And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Linkee-poo Thursday

I'm nowhere near though reading everything I've queued up, but this should hold you over. :)

"In some places in the world right now, getting tested for COVID-19 remains difficult or nearly impossible. In Rwanda, you might just get tested randomly as you're going down the street."

"Atlanta's mask mandate will stay in place despite Georgia's governor suspending such measures enacted by cities and counties in the state, according to its mayor's office." I really can't explain the red hot anger I get when conservative state leaders decide they can over ride self-governance of municipalities.

"The first Black director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who also served as Surgeon General under President Clinton, gives the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic a C grade, boosted above a D only because 'there are so many people working so hard.'" A C for effort.

"On Tuesday, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spoke at a webinar for Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, when he said Americans should brace for what will likely be a 'difficult' fall and winter season." To avoid it, all you have to do is wear a mask. Everybody has to wear a mask. If not, well, you can get both the flu and COVID-19. It's not an either or situation.

"Chaos theory applies neatly to the spread of the coronavirus, in that seemingly tiny decisions or differences in reaction speed can have inordinate consequences. Effects can seem random when, in fact, they trace to discrete decisions made long prior. For example, the United States has surpassed 125,000 deaths from COVID-19. Having suppressed the virus early, South Korea has had only 289. Vietnam’s toll sits at zero. Even when differences from place to place appear random, or too dramatic to pin entirely on a failed national response, they are not." Lemme just stop you there. It's not Chaos theory. The mathematics of disease outbreak are actually very simple (as these things go). Just because what you see is chaos, the disease is not acting in chaos. Our response is. And that doesn't take Chaos theory to explain. Also, it's not the butterfly effect. It's called logarithmic and exponential growth. The math is barely calculus (more like advanced algebra), it doesn't even rise to higher level math (although we are using that higher level math to model and explain outcomes). Can you study using chaos theoiry principles? Sure. That doesn't make the analysis better. "Back in February, Lipsitch gave a very rough estimate that, absent intervention, herd immunity might happen after 40 to 70 percent of the population had been infected. The idea of hitting this level of infection implied grim forecasts about disease and death. The case-fatality rate for COVID-19 is now very roughly 1 percent overall. In the absolute simplest, linear model, if 70 percent of the world were to get infected, that would mean more than 54 million deaths." Also let me stress, so far the infection rate compared to our national population is still below 5% (in some of the hardest hit cities it's 10-20% IIRC). You want herd immunity, it has to get at least 10x worse.

"The unequal toll of the pandemic reflects the unequal conditions that divide Washington, D.C. Black residents of the nation's capital have a life expectancy that's 14.9 years shorter than white people, the largest gap of any of America's most populous counties… Under budgetary constraints from Congress, the local government hasn't done much to address those racial inequities over the years. And it was even slower to respond when COVID-19 added another health risk for Black residents."

"What’s going to happen in the fall?… It’s a question with high stakes for all involved — children, parents, teachers, and staff — a total of tens of millions of people across the country. While some have called on the federal government for help, President Trump instead waded into the fray this week with his trademark all-caps bluster to insist that schools must open in the fall without any clear solutions. He also threatened to withdraw federal funding from schools that don’t open their buildings."

"Congressional investigators are launching an inquiry into a handful of companies that landed government contracts related to COVID-19, calling the deals 'suspicious' because the companies lacked experience and, in some cases, had political connections to the Trump administration." Good.

"Tech companies are ending leases and consolidating offices as remote work is here to stay." Welcome to the new boss. After begging companies for decades, all it took was a few hundred thousand dead people to convince them what was in their best interest wasn't the status office, but a functioning workspace. (Stares in COVID at the publishing industry)

Conservative ideas for your healthcare insurance… "Georgians who buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act may have expected big changes in their plans based on an initial proposal by Gov. Brian Kemp regarding the way the marketplace works. But the Kemp administration has backed off of the most dramatic changes in its waiver proposal to the federal government… Actuaries said, though, that the governor’s idea had the potential to increase insurance prices for those who still chose regular, full-coverage plans. The proposal also raised the possibility of capping coverage and starting a wait list if there wasn’t enough money for all comers, though the administration had maintained that would be unlikely." Less coverage, more expensive, and waiting lists.

"Russian hackers are targeting organisations trying to develop a coronavirus vaccine in the UK, US and Canada, security services have warned… The UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said the hackers 'almost certainly' operated as 'part of Russian intelligence services'." Give it back.

"Fox Primetime host Tucker Carlson has already had quite the July. On the plus side, the latest ratings for his show have made him officially the most watched cable news host. On the other side of the ledger, advertisers are fleeing his show on the grounds of not wishing to be associated with lies and hate speech. Oh, also, his head writer Blake Neff, was forced out after his explicitly racist and misogynist social media posts were unmasked online. And now Tucker is off the show for two weeks, as he put it 'on a long-planned vacation.'" On the Media on the rise and falls of Tucker Carlson. While it's mostly about the money, it's really about the character. Money, like other things, only exposes the real person. And if he's a racist manbro douchebag for the money and really isn't him, isn't that even worse?

"The Republican National Committee is planning to sharply limit attendance for its convention in Jacksonville, Fla. next month, shrinking the event celebrating President Donald Trump’s renomination amid concerns about coronavirus." Ta-da!

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