult times. Stay safe.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:22 PM on March 17 [12 favorites]


China: Avigan effective in tackling coronavirus

China's government researchers say they have found the Japanese-developed anti-flu drug Avigan effective in treating patients infected with the new coronavirus and will promote its use.

Zhang Xinmin, director of the National Center for Biotechnology Development, named the drug at a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

He said the drug was found to be effective in clinical trials by two medical organizations in the country. He said the medicine worked for coronavirus-related symptoms including pneumonia and had no obvious side effects.

The director said the tests were conducted in the cities of Wuhan and Shenzhen and involved 240 patients and 80 patients respectively.

He said those who were given the medicine in Shenzhen turned negative for the virus after a median of four days after becoming positive, while it took a median of 11 days for those without the drug.

The trial also found that X-ray photos confirmed improvements in lung conditions in about 91 percent of the patients who were given the medicine. The number stood at 62 percent for those without the drug.

posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:18 PM on March 17 [27 favorites]


That Avigan result could be huge.
posted by medusa at 2:15 PM on March 17 [6 favorites]


Folks even an Elba bump can expose you to the virus

Able was I ere I bumped Elba.

(sorry)
posted by basalganglia at 2:37 PM on March 17 [24 favorites]


NYC Board of Correction calls for fast release of high-risk detainees (Washington Post, March 17, 2020, 11:42 a.m.) The BOC’s advisory would mostly impact two different groups: people over 50 or who have existing health conditions like lung disease or cancer, who are at risk for severe complications if infected by covid-19, and detainees who are being jailed for “administrative reasons,” like failing to appear in court or violating parole.

The board also recommends releasing people serving sentences of less than a year, and further called for the state’s corrections and health departments to issue guidance on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the jail system, pointing to officials in other municipalities who have done so, such as San Francisco.
---
Read the BOC's full statement here at nyc.gov; last two paragraphs: The Board also renews its request that DOC and CHS publish updated agency plans for preventing transmission of COVID-19 in the jails. The San Francisco Sheriff’s Department has published its COVID-19 Response & Action Plan, detailing security and health plans to minimize risk of exposure in the San Francisco jails. Additionally, the Board requests DOC and CHS increase and improve communication to people in custody, staff, and the public via all available channels and in multiple languages.

The Board is grateful for the leadership and staff of the Department of Correction and Correctional Health Services during this public health crisis. These front-line City workers are providing a remarkable public service in challenging times. The Board is also grateful to the New York community of family members, friends, and advocates who have remained committed to supporting their loved ones held in jail.
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:41 PM on March 17 [5 favorites]


Thank God. Although as of a few days ago, DAs were still bringing people into super crowded courtrooms to arraign them for bullshit like loitering. What a hellish system we have for immiserating New York City's poor.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 3:05 PM on March 17 [5 favorites]


The (Republican) lieutenant governor of Florida decided that driving to Colorado with his family for vacation was appropriate, and expressed some displeasure when Vail announced they were closing all of their resorts. The (Democratic) governor of Colorado was having exactly none of his shit.
posted by hanov3r at 3:07 PM on March 17 [21 favorites]


Kottkamp has been out of office for a decade. He’s a moron, but I don’t think there’s anything about him that makes him a noteworthy moron.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:45 PM on March 17 [1 favorite]




I wonder if that's ideal....depending on how long this quarantine goes on the universality of Amazon's inventory will be important in substituting for a lot different retailers.

Also, hand sanitizer and bleach shouldn't just be available to those who can afford to order it on Amazon....
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:58 PM on March 17 [2 favorites]


Wonder if the two William Gibson books I ordered yesterday will arrive...

Dystopian fiction is important now, right?
posted by Windopaene at 5:16 PM on March 17 [5 favorites]


Heh, I've been rationing out chapters of Agency which I just got for my birthday. And if you got the means, check out the newest season of Westworld, it's the newest cyberpunk you're gonna love the most!
posted by valkane at 5:20 PM on March 17 [1 favorite]


Deaths in U.S. pass 100 as the coronavirus spreads to all 50 states. (NYT, March 17, 2020) On Tuesday evening, West Virginia became the 50th state to report a case.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:32 PM on March 17 [2 favorites]


Just read Agency and re-read The Peripheral...

Feels like the Jackpot has started.
posted by Windopaene at 5:33 PM on March 17 [2 favorites]


Amazon Relief Fund (via the Amazon blog, dayone, "COVID-19 update: More ways Amazon is supporting employees and contractors," March 11, 2020): We are establishing the Amazon Relief Fund with a $25 million initial contribution focused on supporting our independent delivery service partners and their drivers, Amazon Flex participants, and seasonal employees under financial distress during this challenging time. We will be offering all of these groups the ability to apply for grants approximately equal to up to two-weeks of pay if diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed into quarantine by the government or Amazon.
--
emphasis mine; c'mon now, phrasing
--
Amazon ramps hiring, opening 100,000 new roles to support people relying on Amazon’s service in this stressful time (Amazon blog, March 16, 2020) Company will invest over $350 million globally to increase pay [...] for employees and partners who are in fulfillment centers, transportation operations, stores or those making deliveries so that others can remain at home.

In addition to the 100,000 new roles we’re creating, we want to recognize our employees who are playing an essential role for people at a time when many of the services that might normally be there to support them are closed. In the U.S., we will be adding an additional $2 USD per hour worked through April from our current rate of $15/hour or more, depending on the region, C$2 in Canada, £2 per hour in the UK, and approximately €2 per hour in many EU countries. This commitment to increased pay through the end of April represents an investment of over $350 million in increased compensation for hourly employees across the U.S., Europe, and Canada.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:58 PM on March 17 [1 favorite]


We’re not going back to normal

"Social distancing is here to stay for much more than a few weeks. It will upend our way of life, in some ways forever."

by Gideon Lichfield
posted by great_radio at 7:29 PM on March 17 [11 favorites]


Oh god I can't even. I'm so depressed I can't even drink tonight. Which is saying something given how the day has gone.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:27 PM on March 17 [4 favorites]


Got you covered there, jenfullmoon. Sláinte mhaith!
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:59 PM on March 17


I think we will. Treatments are being researched. Vaccines are being tested. We will, as a whole, likely survive. Many people we suffer and die, but, normal will return.

Most all of us have never lived through something like this, which is pretty amazing. But humans will make it. Until climate change or an asteroid takes us out. No despair.
posted by Windopaene at 9:10 PM on March 17 [8 favorites]


Many people we suffer and die, but, normal will return.

I was talking about this with my father a few days ago. This is a WWII scale event. Yes, normal will return - but it will likely take years, massive government intervention, and tens of millions of deaths before it does. He was too young to have enlisted then, though lost a brother in Northern Italy, which is disturbingly on the nose these days. Both he and my mother are in frail health and I've been chewing over the fact that there are good odds I'll lose both of them before this is over.

Maybe this belongs in the Fuckity Fuck thread. But it's also very much a #StayTheFuckHome problem, as his medical needs require my intervening with his insulin pump and CGM regularly enough that I'm concerned I'll be the vector. Observe best practices and hope for the best, but there aren't any great answers.
posted by bcd at 9:24 PM on March 17 [15 favorites]


In addition to the 100,000 new roles we’re creating, we want to recognize our employees who are playing an essential role for people at a time when many of the services that might normally be there to support them are closed.

Note that Amazon is not suddenly going to provide childcare, free coronavirus testing, or even fixed hour contracts. They're just paying more because they want to hire a lot of people quickly and now it comes with an extra chance of job-induced mortality. I expect Amazon are ramping up their product delivery operation because they see it as a chance to capture the post-plague market; I'm darn sure it has nothing to do with employee welfare.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:22 PM on March 17 [14 favorites]


Has anybody here read the Imperial College report? I’m not even sure if I should link it because it is so horrifying.
posted by gucci mane at 11:21 PM on March 17


Has anybody here read the Imperial College report?
It was discussed, either here or in the other thread. It's terrifying.
posted by mumimor at 11:29 PM on March 17 [3 favorites]


Yeah. I think the best tack is to take things one step at a time. I am expecting to be on quarantine for a couple of months, minimum. In a month I will see what things look like moving forward and whether I think we are likely to be on quarantine for an even longer haul. I'm choosing to hope that we can maintain social distancing and that collective pressure to respond on our government officials can help maintain our institutions for some time to keep that death toll as low as possible. The less folks panic and the more we reach out and support one another, our neighbors, our friends, the more likely we are to sustain that.

That reminds me, I need to call my senators and snarl about passing a relief bill. I gotta call up my congressman about getting voting procedures in place that allow for social distancing in the fall if necessary. Gotta find that list of things that we can do to help one another and share it, because doing little things to let us feel like we have a little bit of control is the best way to feel sane in this mess.

Use that bad future to convince your friends to isolate and yell at their bosses to demand work from home or paid leave for retail workers. Beyond that, try not to worry too much.
posted by sciatrix at 11:34 PM on March 17 [5 favorites]


I'm quite fascinated by the many articles and columns that predict that this will never end, or are based on a theory that from now on, we will always have the corona virus. It will most certainly end. All human experience tells us it will end, and we will get back to a "normal" life, whatever that is. The question is how, not so much when, though the two factors are interdependent. How many will have died, how many will have lost their jobs? How will the cities and towns look when small businesses have gone bankrupt?
Governments can and should work towards a better how.
posted by mumimor at 12:13 AM on March 18


This will end. It may take time to find a useful vaccine, but a good fingerstick serology tests could tell people if they have already have had it (this is assuming that immunity works normally and you can't get reinfected). If that happens, young people could do immunization with the wild type virus, self quarantine, and be good to go after a test shows no secretion. But this all depends on having multiple types of tests available for THE ENTIRE POPULATION MULTIPLE TIMES, not "tens of thousands per day". The manufacture of test reagents should have already been nationalized and production cranked up as high as possible for the whole supply chain.
posted by benzenedream at 12:36 AM on March 18 [6 favorites]


Two cities in Miami-Dade County have now enacted overnight curfews.

Good that they are willing to take drastic action. Unfortunate that it is unhelpful at best to threaten to arrest individuals for being outdoors between 10PM and 6AM. More likely, it will result in greater non-compliance, increase the density of people during the hours they are allowed to be outside, and induce further unnecessary panic buying. Worse, it demonstrates that the people some of us must rely upon to make reasonable decisions are not capable of doing so.

This isn't a hurricane; we aren't trying to protect against looters. We are trying to protect against asshats being stupid by congregating in crowds. Unfortunate that people can't simply act like adults and control themselves so that more intrusive and disruptive measures need not have been taken.
posted by wierdo at 1:08 AM on March 18


this is assuming that immunity works normally and you can't get reinfected

We probably won't really know for certain until we have time to gather more data from survivors. However, infection with existing coronaviruses (including SARS-CoV, genetically very similar to the COVID-19 virus SARS-CoV-2; ref. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41564-020-0695-z) suggests that those who are infected and survive may develop temporary immunity (ref. https://www.statnews.com/2020/02/04/two-scenarios-if-new-coronavirus-isnt-contained/):
The toll of a seasonal-flu-like coronavirus also depends on immunity — which is also scientifically uncertain. Exposure to the four endemic coronaviruses produces immunity that lasts longer than that to influenza, Webby said, but not permanent immunity. Like respiratory syncytial virus, which can re-infect adults who had it in childhood, coronavirus immunity wanes.

“Everyone, by the time they reach adulthood, should have some immunity to some coronavirus,” said Tim Sheahan, a coronavirus researcher at University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. But because it doesn’t last, older people can get reinfected. The elderly also have a higher death rate from coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS, a pattern 2019-nCoV is following.

“There is some evidence that people can be reinfected with the four coronaviruses and that there is no long-lasting immunity,” Dr. Susan Kline, an infectious disease specialist at of the University of Minnesota. “Like rhinoviruses [which cause the common cold], you could be infected multiple times over your life. You can mount an antibody response, but it wanes, so on subsequent exposure you don’t have protection.” Subsequent infections often produce milder illness, however.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 2:34 AM on March 18 [4 favorites]


I'm quite fascinated by the many articles and columns that predict that this will never end, or are based on a theory that from now on, we will always have the corona virus. It will most certainly end.

It's worth separating out which "its" might be ending or not, I think. It's very plausible that extreme measures to control COVID will end, while the disease remains with us. It intermittently occurs to me that people used to live with diseases that were much more lethal, per case. What's happening now is a fairly unique occurrence in that a new one is spreading extremely fast with no standing immunity in the population, and we're trying to avoid letting it kill a substantial percentage of people at once. Which has also happened before, incidentally, and ended before, but we'd rather not do it the hard way.
posted by atoxyl at 2:51 AM on March 18 [8 favorites]


US and Canada preparing to suspend non-essential travel between the two countries.

Speculation is that this was going to be announced unilaterally a couple of days ago by Canada, but delayed because of political considerations south of the border. Still good to see they finally got this done.
posted by bonehead at 5:40 AM on March 18 [2 favorites]


Inside the model that may be making US, UK rethink coronavirus control
The report paints a grim picture of millions of deaths in the two countries if nothing is done, as infections greatly outstrip the capacity of their hospital systems to handle patients. But it does find that aggressive steps can hold off the virus until an effective vaccine can be developed, although those will mean shutting down many aspects of society for over a year.

Before this induces panic, however, it's important to emphasize that these outcomes are based on a model that, because of the incomplete information we currently possess, is imperfect and has to rely on a number of assumptions....
Original Report
posted by bonehead at 6:12 AM on March 18 [4 favorites]


The Taoiseach (PM) of Ireland, Leo Varadkar, gave a speech to the nation yesterday evening in which he said that this situation will probably last months into the summer.
posted by scorbet at 6:20 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]


Has anybody here read the Imperial College report?

It was discussed, either here or in the other thread. It's terrifying.


I can't seem to find it, could someone drop a link to one of the comments in that discussion?
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:45 AM on March 18


The 2020 Eurovision Song Contest has been officially cancelled.
posted by Wordshore at 6:46 AM on March 18 [3 favorites]


bonehead's comment about half an hour previous in this thread is discussing the same Imperial report, if you're curious.
posted by sciatrix at 6:48 AM on March 18


Yes, thanks. And I found the disusssion following this comment this comment in the "Modeling" Covid-19 thread.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:57 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]


‘I’ve never seen Dr. Sanjay Gupta like this’: Strollers, joggers in locked down San Francisco spark anger on CNN (Katie Shepherd and Allyson Chiu, Washington Post)
In recent weeks, Gupta has been working nearly round-the-clock, explaining the coronavirus outbreak and demystifying concepts like pandemic and social distancing to an anxious American public. Even while sounding the earliest and loudest alarms, he has never seemed to get angry or pass judgment.

On Tuesday night, he did both.

The occasion was a segment with anchor Jake Tapper in which live footage was aired of people strolling, jogging, cycling and rollerblading along the Embarcadero, a picturesque waterfront stretch in San Francisco — normally an innocuous, even pleasant scene. On most evenings it would also be a lot more crowded.

But coming in the middle of a pandemic in a city under a shelter-in-place mandate, the sight of a steady stream of people casually mixing and holding hands set off both Gupta and Tapper.
See the video attached to the following tweet:

The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) March 18, 2020
"I still really get the impression people in many places aren't taking this seriously," @drsanjaygupta says on many San Francisco residents ignoring the shelter in place order to stay home. "I'm worried these numbers- they keep going up."
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:26 AM on March 18 [3 favorites]


A chilling scientific paper helped upend U.S. and U.K. coronavirus strategies (WaPo)
The new forecasts, by Neil Ferguson and his colleagues at the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, were quickly endorsed by Johnson’s government to design new and more extreme measures to suppress the spread of the virus.

The report is also influencing planning by the Trump administration. Deborah Birx, who serves as the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, cited the British analysis at a news conference Monday, saying her response team was especially focused on the report’s conclusion that an entire household should self-quarantine for 14 days if one of its members is stricken by the virus.

The Imperial College London group reported that if nothing was done by governments and individuals and the pandemic remained uncontrolled, 510,000 would die in Britain and 2.2 million in the United States over the course of the outbreak.

These kinds of numbers are deeply concerning for countries with top-drawer health-care systems. They are terrifying for less-developed countries, global health experts say. If Britain and the United States pursued more-ambitious measures to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus, to slow but not necessarily stop the epidemic over the coming few months, they could reduce mortality by half, to 260,000 people in the United Kingdom and 1.1 million in the United States.
posted by katra at 8:41 AM on March 18 [1 favorite]


Top UK Covid-19 expert self-isolates after developing symptoms

[Neil] Ferguson, head of the modelling programme at Imperial’s MRC centre for global infectious disease analysis, who has been working round the clock with a team of experts advising the government, tweeted: “Sigh. Developed a slight dry but persistent cough yesterday and self-isolated even though I felt fine. Then developed high fever at 4am today. There is a lot of Covid-19 in Westminster.”
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:09 AM on March 18 [5 favorites]


Anthony Hopkins keeping his cat entertained, in exchange for each others' company.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:21 AM on March 18 [4 favorites]


Like a lot of others, I keep the Johns Hopkins map up in a tab and refresh it a few times a day. Last night the confirmed global cases were at 197k, and they passed 200k this morning and are now at 212k. I realize the growth may be more about increased testing than rapid spread, but the numbers are getting more and more concerning. And though it's arbitrary, I think passing big round numbers generates renewed attention and media coverage.
posted by freecellwizard at 11:50 AM on March 18


Called my Senate members today and ripped into them about GOP failure to pass immediate legislation and coordinate with the Dems; asked for their support of mortgage relief. I definitely made both the women in their offices very uncomfortable.

C'mon, Yanks, let's use all the time and isolation to pass the pressure upwards. Feeling scared? Got a shitty elected official who isn't pulling weight? Make em squirm.
posted by sciatrix at 11:54 AM on March 18 [9 favorites]


I'm now pretty convinced by the war analogies. We're in WWV - World War Virus.
posted by medusa at 12:12 PM on March 18 [2 favorites]


Someone on Twitter was wistfully asking for WWII-style morale propaganda posters so that we could look at them and feel like we're all doing our part. I wish I had the artistic talent to make something like that, because they'd make me feel better too. Ideally, given the huge upswing in racism towards Asian-Americans I've seen around me, showing Asian-American people right smack in the middle of them doing their best, too.
posted by sciatrix at 12:36 PM on March 18 [6 favorites]


God. Did Rand Paul really call immigrants "non-people"???
posted by moira at 1:02 PM on March 18 [1 favorite]


Why would that be surprising?
posted by Windopaene at 1:23 PM on March 18 [1 favorite]


Should I Still Be Going Out? (Tala Schlossberg and Liriel Higa, NYT Opinion)
No.
posted by katra at 1:36 PM on March 18 [2 favorites]


What we scientists have discovered about how each age group spreads Covid-19 (Petra Klepac, Guardian Opinion)
Together with Adam Kucharski, also from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, I have recently collaborated with the BBC on a massive citizen science project, led by Professor Julia Gog from Cambridge University. Called BBC Pandemic, the project collected information on how people of different ages interact with one another in different contexts (home, work, school, other) from over 35,000 volunteers. We have recently been fast-tracking the release of contact data to help inform UK Covid-19 modelling efforts and potential intervention strategies.

What we have found in this data is that adults aged 20-50 make most of their contacts in workplaces. If those of us who can work remotely start doing so now, it will contribute to lowering overall transmission in the population. Another important finding is that people over 65 – who are particularly at risk from severe Covid-19 illness – make over half of their contacts in other settings (not home, school or work), such as shops, restaurants and leisure centres. By avoiding these interactions, people who are most at risk from the new coronavirus could halve their risk of infection. By changing our behaviour now, and sustaining these changes throughout the outbreak, we can significantly reduce our own risk of infection, and the risk to others, and by doing so help protect those most vulnerable.

[...] We must all take individual action to reduce Covid-19 transmission and slow down its spread, limit the number of infections and reduce the pressure on the health system so that everyone who needs medical care can get it. Starting now, and for the duration of this epidemic, we all have a role to play and a responsibility to modify our behaviour in order to protect the ones who are most at risk.
posted by katra at 1:40 PM on March 18 [5 favorites]


Bill Gates' thoughts on the Imperial College report [Ferguson et al., 2020], from an AMA he did on Reddit this afternoon:
Fortunately it appears the parameters used in that model were too negative. The experience in China is the most critical data we have. They did their "shut down" and were able to reduce the number of cases. They are testing widely so they see rebounds immediately and so far there have not been a lot. They avoided widespread infection. The Imperial model does not match this experience. Models are only as good as the assumptions put into them. People are working on models that match what we are seeing more closely and they will become a key tool. A group called Institute for Disease Modeling that I fund is one of the groups working with others on this.
posted by bonehead at 1:45 PM on March 18 [8 favorites]


I'm trying not to think too much about the potential for a spiraling underwriting crisis in which too many claims for business interruption after contracts are cancelled on that basis could lead the industry to start denying them as outside the policy. I'm not an insurance expert, I'm not sure how that would play out.

From Business Insurance magazine today: Coronavirus unlikely to trigger interruption policies: Report
Insurers believe most business interruption policies will not be triggered by the coronavirus, according to a report Wednesday from investment bank Piper Sandler & Co.
posted by Lexica at 2:02 PM on March 18


Of course they won't...

Those insurance companies..., bless their hearts...
posted by Windopaene at 2:30 PM on March 18


On the other hand, the Imperial College report expects extreme social distancing to slow or stop the spread of these things as long as it's maintained. It predicts a bounce-back if distancing ceases. We will see if this applies to China and South Korea as people return to public activity. China and South Korea's experiences are actually not that out of line for the model.

Note also that the Imperial model is based on certain parameters that might be a lot better than in reality. For example, the current CDC guidelines are that COVID may incubate for as long as two weeks before infections show themselves, and we are seeing more information that asymptomatic people are shedding virus at considerable speed. But the Imperial College model assumes only a five-day incubation period and only the ten hours prior to showing symptoms in which transmissions might occur.

Now, it's also possible that the mortality and morbidity will be lower than they estimate, because testing worldwide is really bad and it's hard to get a sense for how bad the thing is when you don't have great testing going. We may be overestimating mortality and morbidity by testing primarily people who are visibly sick. But in terms of active transmission, the Imperial College model is actually quite conservative in its assumptions compared to what we've been seeing.

Bill Gates is a very smart businessman and a good philanthropist for malaria, but I am not sure I think he's a more reliable expert than actual professional epidemiologists. It's imperative that biologists stay within the bounds of our own expertise, and I am not convinced that this specific situation is within Gates'. (It's not necessarily within mine! But I don't buy Gates' argument.)
posted by sciatrix at 2:49 PM on March 18 [12 favorites]


I half-buy Gates' argument. Given sufficient testing and isolation capacity, which China, South Korea, et al have developed, less intrusive measures than locking down everyone deemed nonessential can (seemingly) be used to prevent a rebound in case load after the spread is interrupted.

What's really kind of ridiculous is that we have literally everything we need already in place to do South Korea-style detection of contacts. We know for an absolute fact that the carriers operating all of the US mobile networks have tracking databases to which they have been selling access to marketers, cops, skip tracers, and anybody else willing to put a few bucks on the table. We won't do it, though, because then people might be outraged that the data has been collected without their (actual) knowledge for decades now, making it less useful for the police and the spooks.
posted by wierdo at 3:02 PM on March 18 [2 favorites]


I don't think Gates is speaking as an expert. However, he has hired a lot of experts at the Institute for Disease Modeling which he funds. The Gates Foundation has been working on epidemics in the third world for a long time and has a lot of expertise. Gates is relaying the information that his experts are providing using different modeling parameters.
posted by JackFlash at 3:04 PM on March 18 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, the Imperial College report expects extreme social distancing to slow or stop the spread of these things as long as it's maintained. It predicts a bounce-back if distancing ceases.

Here in way-out-in-the-sticks Montana (and likely elsewhere in rural america), many-to-most people are not social distancing. A number of businesses have chosen to close and the grocery stores are taking things seriously, but the county put out a notice that all bars, restaurants and pools can remain open, only advising that employees should get sent home if they have shortness of breath. Seriously. The town's annual Chili Feed fundraiser happened yesterday just like normal. Old folks, sharing food, indoors.

The guy who runs the bar and the events at the local VFW hall is posting daily on facebook about how it is an american's duty to disobey orders that restrict our freedom and that he won't let america stop running for a cough. Today he's holding an event at the bar in which people take turns (handling and) rolling dice for a chance of free drinks. He's spreading covid to own the libs.

It's the Freudian Death Drive. It's like being surrounded by a suicide cult. It's fucking terrifying.
posted by Rust Moranis at 3:07 PM on March 18 [21 favorites]


^^^Here in way-out-in-the-sticks Montana (and likely elsewhere in rural america), many-to-most people are not social distancing. ... The town's annual Chili Feed fundraiser happened yesterday just like normal.

Great. Because that approach has worked out so well in Texas:

Four coronavirus cases connected to Houston rodeo cookoff tent, organizer says (Emily Foxhall, Houston Chronicle, March 16)

One of the four people who tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the Feb. 28 cook-off – a man in his 40s – remained in critical condition March 15, the Chronicle's Foxhall reported.

(Not pointing fingers at Montana and Texas -- my hometown is plenty Republican, and I'm sure lots of my parents' friends relate to this "What virus?" worldview. I'm glad that my over-80, Democratic parents are reality-based.)
posted by virago at 3:39 PM on March 18 [4 favorites]


Surgeon general: 15 days of social distancing ‘likely not going to be enough’ to halt coronavirus (Politico)
"Fifteen days is likely not going to be enough to get us all the way through. But we really need to lean into it now so that we can bend the curve in the next 15 days, and at that point we'll reassess," Adams said during an interview on NBC's "Today."
Yes, States and Local Governments Can Close Private Businesses and Restrict Your Movement (Elizabeth Joh, Politico Magazine)
In response to these drastic measures intended to slow down the spread of coronavirus, there are plenty of voices on social media, and even some in government, denouncing such measures as unprecedented, un-American and unconstitutional. Most of us have never imagined such impositions outside of a situation of armed conflict, but allegations that those measures in the current circumstances are unlawful are wrong. And this is a case where legal misinformation can exacerbate a public health crisis.

[...] The police power of the states has been invoked on multiple occasions by the Supreme Court, often in contrast to the limited powers of the federal government—for example, in Chief Justice John Roberts’ opinion in the 2012 Obamacare case. This power also has been recognized in the context of public health for decades. In a 1905 Supreme Court case that upheld mandatory smallpox vaccinations, the court observed that “upon the principle of self-defense, of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.”

What does this mean for the drastic coronavirus responses we’re seeing across the country? State and local governments can indeed decide to force even unwilling businesses to shut down, require people to stay mostly at home, impose curfews and even threaten noncompliance with arrest if necessary. [...] When prominent voices tell the public that these drastic measures are somehow inherently unlawful or obviously unconstitutional, they detract from the social solidarity we need right now. People who are misled about what the government may do, and confused about its established powers, might not take heed of the necessary measures to protect their own health and that of their communities.

At some point in the future, we could see a coronavirus response that has gone on too long or is too broad to justify its burdens. Or we might see instances of people who were denied civil liberties without real justification. Even now, you might feel that these measures are too little, too late, or that they are drastic, and burdensome. But if we are facing a window of opportunity that is rapidly closing, to say that the states cannot try to use their most basic authority to save lives is not only wrong—it might be deadly.
posted by katra at 3:41 PM on March 18 [5 favorites]


It's really important to think critically about models during these sorts of events. Gates certainly offers one point of view, but the only thing I feel prepared to agree with there is that any model has to strongly driven and ground truthed by the evidence we have.

Full disclosure: I am not such a modeler and really don't have the expertise needed here. I'm just a duffer. However, I do evaluate and contribute to the development of other kinds of complex models (environmental ones), which have very similar sorts of issues around testing, validation and use during crises.

One thing I really don't like about [Furguson et al, 2020] is the lack of uncertainty, and the presentation of their major findings as single points. I appreciate that stochastic metamodels (like Monte Carlo) are more time consuming to run, but the range of expected outcomes is really important to understand, especially, as in this case, when they're making an argument based on probability.
posted by bonehead at 4:36 PM on March 18 [8 favorites]




I keep coming across and seeing strongly-worded internet arguments, that basically dismiss lockdown and strong isolation/quarantine strategies. I would paraphrase it as, we are worrying too much about elderly/vulnerable people, and stopping the economic machine will cause a terrible recession/depression that will disproportionately harm the underclass down the line. E.g., the commenters clearly believe that lockdown and "flatten the curve" is some sort of elitist bullshit, and talking points such as "Where was everyone when homeless/poor people are harmed every day", or even the well-known "It's just a flu" could be understood as not simply anti-science or ignorance, but an unclarified expression of this class conflict.

So there seems to be a significant strain of intersectional, classism-vs-ageism/ableism, going on, and thus far a failure to build solidarity. The last two days the Canadian and American news has been about government economic support, and that's relevant. But seeing those actual talking points and people's actual rationalizations happening--I'd like to know if this angle has been touched on by any journalist or author or information source?
posted by polymodus at 6:38 PM on March 18 [6 favorites]


Why Texas is so far behind other states on virus response (Politico)
As governors in states including New York and California have imposed statewide measures such as closing schools and limiting commerce, Texas leaders have been reluctant to set restrictions conservative voters might consider draconian and business leaders oppose. They’ve also opposed steps to expand health insurance coverage.

[...] the swift-spreading coronavirus public health crisis is catching Texas unprepared. The state, which didn’t expand Medicaid, has the highest uninsured rate in the country meaning millions of people don’t have doctors to call if they show symptoms. And Abbott has opposed local paid sick leave ordinances, which could encourage sick people to stay home and keep from spreading the virus, saying they hamper business growth.

[...] Texas isn’t the only state to drag its feet on a response. But the state’s population of 30 million people and its high uninsured rate makes the state a potential hotbed for virus spread. [...] Abbott’s office says the governor believes in taking a decentralized approach letting local officials take the lead in imposing restrictions and relying on private companies to help boost testing capacity.

[...] Some local officials say Abbott is responding to conservative Texas voters who will chafe at what they see as overly restrictive measures. “The biggest challenge there is still a lot of people in our communities who are trying to figure out if we are overreacting or underreacting,” said Jerry Mouton, mayor of Deer Park southeast of Houston.
posted by katra at 7:26 PM on March 18 [4 favorites]


Marsha Blackburn
Jim Inhofe
Ron Johnson
James Lankford
Mike Lee
Rand Paul
Ben Sasse
Tim Scott

These are the Senators the voted against the COVID-19 aid bill.

Their careers should be ended in a hail of advertising showing how they would have fucked their fellow countryfolk if they had their way.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:39 PM on March 18 [22 favorites]


So there seems to be a significant strain of intersectional, classism-vs-ageism/ableism, going on, and thus far a failure to build solidarity. The last two days the Canadian and American news has been about government economic support, and that's relevant. But seeing those actual talking points and people's actual rationalizations happening--I'd like to know if this angle has been touched on by any journalist or author or information source?

A few have. Was thinking about making an FPP out of these:

This pandemic will expose who we are as a country (Sean Illing, Vox)
“We’re bumping up against the limits of excessive American individualism and market society.”
Is This American Resilience? -The serious threat from a dangerous idea. (Lili Loofbourow, Slate)
"Coronavirus Quarantines: Why People Think that Being In Crowds is Patriotic"
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:50 PM on March 18 [13 favorites]


The People Ignoring Social Distancing (Joe Pinsker, Atlantic, Mar. 17, 2020)
Beyond lacking clear and forceful guidance from President Trump and his administration, why might people have failed to apprehend the gravity of the outbreak and the importance of staying in?

Baruch Fischhoff, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who studies human judgment and decision making, had a handful of potential answers. First: “There are very few reported cases in most places, so maybe people [think], ‘This is still not here yet,’” he said. “If you haven’t been following the fact that we haven’t been testing [very much], you might not realize how deceiving the reported cases are.” He mentioned research suggesting that the human brain is well adapted to recording how often specific numbers are reported, but not as well adapted to understanding when those numbers might not be representative of reality.

Second, and relatedly, Fischhoff said, people tend to underestimate the speed at which exponential processes—such as a disease outbreak—unfold. “You really can’t trust your intuitions,” he said. “For anybody—whether it’s politicians or business leaders, or whoever—who’s been seeing the problem growing and relying on their intuitive feeling for how fast it’s going to grow, they’re going to be in trouble.” [...] Also, Fischhoff guessed, people who do go out probably overrate their own control over whether they get sick. “One of the ways that we exaggerate [our own power] is not realizing how often we touch our face … and how many other people touch the things that we touch,” he said.

He also wondered whether people ignoring recommendations to socially distance were just taking cues from others, including people in positions of authority. For instance, Devin Nunes, a Republican representative from California, said Sunday on Fox News, “One of the things you can do is, if you’re healthy, you and your family, it’s a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant.” (His logic was that people should support local businesses and service workers.) People can be especially open to recommendations like this if they perceive their values to be in line with the recommender’s, Fischhoff said.

If the revelers weren’t modeling their nonchalance on the comments of those in power, their decision to go out might have been influenced by their friends. “In ambiguous situations, people look for social cues from others,” Fischhoff said. “You say, ‘Well, if other people are doing it, maybe they know something about whether this is an acceptable risk.’”
posted by katra at 7:51 PM on March 18 [5 favorites]


I keep coming across and seeing strongly-worded internet arguments, that basically dismiss lockdown and strong isolation/quarantine strategies. I would paraphrase it as, we are worrying too much about elderly/vulnerable people, and stopping the economic machine will cause a terrible recession/depression that will disproportionately harm the underclass down the line.
@polymodus, I totally understand where you are coming from. And, I linked to your comment because if I am wrong about what your saying or how others are feeling about it, there is context.
I keep coming across and seeing strongly-worded internet arguments, that basically dismiss lockdown and strong isolation/quarantine strategies.
If one can, please, PLEASE isolate as much as possible.
I would paraphrase it as, we are worrying too much about elderly/vulnerable people
We need to take care of the elderly. I am very concerned about the reports that children can be carriers and be completely asymptomatic yet still transfer the virus (esp. to the elderly).

Given my (I.T.) job duties, I have pretty much spent the last 3 days inside hospitals. The last thing I want to do is spread the virus. The second-to-last thing I want to do is transmit to my family. The third-to-last is to catch it myself so I can't do the support work I need to do.

stopping the economic machine will cause a terrible recession/depression that will disproportionately harm the underclass down the line.

It will harm the underclass, and it will not be "down the line". I've been there. Not very long ago. I bet a lot of other MeFis have been as well.

uggh. sorry. i can't finish. i have to walk straight into virus area multiple times tomorrow. i'll get some sleep and maybe finish this comment.

BE WELL ALL Y'ALL!
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 8:34 PM on March 18 [9 favorites]


It's going to hurt everyone.

You'd think that the Republicans would realize who will be most likely to die from COVID-19. Older people. Not saying young folks won't die as well. And, older people are their base. But..., THE ECONOMY!!!

Staggering in the ignorance and avarice.

Stay safe you all...
posted by Windopaene at 9:01 PM on March 18


How long should we be staying the fuck home?
posted by Selena777 at 9:19 PM on March 18


Selena, expect to stay home through May at least. This is going to be a long, long haul.
posted by sciatrix at 9:40 PM on March 18 [5 favorites]


Also, it's in Congress now.

So that's great.
posted by sciatrix at 9:42 PM on March 18 [1 favorite]


Why won’t Trump practice social distancing at his daily briefings?! (Robin Givhan, WaPo Perspective)
The president and his task force give their daily briefings on the coronavirus pandemic huddled together — shoulder to shoulder, behind a single lectern in the White House press room. President Trump stands at the center of this essential group with Vice President Pence to his left. On Wednesday afternoon, there were four other officials in this task force cluster — all standing within sneezing, coughing and spitting distance of one another. [...] When the world has been told to maintain six feet of personal space, the sight of these VIPs snuggled up next to one another is jarring. For a president skilled in stagecraft, it speaks volumes about his message — which is both self-centered and aggressively confident. [...]

The White House press corps — reduced in number so its members could be assigned to alternating seats, duly inspected by medical staff for any hint of a fever — lobs its questions from distance approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The president leans into the shared microphone. He grips the lectern with his bare hands — the same lectern upon which members of his team will place their notes and, upon occasion, their hands, too. The White House has reported that Trump tested negative for the coronavirus. But that doesn’t matter. Medical experts have warned: Behave as if you could have it, if not for yourself, then for the vulnerable.

So many in the public eye have recognized the need to model what that means. Celebrities have documented their self-distancing on social media with musician John Legend giving an at-home concert live on Instagram. CNN eliminated its usual on-set pileup of election coverage pundits and instead had an intimate panel spaced out around the table. Professional sports shut down. Businesses closed. But the commander in chief enjoys the reassuring embrace of a chorus during his regular briefings. [...]

His power is clear. He has made sure of that. What remains fuzzy in that picture is: Who is ultimately responsible?
posted by katra at 12:07 AM on March 19 [9 favorites]


Why won’t Trump practice social distancing at his daily briefings?

Because, as was also demonstrated by the way he handed the mic over to somebody else every time an answer with actual numbers in it seemed unavoidable, he always was and always will be a self-aggrandizing shitfunnel without the slightest shadow of a clue about how anything actually works.
posted by flabdablet at 12:40 AM on March 19 [16 favorites]


Extraordinary quarantine developments in Australia:

Tasmania effectively closes borders to mainland Australia

Northern Territory should be 'controlled area' to stop spread of coronavirus, Aboriginal groups say

Qantas is following Virgin Australia and ceasing all international flights
Qantas is also standing down two thirds of its workforce, 20,000 people. The USA has roughly 15 times as many people as Australia, so that would be like an American business losing 300,000 employees. It's quite possible that in a couple of weeks there will not be any commercial flights to Australia at all.
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:43 AM on March 19 [6 favorites]


Why won’t Trump practice social distancing at his daily briefings?

This tweeted video shows how the HSE in Ireland has set up their daily press briefings. Clearly marked out 2m distances from each seat (not just alternate seats) including at the top table.

The government is also letting the health service do a lot of the communication - it’s a daily HSE press briefing with support as needed from the Health Minister/Taoiseach. They seem to understand the importance of optics and being seen to do what they are themselves insisting should be done.

(Part of this may be that everyone knows that the health service isn’t going to cope with a huge number of cases, as it’s generally regarded as one of the worst in Europe. But they’re doing a pretty good job now, particularly compared to some of their neighbours.)
posted by scorbet at 1:14 AM on March 19 [4 favorites]


What happens if you are caught in a lockdown in a foreign country? I guess your family can send money, but I heard a lot of people were caught in islands in the Phillipines with not enough medicine. And what if your family can't send money?

Just before the her nursing home was locked down, my mother signed a power of attorney letter for me, but I didn't make it to her, and she has no digital access (which was why she wanted me to have it). Maybe they could bring me the letter to the door of the nursing home, but all public offices and her bank is closed too, so that doesn't help. Here, it isn't a big deal. Everybody is just saying that we'll look at it after the lockdown. But what if you were in another country?
posted by mumimor at 1:25 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]


What happens if you are caught in a lockdown in a foreign country?

I think you contact the embassy, consulate, or diplomatic mission for your home country, e.g. US Embassy list
posted by katra at 1:37 AM on March 19 [2 favorites]


Well, if you're one of approximately 170 Australians stuck in locked-down Peru, our government helpfully suggests that you book a charter flight home.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:46 AM on March 19 [3 favorites]


I think you contact the embassy, consulate, or diplomatic mission for your home country

EU citizens can also contact those of other EU member states if their home country isn’t represented where they are.

As always your nationality will play a huge role, as different countries have different resources, and (white) people from richer countries will be generally treated better in whatever country they’re caught in.

I know Germany is organizing repatriation of a lot of people stuck places at the moment (particularly Spain).
posted by scorbet at 2:10 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]


Michel Barnier has tested positive.
That seems like a big deal
posted by mumimor at 5:30 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]


Maybe they could bring me the letter to the door of the nursing home, but all public offices and her bank is closed too, so that doesn't help. Here, it isn't a big deal.

Mail?
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:09 AM on March 19


Mail?

Hahaha - we may have many wonderful things here in the Socialist paradise, from today including financial aid to gig workers and students. BUT, we don't have a functioning, trustworthy mail system. And we are not allowed to send personal data with the system we have.
You can't have everything.
posted by mumimor at 7:20 AM on March 19


The Other Essential Pandemic Office Trump Eliminated (Rosa Li, Slate)
"The White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team sure could have figured out how to convince people to do social distancing."

Much attention has been paid to the Trump administration’s shortsighted elimination of the White House Pandemic Response Team. The frustration with this decision is obvious: In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, we should have public health experts working with the federal government to tell us that social distancing is the best thing we can do to prevent infections and slow the strain on our health care system. But we also need behavioral scientists who can help advise on exactly how to get people to actually follow such instructions. The Obama administration created a White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, or SBST, tasked to use “behavioral science insights to better serve the American people” precisely for this reason. Unfortunately for the U.S., the Trump administration got rid of that too.

In its brief existence, the SBST tackled a broad range of issues, from fighting food insecurity to helping people save for retirement, through an evidence-based policy approach that drew inspiration from decision-making research. For example, they encouraged households to make their homes more energy-efficient by highlighting the immediate, concrete benefits of saving money on their power bills, rather than trying to appeal to the abstract, distant goal of slowing climate change. Crucially, SBST programs rarely tried to tell people what to do by throwing a bunch of facts and statistics at them—a current coronavirus-fighting approach that has only worked with a subset of the population. Instead, the SBST found ways to encourage better decision-making by capitalizing on the mental shortcuts we take and the biases that we have.

Though the SBST is no more, findings from decision-making research can still help us understand why people are not taking the threat of coronavirus seriously and how they could be convinced to follow social distancing recommendations. While epidemiologists are trying to model COVID-19’s true fatality rate—is it 3.4 percent? 1 percent?—decision scientists already know that people are generally pretty bad at objectively assessing probabilities. Famous behavioral economists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky argued that people “discard events of extremely low probability,” simplifying minuscule percentages to basically zero. In other words, regardless of COVID-19’s true case fatality rate, our human brains are tempted to shortcut it to “super unlikely, so probably not me.”
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:53 AM on March 19 [13 favorites]


we don't have a functioning, trustworthy mail system. And we are not allowed to send personal data with the system we have.

That's.....interesting. Same rules on private couriers (FedEx, DHL, etc)?

If your Mom is willing to puzzle it out, maybe a phone-scanning app. I use TurboScan constantly.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:54 AM on March 19


What happens if you are caught in a lockdown in a foreign country?

Some countries (UAE, Argentina from the weekend?) seem to be now not allowing even non-citizen “legal” residents in, at least according to the travel alerts I’ve been getting. So you could end up stuck outside your country of residence just because you happened to be outside at the wrong time. There’s no consular help in that case, so you can only return to your country of citizenship and hopefully have some family or friends that you can stay with there.
posted by scorbet at 8:05 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]


That's.....interesting. Same rules on private couriers (FedEx, DHL, etc)?

If your Mom is willing to puzzle it out, maybe a phone-scanning app. I use TurboScan constantly.


Same rules for everything. And of course you can't send scans, it's the internet! You either use the secure system that is provided and mandatory for all citizens or you go in person. My mother is exempt from the system, because she is legally blind. So normally there will be officials coming to her for stuff like signing papers or voting. But now nobody can enter her nursing home except staff.
I think if this happened in an election year here in Denmark, there might be a voting platform within the secure system. But who knows? Since it's a relatively short time frame, they might also just postpone the election by a few months.
posted by mumimor at 8:17 AM on March 19 [2 favorites]


The Other Essential Pandemic Office Trump Eliminated (Rosa Li, Slate)

Mixed blessing here. Behavioral science and marketing can be dangerously misused. On the other hand, to use them would be a sign of weakness to some.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:25 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]


My wife saw some of the press conference yesterday. She was remarking that Trump looked clearer and more coherent than she could ever remember seeing him. Which she followed up with, “He looks like someone who figured out they’d better act sober before the cop gets to the car window.”
posted by azpenguin at 8:27 AM on March 19 [22 favorites]


Well, in the US context, I was thinking that the relief the government is contemplating plus the projected need for intervals of distancing (during which relief payments might be renewed) makes this a good time for a USPS postal banking pilot project.

There's also the potential for Federal Reserve personal accounts kliuless previously posted about, I suppose those could be combined such that you access your Fed account via postal banking during intervals of distancing.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:34 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]


The Other Essential Pandemic Office Trump Eliminated (Rosa Li, Slate)

I'm kinda amazed Trump killed that... One of the weasels in his administration should have quickly pointed out the evil that could be done with a group like that. Maybe they were worried the staff actually had morals and figured they'd just use Fox News...
posted by cirhosis at 8:34 AM on March 19


On the other hand, the White House Social and Behavioral Sciences Team was created by Obama, so of course it had to go.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:47 AM on March 19 [12 favorites]


My wife saw some of the press conference yesterday. She was remarking that Trump looked clearer and more coherent than she could ever remember seeing him. Which she followed up with, “He looks like someone who figured out they’d better act sober before the cop gets to the car window.”

And then there was today. I shut it off 30 seconds in, when instead of giving some news, he decided to bash the media and refer to the "Chinese virus". I briefly switched back and he was patting himself on the back for something or another. I guess he thinks he's beat the virus, now.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:00 AM on March 19 [6 favorites]


Today's press conference included the phrase "It's a very exciting time for medicine."
posted by soundguy99 at 9:37 AM on March 19 [4 favorites]


While epidemiologists are trying to model COVID-19’s true fatality rate—is it 3.4 percent? 1 percent?—decision scientists already know that people are generally pretty bad at objectively assessing probabilities.

My mental arithmetic for making this real is pretty simple. Percentage times the Dunbar number. How many people in your immediate social circle will die? Or if the Dunbar number is too abstract try multiplying by the number of friends you have on Facebook.
posted by srboisvert at 11:21 AM on March 19 [1 favorite]


ProPublica: Are Hospitals Near Me Ready for Coronavirus? Here Are Nine Different Scenarios.

Includes an interactive component that shows the results for your (U.S.) area under different hypotheticals.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:53 AM on March 19 [3 favorites]


Estate agent Foxtons told a tenant with coronavirus symptoms who was self-isolating to leave their home so potential buyers could view the property.
Despite NHS guidance that anyone who may be infected should stay at home, Foxtons told the tenant that potentially having the virus was not acceptable grounds to restrict access to their home for viewings.

posted by Lanark at 4:22 PM on March 19 [3 favorites]


*
posted by Reverend John at 5:10 PM on March 19 [7 favorites]


A New York Doctor’s Coronavirus Warning: The Sky Is Falling (Cornelia Griggs, NYT Opinion)
The sky is falling. I’m not afraid to say it. A few weeks from now you may call me an alarmist; and I can live with that. Actually, I will keel over with happiness if I’m proven wrong.

Alarmist is not a word anyone has ever used to describe me before. I’m a board-certified surgeon and critical care specialist who spent much of my training attending to traumas in the emergency room and doing the rounds at Harvard hospitals’ intensive care units. I’m now in my last four months of training as a pediatric surgeon in New York City. Part of my job entails waking in the middle of the night to rush to the children’s hospital to put babies on a form of life support called ECMO, a service required when a child’s lungs are failing even with maximum ventilator support. Scenarios that mimic end-stage Covid-19 are part of my job. Panic is not in my vocabulary; the emotion has been drilled out of me in nine years of training. This is different.

[...] Please flatten the curve and stay at home, but please do not go into couch mode. Like everyone, I have moments where imagining the worst possible Covid-19 scenario steals my breath. But cowering in the dark places of our minds doesn’t help. Rather than private panic, we need public-spirited action. Those of us walking into the rooms of Covid-19-positive patients every day need you and your minds, your networks, your creative solutions, and your voices to be fighting for us. We might be the exhausted masked face trying to resuscitate you when you show up on the doorstep of our hospital. And when you do, I promise not to panic. I’ll use every ounce of my expertise to keep you alive. Please, do the same for us.
posted by katra at 5:12 PM on March 19 [9 favorites]


Coronavirus Live Updates: California Governor Orders All Residents to Stay Home (NYT March 19, 2020) Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all Californians to stay at home as much as possible beginning tonight, except for essential trips. Many businesses will be closed.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:10 PM on March 19 [4 favorites]


Includes an interactive component that shows the results for your (U.S.) area under different hypotheticals.

Seattle is pretty well good and fucked, then.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:22 PM on March 19


‘Quarantine shaming’: US navigates radical new social norms (AP)
“Quarantine shaming” — calling out those not abiding by social distancing rules — is part of a new and startling reality for Americans who must navigate a world of rapidly evolving social norms in the age of COVID-19. As schools close and shelter-in-place orders sweep across the U.S., the divide between those who are stringently practicing self-isolation and those who are still trying to go about some semblance of a normal life has never been more clear. Complicating matters: What was socially acceptable even 48 hours ago may now be taboo, as government officials race to contain the virus with ever-expanding circles of social isolation.

[...] Some of the strong online reaction to these crowd-size violations likely stem from the fact that authorities would be hard-pressed to enforce the new rules and are relying on a social compact to keep everyone safe. In Oregon, for example, restaurants that continue to offer dine-in service would face only a low-level misdemeanor — and social shaming is much more effective. [...] Those appalled by the behavior of some of their fellow Americans have welcomed a crackdown this week from many state and local governments that are adding daily to lists of closures and bans.
Coronavirus deniers and hoaxers persist despite dire warnings, claiming ‘it’s mass hysteria’ (WaPo)
Even as President Trump has asked Americans to stay at home and has called on the nation to come together to fight the “invisible enemy” known as the illness covid-19, virus doubters like Donovan and Crist persist. They call reports of more than 200,000 sickened and 9,000 dead worldwide a sham. Republican legislators have continued to brag about their dinners out, some beaches remain packed with spring breakers and Hollywood starlet Vanessa Hudgens was forced to apologize for complaining on Instagram that “people are going to die, which is terrible, but like, inevitable?”

Virus deniers vow to continue on with their daily activities with little adjustment, convinced that the unprecedented reaction to the virus is nothing more than a plot by the media or liberals out to get Trump. The Pew Research Center released a poll Wednesday that found that 62 percent of adults say the media is exaggerating the risk of the virus.
posted by katra at 12:06 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Newsom orders all 40M Californians to stay home in nation's strictest state lockdown (Politico)
The order takes effect immediately and remains in place "until further notice." Californians are not allowed to leave home except for essential purposes. They are allowed to purchase groceries, prescriptions and health care, as well as commute to jobs deemed essential.

The governor's order comes with misdemeanor penalties for anyone who violates the restrictions, though he said he believes social pressure will keep people home rather than law enforcement.

“There’s a social contract here,” Newsom said. “People, I think, recognize the need to do more and meet his moment.”

Newsom said the order has to remain in effect indefinitely. He has repeatedly said the next eight weeks are crucial to bend the curve and stop the rapid contagion. He also said, however, that he does not expect the order to last "many, many months."

Despite strong guidance to stay home — and enforceable orders in nearly two dozen counties — a small number of people in California are still playing basketball, hanging out together on beaches and congregating in parks.

"We will have social pressure that will encourage people to do the right thing. Just a nod, look, saying, ‘Hey, maybe you should reconsider just being out there on the beach, being 22 strong at a park,'" he said.
posted by katra at 12:14 AM on March 20


I don't mind the stupid self-culling, it's the vulnerable people they'll infect that I'm angry about.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:29 AM on March 20 [8 favorites]


Please flatten the curve and stay at home, but please do not go into couch mode......I promise not to panic. I’ll use every ounce of my expertise to keep you alive. Please, do the same for us.

Yeah, I think we're allowed to go into couch mode though. My expertise is conspicuously not in demand right now and I can "voice support" from the couch. Couch mode does not imply panic.
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:17 AM on March 20 [6 favorites]


Couch mode is my area of expertise. I'm sure not going to let all those many years of practice in social distancing go to waste now that it's finally called for.
posted by gusottertrout at 5:27 AM on March 20 [28 favorites]


Only people performing essential services can report to work in New York, governor orders (WaPo live blog)
The policy, to be formalized via executive order, will take effect Sunday evening and will be backed by the force of law, Cuomo said at a news conference. “These provisions will be enforced,” he said. “These are not helpful hints; this is not if you really want to be a good citizen.”

The governor said the list of essential jobs includes those at grocery stores and pharmacies, as well as services such as Internet and water. He said a full list would be released by his office later in the day.

Cuomo emphasized that this policy is not an order to “shelter in place” — a term that is usually used in mass shooting situations. He said the guidance to residents to mostly stay inside may continue for months and that people should feel free to take walks for the sake of their mental health.
Social distancing must continue for at least several weeks, Fauci says (WaPo live blog)
Americans will need to stay at home as much as possible and maintain social distance from other people for at least several weeks, Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday on NBC’s “Today” show.

“If you look at the trajectory of the curves of outbreaks in other areas, it’s at least going to be several weeks,” Fauci said. “I cannot see that all of a sudden next week or two weeks from now, it’s going to be over.”

[...] That policy of taking aggressive measures should also apply to governments, Fauci said. “When you think you’re maybe overreacting, you probably are not acting as forcefully as you should,” he said.
posted by katra at 10:26 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


PA Gov. Tom Wolf has triggered many a Keystone State snowflake by ordering all "non life-sustaining" businesses to close, with the local historically-hard-right-leaning-but-these-days-as-good-as-it-gets newspaper (and my wife's employer) decrying the measure as an "excessive attack on the economy", and twisting the words of a JHU doctor to make it sound like he was against the measures, when in reality, he was just saying there is a point at which social isolation and economic harm can hurt people more than the virus.

With the caveat that drawing a bright line between life-sustaining and not is rather difficult in an interconnected economy with all of the "inefficiency" that would normally provide a buffer against disruption wrung out of it, these people can fuck right off. Of course the economic harm is going to sting, but there's no time to wait around for precise, peer-reviewed data to know exactly how strict to be here, and if I'm a state governor and my choices are watching hundreds of thousands die or forcing people at the margins to avail themselves of income support programs, the food bank, etc. to get by, I'm going to err in the latter direction and work to beef up the safety net programs as needed. Not that Pittsburgh Tribune Review op-ed writers would care enough about the people they're using as props to actually give them money.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:48 AM on March 20 [3 favorites]


Illinois about to lock down.
posted by tiny frying pan at 11:23 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]


Of course the economic harm is going to sting

We are staring right down the barrels of something that could be worse than the Great Depression once the feedback loops really get going. There is a real chance that at least in minimal-safety-net societies like the US we could end up killing more people than the virus would have.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 11:44 AM on March 20 [8 favorites]


> We are staring right down the barrels of something that could be worse than the Great Depression once the feedback loops really get going. There is a real chance that at least in minimal-safety-net societies like the US we could end up killing more people than the virus would have.

An economic crash from years of fake economic "growth" fueled by the gig economy, stagnant wages, and chronic underemployment that only shows up in some unemployment metrics was coming long before COVID-19 arrived. The virus certainly made it happen sooner than it might have otherwise, and is certainly going to make the trough last longer than it might have otherwise, but don't get sloppy assigning all of the negative effects to the virus when mainstream economists of all stripes were saying we were overdue for a downturn roughly on this same scale.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:48 AM on March 20 [14 favorites]


Roughly on this same scale? Sorry, no. A crash was coming, but this is much bigger.

but don't get sloppy assigning all of the negative effects to the virus

I hate the upward concentration of wealth as much as you, but don't get sloppy yourself.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 1:07 PM on March 20 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the stock market was due to deflate, and the gig economy was always a pass-the-buck scam, but most people never expected all tourism, in-person entertainment, and restaurants to get torched simultaneously.
posted by benzenedream at 4:12 PM on March 20 [10 favorites]


and is certainly going to make the trough last longer than it might have otherwise

Apparently I should have put this part in bold type.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:20 PM on March 20


Yeah, I think we're allowed to go into couch mode though. My expertise is conspicuously not in demand right now and I can "voice support" from the couch. Couch mode does not imply panic.

reminds me of Facebook moment from a few years back. I was bored, probably a little drunk and posted a blunt all caps: "SOMEBODY SHOULD DO SOMETHING"

To which a friend replied. "They already did. That's the problem."
posted by philip-random at 4:37 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


State Department warns Americans: Don’t travel abroad, come home if overseas (Politico)
The Level 4 travel advisory for all international travel appears to be unprecedented and is the most severe such warning issued by the department. It urges American citizens who live abroad or otherwise cannot reach the U.S. to essentially stay where they are and avoid crossing international boundaries.

[...] Numerous U.S. citizens are already in limbo abroad, and the new guidance threatens to stir further anxiety among travelers. U.S. lawmakers have raised questions about the State Department’s ability to aid Americans overseas, but in the new guidance, the department makes clear that U.S. citizens shouldn’t count on it to help. “Have a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. government for assistance,” the travel advisory tells Americans who decide to go overseas or are already there.

[...] The State Department press office did not respond to requests for comment, but announced on Thursday that U.S. passport agencies will only accept applications from customers with life-or-death emergencies who plan to travel within 72 hours.

[...] Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, led a letter from 9 Democrats on Wednesday asking the State Department to step up its efforts to help those stuck abroad. “We seek an immediate clarification regarding your current efforts to facilitate the return of Americans to the United States, whether by commercial airline flights, charter flights, or other means,” the letter reads. Virginia Sen. Mark Warner also reached out to Pompeo on Wednesday, saying he's heard from "an alarming number of Virginians" unable to return home.
posted by katra at 5:07 PM on March 20


Compare/contrast the Canadian approach, from Monday 3/16/20 -- 'If you're abroad, it's time for you to come home': Trudeau (CBC clip; transcript at Maclean's.) 20+ minutes of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in English and French, emphasizing science, teamwork, and coordination, while calmly outlining the government's plans; no one at his elbow or huddling behind him; ends with a Q&A. Snippets from prepared remarks portion:

...I know this news will spark concern among Canadians travelling abroad. I want to assure you that our government will not leave you unsupported. To help asymptomatic Canadians return home, our government will set up a support program for Canadians who need to get on a plane. Canadian travellers will be able to get financial assistance to help them with the costs of returning home, or temporarily covering their basic needs while they wait to come back to Canada...

...I know that these measures are far-reaching. They are exceptional circumstances calling for exceptional measures. Earlier today, I had a call with our G7 partners to inform them of these important changes. From the very beginning, Canada’s response has been based on the latest available science and advice from our world-class health professionals. Today’s announcement is no different. These measures will help save lives...

...But I want to remind all Canadians that social distancing doesn’t mean we have to stop talking to each other. Pick up the phone. Write an email. FaceTime. The strength of our country is our capacity to come together and care for each other, especially in times of need. So call your friends. Check in with your family. Think of your community. Buy only what you need at the store.

But if you’re heading out to grab groceries, ask your neighbour if you can get them anything. And if you know someone who is working on the frontlines, send them a thank you. See how they’re holding up.

At the same time, our government is doing everything it needs to do to keep you safe—to keep your family safe, and to keep our economy strong. No matter what our next steps look like, you can rest assured that we will take them together—with premiers and mayors, with doctors and families and neighbours. Because that is what Canadians do in difficult times. We pull together and we look after each other.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:41 PM on March 20 [7 favorites]


Amazing and appalling the US State Department is saying to our citizens abroad, "Welp, you're on your own!"

I'm pretty sure Obama would have been able to give press conferences that reassured people, instead of this shitshow. Sigh...
posted by Windopaene at 9:49 PM on March 20 [4 favorites]


NBC’s Peter Alexander asked Trump to reassure Americans about coronavirus. Trump berated him instead. (WaPo)
Alexander shifted gears by citing the growing toll of the illness and asking Trump, “What do you say to Americans who are watching you right now and are scared?”

Rather than offering reassurance, Trump went after Alexander and his employer. “I’d say that you’re a terrible reporter, that’s what I’d say,” he said. Trump briefly gestured to another reporter to ask a question but decided to turn back to Alexander instead.

“I think it’s a very nasty question, and I think it’s a very bad signal that you’re putting out to the American people,” he said, pointing accusatorily at Alexander. “The American people are looking for answers, and they’re looking for hope. And you’re doing sensationalism. And the same with NBC and Concast — I don’t call it Comcast, I call it Concast.” He went on for several more moments in this vein, his voice rising steadily before concluding, “You should be ashamed of yourself.”

The exchange, which immediately lit up social media, was a jarring moment as the nation grapples with uncertainty and the president attempts to marshal the federal government’s response.
posted by katra at 10:09 PM on March 20 [8 favorites]


I observe again that Trump appears to believe, in the most literal way, that the media's job is to do PR for him. So "doing sensationalism" means reporting the facts of the crisis.
posted by thelonius at 10:25 PM on March 20 [18 favorites]


"Welp, you're on your own!" In-country US citizens receive the same message on the daily. State governors and the mayors of cities were told to shift for themselves for pandemic supplies. America, Inc., has been in business for 243 years, and a good business stays on brand.
(Granted, only about 1% of the population enjoy the house specialty, Rugged Individualism.)
(Your unrefined palate is not the fault of the management. Take some responsibility for your shortfalls, why don't you.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:33 PM on March 20 [4 favorites]


Iris Gambol, it gets even worse as far as states and supplies. Massachusetts governor told Trump at an event that MA had been outbid in three occasions for supplies... by the federal government. Trumps response was along the lines of “well, yeah, we have more buying power.” Dafuq?
posted by azpenguin at 11:19 PM on March 20 [11 favorites]


Coronavirus-scarred cities need ‘something bigger than the New Deal’ just to cope (WaPo)
The coronavirus outbreak is forcing every state, city and county to execute a plan of attack for confronting the global pandemic. It’s a process that Sarah Eckhardt, the top official in Texas’s Travis County, likened to “building the plane while in the air.”

But the virus — and the extraordinarily costly response to it — is also putting enormous pressure on all the normal stuff: the criminal justice, sanitation, transit, emergency response and other systems that residents expect from their state and local governments.

Although the nation is just in the first stages of what is likely to be a prolonged struggle to suppress covid-19, the strain on public services is already beginning to show. First responders are stretched thin. Courts are paralyzed. And everywhere, money for basic public services is running out, fast.
posted by katra at 11:24 PM on March 20 [3 favorites]


Oregon officials urge residents to stay home unless ‘absolutely necessary’ (WaPo live blog)
Oregon officials appear to be laying the groundwork for restrictions similar to the stay-at-home orders issued in California, New York and Illinois, instructing residents in a news conference Friday to practice strict social distancing and remain in their houses except for emergencies.

The announcement by Gov. Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was short on specifics, but they signaled that measures limiting residents’ movement were imminent for the state of 4.2 million. [...] For now, there is no lockdown or “shelter-in-place” order, Wheeler said, but he told residents to stay inside unless “absolutely necessary.”

“Aggressive social distancing works,” he said. “States, counties and cities around the country are already taking this step. We must join them. We must join them now with one voice.”

Wheeler said officials will spend the rest of the weekend working out more specific details and will share more with the public on Monday.
posted by katra at 11:26 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]


One doctor’s straight talk about the coronavirus strikes a chord with anxious Americans (WaPo)
As daily life undergoes rapid changes in response to the coronavirus outbreak and the death and infection total climb, a Chicago epidemiologist is drawing praise for her comments at a Friday news conference that outlined with clarity and urgency how seemingly small sacrifices today will prevent deaths of loved ones and strangers next week.

Emily Landon, the chief infectious disease epidemiologist at University of Chicago Medicine, took the lectern after Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), who on Friday afternoon announced that the state would undergo a shelter-in-place order for 2½ weeks starting Saturday evening.

“The healthy and optimistic among us will doom the vulnerable,” Landon said. She acknowledged that restrictions like a shelter-in-place may end up feeling “extreme” and “anticlimactic” — and that’s the point.

“It’s really hard to feel like you’re saving the world when you’re watching Netflix from your couch. But if we do this right, nothing happens,” Landon said. “A successful shelter-in-place means you’re going to feel like it was all for nothing, and you’d be right: Because nothing means that nothing happened to your family. And that’s what we’re going for here.”

Landon’s comments were less than 10 minutes of the nearly hour-long news conference, but they quickly made an impression on listeners and drew praise for their clarity and sense of empowerment while still conveying the urgency of the moment.
posted by katra at 8:43 AM on March 21 [16 favorites]


Trumps response was along the lines of “well, yeah, we have more buying power.” Dafuq?

It was an interesting moment the other day when Trump bristled at a reporter asking about Carnival Cruises "giving" their ships to the government for use as treatment centers. "There not GIVING THEM," he rushed to interject. And then something like "I know the owner, he's a great guy, he said hey we have these ships and we can let you use them, and now we're in talks."

The implication being that the government will pay for the use of the cruise ships that would otherwise be sitting around not making money because no one is going on a cruise right now.

If Carnival, which is headquartered in Florida, had its ships US flagged then the government could probably just take them over. But, naturally, all of its ships are flagged either in Panama or the Bahamas.

Also, via wikipedia:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, three of the Carnival cruise ships were chartered by the United States government for six months to serve as temporary housing until the houses can be rebuilt. After being chartered for six months, their planned voyages were cancelled, and passengers were refunded. Holiday was originally docked in Mobile, Alabama, and later Pascagoula, Mississippi, and Ecstasy and Sensation were docked at New Orleans, Louisiana. The six-month contract cost $236 million. The contract was widely criticized, because the vessels were never fully utilized, and Carnival received more money than it would have earned by using the ships in their normal rotation.
[WaPo Archive]
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:02 AM on March 21 [6 favorites]


Carnival received more money than it would have earned by using the ships in their normal rotation.

This is what always irks me about these kinds of contracts. It's not like operating a cruise ship involves unknown quantities. Carnival's base cost to run an ocean liner - or any core business model of a mega-corporation traded on 4 different markets - is probably one of the most known, tested, and retested quantities in the business world. Internally tested and validated constantly and retested by external auditors at least annually. But somehow pro forma financials are either not utilized, fabricated, or irrelevant in these situations.

I somehow think the underlying dynamics weren't strictly logistics...

This is something inherently broken in the way the U.S. does corporatocracy. Every charter to incorporate should stipulate at least temporary use of corporate assets at historical rates in the event of national emergencies. None of this lowest bidder or highest bidder shenanigans where the who and how is more wink and nod than pen and paper (or type and toner or whatever the kids are saying these days).

I mean hell, one of the latest revisions in accounting is the recording of contract assets based on expected revenue to be earned (numbers the capitalist critters know very well). A government should simply be able to buy that asset and say "sorry, no takebacks, your audited valuation is what it is, thank you for your service to the populations that prop up your racket." The public can see the before and after valuation, and Cheney-esque backroom bullshit need never enter the exchange.
posted by avalonian at 9:31 AM on March 21 [7 favorites]


How San Francisco is doing it: COVID-19: Hotels bidding against one another to provide shelter space to San Francisco
A Request for Proposal is live, and hotels are, in essence, bidding against one another in order to allow San Francisco to turn empty hotels into shelter spaces — for at least four months.

Per our sources, hotels have been given an extension until Saturday to enter their bids; the original deadline was midnight tonight [March 20].

You can read the RFP here and here

We reported yesterday that San Francisco officials expect to have obtained 3,000 to 4,000 hotel rooms by next week to house COVID-19 patients, those awaiting tests to be processed, those at risk, and medical and other professionals.

While the city could, conceivably, seize these rooms using eminent domain — even for temporary use — Mission Local is told that this process is quicker, avoids years of potential legal recriminations. “Everyone is playing nicely in the sandbox,” sums up a city official.
posted by Lexica at 9:56 AM on March 21 [4 favorites]


I know the owner

Right, so this is really working out well for Trump. He gets to frame it like he's hooking the US Government up using his connections. We're paying the company something but he can leave it vague so people can assume that we're getting a good deal.

In reality, Trump is just using this as yet another excuse to funnel money to one of his friends. I'm dead certain Trump's cut will make it's way to The Trump Org one way or another.
posted by VTX at 11:35 AM on March 21 [6 favorites]


Seen on Facebook today, in a nutshell: everyone in the US has a social circle of about 250 people; friends, coworkers, family. If you don’t think a 1-3% mortality rate is high, name the 3-8 people in your social circle who you are willing to have die so you can leave the house.
posted by hanov3r at 12:00 PM on March 21 [10 favorites]


[Couple deleted; I know that latter comment leaves an opening for a joke -- but I think people are going to end up feeling pretty crummy if they make that joke and then lose people in their social circles, so I'm gonna ask that people let the joke opportunity pass by, thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:39 PM on March 21 [5 favorites]


(gallows humor, apologies)
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:01 PM on March 21 [2 favorites]


(same)
posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 5:12 PM on March 21 [1 favorite]


We're in Mass and we went into social distancing mode on the 14th. The infrastructure around here has been pretty resilient to staying home. Some stores are still having trouble stocking some things (meat is a big one, I haven't been able to get poultry via Instacart or Peapod for the last week, Whole Foods has been filling that gap) but the restaurants are still doing delivery so I'm trying to support them as much as I can.

I've been telling my mum and dad back in Perth to just sick out because they're teachers and both old enough to be in the danger zone. I'm petrified that they're going to pass it over to my 88 year old grandmother inadvertently. She has so many risk factors that make a COVID-19 infection a crapshoot even with a perfectly functioning healthcare system.

My sister works in the pathology lab in St John of God Subiaco as an administrator and she says the lab people are basically doing 18 hour days at this point and it's all COVID-19. I told her to make sure she's not walking anywhere near the sick people in the ED but it's difficult because she takes the bus and she's essential personnel for ensuring labs get in and out efficiently. I think she'll be the first in the family to get it but I'm hoping it's going to be mild.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:17 PM on March 21 [5 favorites]


‘Terrified’ Package Delivery Employees Are Going to Work Sick (NYT)
Hour after hour, day after day, the packages keep arriving: food, medicine, clothes, toys and a million other items brought to the doorsteps and building lobbies of Americans who are hunkering down as the coronavirus sweeps the land.

An increasing number of the workers sorting those boxes, loading them into trucks and then transporting and delivering them around the country have fallen sick.

They have coughs, sore throats, aches and fevers — symptoms consistent with the coronavirus. Yet they are still reporting for their shifts in crowded shipping facilities and warehouses and truck depots, fearful of what will happen if they don’t. [...] With millions of Americans now on lockdown, home-delivery orders have soared, and the companies have become among the few power sources keeping the lights on in the darkening United States economy.
posted by katra at 6:59 PM on March 21 [8 favorites]


I got a delivery today--there was a tiny quiet knock on the door and then whoever it was was gone by the time I checked the peephole. Eventually got up the nerve to answer the door and found the package at the bottom. Given what I heard about cardboard, I still have it sitting at my door for 24 hours until the virus wears off the cardboard, if it exists.

Can't believe we're living in a world like this.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:26 PM on March 21 [3 favorites]






‘Terrified’ Package Delivery Employees Are Going to Work Sick (NYT)

Stories like these are not helpful at this point. Short of the airlock and bubble procedures that the immunocompromised will be engaging in, everyone will probably get the virus at this point. Being afraid of getting the virus, sadly, is now a bright ruby red herring. Our job now is to make sure we spread the load of handling cases of the virus over as much time as we can which basically involves making sure the virus spreads in the most orderly manner possible and this means some people will be first. The job of the media at this point is to prime the populace for this fact. Everyone is going to get it but we need to make sure it proceeds in almost a queue like structure.

If we were to stop society right now, dead in its tracks, nobody moves for two weeks, yes, nobody else would get the virus in the area, but if one part of society violated this we would eventually have it reemerge and resurge. We'd have to go through multiple rounds of this each time the virus sparks another outbreak and further economic shocks. Letting the virus proceed as smoothly as possible through the population is the least terrible option we have. This story is grossly irresponsible.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:15 AM on March 22 [1 favorite]


> Compare/contrast the Canadian approach...

> How San Francisco is doing it...

re: 'state capacity':* "My partner and I traveled from London Heathrow to Beijing yesterday. Given the current #COVID19 situation, I thought that I would share my experience of what traveling to China is like at the moment (it might be a preview of what could come to Europe)."
During our trip, temperature measurement was very frequent. On the way to plane our temperature was taken twice. It was taken twice more while in the air. Given the long incubation period, that seems only mildly effective, but it also didn’t use many resources.

On the plane, we were all instructed to wear masks and everyone stuck to it (that also means everyone was prepared as no-one handed out masks). Our neighbors were fully covered (see photo) and we felt somewhat under-protected (though probably more comfortable)...

Everyone entering Beijing at the moment has to undergo a 14-day quarantine (not just social isolation). Hence, everyone was put on buses to a convention center close to the airport. In the center, the atmosphere was very calm, and most people seem to accept the policy...

The quarantine is organized at the district level. Each district including ours (东城) had a few people working out the details of the quarantine for all arrivals. People living alone can spend the quarantine at home, but only if the local community leaders agree to it.

If the community doesn't have the capacity to support quarantine people or if the housing conditions don't allow it (eg central air conditioning) the quarantine has to be spent at central locations at your own cost.

We were lucky and after about an hour of waiting, our community agreed to host us and we could make our way home in a dedicated car. At the community entrance, we were welcomed by the community leader who made us sign a quarantine contract.

This contract is a pledge that we are not going to leave the house over the next 14 days. She also gave us plenty of information material about COVID-19 and then walked us home. Once at home, she put a seal on the door that would make it obvious if we left the house.

Generally, China is a great country to be quarantined. The community actively supports us. For example, the community leader offered to bring our online orders to our door as delivery drivers are not allowed to enter communities at the moment (and take our trash out).
China is a great country to be quarantined.

although, of course, others might disagree.
posted by kliuless at 9:26 AM on March 22 [3 favorites]


‘Terrified’ Package Delivery Employees Are Going to Work Sick (NYT)

> Stories like these are not helpful at this point.


I'm sorry that reporting about the heinous working conditions of the working class during this public health disaster is 'unhelpful' to you, but I will not stop posting articles about people who lack the privilege to stay home and are instead sacrificing and risking their health to serve those who do.
posted by katra at 10:44 AM on March 22 [27 favorites]


If we were to stop society right now, dead in its tracks, nobody moves for two weeks, yes, nobody else would get the virus in the area, but if one part of society violated this we would eventually have it reemerge and resurge. We'd have to go through multiple rounds of this each time the virus sparks another outbreak and further economic shocks. Letting the virus proceed as smoothly as possible through the population is the least terrible option we have.

It seems to me that if anything, this is an irresponsible mangling of the current policy, which is indeed to "stop society right now, dead in its tracks" to do everything possible to slow spread, and then still expect "multiple rounds" until a vaccine and/or effective therapeutics are widely available.

And, either way, stories regarding the burden placed on low-income workers we're relying on to work through that general stoppage to sustain us are "helpful" if they encourage better treatment and more support for the people doing those essential but low-prestige jobs. What is "unhelpful" even supposed to mean in that context?
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:27 AM on March 22 [12 favorites]


I'm sorry that reporting about the heinous working conditions of the working class during this public health disaster is 'unhelpful' to you, but I will not stop posting articles about people who lack the privilege to stay home and are instead sacrificing and risking their health to serve those who do.

Privilege will not help us. It's not some magical shield to be able to work from home. It's just a stall. This is half the problem with the story and the attitude. It isn't a matter of the white collars get to party while the blue collars are all sacrificed to the virus god. If everyone were all out there putting ourselves at risk in some notion of solidarity the system would utterly collapse. 2 million deaths in the US. Straight up.

All we are trying to do at this point is keep the healthcare system from being completely overwhelmed while having a world to come back to. The numbers are against us all because it's fucking math at this point. Society is literally walking the tightrope in the shape of an exponential curve right now. We're all playing craps and COVID-19 doesn't care how many chips we have. The difference is some of us are trying eight the hard way, others are playing the "Don't Pass" line, and some of us will be the shooter. We're all going to eventually lose it's just a question of when. Pointing out that some people are losing first doesn't help anyone.

It seems to me that if anything, this is an irresponsible mangling of the current policy, which is indeed to "stop society right now, dead in its tracks" to do everything possible to slow spread, and then still expect "multiple rounds" until a vaccine and/or effective therapeutics are widely available.

The current policy isn't to stop society dead in its tracks. It's to keep as much of the economy moving while having everyone else inside. If we were to stop dead in our tracks, we wouldn't have anyone outside right now. Public services would mostly disappear. Your trash people still come. Your water still works. You have power still on. You have working internet. There are still places to go in terms of societal and economic damage in the name of isolation. That's the level of "stop society dead in its tracks" that I'm talking about in this scenario.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:21 PM on March 22 [5 favorites]


What is "unhelpful" even supposed to mean in that context?

Because to emphasize a danger that can't actually be avoided means that people will be incentivized to engage in selfish acts that only hurt society as a whole for no net gain for the person either.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:26 PM on March 22


You're confusing economy with society, which was exactly the point.

We are stopping normal society, period. That is, if people can be persuaded to comply.

We are sustaining critical segments of the economy, only. These people are a part of it, and their needs deserve attention as we are going to more heavily rely on them than ever.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:30 PM on March 22 [9 favorites]


The Guardian view on the coronavirus crisis: much worse is to come (Editorial Opinion, Mar. 22, 2020)
Data shows that the UK’s coronavirus outbreak is following a similar trajectory to Italy’s, with around a two-week delay. While panic will not help anyone, the only rational reaction to this information is serious alarm. [...] If the disease advances in the UK as scientists expect, the number of people killed will increase from 281 to around 5,000 in about two weeks’ time. These are the brute facts that led to last week’s switch in government policy, with an approach focused on “mitigation” partially replaced with a more aggressive policy of “suppression”.

[...] Those who are able to should take steps beyond what the government has advised. That means working from home, unless this is impossible, or because your job is essential to the coronavirus effort (or the allied effort to support those who are unable to cope on their own). It means shopping rarely, keeping a safe distance of at least six feet from others, and following strict hygiene rules.

It also means being aware that the restrictions do not affect everyone equally.
‘If coronavirus doesn’t get us, starvation will’: A growing number of Americans say they can’t afford to stock up on groceries (WaPo, Mar. 20, 2020)
[...] like millions of Americans on fixed incomes, who rely on social security, disability checks or food stamps to buy necessities each month, Brown doesn’t have much of a choice. It is nearly impossible, she says, to stock up on food, medication or other necessities beyond what she would normally buy. [...] More than 37 million Americans — or about 1 in 9 people — struggled to put food on the table in 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That number could soon double as the outbreak wreaks havoc on workers around the country, said Katie Fitzgerald, chief operating officer of Feeding America, a nonprofit that oversees 200 food banks. Already, companies like Marriott International, MGM Resorts and Caesars have signaled plans to shed thousands of jobs as hotels, restaurants and retail shops suspend or curtail business to wait out the worst of the pandemic. On Thursday, jobless claims jumped 33 percent to 281,000, and economists say that number could jump eightfold this coming week.
posted by katra at 1:14 PM on March 22 [4 favorites]


We are sustaining critical segments of the economy, only. These people are a part of it, and their needs deserve attention as we are going to more heavily rely on them than ever.

But in this specific case their needs (being safe from COVID-19) obviously can't be met. How does one reading a story like that distinguish the unachievable from indifference? And how does one not feel resentment as has been so clearly expressed upthread? It's only natural human reactions to feel resentment at a situation that's so ridiculously awful happening to you because of circumstance but how does it actually help anybody to put it on public display to inspire others to the same feelings? It can only hurt.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 1:17 PM on March 22


their needs (being safe from COVID-19) obviously can't be met.

Yes they can! Yes, their needs CAN be met. We can give them the food and the PPE that they need to stay safe. We can promise them care should they fall ill. We can do that. We can use our resources to supply them with what they need to keep the rest of us alive. We can make their jobs extremely high-pay and compensate their families whenever one of them cannot be saved.

We need to keep those people alive so that we can keep doctors alive so that we can keep the people who work in labs and study viruses alive for as long as we can so that we increase the chance that we can develop a vaccine and drug treatments.

So everyone who is not essential needs to stay inside and not mill about so that we all get sick at once and kill the doctors who can maybe keep the people who work in labs alive. And we need to sustain the people who have to be outside and milling around however we can. That must be our first priority, that and protecting the health care workers.

Those pathologists at work in labs do not have lots and lots and lots of money to pay for things like special treatment and testing and hospital beds and respirators for themselves like basketball players and Rand Paul can. That needs to change yesterday, too.

So what that means is that what we as a species chiefly need is for all the rich pieces of shit who have been hoarding resources to disgorge and spend pretty much all of their money exactly right now on PPE, tests, and beds to make it possible for the service people to keep delivering food and supplies and the doctors to keep ahead of the curve so that, again, the doctors can stay alive so that, again, the doctors can keep the pathologists alive.

If the rich people think they can beat this by hanging out on their special islands and building a rocket to Mars, then that is hilarious, and I wish I could be alive to see what happens to them. Sad trombone, I will not.
posted by Don Pepino at 1:25 PM on March 22 [28 favorites]


...on preview, basically what Don Pepino said.

After 9/11, we were assured we could spend our way out of the crisis - that the status quo is what stood between us and obliteration. This is different.
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:34 PM on March 22 [2 favorites]


#epitwitter (epidemiologists on twitter) have had it up to here for days
Gregg Gonsalves
An epidemic of armchair epidemiology is happening @NYTimes, first
@DrDavidKatz, now @tomfriedman decide to opine on the dynamics of epidemics and their control,
...
Yes, social distancing is going to hurt lots of people, but also prevent lots of deaths. But instead of pitting one against the other you fucking geniuses, why not think about how to ameliorate the downstream economic damage rather than making an epidemic worse? 9/
posted by spamandkimchi at 1:40 PM on March 22 [9 favorites]




This is my ever so highly personal joke about all of this, but the town that Will Smith wound up in, at the end of I Am Legend? Bethel Vermont, that's five miles from here. AND WE ARE STILL SOCIAL DISTANCING (and staying the fuck home unless we're walking six feet away outside).
posted by jessamyn at 1:56 PM on March 22 [7 favorites]


But in this specific case their needs (being safe from COVID-19) obviously can't be met.

This isn't a case of nuclear reactor meltdown workers being asked to sacrifice themselves for a noble cause and then a newspaper complaining about it. This is logistics workers being exploited by a capitalist framework, and publishing investigative journalism can help raise awareness, rally political support so as to agitate for and demand socioeconomic change to improve the working conditions for people at the bottom levels of the skeleton economy. In fact, it from the neoconservative playbook that lots of people, including some of my relatives, will try to argue that X problem is not solvable, so why complain about/discuss X at all, because that would just create further discontent
posted by polymodus at 3:14 PM on March 22 [17 favorites]


Per the FEMA director in today's White House news conference: no Disaster Unemployment Insurance is available in New York (or elsewhere) under the current FEMA declarations.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:31 PM on March 22 [2 favorites]


Well,

Bless their hearts...

or

This is my surprised face.
posted by Windopaene at 4:35 PM on March 22 [1 favorite]


Hold the Line, Jonathan Smith [Medium]

"As an infectious disease epidemiologist (although a lowly one), at this point I feel morally obligated to provide some information on what we are seeing from a transmission dynamic perspective and how they apply to the social distancing measures....Specifically, I want to make two aspects of these measures very clear and unambiguous."

...

Study after study demonstrates that even if there is only a little bit of connection between groups (i.e. social dinners, playdates/playgrounds, etc.), the epidemic trajectory isn’t much different than if there was no measure in place. The same underlying fundamentals of disease transmission apply, and the result is that the community is left with all of the social and economic disruption but very little public health benefit. You should perceive your entire family to function as a single individual unit; if one person puts themselves at risk, everyone in the unit is at risk. Seemingly small social chains get large and complex with alarming speed. If your son visits his girlfriend, and you later sneak over for coffee with a neighbor, your neighbor is now connected to the infected office worker that your son’s girlfriend’s mother shook hands with. This sounds silly, it’s not. This is not a joke or a hypothetical. We as epidemiologists see it borne out in the data time and time again and no one listens. Conversely, any break in that chain breaks disease transmission along that chain.

In contrast to hand-washing and other personal measures, social distancing measures are not about individuals, they are about societies working in unison. These measures also take a long time to see the results. It is hard (even for me) to conceptualize how ‘one quick little get together’ can undermine the entire framework of a public health intervention, but it does. I promise you it does. I promise. I promise. I promise. You can’t cheat it. People are already itching to cheat on the social distancing precautions just a “little”- a playdate, a haircut, or picking up a needless item at the store, etc. From a transmission dynamics standpoint, this very quickly recreates a highly connected social network that undermines all of the work the community has done so far.

posted by snuffleupagus at 4:39 PM on March 22 [25 favorites]


Coronavirus forces states to order nearly one in three Americans to stay home (Reuters)
Nearly one in three Americans was under orders on Sunday to stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic as Ohio, Louisiana and Delaware became the latest states to enact broad restrictions, along with the city of Philadelphia.

The three states join New York, California, Illinois, Connecticut and New Jersey, home to 101 million Americans combined, as cases nationwide topped 32,000, with more than 415 dead, according to a Reuters tally.

[...] Around the globe, billions are adapting to a new reality, with countries such as Italy, Spain and France on lockdown and several South American nations taking similar measures to try to stay ahead of the contagion, as global cases exceeded 325,000 and deaths topped 14,000.

The mayor of New York City, the epicenter of the nation’s coronavirus epidemic, on Sunday described the outbreak as the biggest domestic crisis since the Great Depression and called for the U.S. military to mobilize to help keep the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.
New York quiets as it becomes next virus hot spot (AP)
No more play dates, no more picnics in the park with friends, no more pickup games of basketball. No more commuting or using public transport — unless absolutely essential. New York is implementing dramatic restrictions Sunday in an attempt to slow a pandemic that has swept across the globe and threatened to make the state one of the world’s biggest coronavirus hot spots.

[...] New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday ordered all nonessential businesses in the state to close and nonessential workers to stay home, tightening even further restrictions put in place earlier in the week. The order takes effect at 8 p.m. Sunday, but officials were urging New Yorkers to start following it immediately.
posted by katra at 5:26 PM on March 22


Gov. Murphy vows action to enforce NJ stay-at-home order (Fox5)
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy expressed anger Sunday at reports of people in New Jersey ignoring his stay-at-home order and warned: “We're going to take action." [...] Murphy on Saturday ordered residents to stay home, banned all gatherings and told nonessential retail businesses to close in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. [...] Murphy said the number of people allowed to gather together had gone “to zero."

“We basically have banned any social gatherings in the state," he said. While acknowledging the difficulty of enforcement, he said, “We want no gatherings of any kind. We want people to stay home, period.” [...] Officials said prosecutors would be on call dealing with violations of the executive order.
As Coronavirus Hits, New Yorkers Wonder if They Should Leave (WSJ)
Home rentals have surged in places New Yorkers typically turn to in the summer, from the Hamptons to Nantucket, Mass., as travel otherwise evaporated, according to AirDNA, a travel-booking analytics site. Rental markets in areas outside other major, crowded cities as well from San Francisco to Chicago to Boston are seeing high demand.

[...] This influx has in turn has triggered concerns that vacation getaways might not have enough resources to cope in the event that the number of people needing hospitalization soars in the weeks and months ahead.

[...] On the south shore of Lake Tahoe, tourism officials have urged visitors to stay away, warning that visitors could overwhelm existing resources and risk lives, due to the limited capacity of health facilities. “This is something I thought I’d never have to say throughout my tourism career, but please stay home at this time,” said Carol Chaplin, chief executive and president of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority in a press release.
posted by katra at 7:34 PM on March 22 [2 favorites]


Murphy said the number of people allowed to gather together had gone “to zero."

One I can manage. It's the loneliest number, but sure.

Zero I'm going to have some trouble with.
posted by MrVisible at 8:08 PM on March 22 [23 favorites]


'Kiwis – go home': New Zealand to go into month-long lockdown to fight coronavirus (Guardian)
On Monday the nation was given 48 hours to prepare for schools, businesses and community services to turn off the lights in a desperate bid to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The move came after the number of cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand rose past 100. In an address to the nation, the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said she was not willing to put the lives of her citizens in danger. “The worst-case scenario is simply intolerable, it would represent the greatest loss of New Zealanders’ lives in our history and I will not take that chance.” Ardern announced the country would move to level three measures immediately, and then to four – the highest level – on Wednesday.

“I say to all New Zealanders: the government will do all it can to protect you. Now I’m asking you to do everything you can to protect all of us. Kiwis – go home.” [...] “The situation here is moving at pace, and so must we. The trajectory is very clear, act now or risk the virus taking hold as it has elsewhere.” [...] Ardern said if the country did not lock down it would face a death toll beyond anything ever experienced before, and she wanted to give health services “a fighting chance”. [...] Ardern said she knew the measures would be anxiety-inducing for many New Zealanders and they needed to be “strong and kind” to each other during the unprecedented crisis.

“Today, get your neighbour’s phone number, set up a community group chat, get your gear to work from home, cancel social gatherings of any size or shape, prepare to walk around the block while keeping a two-metre distance between you. “If in doubt, don’t go out.”
posted by katra at 8:30 PM on March 22 [4 favorites]


Laura Gao:* "Got on a phone call with my grandparents in Wuhan tonight. Asked them how things were holding up now that the things have improved alot for the city. Here's some cool findings..."
I asked how they get supplies as two 80-yo who cannot leave the apartment. They said the govt has assigned an official for each "neighborhood" to be a supply runner. They take grocery orders from everyone via an online form, buys them at the supermarket, and delivers them...

My grandparents are tech-illiterate so my uncle helps fill out their online form. The govt official assigned to their "neighborhood" also has their phone # and will call frequently to check in. He not only does supply runs but can order taxis ASAP if they need medical care.

Fun fact: Because all taxis are state-owned and all public transportation is shut down, the govt has repurposed all taxis as emergency vehicles to drive people to the hospital during quarantine.

Many relatives have not worked for 3 months now bc of quarantine. They said the govt mandated employers must still pay salaries while they're in quarantine. As a reaction, some employers are requiring workers to make up this pay once they come back... effectively a loan.
posted by kliuless at 10:04 PM on March 22 [13 favorites]


Ms. flabdablet organized a socially distant street party for us and our neighbours this afternoon. Seven people came, including us. Everybody brought their own nibblies, drinks and camp chairs, which we set up two metres apart in a circle around a campfire in our front yard, which has no street fence, and we sat under the trees and nibbled and sipped and complained about panic-driven regional supermarket tourism and found out what each other were short of while maintaining a respectful distance as the sun went down. It was good. We'll do another one next time we all start feeling a bit safety-valve deprived.
posted by flabdablet at 3:53 AM on March 23 [3 favorites]


Guardian live blog: "We start with comments made this morning by US surgeon general Dr Jerome Adams who appeared on NBC Today, warning Americans: “This week it’s going to get bad.”
He added: “We really need to come together as a nation...we really really need everyone to stay at home.”

Adams offered a stark warning to a few major US cities that have seen a spike in cases recently, using the nation’s Covid-19 hotspot, New York, as an important reminder: “We don’t want Dallas or New Orleans or Chicago to turn into the next New York. It means everyone needs to be taking the right steps right now.”

Adams said that testing around the country has “significantly increased”. But cautioned that “We aren’t testing the people who are at highest risk right now...We need to make sure we’re prioritizing testing for our health care workers.”
posted by katra at 11:46 AM on March 23 [2 favorites]


PM announces strict new curbs on life in UK
The prime minister is announcing strict new curbs on life in the UK to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

From this evening people must stay at home except for shopping for basic necessities, daily exercise, any medical need and travelling to and from essential work.
posted by hanov3r at 2:01 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


Denver neglects to exempt dispensaries and liquor stores with long lines resulting.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:47 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


Quebec deems alcohol, cannabis stores essential.
posted by porpoise at 4:03 PM on March 23 [6 favorites]


I've been supporting local businesses by getting edibles and alcohol delivered. #californiaDreamin
posted by kirkaracha at 4:06 PM on March 23 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I wondered about states that only sell alcohol in "Liquor Stores" and wondered how that was going to work out for them re, "essential" services.

All my grocery stores sell liquor/wine/beer so that's covered. Probably should have hit the weed store, but, some were already closed here in Seattle. Oh well, push comes to shove, I probably know a dude.

Having a happy hour tomorrow with our soccer team, and teammates who've moved away via zoom tomorrow. Ms. Windo did one on Friday night with her co-workers.

Stay distanced y'all. We will get by...
posted by Windopaene at 4:11 PM on March 23 [1 favorite]


Oregon issues 'stay home' order amid intense criticism over Covid-19 response (Guardian)
The Oregon governor issued a sweeping “stay home, save lives” order on Monday, after facing intense criticism for not taking strong enough measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic in a state which may be poorly positioned to weather the crisis.

Kate Brown’s order mandated the closure of a range of businesses – from art galleries to yoga studios – in which “close personal contact is difficult or impossible to avoid” as well as playgrounds and basketball courts. [...] Monday’s order also banned “non-essential social gatherings” where physical distancing of six feet could not be maintained. Oregonians may leave their houses, and engage in exercise and outdoor recreation, but only if the same physical distancing was possible.

Disobeying the laws will be a misdemeanor offense.

Brown had been the subject of criticism and incredulity from health authorities and other elected officials – many fellow Democrats – after she failed last week to follow the lead of states such as California and New York in enforcing strict physical distancing.

[...] The widespread concern reflects a view that Oregon’s public health resources may be inadequate for the scale of the outbreak unfolding in Seattle, New York City, and Europe. The state has the fewest per-capita hospital beds in the US, due to adopting a model of healthcare which is optimized to avoid hospitalization.
posted by katra at 4:47 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


New Mexico's governor issued a stay-at-home order today, effective at 8 a.m. tomorrow. We have 83 cases. I am glad she is taking quick action.

But I think there are too many exemptions. It's also time to shut down domestic air travel.
posted by NotLost at 10:12 PM on March 23 [2 favorites]


Health officials want Trump to ‘double down, not lighten up’ restrictions (Politico)
Rattled health officials are trying to fight off ascendant voices around Donald Trump pressing the president to restart the economy as soon as Monday to stem severe business and job losses.

The prospect of resuming typical business so soon has horrified these public health leaders, who see the debate as premature amid a crisis that the administration is just beginning to wrangle, according to eight people with knowledge of the administration's discussions about its coronavirus guidelines.

[...] “It is way too early to even consider rolling back any guidelines," said Howard Koh, a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and former top Obama administration public health official. “With cases and deaths rising by the day, the country must double down, not lighten up, on social distancing and related measures.”

It’s a battle that will intensify in the coming days as the country approaches the end of a 15-day period of extreme social distancing, which the White House launched on March 15.
posted by katra at 11:31 PM on March 23 [5 favorites]


Thanks to federalism, Trump doesn't actually have the authority to ease restrictions. AFAICT there aren't any national restrictions with the force of law anyways. Most of the containment procedures are on the state or local level, and those aren't under his control.
posted by jackbishop at 5:58 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


Yes, but it will be very hard to maintain the necessarily level of restrictions without financial help for individuals from the federal government. I can work from home, but there are a lot of people who can't, or whose jobs have gone away entirely. There are people who will face starvation.
posted by tavella at 6:09 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure that it has been done for all states yet, but the feds have already invoked the disaster declaration for some states that eases many restrictions on unemployment and SNAP benefits, which again are controlled by the states. It's literally the only good thing about the block grant model, and for the states that presently have them, the disaster declaration unlocks further funds for those programs.

Trump being bad at most of the job of governing is terrible in many ways, especially now, but it also means he has little control if nobody is willing to help him effectuate his verbal diarrhea. The systems we have in place won't keep things from going to shit, but our state governments all have the systems in place to keep people from starving and the authority to prevent people from being made homeless if they are willing to use it. Press your state and local governments to do what they can. (City and/or county governments can in many states make evictions impossible should they so choose, as many already have)
posted by wierdo at 7:00 AM on March 24 [4 favorites]


So, it looks like the early shelter-in-place restrictions in the Bay Area may be having a positive effect on progression of COVID-19 infections.

Caveat: limited testing is probably tweaking the 'number of cases' charts, but the 'number of deaths' charts are super promising.
posted by hanov3r at 8:32 AM on March 24 [1 favorite]


I have never seen more incontrovertible proof that the GOP is truly a death cult. Where are Sarah Palin's death panels now?

Texas' lieutenant governor suggests grandparents are willing to die for US economy
posted by mostly vowels at 8:42 AM on March 24 [8 favorites]


I feel like the country is being run by my spam folder.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:50 AM on March 24 [38 favorites]


Virtual Memorials and No Hugs: The Funeral Industry Prepares for Coronavirus (Madison Pauly, Mother Jones)
[...] Following the White House’s guidance last week to limit all gatherings to 10 people through the end of the month, the National Association of Funeral Directors is advising its members to consider limiting memorial services to immediate family or livestreaming them. [...]

The concern about funerals is not that the bodies of the people who die from COVID-19 will transmit the virus. The Centers for Disease Control says there is “currently no known risk associated with being in the same room at a funeral or visitation service with the body of someone who died of COVID-19,” though it advises against kissing, washing, or shrouding dead bodies. The risk is that services to remember the dead will become sites of transmission for the virus due to close contact between mourners. There’s at least one example of this happening so far. Public health officials in Doughtery County, Georgia, announced this week that they believed COVID-19 cases in their area were traceable to two funerals held at the Martin Luther King Memorial Chapel.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:53 AM on March 24 [2 favorites]


Cuomo just gave an incredible news conference. Worth watching in its entirety.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:12 AM on March 24 [6 favorites]


Smartphone data reveal which Americans are social distancing (and not) (WaPo)
If you have a smartphone, you’re probably contributing to a massive coronavirus surveillance system. And it’s revealing where Americans have — and haven’t — been practicing social distancing.

On Tuesday, a company called Unacast that collects and analyzes phone GPS location data launched a “Social Distancing Scoreboard” that grades, county by county, which residents are changing behavior at the urging of health officials. It uses the reduction in the total distance we travel as a rough index for whether we’re staying put at home.

Comparing the nation’s mass movements from March 20 to an average Friday, Washington, D.C., gets an A, while Wyoming as a whole earns an F.

How do they know that? Efforts to track public health during the coronavirus pandemic are a reminder of the many ways phones reveal our personal lives, both as individuals and in the aggregate. Unacast’s location data comes from games, shopping and utility apps that tens of millions of Americans have installed on their phones — information the company normally analyzes for retailers, real estate firms and marketers.

It’s not alone. Google also collects and shares where we go. Long before the coronavirus, the Google Maps app has included a live read of how busy popular destinations are, based on location data. Facebook’s Instagram, too, lets you see other people who’ve recently shared updates from places. Both tools are useful for anyone who wants to practice social distancing and avoid spaces that are busy for a jog or fresh air during shelter-in-place orders. [...] The Unacast maps are searchable and will be updated daily.
posted by katra at 10:04 AM on March 24 [11 favorites]


I both love and hate that scoreboard. Because where I live, I know (based on census data that I also know) the fact that so many people are traveling so much less means they are not working. Which is great for social distancing but also bad for a lot of other things.

Also I don't know about anyone else, but I no longer take my phone with me when I go outside (on walks! socially distant from other people!) because I like to rub it all over my face and I would prefer to not clean it.
posted by jessamyn at 12:59 PM on March 24 [6 favorites]


you can just put it in a ziplock and then throw the bag away when you get home
posted by poffin boffin at 1:50 PM on March 24 [1 favorite]


your phone i mean, not your face
posted by poffin boffin at 1:50 PM on March 24 [25 favorites]


I wanted to watch the Cuomo clip, but it opens with people setting up the space and they're all too close to one another.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:14 PM on March 24


Coronavirus: India enters 'total lockdown' after spike in cases, BBC, March 24, 2020:
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has imposed a nationwide lockdown in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The restrictions came into force at midnight local time (18:30 GMT) and will be enforced for 21 days.
"There will be a total ban on venturing out of your homes," Mr Modi said in a televised address.
He appealed for people not to panic - but crowds quickly mobbed stores in the capital, Delhi, and other cities. Correspondents say it is not clear how - or even if - people will now be allowed out to buy food and other essentials.

The new measures follow a sharp increase in cases in recent days. There have been 519 confirmed cases across India and 10 reported deaths. India - which has a population of 1.3bn - joins a growing list of countries that have imposed similar measures. Nearly 400,000 people have tested positive for the virus worldwide, and around 17,000 have died.

"The entire country will be in lockdown, total lockdown," Mr Modi said on Tuesday. He added: "To save India, to save its every citizen, you, your family... every street, every neighbourhood is being put under lockdown."Mr Modi warned that if India does not "handle these 21 days well, then our country... will go backwards by 21 years."

"This is a curfew," he said. "We will have to pay the economic cost of this but [it] is the responsibility of everyone."
...
posted by cenoxo at 5:55 PM on March 24 [1 favorite]


Tiny Snek Comics presents an ethical dilemma
posted by Flannery Culp at 6:00 PM on March 24 [9 favorites]


Coronavirus: WHO warns the pandemic is ‘accelerating’ — It took 67 days to reach first 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second, 4 days for the third. Mercury News; Stephanie Nebehay/Kate Kelland, Reuters; March 23, 2020:
GENEVA – The pandemic of disease caused by the coronavirus is accelerating, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday, with more than 300,000 cases now recorded and infections reported from nearly every country worldwide.

While it took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases of COVID-19, it took only 11 days for the second 100,000 cases, and just four days for the third 100,000 cases, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.
The end of the fourth 100,000 occurred earlier today: now we’re in the fifth set of 100,000 cases.

At this time, the JHU-CRC Map shows Total Confirmed Cases > World (all continents) at 422,652, the United States at 55,041, and all climbing fast (chart waiting for updated data).

Coronavirus is an undeniable and expanding worldwide crisis. The United States government – starting with The Imperial Donald – cannot afford to be 'America First'. We must start working in coodination with the rest of the world (China included) to slow down and eventually stop the epidemic. We can all get back to hagglin' afterwards.

There’s no wall big enough to keep COVID-19 out of the USA, Mr. President. Where are we going to hide?
posted by cenoxo at 9:03 PM on March 24 [7 favorites]


Norway, which is part of the EEA but not the EU, was nevertheless included in an EU-wide medical supply purchasing agreement. I feel I could hear the relief in the PM's voice when it was announced. So yeah, it's certainly the time for coming together, not staying apart (well, I mean, staying physically apart is the best bet, of course...)
posted by Harald74 at 11:50 PM on March 24 [6 favorites]


Governor Steve Bullock of Montana sent out the following email at about 11:20 PM (RMT) last night. Major points:
... Today I issued a directive to extend closures of public schools and dine-in food service and alcoholic beverage businesses through April 10th.
• I also mandated social distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Montana and took actions to give our front-line healthcare workers the resources and support they need to do their incredibly difficult jobs.
• Yesterday, we saw a 25% increase of our COVID-positive population. And, while I wish it were otherwise, I certainly expect those numbers to increase, as some community spread occurs and as further testing is done.
...
For the most up to date information regarding COVID-19 in Montana, please visit: https://covid19.mt.gov/
• SCHOOLS: School closures have been extended through April 10th. School districts were instructed last week to create plans, in the event of future closures, for providing (1) education through remote learning, where possible, (2) school meal services, where possible, (3) services for students with disabilities, and (4) other services customarily provided to children in school. Please reach out to your school district superintendent for any questions you have about your district and its plans.
...
• SOCIAL DISTANCING: Effective immediately, non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals outside of a home or place of residence greater than ten people are prohibited, if a distance of at least six feet between individuals cannot be maintained. This measure is consistent with actions taken in other states to slow the spread of COVID-19.
• Retail businesses are also required to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies to ensure a minimum of six feet between customers, effective March 28, 2020. This requirement does not apply to grocery, health care, medical, or pharmacy services, although they are encouraged to comply with social distancing protocols and worker safety measures if possible.
• LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: I also announced measures to give local governments the flexibility they need to adhere to social distancing guidelines and do their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
...
• HOSPITALS AND HEALTHCARE WORKERS: Montana is also preparing for a potential surge of patients needing hospital care. On Monday, I announced a Directive that temporarily waives the bidding process to quickly procure or distribute emergency supplies or contract for additional space to care for patients. Additionally, the directive streamlines the process for releasing patients and discharging them back to their home communities without delay as they recover, which will free up beds and equipment for new patients.
...
Mrs. cenoxo and I have been staying at home (a few miles outside a small town in northwest Montana) since March 11. I've gone to our Post Office twice (late at night) to pick up mail, once to get gas, and once to our small supermarket (which still has most food items but is low on TP and PTs).

We're not socializing F2F at all, and are staying at least 15-20 ft. from any drive-in visitors like UPS drivers, etc. We're keeping in touch with family and friends via phone, messaging, and email. Thank God for the Internet — it's incredible how much has occurred in the last month.
posted by cenoxo at 12:36 AM on March 25 [4 favorites]


Here's a useful list of COVID-19 resources in every state and the DoC:
50 State Health Department COVID-19 Resources for Patients and Healthcare Providers

Because of the fast movement of the coronavirus COVID-19 in the United States, we have compiled a list of 51 state health department websites and state specific resources specific for COVID-19. These include links to the state health department websites, state specific coronavirus sites, and links to information for healthcare professionals including testing information. In states where currently available, we provided COVID-19 hotlines to call.

Some states confirm the number cases and tests their state health departments have administered. several have provided significant resources other states are just getting started.
posted by cenoxo at 7:22 AM on March 25 [1 favorite]




Still no lockdown in Sweden. Most schools are open, after-school activities go on as normal, restaurants and ski areas are all serving guests. I went to fill the pantry today and the store was milling with folks. I've seen all of one face mask the last several weeks. And yet dozens of firms are declaring bankruptcy, a friend of mine just got deployed to build a military field hospital, and naturally this is all anyone talks about. The prime minister gave a speech to the nation on Sunday (this almost never happens, the last time was after our foreign minister was assassinated in 2002) and said absolutely nothing of note. News in English from the national radio service.
posted by St. Oops at 8:47 AM on March 25 [1 favorite]


ER Nurse: Michigan hospitals being overwhelmed, care being triaged. [Insta]
This is disturbing, think before you click if you're at your limit.

If you know anyone who still isn't listening, this is something to consider sending them....
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:28 AM on March 25 [11 favorites]


There's a frank, related nursing discussion forum at AllNurses.com > Acute COVID, What We're Seeing, MunoRN, RN:
COVID-19 has been in my area long enough that we're getting an idea of how it plays out, curious what others are seeing. The most surprising thing has been the duration of acute illness, I sort of figured it would be like other respiratory viruses just more severe, but with acute symptoms lasting up to 7 days or so.

We've seen timelines similar to what China was reporting; about 10 days from symptom onset to needing ICU care, then critically ill for weeks, the shortest recovery we've seen is 3 weeks of aggressive life support. Time from symptoms onset to death has ranged from 2 to 8 weeks in China. So it's not just the number of patients that will require vents and other equipment, it's the length of time they will need them for.

The first week or so on the vent is similar to a bad influenza; lots of vent support, maybe proning, maybe flolan, not typically requiring inotropes or vasopressors, then they seem to have turned the corner and are out of the woods.

Then they crump, big time. From nothing to max pressors and inotropes and an EF that drops from normal to 10-15% in as little as 12 hours. Sudden onset renal and liver failure, with impressively severe liver failure in such a short amount of time.

Deaths appear more cardiogenic than respiratory, lethal rhythms have varied the full gamut; VT, VF, PEA, and asystole.

We've had enough ventilators so far, but what likely lies ahead will be the need to figure out a process for taking ventilators and other life support equipment away from patients less likely to survive to make them available to patients more likely to survive. Things seem dicey now, but that's a whole 'nuther level of dicey.

[Additional nurses’ comments and experiences follow.]
Also at AllNurses.com: Disaster Preparation / COVID-19:
Worldwide disasters encompass many aspects of our daily lives. From the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak, to the Ebola epidemic, to localized hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, and earthquakes; these are all hot topics. We want to provide up-to-date information from credible sources. In this forum, you will find information on current news regarding disasters as well as how they may impact both your working and personal lives.
Note their long list of discussion topics.
posted by cenoxo at 12:38 PM on March 25 [8 favorites]


Current confirmed cases counts:
• JHU-CRC Total Confirmed Cases

Although they use the same database as the JHU-CRC Map, these graphs are updated later:
• Coronavirus Graphs > Global Cases Total Confirmed Cases By Continent
• Coronavirus Graphs > Total Confirmed Cases In United States
• Coronavirus Graphs > Total Confirmed Cases In 4 Countries (China, Italy, United States, Spain)

In the last graph, it looks like Italy (and the United States) will surpass China.
posted by cenoxo at 1:58 PM on March 25


Brazil gangs impose strict curfews to slow coronavirus spread (Guardian)
Drug traffickers in one of Rio de Janeiro’s best-known favelas have imposed a coronavirus curfew, amid growing fears over the impact the virus could have on some of Brazil’s poorest citizens. [...] A video apparently recorded in the City of God circulated on social media this week showing a loudspeaker broadcasting the alert: “Anyone found messing or walking around outside will be punished.”

“The traffickers are doing this because the government is absent. The authorities are blind to us,” one resident told the Guardian.

A report in the Rio newspaper Extra said gang members with loudhailers were moving around City of God telling its 40,000 residents: “We are imposing a curfew because nobody is taking [coronavirus] seriously. It’s best to stay at home and chill. The message has been given.”

City of God’s gangsters are not the only outlaws attacking coronavirus in Rio’s densely populated favelas, which are home to about 2 of the city’s 7 million residents. In the Morro dos Prazeres, gang members have told residents only circulate in groups of two while in Rocinha, one of Latin America’s biggest favelas, traffickers have also decreed a curfew.

[...] In Santa Marta, a favela that sits in the shadow of Rio’s Christ the Redeemer statue, traffickers have been handing out soap and have placed signs near a public water fountain at the community’s entrance that say: “Please wash your hands before entering the favela.” [...] Meanwhile, in some sections of the Complexo da Maré, a sprawling favela near Rio’s international airport, traffickers have told shops and churches to reduce their operating hours.
posted by katra at 2:06 PM on March 25 [10 favorites]


Santa Marta is two blocks from where I live.
The top part of the favela has had no running water for two weeks. Same in Alemão.
Here is a bit more
posted by adamvasco at 6:28 PM on March 25 [9 favorites]


Virus death toll passes 20,000, three billion under lockdown (AFP / Yahoo)
More than three billion people around the world were living under lockdown on Wednesday as governments stepped up their efforts against the coronavirus pandemic which has left more than 20,000 people dead.

As the number of confirmed cases worldwide soared past 450,000, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that only a concerted global effort could stop the spread of the virus.

In Spain, the number of fatalities surpassed those of China, [...] making it the hardest-hit nation after Italy. A total of more than 20,800 deaths have now been reported in 182 countries and territories, according to an AFP tally. [...] Spain saw the number of deaths surge to more than 3,400 after 738 people died in the past 24 hours [...] The death toll in Italy jumped in 24 hours by 683 to 7,503 -- by far the highest of any country. The number of French deaths was up by 231 on Wednesday to more than 1,330 [...] Coronavirus cases are also spreading in the Middle East, where Iran's death toll topped 2,000 [...] The United States has at least 65,700 cases and 942 people have died.
posted by katra at 8:52 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


At the time of this comment, current JHU-CRC Total Confirmed Cases shows the World at 471,518 with 21,293 deaths, and the U.S. at 69,018 with 1,042 deaths.
posted by cenoxo at 9:13 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


Also, the JHU-CRC dashboard now has a small window in its lower right corner containing a simplified Confirmed totals line graph and a Daily Increase bar graph, both starting at Day 0.

Hover your mouse over the window's upper right corner to see a zoom icon.
posted by cenoxo at 9:26 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


Guardian: Tokyo governor tells residents to stay home
The governor of Tokyo has asked the city’s residents to stay at home this weekend to avoid an “explosion” of Covid-19 infections following a rise in the number of local cases. Yuriko Koike described the situation as “severe”, but stopped short of calling for the kind of restrictions on movement now in place in other countries. “We urge people at all costs to refrain from going out this weekend if it’s not urgent,” Koike said at an emergency news conference on Wednesday evening.
Guardian: Mexico will suspend non-essential activities from Thursday
Mexico’s federal government will suspend all non-essential activities beginning on Thursday, Mexico’s deputy health minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell told reporters. Mexico registered 475 coronavirus cases on Wednesday, up from 405, and six deaths overall.
posted by katra at 9:53 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


Beck, Lightfoot On Stay At Home Order: Citations To Be Issued, Parks Could Be Shut Down (CBS Chicago)
Visibly frustrated with reports of gatherings throughout Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot delivered a stern warning to those who continue to get together during the COVID-19 pandemic: We will shut it down and you may be arrested.

“Stay at home. Only go out for essentials. You have to readjust your thinking. Be smart,” Lightfoot said. “Not only will our police be deployed to shut them down if you are not abiding by these orders we will be forced to shut down the parks and lakefront. The situation Is deadly serious and we need you take it deadly seriously.”

Lightfoot added that spending long periods of time outdoors, anywhere, is not allowed. And neither is going into closed spaces, like playgrounds. “You cannot go on long bike rides. Playgrounds are shut down. You must abide by the order. Outside, is for a brief respite, not for 5Ks. I can’t emphasize enough that we abide the rules.”

[...] Interim Police Superintendent Charlie Beck issued the strongest warning about being out with others. “The public health order is not an advisory. It is a mandate. If you violate, it your are subject to a fine of $500. If you continue to violate it, you will be subject to arrest,” Beck said.
posted by katra at 10:43 PM on March 25 [2 favorites]


(The other Beck, and the other Lightfoot)
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:32 PM on March 25 [7 favorites]


Half of New Yorkers likely to get coronavirus, de Blasio says (Politico)
The mayor made the grim prediction as the number of New Yorkers who have died from the disease rose to 199 on Wednesday morning, and confirmed cases in the city jumped to 17,856. Those numbers far understate the true scope of the spread, officials said, since people not sick enough to be hospitalized are largely unable to get tested.

“It’s a fair bet to say that half of all New Yorkers, and maybe more than half, will end up contracting this disease,” de Blasio told reporters. “And that’s worrisome, very deeply worrisome, for all of us, but we have to start with the truth.”

If half of the city does get infected, that would add up to 4.2 million people contracting the virus.

That could happen by September, when officials predict the outbreak will wind down. “It could also be much higher,” said city Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot. Eighty percent of those infected are expected to have relatively mild cases, while roughly 20 percent are likely to be hospitalized.

[...] Public Advocate Jumaane Williams called for a “full lockdown,” which would prohibit New Yorkers from leaving their immediate neighborhoods except for essential work, close parks and shut down construction. He said the city should also consider assigning people specific times during which they’re allowed to leave the house to get groceries.

“We need a mandated lockdown, and we needed it yesterday,” he said in an online press conference.
posted by katra at 11:52 PM on March 25 [2 favorites]


Also, the JHU-CRC dashboard now has a small window in its lower right corner containing a simplified Confirmed totals line graph and a Daily Increase bar graph, both starting at Day 0.
Hover your mouse over the window's upper right corner to see a zoom icon.


P.S. — If you mouse over the data points on the line graph (and bars on the bar graph), you'll see a small popup label with number of cases and date.
posted by cenoxo at 11:53 PM on March 25


'It's all Covid': New York medical staff brace for a surge of coronavirus patients (Guardian)
New York officials expect 140,000 hospital beds will be needed to deal with the pandemic, 30,000 more than predictions a few days earlier. New York state had about 53,000 hospital beds at the beginning of the pandemic.

New York authorities are preparing to open field facilities, including a 1,000-bed hospital inside New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center. Primary care doctors are directing patients with lacerations and broken bones to private practices to relieve “gridlock” in hospitals. [...]

Above all, doctors stressed the need for the public to continue physical distancing to protect healthcare workers and supplies. “We’ve seen plenty of young patients who came in and are critically ill,” said Eiting, as well as other patients whose symptoms are atypical. “We’ve had plenty of [Covid-19] patients who have come in with abdominal pain or nausea, vomiting and diarrhea – and those are their only symptoms.”

Patients with few and mild symptoms have tested positive. Critically ill patients have tested positive. Every patient, Eiting said, is treated with some degree of caution in case they, too, are positive. “The most important piece is people really need to take the recommendations to stay home and self-isolate very seriously,” said Eiting. “Much more seriously than we’ve been taking them.”
posted by katra at 12:03 AM on March 26 [1 favorite]


Soldiers around the world get a new mission: Enforcing coronavirus lockdowns (WaPo)
In every region, under all kinds of political systems, governments are turning to increasingly stringent measures — and deploying their armed forces to back them up.

Countries as varied as China, Jordan, El Salvador and Italy have sent service members into the streets. Guatemala has detained more than 1,000 people. In Peru, those who flout government restrictions can be jailed for up to three years. In Saudi Arabia, it’s five.

[...] The United States, where troops have been limited to missions such as disinfecting public spaces, is increasingly an exception in its refusal to use them to back up new public health restrictions.

“No prime minister wants to enact measures like this,” said Britain’s Boris Johnson. He said Monday that people who violated a nationwide lockdown would be fined. “We are at war,” said France’s Emmanuel Macron, who deployed 100,000 police officers.

[...] For those who study the role of the state in modern life, and consider what a legitimate use of force is meant to look like in the 21st century, the pandemic poses a massive, unforeseen test.
posted by katra at 12:18 AM on March 26 [2 favorites]


*Billionaires seek sanctuary from coronavirus aboard superyachts — Vessels are being booked for months-long charters in remote locations as the rich luxuriously self-isolate in remote destinations, The Telegraph, Alan Tovey, Industry Editor 22 March 2020:
Billionaires are fleeing the coronavirus crisis on private jets and going into isolation for months aboard superyachts as they try to escape coronavirus.

The world’s rich are hoping to sit out the Covid-19 pandemic in luxury aboard vessels in remote locations, according to London-based yachtbroker broker Burgess.

“People are looking for ways to weather the storm and a yacht in a nice climate isn’t a bad place to self-isolate,” said Jonathan Beckett, chief executive of Burgess.

He added there is increased interest in “alternative” remote locations for cruises, such as Alaska, islands in the South Pacific and the tip of Chile.

“One family has taken a yacht for nine weeks, and we have also had two long-term bookings for yachts of 130ft and 230ft,” Mr Beckett said. “Clients are arranging for their children to be schooled on board, with cooking lessons from the yacht’s chef and time with the crew in the engine room learning about technology.”

Larger vessels — above 100ft — can easily hold enough supplies for several months, meaning returning to port where there is an infection risk from coming into contact with others can be avoided.
...
*Alternate link
posted by cenoxo at 12:18 AM on March 26 [4 favorites]


In Israel, pandemic tests democracy’s immune system – Civilian compliance can be more difficult to bring about in free societies. Israel illustrates the concerns around governments taking unusual measures that undermine democratic institutions, even temporarily.: Christian Science Monitor; Dina Kraft; Tel Aviv, Israel; March 24, 2020:
Amid a nationwide near total lockdown, some half a million Israelis gathered at a virtual demonstration online this weekend [see also: TV Host Fired by Public Broadcaster After Online Protest Against Government (Haaretz)] to protest what they call an attempted coup by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s transitional government under the guise of protecting citizens from the coronavirus.

Last week, the justice minister sent out an order in the middle of the night to shut down the courts on the eve of Mr. Netanyahu’s trial on corruption charges. The government took measures to track citizens’ contact with those who tested positive by using geolocation data from their cellphones without the authorization of the parliament, in the name of halting the spread of the virus. And Mr. Netanyahu’s allies blocked the Israeli parliament from even opening, following recent elections in which his rivals won the majority of Knesset seats.

What the government is really protecting, critics say, is the prime minister’s precarious place in power. While the specifics of the alleged power grab may be rooted in Israel’s political crisis following three stalemate elections in a year, they paint it as a cautionary tale for other democracies strained by the current crisis. “The first coronavirus dictatorship,” quipped Israeli author and historian Yuval Noah Harari, known more for his international bestsellers like “Sapiens” than for commenting on Israeli politics.

“Netanyahu is trying to exploit the situation of the pandemic to hold on to power and take more extreme measures than he would if this crisis was not going on,” says Gershom Gorenberg, an Israeli historian and journalist. “I think it’s a warning elsewhere that while the [coronavirus] crisis has to be dealt with, the need for democratic controls are even greater in a crisis situation.”

In an interview with Channel 12 [Hebrew], Mr. Netanyahu was asked if he was overstating the threat of coronavirus in order to keep himself in power after already serving four terms as prime minister. “Anyone who looks at what I am doing sees I am working for the country. ... I am doing this as I stand on the deck and navigate through the icebergs,” he said. “Behind me are other countries which have become like Titanics that are sinking.”

Indeed, supporters praise Mr. Netanyahu as a veteran leader who moved swiftly to adopt stringent measures to address the crisis, including police shutting down gatherings of more than 10 people and investigating people who violated their quarantine.

Gayil Talshir, a political science professor at Hebrew University, cautions that democracies in crisis need more supervision, including by civil rights organizations and judicial systems, in order to protect the system.

“The power concentrated in the hands of government is immense and therefore especially in times of crisis you need more supervision, more caution, more attention to individual rights, not less,” says Dr. Talshir.

She says leaders who suggest that a “deep state” apparatus might be trying to undermine them, such as U.S. President Donald Trump and the leaders of Hungary and Poland, are already inclined to try to take more power for themselves – and a crisis like this could accelerate that tendency. “There’s a threat that they would use an emergency time to weaken democratic institutions and gain even more power,” she says.
...
Never waste a good crisis.
posted by cenoxo at 4:39 AM on March 26 [3 favorites]


Everything NASA Is Shutting Down in Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic – Some missions will be delayed due to the spread of the virus, the agency says.
posted by cenoxo at 4:52 AM on March 26 [2 favorites]


Re the SuperYacht link above
You can run but you can't hide, Not so many places you can go to these days and if they let you in you cant go ashore.
posted by adamvasco at 4:57 AM on March 26 [6 favorites]


A third of the global population is on coronavirus lockdown — here's our constantly updated list of countries and restrictions, Business Insider; Juliana Kaplan, Lauren Frias, Morgan McFall-Johnsen; 8 hours ago.
posted by cenoxo at 5:30 AM on March 26 [1 favorite]




The Rich Are Scrambling To Escape COVID-19 On Private Jets (Stephen Walker, The Drive)

'As air travel becomes more restrictive around the globe, the ultra-wealthy are becoming more desperate to get to where they want to be for the crisis.'
Small countries are taking extreme measures to halt international travel in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. Those accustomed to private jet travel are used to demanding what they want and getting it. As a result, private jet flights escaping from and running to resort countries, such as those in the Caribbean, are currently in high demand—and they do not always occur under the most lawful of circumstances.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:53 AM on March 26 [7 favorites]


14 March: A Bank in Midtown [NYC] Is Cleaned Out of $100 Bills (Stacy Cowley and Anupreeta Das, NY Times)

"Large-denomination bills were in such high demand this week that at least one Bank of America branch wasn’t able to satisfy some customers pulling out tens of thousands of dollars at a time."
As the stock market was having its worst day in 30 years on Thursday, customers at a Bank of America branch in Midtown Manhattan, the financial heart of New York, were lining up to take cash out of their accounts — sometimes tens of thousands of dollars at a time.

So many people sought huge sums that the bank branch, at 52nd Street and Park Avenue, temporarily ran out of $100 bills to fulfill large withdrawals, according to three people familiar with the branch’s operations. The shortage hit after a rash of requests for as much as $50,000, said two people who witnessed the rush.

The problem was limited to large bills — the bank’s A.T.M.s stayed stocked and customers with routine transactions were still able to take out cash. By Friday morning, the bank had refilled its supply of big bills, two of the people said.

But the desire for cash persisted: A teller at a JPMorgan Chase branch across the street said on Friday that there had been a “nonstop” stream of customers stockpiling cash over the past two days.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:07 AM on March 26 [1 favorite]


From that Warzone article:
...The most wealthy among us are trying to get around flight bans with private jet flights as they are desperate to get into or home from Caribbean countries, many of which have partial or full international travel bans. Those with complete bans include Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. Partial international travel bans are in effect for Belize, Jamaica, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Antigua and Barbados, Saint Lucia, Grenada, and Venezuela. These countries are home to many affluent expatriates. The money some of them spend on private jet flights is staggering. One round trip to Europe in a Gulfstream 550 jet from the United States with five passengers can easily cost the client six figures...
So, has anyone seen Don Jr., Eric, et al. lately?
posted by cenoxo at 8:08 AM on March 26 [3 favorites]


Trump Force One — a Boeing 757-200 registered in the United States as N757AF — is the Trump Organization's private jet used for executive trips.
posted by cenoxo at 8:19 AM on March 26 [3 favorites]


Stewart new home to Trump’s $100M private jet, Judy Rife, Times Herald-Record, May 21, 2019:
PHOTO: Donald Trump's private jet is parked at New York Stewart International Airport on Tuesday [May 21, 2019].

STEWART AIRPORT – There’s a new plane in town and it’s a beaut: Donald Trump’s $100 million-plus private jet.

The Trump Organization moved the Boeing 757 from LaGuardia, where it had been hangered during the presidential campaign, to Signature Aviation’s facilities at New York Stewart International Airport [Wikipedia] last month.

The president has used Air Force One since his election and his 757 now ferries Trump Organization executives among their business interests.

Trump purchased the plane, a retrofitted commercial airliner, from Paul Allen, the late co-founder of Microsoft, in 2011 and subsequently turned it into an airborne version of a luxury hotel: dark wood paneling, plush cream-colored leather seats, 24-carat gold-plated seat belts and bathroom fixtures and a 57-inch television programmed with more than 1,000 movies in the lounge – not to be confused with the individual media centers at every seat.

The plane, which has a range of 16 hours at speeds up to 500 mph, can carry 43 passengers in seats that convert to beds. The master bedroom and bath are conventionally furnished; the galley and dining room, generously proportioned.

Interest in the plane prompted the Trump Organization to post a video tour on YouTube [Trump Force One Vs. Air Force One | MSNBC] that has been viewed more than 14.5 million times.
Amazing thing, the Internet.
posted by cenoxo at 8:45 AM on March 26


As the stock market was having its worst day in 30 years on Thursday, customers at a Bank of America branch in Midtown Manhattan, the financial heart of New York, were lining up to take cash out of their accounts — sometimes tens of thousands of dollars at a time.

Midtown on 52nd and Park isn't the financial heart of New York!

New Yorkers are getting cash because things are weird here and we use cash all the time. Plus no one wants to go into gross ATMs/banks more than they need to.

As a New Yorker, this is not a major thing.

Also, if we could post shorter summaries, that would be great. Y'all are posting the whole articles in here and it makes it hard to read.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 8:56 AM on March 26 [2 favorites]


> As a New Yorker, this is not a major thing.

I'm only a former New Yorker and I know the city's changed, but I never needed $10,000 for walking around money.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:31 AM on March 26 [12 favorites]


Also, if we could post shorter summaries, that would be great. Y'all are posting the whole articles in here and it makes it hard to read.

Sure.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:37 AM on March 26 [2 favorites]


Of course.
posted by cenoxo at 9:48 AM on March 26


I'm only a former New Yorker and I know the city's changed, but I never needed $10,000 for walking around money.

A few people did this kind of thing. It was probably a pocket of nervy rich weirdos. People getting around $10k in hundreds---not that great for smaller transactions---are most likely trying to pay their domestic staff without going to the bank a million times and/or getting ready to move to their country house (where they will similarly need to pay their domestic staff.)

Whatever it is, it's not a bank run or a sign that NYC is descending into anarchy, which the article was (irresponsibly, IMO) trying to imply, especially with that "financial center of the US" nonsense.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 9:49 AM on March 26 [2 favorites]


A teller at a JPMorgan Chase branch across the street said on Friday that there had been a “nonstop” stream of customers stockpiling cash over the past two days.

Wow. If you thought the blockages were getting bad as paper towel and wet wipe flushes build up, wait until you see what happens with high durability cotton paper.
posted by flabdablet at 9:57 AM on March 26 [4 favorites]


Marsha Blackburn
Jim Inhofe
Ron Johnson
James Lankford
Mike Lee
Rand Paul
Ben Sasse
Tim Scott

These are the Senators the voted against the COVID-19 aid bill.

Their careers should be ended in a hail of advertising showing how they would have fucked their fellow countryfolk if they had their way.


Johnson said in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel,
“I’m not denying what a nasty disease COVID-19 can be, and how it’s obviously devastating to somewhere between 1 and 3.4 percent of the population,” he said.

“But that means 97 to 99 percent will get through this and develop immunities and will be able to move beyond this. But we don’t shut down our economy because tens of thousands of people die on the highways. It’s a risk we accept so we can move about. We don’t shut down our economies because tens of thousands of people die from the common flu …

“… getting coronavirus is not a death sentence except for maybe no more than 3.4 percent of our population (and) I think probably far less.”
3.4% of the population of the US is upwards of a million people. That’s a lot of funerals to get the stock price of Burger King looking healthy again.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:52 AM on March 26 [30 favorites]


Sorry: upwards of ten million. What’s a few million deaths here and there when considering the Dow Jones?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:00 AM on March 26 [15 favorites]


Current confirmed cases:
• JHU-CRC Total Confirmed Cases 526,044. The U.S. with 82,404 has passed Italy and China.

Although they use the same database as the JHU-CRC Map, these graphs are updated later:
• Coronavirus Graphs > Global Cases Total Confirmed Cases By Continent
• Coronavirus Graphs > Total Confirmed Cases In United States
• Coronavirus Graphs > Total Confirmed Cases In 4 Countries (China, Italy, United States, Spain)
posted by cenoxo at 3:34 PM on March 26


A Supercarrier Sidelined By COVID-19 Could Be The Canary In The Coal Mine For The Navy — Tight living conditions make U.S. Navy ships ripe for outbreaks of COVID-19, which could have damning consequences for national security. The War Zone, 3/26/2020:
Two days ago, three Sailors aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) tested positive for COVID-19. Yesterday an additional five Sailors tested positive. This is the first time that the Navy has detected the virus onboard a warship at sea ... The entire ship will be placed in quarantine [in Guam] while its crew, literally all of the personnel onboard, will be tested for COVID-19.
posted by cenoxo at 4:02 PM on March 26 [2 favorites]


I think a lot of people deeply don’t understand percentages like this and just feel like if something has a 5% or less chance of happening then that means it basically won’t happen. Which is just one more reason why everyone should play D&D when they are growing up because I’m here to tell you that I can roll a 1 on a D20 ten times in a row.
posted by bq at 4:28 PM on March 26 [20 favorites]


Current confirmed cases:
• JHU-CRC Total Confirmed Cases 526,044. The U.S. with 82,404 has passed Italy and China.


‘Trump has made healthcare an important issue of his reelection campaign, and recently declared that the GOP would become "The Party of Healthcare!"’
— Business Insider, June 17, 2019

Isn’t it weird that a country that has 5% of the planet’s population has 15% of the cases of Covid-19? Luckily you have got a very stable genius at the top of things, who told us in 2017, “In a short amount of time I understood everything there was to know about health care.” Whew.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:11 PM on March 26 [8 favorites]


3.4% of the population of the US is upwards of a million people.

one percent of the US population is 3.3 million people
3.4% is over 11 million.

or am I doing it wrong?
posted by philip-random at 6:08 PM on March 26


Keep reading, that gets addressed real quick!
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 6:19 PM on March 26 [3 favorites]


Trump Wants to ‘Reopen America.’ Here’s What Happens if We Do. (Nicholas Kristof and Stuart A. Thompson, Model created with Gabriel Goh, Steven De Keninck, Ashleigh Tuite and David N. Fisman, NYT Opinion)
We created this interactive model with epidemiologists to show why quickly returning to normal could be a historic mistake that would lead to an explosion of infections, hospitalizations and deaths. [...]

Length of intervention: 14 days

Using the length of time you chose, the model suggests that 126.5 million people could contract the coronavirus across the United States between January and late October (with 37.8 million at the peak on June 5). More than 1.3 million people would die under these conditions and 125 million people would recover. Tweak the settings, and these numbers will change. [...]

Length of intervention: 90 days

Using the length of time you chose, the model suggests that 2.3 million people could contract the coronavirus across the United States between January and late October (with 476,600 at the peak on April 8). More than 20,300 people would die under these conditions and 2.1 million people would recover. [...]

These numbers offer a false precision, for we don’t understand Covid-19 well enough to model it exactly. But they do suggest the point that epidemiologists are making: For all the yearning for a return to normalcy, that is risky so long as a virus is raging and we are unprotected.
posted by katra at 6:29 PM on March 26 [8 favorites]


ricochet biscuit > Isn’t it weird that a country that has 5% of the planet’s population has 15% of the cases of Covid-19?

And the cases are only going to get much, much worse: look at the rising blue line (United States) that's shaping up.

Weird in what way, rb?
posted by cenoxo at 6:34 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


Guardian: "In Singapore, getting within a metre of another person at a restaurant or a shopping queue can now land you in prison under some of the toughest punishments seen worldwide to implement social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reports.
The city-state’s no-nonsense approach and extensive surveillance during a two-month long virus battle has won international praise, and had allowed it to largely avoid curtailing daily life until a surge of cases in the last week.

The updates to Singapore’s powerful infectious diseases law, which came into effect on Friday, have been accompanied by other measures such as shutting bars and limiting gatherings to up to 10 people outside work and school.
posted by katra at 11:08 PM on March 26


DHS Acting Secretary Chad Wolf Statement on the REAL ID Enforcement Deadline, 2020 March 26
“Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the Department of Homeland Security, as directed by President Donald J. Trump, is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline beyond the current October 1, 2020 deadline. I have determined that states require a twelve-month delay and that the new deadline for REAL ID enforcement is October 1, 2021. DHS will publish a notice of the new deadline in the Federal Register in the coming days."
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:54 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]


'Stranded at sea': cruise ships around the world are adrift as ports turn them away (Erin McCormick, Guardian)
A Guardian analysis of ship tracking data has found that, as of Thursday, at least ten ships around the world – carrying nearly 10,000 passengers – are still stuck at sea after having been turned away from their destination ports in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Some of the ships are facing increasingly desperate medical situations, including one carrying hundreds of American, Canadian, Australian and British passengers, currently off the coast of Ecuador and seeking permission to dock in Florida.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:59 AM on March 27 [4 favorites]




Stranded at sea

Nobody wants a plague ship. History echoes again: the tragic voyage of WWII’s MS St. Louis didn’t end well.
posted by cenoxo at 5:31 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


gCaptain is a good source of maritime news. They also have a forum for professional mariners that the public can read.
posted by cenoxo at 5:46 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]




Coronavirus tracked: the latest figures as the pandemic spreads. The countries affected, the number of deaths and the economic impact.: Financial Times, hours ago. A detailed analysis of Coronavirus data (updated frequently) with many, many, many graphs.
posted by cenoxo at 6:14 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


From the Cruise ship link above
“There is a level of greed on the part of these companies,” he said. “They want to make every penny – and they make money when people are on the ships.”
#CapitalismKills
posted by adamvasco at 6:18 AM on March 27


Cruise ship news and views at Skift Cruise News, and Cruise Ship Industry News has stories on their home page (with list of all stories on their Cruise News Index).
posted by cenoxo at 7:02 AM on March 27


> Coronavirus: Prime Minister Boris Johnson tests positive, BBC News, 3/27/2020.

sup dawg I herd you like herd immunity
posted by tonycpsu at 7:28 AM on March 27 [25 favorites]


Coronavirus: Trump knows economic meltdown brings political pain, BBC News, 3/26/2020 [links added]:
...Already the president's political opponents are sharpening their attacks, sensing a long-term vulnerability on his handling of the viral outbreak. Priorities USA Actions [home page], a liberal group, has begun airing an advert [Exponential Threat YT] using audio clips of Trump's early dismissiveness of the threat of the virus superimposed over a chart of the growing number of cases in the US.

The president's campaign has filed a cease-and-desist letter to remove the spot from the air, noting that one of the quotes suggests Trump called the virus a hoax, when in fact he was referring to media coverage of it...
If you're splitting hairs on a Coronagraph virus, that's more or less true (Snopes). However, The Eternal Denier and his entourage ignored the looming crisis many times: see ZeusHumms' MeFi post The Wørd: Truthiness In Action.
posted by cenoxo at 8:44 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


The United States' total confirmed cases (+86,000) pierces China's flattened curve, followed closely by Italy. There's no barriers now.
posted by cenoxo at 9:23 AM on March 27


A Los Angeles boy who is believed to be the first teenager in the United States to die from complications due to Covid-19 was denied treatment at an urgent care clinic because he didn’t have health insurance.
posted by HyperBlue at 10:13 AM on March 27 [13 favorites]


Coronavirus quarantine: only one in four Americans can work from home (Guardian)
Only one in four US workers have a job that allows them to work from home according to the American Time Use Survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The survey, which was last conducted in 2017-18 asked workers aged 15 and over whether they were able to work from home and just 28% said yes. Of course, Covid-19 is likely to change these numbers, as many employers are forced to rethink their business practices completely. However, the survey still gives an insight into who in the US has greater employment flexibility in these difficult times.

[...] The survey also reveals other trends in who can and cannot work from home. Perhaps unsurprisingly, those on the lowest incomes are least likely to be able to work from home – just 9% of workers who had earnings in the lowest 25th percentile said they could work from home, compared with 62% of workers in the highest 25th percentile. Full-time workers were twice as likely as part-time workers to say that they can work from home.

While 40% of Asian workers could work from home, that rate was 30% for white workers and 20% for black workers. Hispanic workers were half as likely as non-Hispanic workers to be able to work from home (16% compared with 31%).
posted by katra at 11:44 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Now Both Aircraft Carriers In The Western Pacific Have COVID-19 Cases Raising Readiness Concerns (Joseph Trevithick, The Warzone/The Drive)
Two sailors onboard the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which forward-deployed in Japan and presently pier-side there, have tested positive for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. This comes just a day after the U.S. Navy announced it had quarantined the entire crew of another aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, on their ship in port in Guam after a number of sailors contracted the virus. The War Zone had already warned that the Roosevelt's predicament could be an ominous sign of what's to come for the Navy. If Reagan is sidelined, as well, the service would have no carriers presently deployed in the Pacific region that can actually operate.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:46 AM on March 27 [6 favorites]




it would be hilarious if a socially democratic welfare state country invaded us right now and forced us into the horrifying wartime deprivation of having a functioning health care system funded by vast taxation of the 1%
posted by poffin boffin at 12:24 PM on March 27 [25 favorites]


what's up norway, what are you guys up to
posted by poffin boffin at 12:27 PM on March 27 [14 favorites]


they're occupied

(ok ok, but totally worth watching)
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:05 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


I have to admit I assumed that movie link was going to be to Dead Snow.
posted by soundguy99 at 1:14 PM on March 27


Together, the USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Ronald Reagan have over 11,000 personnel (crew + air wing).
posted by cenoxo at 1:15 PM on March 27


Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock in self-isolation with coronavirus (Guardian)
Both men have been in repeated contact with senior political figures, including cabinet members, and advisers in the last few days. But despite the two men testing positive, no other ministers, nor the chief medical officer or chief scientific officer would be tested for the virus unless they showed symptoms, Downing Street said.

It is unknown how Johnson contracted the illness but officials confirmed other people who worked in No 10 were self-isolating after having coronavirus symptoms. [...] On testing people who have been close to Johnson in recent days, he said: “No 10 is considered a workplace. The advice to staff here and the prime minister’s colleagues is they don’t need to do anything in terms of self-isolation unless they start to suspect that they have symptoms, in which case they should follow the Public Health England advice.”
Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do (Public Health England)
Stay at home
* Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
* If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
* Wash your hands as soon as you get home

Do not meet others, even friends or family.

You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

[...] The single most important action we can all take in fighting coronavirus is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.
posted by katra at 1:58 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Another complication
Buy now while stocks last. World’s biggest producer says lockdown has already caused shortfall of 100m condoms
posted by adamvasco at 3:45 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


It's astonishing in the truest sense of the word. The bad decisions just keep on coming from old rich white men who think they're better than science. Gentlemen, physics always always shoots last.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:06 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Buy now while stocks last. World’s biggest producer says lockdown has already caused shortfall of 100m condoms

I figured this was coming, but didn't want to jinx it.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:21 PM on March 27


Biology pwns u
posted by Windopaene at 4:30 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


my fiendish quarantine scheme was to be that hand sanitizer hoarding guy except with all the lube in the world, by month 2 i would be a billionaire
posted by poffin boffin at 4:42 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


catch me on the cover of the nyt inside a shadowy warehouse stacked with 50 gallon drums of astroglide, cackling at the chafed whining of humanity
posted by poffin boffin at 4:44 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


go with eros, when push comes to shove maybe you can cook with it.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:46 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


also the condom thing seems easily solved, just use up the stockpile that the olympics committee has saved up for the international fuckfest that is every olympic village. don't they go through like 10 million every time.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:47 PM on March 27 [7 favorites]


I thought the the 10-pack of Trojans at Walgreens was a lifetime supply...
posted by paper chromatographologist at 4:52 PM on March 27 [5 favorites]


I figured this was coming

I—
posted by cortex at 5:04 PM on March 27 [7 favorites]


dear ask metafilter if i mix rubbing alcohol 1:1 with lube is that hand sanitizer
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:30 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


The ratio should be 70 parts alcohol to 30 parts lube.
posted by Mitheral at 5:35 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


I thought the the 10-pack of Trojans at Walgreens was a lifetime supply...

Reminds me of the old joke:
When you're in college, you buy one condom because you might get lucky on Friday night. When you're out of college, you buy two condoms because you might get lucky on Friday and Saturday nights. But when you get married, you buy a DOZEN condoms!

...one for January, one for February, one for March...
posted by MrBadExample at 5:46 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


COVID-19 Drives Command Teams Charged With Homeland Defense Into Cheyenne Mountain Bunker. Another US military command and control element is also now isolated in a third, undisclosed location: The War Zone, Joseph Trevithick, 3/27/2020:
U.S. Northern Command has dispersed essential command and control teams to multiple hardened locations, including the famous Cheyenne Mountain bunker complex in Colorado, as well as another unspecified site, and is keeping them in isolation. The command took these steps to help ensure these personnel can continue to watch around the clock for potential threats to the U.S. homeland as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to expand across the country and around the world, including within the U.S. military.

U.S. Air Force General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, head of Northern Command (NORTHCOM), who also serves as the commanding officer of the U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), detailed the changes during a virtual town hall on Facebook on Mar. 24, 2020....
When the big dogs take cover, it's time to do likewise. STAY THE FUCK HOME!
posted by cenoxo at 6:21 PM on March 27 [6 favorites]


Exclusive: U.S. Military Activates Its Never-Before-Used Federal Response to Combat Coronavirus Pandemic (Newsweek)
While being hit with coronavirus at rates equivalent to the civilian population, the U.S. military has activated its "defense support of civil authorities" apparatus, establishing liaisons in all 50 states, activating units and command posts, and moving forces to provide medical, transportation, logistics, and communications support in New York and Washington states.

Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, the command of Army North (ARNORTH), has requested and received approval for the deployment of ground units in response to the now declared national emergency. The moves begin to implement two existing contingency plans—CONPLAN 3400 for "homeland defense" and CONPLAN 3500 for "defense support of civil authorities"—as well as numerous new orders specifically relating to coronavirus. Eighteen states have also moved to appoint "dual-status commanders," specially appointed National Guard officers who serve in both state and federal chains of command. The dual-status commanders will report to Gen. Richardson as well as the governors of each state.

[...] As of Thursday, close to 11,400 Guard members were activated and working in all 54 states, territories and the District of Columbia.
posted by katra at 6:46 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


U.S. Northern Command has dispersed essential command and control teams to multiple hardened locations, including the famous Cheyenne Mountain bunker complex in Colorado

With Peter Sellers and George C. Scott played by Donald Trump and Mad Dog Mattis? This can't be a good sign.

"I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed."
posted by JackFlash at 7:12 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


Who needs RealID any more? You can't go anywhere.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:24 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


The ratio should be 70 parts alcohol to 30 parts lube.

That'd make way too much. I think just 7 parts alcohol and 3 parts lube would be rather more reasonable.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:31 PM on March 27 [8 favorites]




Another US military command and control element is also now isolated in a third, undisclosed location

"undisclosed location" is obviously newspeak for "just another fucking Trump property".
posted by mikelieman at 8:35 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]




I thought the the 10-pack of Trojans at Walgreens was a lifetime supply...

Way back when Metafilter was young and internet shopping was just taking off (way before you could by a book from Jeff) a lot of early commerce was in embarrassing items. IE: anything related to sex (porn, toys and contraceptives). Despite that there still were only a handful of vendors for any particular product and it was often possible to price shop at all vendors for a particular product.

One company who sold condoms and lube had a half dozen different sampler packs of 50 condoms each with a different focus/theme. Pretty amazing considering the selection locally was lubed and unlubed from two whole companies, 4 choices altogether. Some of the themes were like Japanese or Indian (from India the country not First Nations) where all the condoms would be manufactured in a particular country or region. You'd get 10-15 different types and therefore 3-5 of each type. And bought that way they were practically wholesale priced. I want to say 0.10 each but what ever it was it was way cheaper than a $5 3/pk at retail. The student union could buy them that way cheaper than we could get them through wholesalers and with way more random options. You could also by a 1000 of any particular type for even cheaper. They'd come in loose stripes folded neatly into a box.

At any rate word got around where to buy in bulk and as it turns out 50 condoms is a lot to wade though even for the most enthusiastic of practitioners. We ended up getting quite a few donations at the end of the school year from people whose ambition far outreached their grasp.

I think just 7 parts alcohol and 3 parts lube would be rather more reasonable.

Maybe for people still measuring by hogsheads to the furlong, metric parts are smaller.
...
wait, that came out wrong
posted by Mitheral at 8:45 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Cash for the hogsheads, casks and demijohns......
posted by Windopaene at 8:47 PM on March 27 [2 favorites]


At this time, the JHU-CRC Map shows U.S. Total Confirmed 104,661; Total Deaths 1,706; and Total Recovered 890. If accurate, there's nearly twice (x 1.91) as many deaths as recoveries.
posted by cenoxo at 9:53 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


I don’t put too much stock in the recovery numbers; they’re harder to report since if someone gets a positive test but doesn’t need hospitalization, they go home and stay there until they feel better, and they aren’t usually reporting in to say they’ve gotten over it. Deaths on the other hand are a hard statistic.
posted by azpenguin at 10:34 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


stats are dubious at this point.

Deaths are deaths (though Trump's crowd are no doubt already moving to obfuscate the numbers).

Totally Confirmed cases is completely tied to how many have been tested, with no insight as to why they were tested.

Total Recovered is also tied to testing.

We're in the middle of something. In the journalism game, I've heard the line, "When in doubt, take notes." The inference being that sometimes it's the wrong time to be drawing conclusions. But whatever you do, don't stop bearing witness, and keeping track of the numbers. Taking Notes. They'll help make sense of something down the line.
posted by philip-random at 10:40 PM on March 27 [11 favorites]


Some people go downhill quickly and die, but full recovery takes a while. I'd think most hospitalized people are not yet "recovered" and the bulk of those "recovered" numbers are people who were tested and had antibodies but no infection, and so were sick but are no longer.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:01 PM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Wuhan's virus patient numbers manipulated for Xi visit: local doctor. Kyodo News, 3/19/20:
BEIJING - The number of novel coronavirus patients in Wuhan, the epicenter of China's virus outbreak, was manipulated in time for President Xi Jinping's visit last week, a local doctor told Kyodo News Thursday. A number of symptomatic patients were abruptly released from quarantine early while a portion of testing was suspended, the doctor said.

China's health authorities on Thursday reported no new cases of coronavirus infection in Wuhan, marking the first time for the city to have no instances of local transmission since the viral epidemic began late last year.

But the doctor, who works at a quarantine facility, said the government tally "cannot be trusted." The number of patients currently undergoing treatment is deliberately being reduced in an effort to show the Xi government's success in combatting the epidemic, he said. The doctor, in his 40s, whose responsibilities include determining whether a patient is discharged from a hospital expressed strong concerns that if the truth remains hidden from the public, another outbreak could occur.

But according to the doctor, from around the time of Xi's visit, even though his patients still exhibited signs of pneumonia, the patients were released from quarantine at the discretion of a "specialist" from the epidemic prevention and control authority. From then on, the criteria for discharging patients became loose, and "a mass release of infected patients began," he said.

Also, patient interviews with those exhibiting symptoms such as fever were simplified, and blood tests to detect antibodies produced during infection were discontinued. As a result, "suspected patients were released back into society..."
Long comment reprimand accepted with my apologies, but this is interesting news.
posted by cenoxo at 11:03 PM on March 27 [6 favorites]


Wuhan's virus patient numbers manipulated for Xi visit: local doctor. Kyodo News, 3/19/20

See also the truthiness thread for related news that was recently posted.
posted by katra at 11:55 PM on March 27 [3 favorites]


Coronavirus threat to EU farm seasonal workers
French minister of agriculture, Didier Guillaume, on Tuesday estimated that the agriculture sector in his country will need over 200,000 people in the next three months to mitigate the absence of foreign workers.

"I am calling on the men and women who are not working and locked indoors to join the great army of French agriculture," he said, adding that more "solidarity" is needed so that "we may all eat".

Meanwhile, Germany could face a shortage of about 300,000 seasonal workers who enter the country every year to help with fruit and vegetable harvests, as the EU's biggest economy announced on Wednesday a complete ban on seasonal workers entering the country.

However, according to the chair of the European Parliament's committee on agriculture, MEP Norbert Lins, the EU needs to secure the safe travel of seasonal workers to secure the harvest.


There must be the same issue in the US?

I have very mixed feelings about this. Normally, I'm strong supporter of freedom of movement. But I feel it has to be accompanied by EU regulation and solidarity. A couple of weeks ago in the local supermarket, a group of Polish migrant workers were behaving recklessly and also stockpiling yeast. I got the feeling that they didn't care because they were in another country. The rules in Denmark and Poland are the same, so it's not like they didn't know.
Now the thing is, migrant workers are treated really badly here and payed low wages for long hours. I get why they don't feel they owe anyone anything. It just doesn't make their behaviour less dangerous. The unions want them to be unionized so they can get a fair pay and better working conditions, but though things have improved since seasonal migration across Europe started back in the nineties, there is such a strong pressure to keep produce prices low, even on Social Democratic governments, I can't see any enforcement happening soon. Though this may be another change triggered by the virus.
posted by mumimor at 2:22 AM on March 28 [3 favorites]


Here is a NYTimes story about the migrant workers in Europe.
posted by mumimor at 3:04 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


As COVID-19 Spreads, So Do Negative Stereotypes of the Young and the Old (Anthony Ong, Anthony Burrow, Scientific American Opinion)
Just as viruses can spread and wreak havoc on the human body, so too stories can become virulent, presenting as effective vectors of essentialist thinking—the belief that members of certain groups (e.g., teenagers, older adults) share an underlying essence that makes them who they are.

People who are inclined to essentialize the social world tend to believe in the reality of social stereotypes, giving greater meaning to features that are only skin deep. According to the developmental psychologist Susan Gelman, when we “essentialize” social groups, we assume that individual differences can be explained by inherent or inborn characteristics shared by members of that group. And newspapers that run stories depicting college students as reckless packages of raging hormones play on essentialist notions of youth.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:09 AM on March 28 [8 favorites]


We're all old enough to remember when the Case Fatality Rate was around 6 percent globally. (deaths / all closed cases). Now I'm seeing 28,376 deaths and 137,336 closed cases (Worldometers.info), bringing the CFR up to 17 percent. I'm worried about what the upper limit will be.
posted by emelenjr at 6:17 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


In the Coronavirus Fight in Scandinavia, Sweden Stands Apart (Christina Anderson and Henrik Pryser Libell, NYTimes)
[...] Sweden has stayed open for business while other nations [in and] beyond Scandinavia have attacked the outbreak with various measures ambitious in scope and reach. Sweden’s approach has raised questions about whether it’s gambling with a disease, Covid-19, that has no cure or vaccine, or if its tactic will be seen as a savvy strategy to fight a scourge that has laid waste to millions of jobs and prompted global lockdowns unprecedented in peacetime.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:11 AM on March 28 [4 favorites]


Sweden Stands Apart

Somebody posted this story on my Facebook. Cue the epidemiology experts. I didn't realize I knew so many epidemiology experts. And then some guy from Sweden wandered in ...

"you cannot prevent it from spreading. It is already out. The purpose of measures is to limit the peak so the health system does not collapse [...] I am pretty sure they did modelling based on their ICU capacity and behavioral patterns of their population [...] They protect the vulnerable, that is the old and sick, but also take into account the potential increase in death rate because of economic collapse (depression, alcoholism worse quality of medical services in the future). [...] knowing Swedes, they probably had run the simulations before this pandemic has even started."

The guy who posted the link: "But according the piece, there is no consensus among medical professionals in sweden. it's an experiment, just like everywhere else."

Swedish guy: "There is a consensus among the people in the agency in charge. It is not a POLITICAL decision."
posted by philip-random at 8:06 AM on March 28 [2 favorites]


Swedish guy: "There is a consensus among the people in the agency in charge. It is not a POLITICAL decision."
I don't know, since I am not an epidemiologist. But Swedens policy, which is a policy wether they like it or not, is one of the reasons Denmark closed it's borders.
One of the things I've noticed, and was quite surprised to see still happening, is that Sweden's government is still incredibly Stockholm-centric. In general, Sweden is very scarcely populated. It's a huge country with huge forests and some elks in there. But the south is in fact more densely populated and has dense cities and towns with vulnerable populations. And the Swedish PM acts as if no one lives there. I'm not blaming anyone, a Danish PM might be similarly Copenhagen-centric if the current one wasn't from Aalborg, the most remote larger urban center. But it is an issue in Swedish politics in general.
posted by mumimor at 10:09 AM on March 28 [7 favorites]


We're all old enough to remember when the Case Fatality Rate was around 6 percent globally. (deaths / all closed cases). Now I'm seeing 28,376 deaths and 137,336 closed cases (Worldometers.info), bringing the CFR up to 17 percent.

The case fatality rate is [Deaths / All Cases], not [Deaths / (Death + Recovered)]. Worldometers inappropriately conflates the two, but obviously the denominator is very very different by leaving out Active Cases

As of 1:30 Eastern on 3/28, the JHU map lists 29k Deaths / 640.5k Cases = 4.5% globally, but with huge geographic variation (the US is 1.6%; Italy is a staggering 10.8%) Either way, it's fucking terrible.
posted by basalganglia at 11:58 AM on March 28 [4 favorites]


Thousands are crowding into free national parks. And workers are terrified of coronavirus. (WaPo, Mar. 26, 2020)
A park ranger at Grand Canyon National Park had 600 close contacts with visitors in a single day, greatly increasing his exposure to infection, according to a staff member at the attraction.
In a statement, national park spokeswoman Alexandra Picavet said, “No decision has been made … about the Grand Canyon NP at this time” but discussions about safety are ongoing. Picavet declined to address the exposure risk cited by the ranger.

With his defiant act a week ago, [Dustin] Stone became the face of National Park Service employees throughout the system who are also angry over Bernhardt’s policy. Stone’s “Ask Me Anything” post on Reddit has wracked up more than 1,000 comments.

On the day Stone quit, the administration announced that park entrance fees would be waived so that Americans stuck at home could enjoy the outdoors. [...] “This is a political game being played with people’s lives by leadership at the highest levels of the Department of Interior, and, I believe, the White House,” Stone said. “President Trump is the one who announced the fee waiver. I don’t think he knows what a national park is. I would be so surprised if Donald Trump ever set foot in a national park.”
posted by katra at 12:34 PM on March 28 [9 favorites]


More on the migrant fruit pickers.
Charter flights to bring in agricultural workers from eastern Europe are needed as a matter of urgency, otherwise fruit and vegetables will be left unpicked in Britain’s fields, the government is being warned.

Some large farms have already been chartering planes to bring in labour from eastern Europe. But farming organisations and recruitment agencies say that, in the face of massive disruption to the agricultural sector caused by the spread of the coronavirus, the government needs to step in and help organise more flights.
This is a serious issue and I hope it is resolved, but in the case of Brexit Britain I am allowing myself a bit of Schadenfreude. Just a bit.
posted by mumimor at 12:50 PM on March 28 [5 favorites]


More Americans Should Probably Wear Masks for Protection (NYT)
Masks are also an important signal that it’s not business as usual during a pandemic. They serve as a visual reminder to improve hand hygiene and social distancing. They may also serve as an act of solidarity, showing that all citizens are on board with the precautionary measures needed to bring infections under control.
posted by katra at 4:41 PM on March 28 [5 favorites]


Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) podcast with Dr. Michael Osterholm, March 24/20, Episode 1, "How We Got Here" (quick & dirty transcript from me. I haven't taken time to correct minor non-verbatims):

Minute 30:40 All this testing we've promised [to the public] is about to fall far short [cuz we are running out of] reagents. I believe in 2-3 weeks we are going to see major shortages of testing at all. . . . Reagents in many cases come from China [which is not up & running]. . . . When no testing, public is gonna go thru another whipsaw. . . . Tell people this now & explain to them, "We'll get thru this" eg we got thru in 1918 when there wasn't any testing.

[36:50] 3M has stated that they can produce 35 million respirators/month in this country. Sounds like a lot. 1 large hospital in NY alone is using 2 million N95s/mo right now. You can see how quickly these'll be exhausted. [37:50] We're gonna have to figure out how to ration these. [Eg,] . . . Instead of putting 14 patients in 14 isolation rooms, put all 14 COVID patients in 1 ward & wall that off. Make sure the air from that ward isn't being recirculated in the hospital, have 1 set of PPE used in that room that can be used for hours & hours . . .

[38:40] [re the Defense Production Act] We've gotta get off the idea that if the government takes over these companies, we're gonna suddenly have this new supply of materials. That's what I call Happy Talk. It gives people a sense of something that's not possible. [39:00] 2-4 weeks from now we're gonna see the case numbers continue to climb something fierce, we're gonna run out of testing which is going to cause a crisis in confidence about what we've been saying, which we could start to deal with now, forecast this now.  
[41:10] I hear from media all the time "You can't say that. People will panic." I say, "No." . . . People are legitimately scared & they should be. What we need to do is not only address their heads, but their hearts. . . . Just be honest. In all my years of experience, if you tell people the truth even if it's hard, they will listen, process it, will with our help get through it. But where they don't want to go is "It's a low risk situation" and 2 weeks later "It's a state of war!" That's when we [public health professionals] lose credibility. [44:00] We will get through this if we acknowledge to each other that there are many good things we can do. [lists egs] Start finding the good things in life we can do to help each other get through this.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:45 PM on March 28 [9 favorites]


Re: the national parks. Some have closed, including Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Teton. I’m a Grand Canyon addict (finished my latest hike there 2-1/2 weeks ago before things got crazy) and I follow some GC Facebook pages. The people that live in GC and the employees, rangers etc are pretty much screaming for the park to be closed. Interior refuses to do it. There’s very little running there now. Lodges and restaurants are closed. No backcountry permits are being issued. Mather Campground on the rim is closed as is the RV park. The three “corridor” trails (South Kaibab, North Kaibab and Bright Angel) are now closed. But they need to just close the park down completely right now. The village does not have the medical capacity to handle really any coronavirus cases, let alone an outbreak, and they’re an hour and a half from help.
posted by azpenguin at 4:55 PM on March 28 [9 favorites]


‘It’s no different from New York’: Urban centers nationwide gird for catastrophic virus outbreak (WaPo)
Still unable to conduct widespread testing, and fearful as the federal government fails to marshal critical supplies, officials in Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Milwaukee and Los Angeles are watching caseloads climb and taking extraordinary measures to prepare, all the while hoping that aggressive social-distancing measures might ward off the most dismal projections.

“I’m worried that New York might not be the worst-case scenario when you think about other states that have even older and less-healthy populations, and fewer hospital beds available,” said Retsef Levi, a professor of operations management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has developed modeling tools designed to help public officials prepare for the spread of the novel virus and the disease it causes, covid-19.
posted by katra at 5:08 PM on March 28


More Americans Should Probably Wear Masks for Protection

i mean, great and all but where do they possibly imagine i am going to be able to get one.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:22 PM on March 28 [7 favorites]


Literally a piece of cloth tied around your face will be around 70% (my estimate) as good as a surgical mask, particularly if you're trying to protect people from your own infection.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:37 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


I keep reading articles on mask making and they wildly vary on how much they claim to work, to the point where I am thinking, what is the point of hand doing one at all?
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:09 PM on March 28


Improving your odds of not dying, however slightly?
posted by Lyme Drop at 6:18 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


Apparently Der Forverts is not doing phrasing anymore:

Aiden Pink @aidenpink I'm working on a story for @jdforward about how COVID and social distancing is affecting circumcision ceremonies - please contact me if you have any tips


Although, seriously, social distancing is causing difficulties for a whole lot of cultural and religious practices for Jews and other groups, and we shouldn't dismiss their importance. Funerals are another big issue.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:19 PM on March 28 [5 favorites]


Researchers still seem to be hopeful that heat and humidity will slow down the pandemic in the northern hemisphere in a few months. But I’ve also been watching Florida, whose confirmed case count is now as high as Washington state, and climbing faster (now that the effects of WA’s mandatory distancing are starting to show). This is despite a later start to their outbreak, and a lower rate of testing. (FL has 3× the population, but has completed only 40k tests, compared to 50k in WA.)

Florida’s outbreak is concentrated in the Miami area, where high temperatures this month have been in the eighties Fahrenheit (about 27–32°C) and humidity around 80%. But the exponential growth rates in Miami seem to be similar to most other pre-lockdown locations. If Miami’s weather isn’t enough to lower transmission, then large areas of the US and Europe are not going to see any weather-based relief very soon.
posted by mbrubeck at 6:23 PM on March 28 [5 favorites]


N.Y.C.’s 911 System Is Overwhelmed. ‘I’m Terrified,’ a Paramedic Says. (NYT) (cw: graphic medical)
Even as hospitals across New York become inundated with coronavirus cases, some patients are being left behind in their homes because the health care system cannot handle them all, according to dozens of interviews with paramedics, New York Fire Department officials and union representatives, as well as city data. In a matter of days, the city’s 911 system has been overwhelmed by calls for medical distress apparently related to the virus. Typically, the system sees about 4,000 Emergency Medical Services calls a day. On Thursday, dispatchers took more than 7,000 calls — a volume not seen since the Sept. 11 attacks. The record for amount of calls in a day was broken three times in the last week.

[...] In the same way that the city’s hospitals are clawing for manpower and resources, the virus has flipped traditional Emergency Medical Services procedures at a dizzying speed. Paramedics who once transported people with even the most mild medical maladies to hospitals are now encouraging anyone who is not critically ill to stay home.

[...] Since many hospitals are in dire need of personal protective equipment like N95 masks, paramedic crews employed by the hospitals also face shortages. The Brooklyn paramedic said she had started sewing her homemade masks with bandannas and coffee filters.
posted by katra at 7:01 PM on March 28 [3 favorites]


Poffin Boffin-- if you want a cloth mask, I can mail you one I made. Just memail me an address.
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:05 PM on March 28 [1 favorite]


This is a long, rambling, and badly recorded interview (I'm not all the way through it myself) but has some important and encouraging points. It's a Dr. Price from the Weill Cornell hospital in NYC. He says transmission in the vast majority of cases is from people touching their face with contaminated hands, so the upshot is: Wear a mask whenever you’re out of your home. It doesn’t have to be a N95 mask. The mask is only to train yourself not to touch your face. Keep Purelling you hands after you touch things and wash them thoroughly up when you get home.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:06 PM on March 28 [7 favorites]


Simple DIY masks could help flatten the curve. We should all wear them in public. (Jeremy Howard, WaPo Perspective)
Got a T-shirt? You can make a mask at home.
Masks don’t have to be complex to be effective. A 2013 paper tested a variety of household materials and found that something as simple as two layers of a cotton T-shirt is highly effective at blocking virus particles of a wide range of sizes. Oxford University found evidence this month for the effectiveness of simple fabric mouth and nose covers to be so compelling they now are officially acceptable for use in a hospital in many situations. Hospitals running short of N95-rated masks are turning to homemade cloth masks themselves; if it’s good enough to use in a hospital, it’s good enough for a walk to the store. [...] Another approach, recommended by the Hong Kong Consumer Council, involves rigging a simple mask with a paper towel and rubber bands that can be thrown in the trash at the end of each day.

[...] When I first started wearing a mask in public, I felt a bit odd. But I reminded myself I’m helping my community, and I’m sure in the coming weeks people who don’t wear masks will be the ones who feel out of place. Now I’m trying to encourage everyone to join me — and to get their friends to wear masks, too — with a social media campaign around #masks4all.

Community use of masks alone is not enough to stop the spread. Restrictions on movement and commerce need to stay in place until hospital systems clearly are able to handle the patient load. Then, we need a rigorous system of contact tracing, testing and quarantine of those potentially infected. Given the weight of evidence, it seems likely that universal mask wearing should be a part of the solution. Every single one of us can make it happen — starting today.
posted by katra at 8:54 PM on March 28 [8 favorites]


Widespread use of masks.

How cyberpunk.

I've seen lots of (younger people) with cosplay-type "ninja" masks already.

I'm wondering when we fully step into cyberpunk and see fashion based around N95 filters.
posted by porpoise at 10:49 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


It wouldn't be surprising to see mask fashions coming out of Milan or Paris, especially as a fundraiser of some kind.

Although Tokyo has drop on everyone.
posted by snuffleupagus at 10:51 PM on March 28 [2 favorites]


Sweden's policy so far is very troubling. Everyone argues that our strategy is different because the authorities are divorced from politics, and can ground their recommendations only on science without worrying about alienating the electorate. But of course all human behavior is political, and I have my suspicions about ideologically driven group-think, especially in small homogeneous groups like the panel of experts in Sweden no doubt is.

Even if Sweden manages to pull this off, I worry about the lessons others will draw of the Swedish strategy the next time we are faced with a pandemic. Really no silver lining anywhere in this situation.
posted by St. Oops at 12:29 AM on March 29 [4 favorites]


I bought a couple of neck gaiters to use as masks. Even if they don't actually filter out viruses, they keep me from touching my face, which I have found almost impossible to stop doing. I've been avoiding being outside for long because of the increased risk of face-touching every minute I'm out there. I felt a lot more comfortable sitting out in the sun a couple of days ago, socially distant from everyone, with my face covered.
posted by Mavri at 2:10 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


if you want a cloth mask, I can mail you one I made. Just memail me an address.

oh thank you! but i just bought a bunch on etsy. (also i asked one of the sellers for a custom order with glow in the dark blue teeth like the space monsters from attack the block so we'll see how that goes.)
posted by poffin boffin at 4:00 AM on March 29 [8 favorites]


The Great American Migration of 2020: On the move to escape the coronavirus (Marc Fisher, Paul Schwartzman and Ben Weissenbach; WaPo)
Even as most people stay close to home in this deeply disruptive time, millions have been on the move, a mass migration that looks urgent and temporary but might contain the seeds of a wholesale shift in where and how Americans live. College students and young adults are on the interstates, heading home to repopulate their parents’ empty nests. Middle aged people have been heading to their parents’ retirement communities.

From beaches and resort towns to mountain cabins to rural family homesteads, places far from densely packed cities are drawing people eager to escape from infection hotspots. But virus fugitives often are running into fierce opposition on their routes, including Florida’s effort to block New Yorkers from joining their relatives in the Sunshine State, a police checkpoint keeping outsiders from entering the Florida Keys, and several coastal islands closing bridges to try to keep the coronavirus at bay.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:28 AM on March 29 [3 favorites]


Scams and Hoaxes Are Thriving in the COVID-19 Pandemic (Katie Way, Vice)
"Wellness" peddlers and start-up goons are rushing to fill the vacuum created by a messy government, a privatized healthcare system, and rising anxiety about coronavirus.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:05 AM on March 29 [1 favorite]


Societal breakdown begins.
Sicilian police crackdown on locals looting supermarkets. Sicily has been in lockdown for just under 3 weeks.
posted by adamvasco at 9:21 AM on March 29 [2 favorites]


Look good and feel safe: fashion designers in China respond to coronavirus pandemic with face mask, germ-resistant clothing line

I've been avoiding being outside for long because of the increased risk of face-touching every minute I'm out there.

Yup, that is one of the reasons for my new agoraphobia right there. I don't have to worry about the face touching as long as I'm in my own space alone.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:28 AM on March 29 [4 favorites]


Societal breakdown begins.
Sicilian police crackdown on locals looting supermarkets. Sicily has been in lockdown for just under 3 weeks.


There is, perhaps, a distinction to be made between "societal breakdown" and the failure of capitalism to adequately provide for the needs of a sufficient number of people during crises.
posted by eviemath at 10:07 AM on March 29 [32 favorites]


Rumors and stories of looting in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, for example, were both greatly exaggerated and highly politicized, often supporting racist and poor-bashing narratives. It's important to pay attention to the word choice in such news stories: "looting" has very different connotations than "appropriated". Are people described as criminal, or as desperate and stuck in an impossible predicament? What's the backstory about other options for meeting their basic survival needs, or lack thereof? There have certainly been some situations eg. in US or European history where looting was not about survival but instead targeted a specific racial or ethnic group (Blacks, Jewish communities) and was a component of political violence, so it's certainly not the case that all looting stories are classist propaganda. But it is fairly common for that to be the case for such stories during crises like natural disasters or our present world pandemic.
posted by eviemath at 10:14 AM on March 29 [19 favorites]


often supporting racist and poor-bashing narratives.

this to me is the most upsetting aspect of de blasio refusing to close nyc parks and suggesting that the city might just have nypd fine people in person instead. enforcement like that always, ALWAYS only happens with extreme race and class disparity, and once nypd staffing drops low enough due to illness to really scare them, they will not, in my opinion, react safely or well.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:05 PM on March 29 [12 favorites]


bonobothegreat: "He says transmission in the vast majority of cases is from people touching their face with contaminated hands, so the upshot is: Wear a mask whenever you’re out of your home."

He also says that it's immediate contact that spreads the virus; almost always touching an infected person or something they've coughed/breathed on... transferring their saliva droplets directly to your mouth and nose. People aren't getting sick from touching doorknobs and stuff. He says the constant Purell after touching things is out of an abundance of caution, not the primary concern. He says you don't need to be afraid of being near other people for a few minutes, just no touching, no prolonged closeness. Delivery people and people at the store are not a threat to you, just don't touch them. His primary message is that if you don't touch your face, and keep your hands clean, you won't get this virus. (He only very briefly mentions that you can also get it from being near an infected person for 15-20 minutes in close quarters? I guess he already assumes social distancing).
posted by team lowkey at 12:56 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


Doctor working with Amazon tribe tests positive for coronavirus (Reuters, March 27, 2020) The doctor, who has not been named, had returned from vacation on March 18 to work with the Tikunas, a tribe of more than 30,000 people who live in the upper Amazon near the borders with Colombia and Peru. [...] The doctor's infection is the first confirmed case of the virus directly present in an indigenous village. It raises fears of an outbreak that could be lethal for Brazil's 850,000 indigenous people that have a history of decimation by diseases brought by Europeans, from smallpox and malaria to the flu. [...]

So far, [the indigenous health service] Sesai has reported four suspected cases of the coronavirus in indigenous communities, with only one in the Amazon. But doctors fear the virus could spread fast among tribes whose immune systems often are already weakened by malnutrition, hepatitis B, tuberculosis and diabetes. About a third of indigenous deaths in Brazil are caused by existing respiratory diseases.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:07 PM on March 29 [9 favorites]


Mike Baker, New York Times: Coronavirus Slowdown in Seattle Suggests Restrictions Are Working. “While each infected person was spreading the virus to an average of 2.7 other people earlier in March, that number appears to have dropped, with one projection suggesting that it was now down to 1.4.”

Of course, cases won’t decrease unless we can get that number below 1.0, which means we need to be doing more — more testing, more contact-tracking, better physical distancing. At the reduced growth rate we will still overwhelm hospitals eventually, but at least we’ve bought time to put more measures in place.
posted by mbrubeck at 6:19 PM on March 29 [5 favorites]


Trump says federal guidance urging social distancing will stay in place through April 30 (WaPo, March 29, 2020) During Sunday’s White House briefing, President Trump said federal guidance urging social distancing will stay in place through April 30. He backed off of his hope that the country will be “opened up” by Easter Sunday, saying that deaths due to the coronavirus will likely peak in two weeks. ”Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won," he said.

Meanwhile, confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide passed 700,000 on Sunday, as countries warned the virus could disrupt lives for months, if not years.

posted by Iris Gambol at 6:29 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


Trump, Feb. 10:
Now, the virus that we’re talking about having to do — you know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape though. We have 12 cases — 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:42 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


It's currently as hot in Florida as it will be in the mid-Atlantic come May, and this disease is currently running rampant there. Is there any actual indication that the heat does jack-all?
posted by codacorolla at 8:35 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


Of course not. But that's the way the flu reacts, and this is "no worse than the flu" so... Grab whatever straws seem familiar I guess.
posted by Windopaene at 8:42 PM on March 29


Well, luckily, Florida's Governor is keeping all the New Yorkers and New Orleaners under surveillance, so that should end his pandemic worries tout de suite.
posted by valkane at 8:45 PM on March 29 [2 favorites]


Washington Post: Nigeria’s fashion designers take on coronavirus with glitter and rhinestones

"The fashion stylist to some of Nigeria’s biggest stars was flying home from a fabric-buying spree in Istanbul when she noticed people staring at her — and not in a flattering way. Must be the surgical mask, she thought.
“They were looking at me like, ‘Oh, is something wrong with you?’ ” said Tiannah Toyin Lawani, 38, who shares her atelier videos with 860,000 followers on Instagram. “But imagine if the fabric had matched my ensemble. They would think, ‘That’s fashion.’ ”
Then it clicked: Protective gear could use more glamour.
Now, seven tailors have moved into her mansion in the commercial capital, Lagos, as business in Africa’s largest economy crawls to a halt. They’re wearing custom hazmat suits and sewing glittery, rhinestone-studded face masks for sale and donation.
With a giant asterisk, of course: Even medical-grade coverage isn’t guaranteed to stop the novel coronavirus. But while the effectiveness of homemade masks is unproven, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they’re better than none in last-resort situations, which is why tailors around the world are stitching substitutes in the face of a global shortage.

“Initially I thought: ‘Guys, come on, these masks won’t do anything,’ ” Akerele said of the blinged-out variety. “Then I realized it was a statement: Be responsible. You have to do the right thing.”

posted by jenfullmoon at 8:51 PM on March 29 [3 favorites]


A choir decided to go ahead with rehearsal. Now dozens of members have COVID-19 and two are dead (Richard Read, LA Times)

A sobering read about the Skagit Valley Chorale in Washington state.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:52 AM on March 30 [7 favorites]


Jesus christ. Our choir stopped rehearsing early, and I was out two weeks prior to that with my own infection (of some sort) but now we're getting together weekly on Zoom for "rehearsals" despite the fact that all of our concerts are canceled. But god damn this could have been us if we'd just said "oh it's not in town yet" or "we'll just ask anyone who's coughing to stay home" motherfucker god damn
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:52 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]








Florida's Governor is keeping all the New Yorkers and New Orleaners under surveillance

Maine sheriff investigating claim that armed men cut down tree to force neighbor's quarantine (ABC News, March 29, 2020) [...] The man, who is renting the house in the town of Vinalhaven in the Fox Islands, left the house to check on a severed cable line Friday afternoon and discovered that a tree was blocking his path, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office said. Several people with guns allegedly approached the resident and yelled at him, according to the sheriff’s office. [...]

“Several law enforcement entities arrived in the area and found the felled tree but no group of people,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post. “It was apparent that the tree had been cut down and dragged into the roadway to block it.” The town has an order that mandates that anyone who came onto the island recently had to self-isolate. However the man said that he and his two roommates arrived last month, before the cutoff point for the order.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:47 AM on March 30 [4 favorites]


In my rural area of Kansas, there's been no violence yet. As far as I know. But, there's an increase of angry muttering about people from Kansas City driving here to shop at the local grocery store. Presumably to get around the shortages.

In Kansas, all plates have a sticker indicating what county is the home of the owner. People are not just keeping an eye out for out-of-state tags. They're also scanning for outsiders from such exotic locales as Topeka or the Johnson County suburbs of KC. Things are getting creepy.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 10:36 AM on March 30 [3 favorites]


IRS orders office evacuation, affecting most agency employees (Politico)
The IRS issued a nearly blanket evacuation order to its workforce beginning today, the latest in a series of steps to shrink the number of on-site employees due to the coronavirus pandemic. An agency-wide email from IRS Human Capital Officer Robin Bailey on Friday explained that all employees “including employees who are currently not teleworking but whose work is portable or can be adapted to work off-site" must "evacuate the work site” and either work from home or an alternate location.

[...] Bailey’s message didn’t address how the evacuation would affect tax returns, refunds or direct payments of $1,200 for most Americans that the IRS will play a large part in distributing. Press liaisons didn’t respond to a request for comment.
posted by katra at 10:47 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


Guardian: "More than 200 million Americans are under stay-at-home orders, as more state and local leaders direct residents to only go outside for essential activities. That means that 2 out of every 3 Americans is being asked to remain in their homes to mitigate the spread of coronavirus."
posted by katra at 11:01 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]




^^^Florida's Governor is keeping all the New Yorkers and New Orleaners under surveillance
Maine sheriff investigating claim that armed men cut down tree to force neighbor's quarantine (ABC News, March 29, 2020) [...
To elaborate on the information in Iris Gambol's comment, two of the three roommates in the Vinalhaven rental property had been living there since last September, when they came to Maine from New Jersey to work on a construction job. The third roommate came here about five weeks ago. How this got turned into "they came here from out of state with the coronavirus" is anybody's guess. I live in Maine, and I'm beyond relieved that an incident that involved guns in the hands of a group of angry people ended without injury to any human beings.

But this horrifying display of vigilantism shouldn't overshadow the reality that small towns with small year-round populations don't have the resources – food, health care, gas, etc. – to support an influx of people in the off season, especially during a pandemic.

Medical care on Vinalhaven is provided by at a federally funded clinic; someone with COVID-19 whose condition was rapidly becoming worse would have to be evacuated by helicopter to a hospital on the mainland. On another Maine island, the town's only gas station and laundromat has closed for two weeks as of this morning when an employee tested positive for coronavirus. And I'm sure similar scenarios are playing out around the country.
posted by virago at 12:02 PM on March 30 [5 favorites]


Tampa Bay pastor arrested, accused of violating social distancing guidelines amid coronavirus pandemic
According to Sheriff Chronister, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has been in contact with leaders at the church since last Friday. The sheriff says his office received a tip that the church pastor was refusing to stop holding large services and was instead encouraging his congregation to meet in person at the church.

Chronister added that the church has the capability to stream the services online and on TV to people at home but instead encouraged people to attend the church services. He says the church even provided bus transportation to two large services on Sunday.
posted by hanov3r at 12:30 PM on March 30 [10 favorites]


Coronavirus could wipe us out': indigenous South Americans.
In late February, weeks before Ecuador’s president, Lenín Moreno, ordered a nationwide lockdown, a Shuar indigenous leader called Tzamarenda Estalin placed a sign at his village’s entrance that read: “Entry forbidden as a health precaution.
posted by adamvasco at 12:41 PM on March 30 [6 favorites]


NYT: Roughly three out of four Americans are under orders to stay home, or will be soon.
“I want everyone to hear me: Stay home,” Mr. Northam, a Democrat, said. Among other things, the order will force all colleges and universities in the state to close in-person teaching. That will ensure that Liberty University, a Christian college run by Jerry Falwell Jr., must close despite a decision by Mr. Falwell to reopen the school for in-person instruction last week, which was followed by several students reporting virus-like symptoms.
posted by katra at 12:57 PM on March 30 [4 favorites]


It'd be swell if the leaders of these death cults paid real, lasting personal penalties. (Unlikely.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:38 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


ABC’s Karl calls Rubio’s tweet on media outrageous, hurtful (AP)
The president of the White House Correspondents’ Association on Monday called on Florida Sen. Marco Rubio to apologize for a tweet saying some media members “can’t contain their delight” at reports of Americans getting the coronavirus.

Jonathan Karl, who is ABC News’ White House correspondent, said Rubio’s tweet was outrageous, wrong and hurtful. [...] “Who are you talking about, senator?” Karl asked during an appearance on ABC’s “The View.” Rubio has not clarified which media members he believes were gleeful about the number of U.S. cases.

Karl said journalists at CBS and NBC News had died of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, and two members of the White House press corps are suspected of having contracted the virus. “Who does Marco Rubio think is taking joy and glee at more people being sick?” Karl said.
posted by katra at 4:52 PM on March 30 [3 favorites]


Trump administration rules gun shops ‘essential’ amid virus (AP, March 30, 2020) The Trump administration has ruled that gun shops are considered “essential” businesses that should remain open as other businesses are closed to try to stop the spread of coronavirus. Gun control groups are balking, calling it a policy that puts profits over public health after intense lobbying by the firearms industry.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:14 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


Trump can't tell state governors what shops are essential. They can tell him to go fish.
posted by JackFlash at 7:21 PM on March 30 [6 favorites]


That's not so obvious. States have the general police (public safety) power. Federal government has the commerce powers. (Including the "dormant commerce clause," which constrains State action even absent Federal legislation.)

And this Court might find an undue restraint on the 2nd, which is a Federal guarantee of an individual right under currently controlling authority.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:51 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


Murphy: New Jersey gun stores will be allowed to reopen (Politico)
At least three gun rights organizations have filed lawsuits in recent days to force the state of New Jersey to allow gun stores to open. Several Republican lawmakers called on the governor to allow it as well. “In accordance with the guidance released over the weekend by the federal Department of Homeland Security, we will allow firearms sellers to operate,” Murphy said during his briefing. Gun sales will be done by appointment only, Murphy said, and “during limited hours.”
States' Actions on Guns During Coronavirus Pandemic Raises Second Amendment Questions, Attorneys Say (Newsweek, Mar. 27, 2020)
"There is a constitutional right at issue, and the question is whether states need to have carveouts for those constitutionally protected activities when they issue blanket orders as a result of an emergency," Jake Charles, the executive director of the Center for Firearms Law at Duke Law School, told Newsweek.
posted by katra at 8:06 PM on March 30


I've been wondering if the various responses to this crisis might wind up with the Supreme Court making provisional arrangements to hear more cases under its Constitutional grant of original jurisdiction, most of which it currently delegates.

That's an unnerving prospect, with its current makeup.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:20 PM on March 30 [3 favorites]


Trump administration rules gun shops ‘essential’ amid virus

Interesting. Here in my home state of Victoria, recreational and sporting shooters are no longer allowed to buy guns or ammunition. It makes sense, given that our gun laws are targeted: a recreational (hunting?) license is not a sporting license is not a security license. At present there are no sporting events for shooters, and I expect most recreational shooting would be off-limits too. But I think the real reason is that the police don't want wannabe survivalists to collect an arsenal so they can cosplay Rambo or star in their own zombie movie. So I think people in the US should ask their Federal government what, exactly, is "essential" about people buying guns during an epidemic.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:47 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


That's not so obvious. States have the general police (public safety) power. Federal government has the commerce powers. (Including the "dormant commerce clause," which constrains State action even absent Federal legislation.)

Well there is a constitutional crisis that would actually be interesting. Feds say "gun shops can remain open" and the states say "fine, the only travel permitted is to essential service work place, food shopping and medical reasons and the gun store isn't any of those things."
posted by Mitheral at 9:17 PM on March 30 [2 favorites]


Tell Trump he can spend the next year in the courts fighting it out, like he has for his tax returns. Meanwhile keep the gun shops closed.
posted by JackFlash at 9:44 PM on March 30 [10 favorites]


You've got it wrong, Trump does whatever he wants then the courts take 2 years to tell him no. Then he does something very similar and gets another 2 years of run time for (imprisoning kids | accepting bribes | stalling tax returns | installing relatives | threatening whistleblowers| etc.). Then a court rules it is a matter that can only be settled by impeachment. Rinse and repeat.
posted by benzenedream at 11:21 PM on March 30 [11 favorites]


So I think people in the US should ask their Federal government what, exactly, is "essential" about people buying guns during an epidemic.

Americans don't usually reason about this issue, Joe.
posted by Harald74 at 1:21 AM on March 31 [5 favorites]


Not to derail the gun discussion but I need to get this idea off my mind....



You people who use our stores as social playgrounds:

This crisis is like an active shooter drill for retail workers; seeing every one of you as a potential harbinger of death.

Yet; rather than run, hide or fight workers must continue to stock, serve and smile.


Have a nice day! Thanks for coming in! 
posted by mightshould at 3:55 AM on March 31 [14 favorites]


[A couple deleted. Let us not get off into the weeds about the guns and the second amendment, or turn this into a general guns discussion, please. Thanks.]
posted by taz (staff) at 6:43 AM on March 31 [2 favorites]




[One deleted; it's important to acknowledge racism/microaggressions people are seeing in the world, but especially if you're not in the group that's the target of those racist terms/microaggressions, please avoid simply reproducing those microaggressions/offensive terms here.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:24 AM on March 31 [4 favorites]


CDC considering recommending general public wear face coverings in public (WaPo)
CDC guidance on masks remains under development, according to a federal official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it is an ongoing matter of internal discussion and nothing has been finalized. The official said the new guidance would make clear that the general public should not use medical masks — including surgical and N95 masks — that are in desperately short supply and needed by health-care workers. Instead, the recommendation under consideration calls for using do-it-yourself cloth coverings, according to a second official who shared that thinking on a personal Facebook account. It would be a way to help “flatten the curve,” the official noted.

[...] In recent days, an assortment of scientists, health experts, pundits and influencers has vigorously advanced their position that everyone venturing into public or crowded places should wear a mask or face shield — even a homemade one — to lower the rate of transmission of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Thomas Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, said in an interview the CDC should urge people to use nonmedical masks or face coverings. “I think it would be a prudent step we can all take to reduce transmission” by people who are infected but have no symptoms, he said. DIY coverings — like the ones his children just fashioned from old clothes for his family — aren’t perfect and should not be used as an excuse to stop social distancing, he said.
fyi the FPP Asks for Masks includes links to DIY instructions.
posted by katra at 8:35 AM on March 31 [3 favorites]


6 feet enough for social distancing? MIT researcher says droplets carrying coronavirus can travel up to 27 feet (USA Today)
Bourouiba’s research calls for better measures to protect health care workers and, potentially, more distance from infected people who are coughing or sneezing. She said current guidelines are based on “large droplets” as the method of transmission for the virus and the idea that those large droplets can only go a certain distance.

In a Journal of the American Medical Association article published last week, Bourouiba said peak exhalation speeds can reach 33 to 100 feet per second and "currently used surgical and N95 masks are not tested for these potential characteristics of respiratory emissions."

The idea that droplets "hit a virtual wall and stop there and after that we are safe," is not based on evidence found in her research, Bourouiba said, and also not based on "evidence that we have about COVID transmission."
posted by katra at 9:25 AM on March 31 [5 favorites]


Like most mitigation efforts, the 6ft guideline is not intended to stop 100% of transmissions, just slow them down.

This is like saying, "Think locking your doors is enough? Criminals can still kick them in!" While true, it still creates enough of a disincentive that, along with other mitigation efforts, keeps break-ins from being a civilization ending problem.
posted by VTX at 9:31 AM on March 31 [17 favorites]


Still, given the push to stand up more manufacturing, it would be good if whatever we manufacture is as effective as possible. Maybe the typical materials can be adjusted or enhanced.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:36 AM on March 31 [2 favorites]


MIT researcher says droplets carrying coronavirus can travel up to 27 feet

This seems to help explain coronavirus spreading at a choir rehearsal.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:02 AM on March 31 [3 favorites]


Like most mitigation efforts, the 6ft guideline is not intended to stop 100% of transmissions, just slow them down.

Yes, a quick reminder, because I just spoke to our local Home Care organizer about it.

There is no stopping this thing. It will get to everyone everywhere eventually. So pretty much all of the safety/preventative measures that are being implemented are aimed at slowing down the spread, not stopping it.

We'll have a vaccine eventually. We'll have more gloves and masks and respirators eventually. And so on.
posted by philip-random at 10:43 AM on March 31 [5 favorites]


This is like saying, "Think locking your doors is enough? Criminals can still kick them in!" While true, it still creates enough of a disincentive that, along with other mitigation efforts, keeps break-ins from being a civilization ending problem.

I think your analogy is misplaced, because this information from a scientist also seems like it could bolster the increasing advice related to wearing nonmedical masks to lower transmission rates, and it sounds like you're saying that guns can be another mitigation effort for people who have had criminals trying to kick their doors in, which could stop the threat.
posted by katra at 11:02 AM on March 31 [1 favorite]


I can see gloves as an alternative to hand sanitizer, in that you can either sanitize, or take your gloves off if you're wearing them, before you touch your door knob or phone. But it's easier to sanitize your hands than to properly dispose of gloves out in public.

I can see why you'd want your grocery clerk and delivery person to wear them because you don't know whether they washed up properly last time they used the washroom. But that's not specific to covid-19 (although there is a fecal oral route for the virus).

But other than that, how do gloves help? If I touch something with a glove, the surface of the glove is infected just as much as my hand would be. Touching my face, masked or not, is just as bad with a glove as without. I could be missing something fundamental?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:21 AM on March 31 [2 favorites]


For starters, you're less likely to absentmindedly touch your face while wearing gloves.

And it's only easy to sanitize your hands on the go if you can get hand sanitizer.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:41 AM on March 31 [6 favorites]


and it sounds like you're saying that guns can be another mitigation effort

That assumes that guns are an effective mitigation measure. They are not. As explained to me by the nice officer who took my statement after my house was broken into, most would-be robbers don't rob houses with people in them as they might be armed or simply create enough hassle that it's easier to rob someone else.

Guns are, on the other hand, one of the items most commonly stolen by thieves (along with jewelry, drugs, smartphones, laptops, and tablets).

So that would be more analogous to something like going to church to pray. To someone who doesn't know better it seems like something that should be effective but it actually has the opposite effect. And maybe there is a God and they heard someone's prayer and that person was spared instead of dying from COVID-19. I can't really disprove it but there is still zero chance I'm going to rely on it as a solution to anything.
posted by VTX at 12:08 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


Please enough with the gun derail.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:37 PM on March 31 [9 favorites]


For starters, you're less likely to absentmindedly touch your face while wearing gloves.

That is useful, but I'm not sure it rises to the level of being a vital consumable.

And it's only easy to sanitize your hands on the go if you can get hand sanitizer.

Yes, some may have gloves but no sanitizer. I'm lucky in that I still have sanitizer left... but my stash of gloves will run out, too.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:56 PM on March 31


Christ I forget how lucky I am sometimes. The only place I go is a block from my house, so it requires essentially no effort for me to avoid using the hand that operates the PIN pad until I have a chance to wash. Thus far, I have managed to avoid using any gloves or hand sanitizer on account of SARS-CoV-2.

Hopefully most of us can remain in a position to protect ourselves in ways that don't require using up PPE that remains in short supply. Still, better to use gloves and/or masks than to end up needing a ventilator two weeks from now.
posted by wierdo at 1:16 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]


USA Today, quoted above: Bourouiba’s research calls for better measures to protect health care workers and, potentially, more distance from infected people who are coughing or sneezing.

In Dr. Celine Gounder's Epidemic Podcast interview around minute 15:00, Bourouiba includes "heavy breathing" along with sneezing and coughing. So I feel totally justified in extrapolating the farther-than-6-feet guideline to asymptomatic people's singing (the choir incident mentioned above), cardio exercising, etc. She does say that sneezing propelled viruses the farthest and coughing was a bit less. Presumably heavy breathing would be less than coughing.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 2:06 PM on March 31 [1 favorite]




The next coronavirus hotspots are in states that aren’t testing enough (Politico)
Georgia, Michigan and Oklahoma are among the states where coronavirus outbreaks are intensifying — and where per capita testing rates are some of the lowest in the nation. While hard-hit New York state was testing more than 950 out of every 100,000 people as of Monday, Georgia was only testing 127 and Oklahoma 43. That raises the likelihood that these states are severely underestimating the size of their outbreaks.

The testing blindspots not only make it harder to slow the spread of disease, health officials say, but also to know when it’s safe to ease social distancing measures. [...] Former acting CMS chief Andy Slavitt worries that undercounting coronavirus cases is lulling some states into a false sense of security that is enabling the virus to spread farther and faster.

“There’s a perfect storm I worry about in certain states where their commonality is that they have low testing and low social distancing guidelines,” Slavitt told POLITICO. Oklahoma, for instance, has put in place limited “stay at home” guidelines that apply to the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions, rather than the general public.
posted by katra at 4:09 PM on March 31 [4 favorites]


As many as 25 percent of people infected with the new coronavirus may not show symptoms. (NYT, March 31, 2020) A startlingly high number of people infected with the new coronavirus may not show symptoms, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, complicating efforts to predict the pandemic’s course and strategies to mitigate its spread. In particular, the high level of symptom-free cases is leading the C.D.C. to consider broadening its guidelines on who should wear masks.[...]

For example, as many as 18 percent of people infected with the virus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship never developed symptoms, according to one analysis. A team in Hong Kong suggests that from 20 to 40 percent of transmissions in China occurred before symptoms appeared.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:52 PM on March 31 [6 favorites]


Coronavirus lockdowns have changed the way Earth moves
A reduction in seismic noise because of changes in human activity is a boon for geoscientists.
From Nature
posted by mumimor at 4:49 AM on April 1 [11 favorites]


Singing stops in Italy as fear and social unrest mount (Angela Giuffrida and Lorenzo Tondo; Guardian)
A few days into Italy’s lockdown, people across the country sang and played music from their balconies as they came together to say “Everything will be alright” (Andrà tutto bene). Three weeks on, the singing has stopped and social unrest is mounting as a significant part of the population, especially in the poorer south, realise that everything is not all right.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:44 AM on April 1 [6 favorites]


Another Italian-balcony story, this one about measuring light pollution: Thousands of Italians take part in citizen-science project (Nature, 31 March 2020 16:30 GMT) The project, called Science on the Balcony and launched by the Italian National Research Council, asked participants to turn off all the lights in their apartment and launch an app designed for the study. Then, they were asked to turn their phone screens towards the main light source that can be seen from their windows — for example, a streetlight or a sign. Using the phones’ brightness sensors, the app measures the light source’s illuminance, or brightness, in lux units.

Like many nations, Italy has seen a steady increase in night-time light in recent decades. Such light pollution compromises astronomers’ view of space and presents environmental, economic, safety and public-health problems; it can, for instance, affect the immune system. [Alessandro] Farini [co-creator of project/researcher at Italy’s National Institute of Optics] sees another advantage for science in the project. “This pandemic risks creating doubts about science, because a lot of fake news is circulating,” he says. “With this experiment, we wanted to bring citizens closer to measurement techniques, to let them see the often complex process and allow them to participate in the scientific method.”
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:32 PM on April 1 [10 favorites]


Social distancing works. The earlier the better, California and Washington data show. (WaPo)
Analyses from academics and federal and local officials indicate those moves bought those communities precious time — and also may have “flattened the curve” of infections for the long haul. While insufficient testing limits the full picture, it’s clear the disease is spreading at different speeds in different places in the United States. California and Washington continue to see new cases and deaths, but so far they haven’t come in the spikes seen in parts of the East Coast. Social distancing efforts need to continue for several more weeks to be effective, experts say.

[...] Aggressive social distancing efforts haven’t stopped the virus, public health experts say. But the goal was to slow the spread to keep it from overwhelming health-care resources so fewer people would require hospital beds and ventilators at the same time. California hospitals, which saw their number of covid-19 patients double over the last five days, have yet to buckle under the load. [...] Some lessons of social distancing from West Coast cities also could be geographically and economically unique. They’ve got a fraction of the population density of many East Coast areas. In contrast to New York City, many people drive cars even in the most-populous California and Washington cities rather than take trains and buses.
posted by katra at 5:57 PM on April 1 [5 favorites]


Well, Washington hasn't been able to report data for three days, because no one can write a front end that doesn't crash the DB, so...

Might be a little early to claim our social distancing is working. Fingers crossed, but... I'm unwilling to say it's working currently.
posted by Windopaene at 6:11 PM on April 1 [3 favorites]


1100 new cases finally reported in Washington so, that's about 375 a day, which is better than the 500+ a day we were seeing. Fingers crossed.
posted by Windopaene at 8:24 PM on April 1 [1 favorite]


California appears to be flattening the curve. But its testing lags behind other states (Guardian)
[Wendy Parmet, a Northeastern University health policy expert,] said when federal and state leaders tout California’s progress, it could encourage people to stay home and distance and pressure other jurisdictions to follow suit: “It’s important for people to see that there are possibilities, that efforts can make a difference.”
posted by katra at 8:36 PM on April 1


CA: I mean, I do hope this encourages people to stay home, but we are doing very, very little testing, at least in my neck of the woods. Unless you're hospitalized with the right symptoms or are a health care worker or maybe have had contact, it's pretty much not happening.
posted by moira at 9:16 PM on April 1 [4 favorites]


I know, but the hospital capacity reported to not be 'buckling under the load' also seemed like a piece of positive "flattening the curve" news in the midst of so much otherwise terrible news. I personally have people in New York right now who have the coronavirus, and who have lost people to the coronavirus, and that could well serve as a very painful reminder as to why these stay-at-home orders are so important, but I'm also trying to find positive news to help show why the steps we are taking to try to slow this pandemic down matter so much.
posted by katra at 9:28 PM on April 1 [10 favorites]


I'm with you there. Cross fingers.

I'm sorry for your friends who are sick and have lost loved ones. That's terrible.
posted by moira at 9:37 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]


Thank you, and I should probably head over to the check-in MeTa - I've been kind of holding all of that in and haven't mentioned it anywhere before now. But I am so proud of my sister, powering through her illness and continuing to see clients for telehealth therapy, even though I am otherwise besides myself with worry for her and her partner, as well as my friends and their family.
posted by katra at 9:56 PM on April 1 [6 favorites]


Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles on Wednesday urged all the city’s residents to use homemade face coverings when in public or interacting in public. (NYT, April 1, 2020) “This isn’t an excuse to suddenly all go out,” he said during a news conference, “but when you have to go out, we are recommending that we use nonmedical grade masks, or facial coverings.”
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:47 PM on April 1 [2 favorites]


More of that old time religion
Health official says 75,000 Bnei Brak residents likely have coronavirus
Head of Maccabi HMO tells Knesset panel 38% of ultra-Orthodox city is sick, amid worries residents are avoiding getting tested ahead of Passover
posted by adamvasco at 7:05 AM on April 2 [2 favorites]


What We Need to Understand About Asymptomatic Carriers if We’re Going to Beat Coronavirus
ProPublica’s health reporter Caroline Chen explains what the conversation around asymptomatic coronavirus carriers is missing, and what we need to understand if we’re going to beat this nefarious virus together.
posted by adamvasco at 7:41 AM on April 2 [6 favorites]


Actor, Former Trader Joe's Employee Geoffrey Owens: Grocery Workers Show 'True Heroism' amid Coronavirus (Geoffrey Owens, People)
"In handling, organizing and serving food products to us, these people, like our medical care-givers, are literally risking their lives for our good"
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:31 AM on April 2 [8 favorites]


Italy and Spain see ‘first positive signs’ in coronavirus crisis, ambassadors say (WaPo)
The Italian and Spanish ambassadors to the United States reported signs of improvement in the coronavirus situation in their countries Thursday, where numbers of confirmed infections, hospitalizations and deaths remain high but are beginning to stabilize. “These are just the first positive signs, and they have to be taken cautiously,” Italian Ambassador Armando Varricchio said. “But they show that measures taken both nationally and at the local level have started to pay off.”

Spain and Italy account for the majority of more than 30,000 deaths in Europe, with more than 10,000 in Spain and 13,000 in Italy, although figures in Britain and France are climbing. All have imposed national stay-at-home orders and closures. The Spanish government this week issued orders prohibiting home evictions or the cutoff of utilities for failure to pay.
posted by katra at 11:13 AM on April 2 [3 favorites]


Where America Didn’t Stay Home Even as the Virus Spread (NYT)
Stay-at-home orders have nearly halted travel for most Americans, but people in Florida, the Southeast and other places that waited to enact such orders have continued to travel widely, potentially exposing more people as the coronavirus outbreak accelerates, according to an analysis of cellphone location data by The New York Times. The divide in travel patterns, based on anonymous cellphone data from 15 million people, suggests that Americans in wide swaths of the West, Northeast and Midwest have complied with orders from state and local officials to stay home. Disease experts who reviewed the results say those reductions in travel — to less than a mile a day, on average, from about five miles — may be enough to sharply curb the spread of the coronavirus in those regions, at least for now.

“That’s huge,” said Aaron A. King, a University of Michigan professor who studies the ecology of infectious disease. “By any measure this is a massive change in behavior, and if we can make a similar reduction in the number of contacts we make, every indication is that we can defeat this epidemic.” But not everybody has been staying home. In areas where public officials have resisted or delayed stay-at-home orders, people changed their habits far less. Though travel distances in those places have fallen drastically, last week they were still typically more than three times those in areas that had imposed lockdown orders, the analysis shows.
posted by katra at 12:34 PM on April 2 [8 favorites]


anecdata: here it seems that the conservative provinces are better at adhering to the rules than the liberal cities. It certainly helps that most of the right wing parties and all of the industry are backing the government policies 100%
posted by mumimor at 12:50 PM on April 2 [2 favorites]


Where America Didn’t Stay Home Even as the Virus Spread (NYT)

This is super interesting. The map it reminds me of in some ways is this one, to be honest.

There are issues with using county level data; much of the central and western US has large, sparsely-populated counties, which will affect this data in two ways. One is that the relatively small sample (even with "big data", a 15 million national sample means a county of 5000 people -- there are 50 counties in Texas alone with 5K or fewer -- might have a couple of hundred data points, and one or two big travellers could skew the data.) This is visible in the red-and-white checkerboard up the middle of the map.

The second is that physical distancing could legitimately look different in rural/remote areas as measured by distance. A farmer who lives a ways out of town might be obeying best practices, but still working by themselves on a few fields and travelling a lot to do that, and the only difference in their weekly 20 mile trip into town for groceries and supplies is them not making an extra 3 block drive over to the coffee shop to kibitz with the other farmers.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 3:42 PM on April 2 [15 favorites]


Compare also this map, or this one, or this one, or this one regarding distribution of religiosity and religious affiliation.

Here's that last one as an animation that alternates with the electoral results.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:02 PM on April 2 [1 favorite]


The second is that physical distancing could legitimately look different in rural/remote areas as measured by distance.

This. The part of Georgia that looks "good" is the Atlanta area, where we all went from commuting across the city to walking to our neighborhood grocery store (and likely still interacting with people on the way). In much of the rest of the state, you have to drive 10 or more miles to get to a grocery store, but you don't have to interact with other people to do so.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:29 PM on April 2 [12 favorites]


The Coronavirus’s Unique Threat to the South (Vann R. Newkirk II, Atlantic)
So far, about one in 10 deaths in the United States from COVID-19 has occurred in the four-state arc of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, according to data assembled by the COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer collaboration incubated at The Atlantic. [...] The numbers emerging seem to indicate that more young people in the South are dying from COVID-19. [...] All data in this stage of the pandemic are provisional and incomplete, and all conclusions are subject to change. But a review of the international evidence shows that, as far as we know, the outbreaks currently expanding in the American South are unique—and mainly because of how many people in their working prime are dying.

[...] The slow response from those governors will be even more ruinous in a region with so many challenges. Chronic disease and the apparent increased risk for younger people from COVID-19 are only part of the story in the South. [...] In all, the South seems likely to be a new kind of battleground, one in which distancing and isolation are going to be especially important in stopping the virus. Centuries of policy gave the pandemic a head start—and younger targets—in the South. Now there are mere days to change course.
posted by katra at 5:12 PM on April 2 [6 favorites]


PSA. My new favourite COVID-19 reporting site is Worldometer. It has data on a huge number of countries and many of its graphs can display in both linear and logarithmic views. The Financial Times also has good graphs which are presented in a way that makes them easy to compare, and their coronavirus coverage is presently free.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:12 PM on April 2 [4 favorites]


Oregon health officer: Spike in virus cases can be averted (AP)
As the COVID-19 pandemic claims a record number of jobs, Oregon’s health officer shared good news Thursday: Modeling shows the state won’t see a huge rise in cases as long as stay-at-home orders are heeded. Dean Sidelinger, who is also state epidemiologist with the Oregon Health Authority, also said in a video conference with journalists that the rise in cases should be manageable, according to the modeling.

“The cases will rise slowly and rise slow enough that our hospital systems should be able to care for the people who get who get sick (and) should be able to provide the critical care for those who are most sick,” Sidelinger said. He added that this positive outcome depends on everyone heeding the governor’s orders to stay home and on health care providers having personal protective equipment.
posted by katra at 8:15 AM on April 3 [4 favorites]


If you weren't already saying "fuck Hobby Lobby", it's probably time to join the "fuck Hobby Lobby" bandwagon.

Hobby Lobby is closing all stores and furloughing 'nearly all' employees after it defied stay-at-home orders by quietly reopening locations around the nation
After quietly reopening stores across the country in defiance of coronavirus-related state lockdown orders, Hobby Lobby is closing all of its stores nationwide and furloughing employees.

In a statement posted on the company website on Friday afternoon, Hobby Lobby announced it would furlough "nearly all store employees" and is "ending emergency leave pay and suspending use of company provided paid time off benefits and vacation." A furlough is when a company temporarily lays off an employee.
posted by hanov3r at 3:31 PM on April 3 [7 favorites]


NYTimes: Location Data Says It All: Staying at Home During Coronavirus Is a Luxury
The data offers real-time evidence of a divide laid bare by the coronavirus pandemic — one in which wealthier people not only have more job security and benefits but also may be better able to avoid becoming sick. The outbreak is so new that the relationship between socioeconomic status and infection rates cannot be determined, but other data, including recent statistics released by public health officials in New York City, suggests that the coronavirus is hitting low-income neighborhoods the hardest.
posted by Lexica at 3:55 PM on April 3 [6 favorites]


Data on the race of coronavirus victims is inconsistent. Rep. Ayanna Pressley wants to change that. (Washington Post, April 2, 2020) [...] a group of lawmakers led by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are calling on the federal government to change how they are collecting data. [...] While data about the age and gender of patients is being gathered, there isn’t any consistent information about race and ethnicity across the states. This could make it difficult for the government and medical providers to pass policies and laws that narrow the gap between well-funded, predominantly white communities and under-resourced communities of color.

Past studies have shown that people of color and those from low-income communities are disproportionately harmed during epidemics. The Post’s Vanessa Williams wrote about how the economy’s effect on Latinos and black Americans could impact the type of medical care they receive. People of color are less likely to be insured when compared to white Americans and are also much more likely to be low-income workers who are laid off as businesses scale back or close their doors.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:14 PM on April 3 [11 favorites]




In Rural Towns and on Remote Farms, the Virus Creeps In It's the NYTimes on a photo safari, but the pictures are beautiful and there is only one really stupid idiot.
posted by mumimor at 3:48 AM on April 4 [4 favorites]


Hobby Lobby announced it would furlough "nearly all store employees"

Hobby Lobby wages start at $10 per hour. The enhanced unemployment insurance payment of $600 per week is $15 per hour. Added to this is the state's regular unemployment benefit.

These laid off employees might be better off not working at Hobby Lobby.
posted by JackFlash at 2:27 PM on April 4 [5 favorites]


Even if the equivalent benefit was no more than the take home pay, they would be better off not working at Hobby Lobby. I hope the chain's anchor-tenant leases eat its sanctimonious owners alive.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:38 PM on April 4 [15 favorites]


1 in 5 NYPD officers is out sick or quarantined. Thousands of fire employees have been sidelined, too. (WaPo live blog, Apr. 4, 2020)
The New York City Fire Department said that, as of Friday, about 3,000 of its 17,000 employees, including firefighters, EMTs and civilians, have had to take sick leave during the outbreak; 376 have tested positive for the coronavirus.
'Heroes have arrived’: Health workers from around the country answer New York City’s call for help (WaPo live blog, Apr. 4, 2020)
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit New York City, hundreds of emergency medical services workers from various states traveled to New York, driving ambulances and responding to calls to help combat the virus.

“This outpouring of support for New York made me very proud as a New Yorker, and made me very proud as an American,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), in a video produced by the mayor’s office highlighting the EMS workers who traveled to aid New York City.

The video shows EMS workers from Illinois, Florida, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Missouri, Georgia, Indiana and Ohio who left their families to come to New York. A Wall Street Journal reporter’s tweet captured “ambulances from Ohio, Massachusetts, Minnesota and more” awaiting calls in Queens.
posted by katra at 6:56 PM on April 4 [8 favorites]




I struggled with the best place to post this, so I hope it resonates with people on this thread.

This beautifully evocative piece was written by a colleague's son who is currently in Milan. He arrived in early March, intending to study Italian, but ended up with both less and more than he bargained for.
posted by Superplin at 7:52 PM on April 4 [10 favorites]


Trump Warns 'One Of The Toughest Weeks' Is Ahead, Says To Brace For 'A Lot Of Death' (NPR)
"The next two weeks are extraordinarily important," said [Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator]. "This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe and that means everybody doing the six-feet distancing, washing their hands."
posted by katra at 8:54 PM on April 4


Thank you Superplin for linking that essay. The part about the Plague of San Carlo in Milan (from the summer of 1576 to early 1578) is haunting. The grand processions organized by St. Charles Borromeo:
It was a litany that they sang, a simple, repetitive chant imploring the intercession of the saints. Sancta Maria, the cantor would cry. Ora pro nobis, the people would respond. And then the name of another saint, Ambrose or Monica or Augustine, would be called and the ora pro nobis would again ring through the streets.
posted by spamandkimchi at 11:03 PM on April 4 [1 favorite]


Pressley et al on the right track, of course: Early Data Shows African Americans Have Contracted and Died of Coronavirus at an Alarming Rate
(ProPublica.org, April 3, 2020) As of Friday morning, African Americans made up almost half of Milwaukee County’s 945 cases and 81% of its 27 deaths in a county whose population is 26% black. Milwaukee is one of the few places in the United States that is tracking the racial breakdown of people who have been infected by the novel coronavirus, offering a glimpse at the disproportionate destruction it is inflicting on black communities nationwide.

In Michigan, where the state’s population is 14% black, African Americans made up 35% of cases and 40% of deaths as of Friday morning. Detroit, where a majority of residents are black, has emerged as a hot spot with a high death toll. As has New Orleans. Louisiana has not published case breakdowns by race, but 40% of the state’s deaths have happened in Orleans Parish, where the majority of residents are black. Illinois and North Carolina are two of the few areas publishing statistics on COVID-19 cases by race, and their data shows a disproportionate number of African Americans were infected.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:08 AM on April 5 [7 favorites]


Here’s why it won’t work to just isolate the elderly and vulnerable (Megan McArdle, WaPo Opinion)
For one thing, younger people get sick, too — often very sick. Based on early data from China, health authorities initially emphasized that most of the deaths are occurring among the elderly, which unfortunately created an enduring impression that this is just a strange sort of influenza that happens to kill huge numbers of old people.

In fact, it’s much worse than flu for every age group except young children. Young adults are being hospitalized, and even put on ventilators, at a disturbingly brisk clip. Middle-aged people face a risk of dying that is lower than among the elderly, but still substantial: So far, among known infections of Americans aged 45 to 54, 5 percent to 10 percent ended up in intensive-care units, and at least 0.5 percent died. That translates into a 1-in-200 chance of dying for those infected.
posted by katra at 6:57 PM on April 5 [4 favorites]


> Here’s why it won’t work to just isolate the elderly and vulnerable (Megan McArdle, WaPo Opinion)

Nice to see McMegan joining the ranks of Stopped Clock Jennifer Rubin as conservatives who occasionally post non-batshit things.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:30 PM on April 5 [5 favorites]




Man, I thought my fellow Gen Xers were being smarter than this.

MIDDLE-AGED CROWD BREAK COVID-19 STAY-AT-HOME ORDER TO WATCH PINK FLOYD COVER BAND, CHANT 'F*** THE POLICE' AS OFFICERS ARRIVE
A New Jersey man has been charged after hosting a concert outside his home in violation of the state's ban on social gatherings amid the coronavirus outbreak.

John Maldjian, 54, of Rumson, has been charged with reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and two counts of charges relating to violating the emergency orders following an incident on Saturday, April 4.

Rumson Police received a call about a group of 30 adults aged around 40 to 50 years old who were gathering on the front lawn of a house on Blackpoint Road and watching a live performance.
posted by hanov3r at 8:52 AM on April 7 [1 favorite]


I swear to god if Q turns out to be Publius I'm just done.
posted by cortex at 9:07 AM on April 7 [3 favorites]


MIDDLE-AGED CROWD BREAK COVID-19 STAY-AT-HOME ORDER TO WATCH PINK FLOYD COVER BAND

I had to look this up because a "Pink Floyd cover band concert" was the first thing on my schedule that I didn't go to, back on March 13th!.

Anyway, read into TFA and you'll find that the arrested individual didn't "host" a Pink Floyd cover band, the "band" was him and another guy playing amplified guitars in the street.
posted by achrise at 9:44 AM on April 7 [4 favorites]


The Car Insurance Industry Is Making a Killing as Everyday People Struggle (Dan Edmunds, The Drive)
"Traffic is way down. Accidents are way down. Yet our premiums remain exactly the same."

The fact is no one is driving like they used to—even those still commuting to work face emptier highways with fewer assholes to contend with—and so no one should still be paying premiums like they used to. [...] Accident rates can only plummet as the collective number of miles driven drops profoundly. The math that makes social distancing work to slow the transmission of disease also works when it comes to reducing accident probability. Claims and payouts will have gone into freefall, but payments are as high as ever.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:34 PM on April 7 [3 favorites]


the "band" was him and another guy playing amplified guitars in the street.

I somehow doubt it was these guys:

Shine On You Crazy Diamond" in Jerusalem (uncut)
posted by philip-random at 8:36 PM on April 7 [1 favorite]


Regarding car insurance: it's not much, but GEICO is giving its insured a 15% credit. Here's the email I got this morning:

As part of GEICO's ongoing efforts to assist customers during this unprecedented time, we are announcing The GEICO Giveback which provides a 15 percent credit to all auto and motorcycle customers as policies come up for renewal, between April 8, 2020 and October 7, 2020. This credit will also apply to any new policies purchased during this period as part of our commitment to protecting the wellbeing of our customers.

Current customers can expect to see the credit when they renew. Customers do not need to take any action to receive this credit.

The credits are expected to average $150 per auto policy and $30 per motorcycle policy. With roughly 18 million auto policies and 1 million motorcycle policies in force, we are proudly providing a total benefit of approximately $2.5 billion to our customers.

Last month, we announced that we're pausing cancellations of coverage due to non-payment or policy expiration through April 30, 2020 or later as directed by your state. Beyond that, we are committed to offering maximum flexibility to policyholders who need special payment options. And to ensure you continue to receive the 24/7 service you've come to expect, we've also transitioned nearly all of our associates to work from home.


So, it's small, but it's non-zero.
posted by fiercecupcake at 8:16 AM on April 8 [5 favorites]


It's important to note that most (all?) insurance companies make money off their float. Sure, claims are down but investment income has taken a serious hit too. What percentage of payments are made from investments verses premiums varies a lot but it is possible an insurance company to actually be making less money in aggregate even though claims are down.

On top of that it is only minor claims that are resolved quickly, expensive claims tend to take more time and serious distancing has been only going on for a month. All the serious claims that were initiated earlier in the year are still outstanding.

Finally I'd bet a lot of people are just straight up cancelling policies so overall policy revenues are down. We are normally a two car household but I'm laid off so we only _need_ one car and see earlier about being laid off. The $100 a month that my car costs is going to be struck from our budget. Others are going to be late on their payments.

I'm not expecting any change in rates here but mostly because rates are only review annually in my jurisdiction (we have single payer auto insurance here).
posted by Mitheral at 8:42 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]


Airlines Want To Cancel Rule Requiring Them To Refund Fares For Canceled Flights (David Shaper, NPR)
The head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the group representing air carriers around the world, says airlines are losing billions and burning through their cash reserves.

"The key element for us is to avoid running out of cash so refunding the canceled ticket for us is almost unbearable financially speaking," IATA Director General Alexandre De Juniac said in an online news conference on Tuesday.

The industry lobbying group is asking governments to relax their refund policies and allow airlines to offer travel credits and vouchers instead. But amid a rising number of consumer complaints, the U.S. Department of Transportation last week warned airlines they must provide refunds when they cancel flights.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:02 AM on April 8 [4 favorites]


> Regarding car insurance: it's not much, but GEICO is giving its insured a 15% credit. Here's the email I got this morning:

Allstate, Liberty Mutual, and Safeco are also offering some relief.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:03 AM on April 8 [2 favorites]


allow airlines to offer travel credits and vouchers instead.

*flail* Our business is failing. *wail* Please let us spend money on executive parachutes instead of refunding it to people who need it and instead give them script that they can't redeem and has a good chance of being worthless in the future because we don't have the reserves to weather this storm.
posted by Mitheral at 9:20 AM on April 8 [14 favorites]




... I've seen several things about curfews now. What is the point? It's not like your chances of getting or passing on covid-19 from an interaction with someone outside of your house changes by time of day.
posted by eviemath at 11:08 AM on April 8 [4 favorites]


I wonder if I can pay my bills in IOUs? No? Then neither can fucking Delta. Let them eat stock.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:13 AM on April 8 [9 favorites]


... I've seen several things about curfews now. What is the point

Public safety resources are spread thin, and there's no reason to be out once stores or restaurants are closed except to be doing something optional that you shouldn't be doing. It's a way of making stay-at-home more mandatory without turning it into an actual quarantine.

That's the apparent thinking, anyway.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:16 AM on April 8 [6 favorites]


I wonder if I can pay my bills in IOUs

That's pretty much exactly what money is. So yes you can; we all do that, all the time, without even noticing.
posted by flabdablet at 1:56 PM on April 8


I wonder if I can pay my bills in IOUs? No? Then neither can fucking Delta. Let them eat stock.

Huh, guess they should have budgeted better, don't you know you're supposed to have 6 months salary saved up in case of an emergency that causes you to lose your income? They can go get a second job to tide them over.
posted by azpenguin at 2:12 PM on April 8 [12 favorites]


That's pretty much exactly what money is. So yes you can; we all do that, all the time, without even noticing.

Only when you have it. Otherwise, counterfeiting is a Federal crime.

Is this some kind of bad goldbug/bitcoiner joke?

I hereby banish this flavor of 'well actually' to Hacker News.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:06 PM on April 8 [6 favorites]


Coronavirus myth-busting: The truth about empty shelves and toilet paper shortages (Nathanael Johnson, Grist)
Why are we shopping more? [...]

Turns out, we are eating more groceries. A lot more. You might have noticed the same thing that I’ve noticed in my house: Food seems to run low at an alarming pace. That’s because we are no longer eating out. Instead of getting food from school lunches, company cafeterias, and restaurants, Americans are now getting the bulk of their calories from grocery stores. Normally, the meat Americans eat is split evenly — half from restaurants (and schools, and office canteens) and half from stores. That has “drastically shifted,” with 85 percent of meat running through grocery stores, a Cargill executive told Food Navigator. [...]

The larger issue is that supply chains just aren’t cut out for the shift in demand. Just like food — which is split into two supply chains for restaurants and grocery stores — toilet paper is divided between industrial and consumer markets. That toilet paper in public restrooms comes in giant rolls. And so, just like food, companies can’t just turn the trucks headed for the office parks and send them to grocery warehouses. They need to retool their supply chains to deliver household-sized products to grocery stores.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:29 PM on April 8 [