Our Pandemic Summer – The Atlantic


As I wrote last month, the only viable endgame is to play whack-a-mole with the coronavirus, suppressing it until a #vaccine can be produced. With luck, that will take 18 to 24 months. During that time, new outbreaks will probably arise. Much about that period is unclear, but the dozens of experts whom I have interviewed agree that life as most people knew it cannot fully return. “I think people haven’t understood that this isn’t about the next couple of weeks,” said Michael Osterholm, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota. “This is about the next two years.”

The pandemic is not a hurricane or a wildfire. It is not comparable to Pearl Harbor or 9/11. Such disasters are confined in time and space. The SARS-CoV-2 virus will linger through the year and across the world. “Everyone wants to know when this will end,” said Devi Sridhar, a public-health expert at the University of Edinburgh. “That’s not the right question. The right question is: How do we continue?”

via: Our Pandemic Summer – The Atlantic

Why Restaurants Are So Fucked | Medium


COVID 19 is about to kill restaurants by the thousands. This pandemic is the ultimate pressure test and #restaurants are failing hard. Think about it: when we come out of this, your favourite #food spots might not be there any more.

Why are they so fucked? Let me explain.

Margins in the restaurant industry are notoriously small. Like tiny, actually. For reference, margins for banking, accounting, and legal services come in around 18–25%, healthcare 12-15%, and software 15–25%. Restaurants? 3–9%. Ya, like single digit. These razor thin profit margins have left restaurants with zero reserves. So when a crisis hits (like right now), they are pretty much screwed. Restaurant owners’ only options are to swallow their pride, beg, and hope for help — or throw in the proverbial dish towel. Did you realize how many restaurants don’t even have one months rent in the bank? It’s bananas!

via: Why Restaurants Are So Fucked | Medium

Our Pandemic Summer – The Atlantic


What a difference a few months can make.

In January, the United States watched as the new coronavirus blazed through China and reached American shores. In February, hindered by an unexpected failure to roll out diagnostic tests and an administration that had denuded itself of scientific expertise, the nation sat largely idle while the pandemic spread within its borders. In March, as the virus launched several simultaneous assaults on a perilously stretched-thin health-care system, America finally sputtered into action, frantically closing offices, schools, and public spaces in a bid to cut off chains of transmission. Now, in April, as viral fevers surge through American hospitals and cabin fever grows in American homes, the U.S. has cemented itself as the new center of the pandemic—the country that should have been more prepared than any other, but that now has the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the world.

via: Our Pandemic Summer – The Atlantic

Alton Brown’s The Chewy Recipe


Not Covid-19 related, by this is a good mood booster and a damn good cookie #recipe.

This is essentially a hack of the most famous cookie recipe in the world, which we all know from the back of the Nestle “morsel” bag. Extra chewiness is attained by substituting bread flour for regular all purpose, replacing one egg white with milk, and changing the ratio of brown to white sugar.

Via: Alton Brown’s The Chewy Recipe

How the Virus Transformed the Way Americans Spend Their Money – The New York Times


The coronavirus has profoundly altered daily life in America, ushering in sweeping upheavals to the U.S. #economy. Among the most immediate effects of the crisis? Radical changes to how people spend their money.

In a matter of weeks, pillars of American industry essentially ground to a halt. Airplanes, restaurants and arenas were suddenly empty. In many states, businesses deemed nonessential — including luxury goods retailers and golf courses — were ordered closed.

Via: How the Virus Transformed the Way Americans Spend Their Money – The New York Times

How to Survive Coronavirus: One Story of Symptoms and Survival – Bloomberg


It was early in the second week of March when it struck. I woke with sinus congestion and muscle aches I’d never felt before. I tried to ignore the signs. I was busy, a Bloomberg News editor on deadline on a story about the U.S. response to the outbreak, including the coronavirus testing-kit fiasco and other blunders in the pandemic’s early stages. I was about to experience them.

Via: How to Survive Coronavirus: One Story of Symptoms and Survival – Bloomberg

The Metric We Need to Manage COVID-19 – systrom


Without the use of a clear metric on our ability to contain the coronavirus pandemic, it’s difficult to imagine that we’ll manage a return to normalcy anytime soon. I hope by sharing this work with you, you will consider Rt as the metric that can guide our analysis and decision-making. I’ve kept most of the math and theory in the notebook, but I’d highly suggest diving in if you’re so inclined.

Via: The Metric We Need to Manage COVID-19 – systrom

Face Masks Against COVID-19: An Evidence Review[v1] | Preprints


The science around the use of #masks by the general public to impede COVID-19 transmission is advancing rapidly. Policymakers need guidance on how masks should be used by the general population to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we synthesize the relevant literature to inform multiple areas: 1) transmission characteristics of COVID-19, 2) filtering characteristics and efficacy of masks, 3) estimated population impacts of widespread community mask use, and 4) sociological considerations for policies concerning mask-wearing. A primary route of transmission of COVID-19 is likely via small respiratory droplets, and is known to be transmissible from presymptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Reducing disease spread requires two things: first, limit contacts of infected individuals via physical distancing and contact tracing with appropriate quarantine, and second, reduce the transmission probability per contact by wearing masks in public, among other measures. The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces the transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected droplets in both laboratory and clinical contexts. Public mask wearing is most effective at stopping spread of the virus when compliance is high. The decreased transmissibility could substantially reduce the death toll and economic impact while the cost of the intervention is low. Thus we recommend the adoption of public cloth mask wearing, as an effective form of source control, in conjunction with existing hygiene, distancing, and contact tracing strategies. We recommend that public officials and governments strongly encourage the use of widespread face masks in public, including the use of appropriate regulation.

Via: Face Masks Against COVID-19: An Evidence Review[v1] | Preprints

Opinion | Who Is Immune to the Coronavirus? – The New York Times


Among the many uncertainties that remain about Covid-19 is how the human immune system responds to infection and what that means for the spread of the disease. Immunity after any infection can range from lifelong and complete to nearly nonexistent. So far, however, only the first glimmers of data are available about #immunity to SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

What can scientists, and the decision makers who rely on science to inform policies, do in such a situation? The best approach is to construct a conceptual model — a set of assumptions about how immunity might work — based on current knowledge of the immune system and information about related viruses, and then identify how each aspect of that model might be wrong, how one would know and what the implications would be. Next, scientists should set out to work to improve this understanding with observation and experiment.

Via: Opinion | Who Is Immune to the Coronavirus? – The New York Times

#immunity #whatsnext

iPhone: How to use Face ID with a mask – 9to5Mac


Researchers at Tencent’s Xuanwu Lab (via the Wall Street Journal) discovered that you can train Face ID to recognize you’re wearing a mask if you set up the biometric system while wearing half a mask.

The tutorial mentions folding a mask in half and going through the setup process for Face ID. In our testing, that worked, but not very consistently.

What we found the most consistent was using the primary Face ID setup as well as redoing the alternate appearance with a mask to offer the best unlocking results.

Via: iPhone: How to use Face ID with a mask – 9to5Mac

California Declares Independence From Trump’s Coronavirus Plans – Bloomberg


Speaking on MSNBC, Governor Gavin Newsom said that he would use the bulk purchasing power of California “as a nation-state” to acquire the hospital supplies that the federal government has failed to provide. If all goes according to plan, Newsom said, California might even “export some of those supplies to states in need.”

“Nation-state.” “Export.”

Newsom is accomplishing a few things here, with what can only be a deliberate lack of subtlety. First and foremost, he is trying to relieve the shortage of personal protective equipment — a crisis the White House has proved incapable of remedying. Details are a little fuzzy, but Newsom, according to news reports, has organized multiple suppliers to deliver roughly 200 million masks monthly.

Via: California Declares Independence From Trump’s Coronavirus Plans – Bloomberg

Hold it together!


‪Anyone else just barely holding it all together and feel like they are just putting up a facade and could easily break down at any moment? ‬

People need a bailout, not corporations.


Corporations like this have screwed customers for decades all in service to their stock price. We need to screw them now.

Remember the good old days?


People went bat shit crazy over dijon mustard. Trump can literally talk about fucking supermodels during a Coronavirus crisis update and no one bats an eye.

Peeing Section


#humor

Jeremy #Masks4All on Twitter: “The Czech Republic went from zero mask usage to 100% in 10 days, and in the process they halted the growth of new covid-19 cases. How? They made their own! They didn’t need government help; they did it themselves. It’s time for #masks4all. See why: https://t.co/SiYApRvByq 1/” / Twitter


Great thread — click on through to Twitter to read the whole thing.

Compilation of all of the inaccurate, contradictory things that Dr. Drew has said about coronavirus – YouTube


Just another reminder of what a complete douchebag Dr. Drew is. (Note that he’s had this video taken down, this is a backup — will likely go down again)

Compilation of all of the inaccurate, contradictory things that Dr. Drew has said about coronavirus

Via: Compilation of all of the inaccurate, contradictory things that Dr. Drew has said about coronavirus – YouTube

Is the Coronavirus Airborne? Should We All Wear Masks? – The Atlantic


Much of this confusion stems from the shifting conversation around the pandemic. Thus far, the official line has been that the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, could be transmitted only through close contact with infected people or contaminated surfaces. But recently, news reports have suggested that the coronavirus can spread through the air. After 60 choir members in Washington State rehearsed together, 45 fell sick, even though no one seemed symptomatic at the time. Now people who were already feeling cooped up are worrying about going outside. Many state guidelines are ambiguous, and medical advice can muddy matters further. When the writer Deborah Copaken came down with COVID-19 symptoms, her doctor chided her for riding her bike through New York City a week earlier. Going outside in the city wasn’t safe, the physician implied, with “viral load everywhere.”

Via: Is the Coronavirus Airborne? Should We All Wear Masks? – The Atlantic

Grocery shopping and coronavirus: How to be safe without being a jerk


Pre-pandemic, grocery shopping was pretty chill. Maybe you’d stress over the long lines, or the store running out of your go-to oat milk. But what used to be the most mundane of weekend activities is now fraught and chaotic. Customers are disinfecting their shopping carts. Others have bought up masks, despite there being no evidence of them offering protection from COVID-19, leaving little for the health workers who actually need them. And viral videos have circulated of people throwing down over toilet paper. You don’t want to be That Person at the grocery store — but at the same time, it’s understandable that we’re all on edge right now. Here’s a cautious but rational person’s guide to grocery shopping in the time of corona.

Via: Grocery shopping and coronavirus: How to be safe without being a jerk

We’re beating coronavirus odds so far thanks to early stay-home order


Like a wildfire spraying hot embers, the coronavirus pandemic is now flaring in communities around the country, with growth curves in New Orleans, Michigan and Illinois that resemble those of 10 days ago in New York City — which in turn mirror those of early 2020 in Italy and Wuhan, China.

But California — and particularly San Francisco, where I live — appears to be following a different course, with relatively low rates of COVID-19 cases and mortality. In San Francisco, there are few signs of an imminent spike. Our experience may hold lessons for the rest of the country, especially on the importance of aggressive public and corporate steps to promote social distancing.

As recently as March 10, the rates of confirmed coronavirus infection in New York City and San Francisco were roughly the same: New York City had seven cases and San Francisco had 14. On Monday evening, New York City had more than 38,000 confirmed cases and 914 deaths; San Francisco had over 374 cases and six deaths.

Via: We’re beating coronavirus odds so far thanks to early stay-home order

We finally have the sustainable coronavirus strategy Trump has been demanding – The Washington Post


Great article on how we get back to near-normal. It will be a long time to get fully back to normal. But there are steps we can take, not outrageous ones even, to get back to near-normal in a few months.

PHASE 2: During this phase, we can move, on a state-by-state basis, to “case-based interventions,” or isolating individuals — using mass testing and contact tracing to isolate those who are infected, while allowing healthy people to go about their lives, much as South Korea has done.

The trigger for the transition from community to individual isolation will be when a state has shown a sustained reduction in cases for 14 days. A state must also have the capability in place to test everyone with symptoms, conduct active monitoring of those who test positive and their contacts, and safely treat everyone who requires hospitalization. This, Gottlieb and his team say, will require that we establish a national capacity to conduct at least 750,000 tests a week, and that we roughly double the number of acute-care beds and ventilators available to treat patients across the country.

Once these benchmarks are met, individual states can begin to slowly relax social distancing measures. Those with confirmed cases would be isolated for at least seven days, and their confirmed contacts would be quarantined and monitored for at least 14 days. The rest of us could return to work and to school.

Via: We finally have the sustainable coronavirus strategy Trump has been demanding – The Washington Post

Grim Models Project High U.S. Toll – The New York Times


The top government scientists battling the coronavirus estimated Tuesday that the deadly pathogen could kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans, in spite of the social distancing measures that have closed schools, banned large gatherings, limited travel and forced people to stay in their homes.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, who is coordinating the coronavirus response, displayed that grim projection at the White House on Tuesday, calling it “our real number” but pledging to do everything possible to reduce those numbers even further.

Via: Coronavirus Live Updates: Grim Models Project High U.S. Toll – The New York Times