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Showing posts from March, 2020

Should You Wear a Mask?

The short answer for the general public: it's up to you. The Surgeon General says it's a bad idea for most people who aren't sick because people touch their face more when they're wearing one. Others say it keeps people from spreading germs. Lately, this silly graph has been bouncing around the internet: Let's take some lessons from dietary science and apply them here. Correlation isn't Causation  One wag put up a graph that said, instead of Masks and No masks, Bubble Tea and No Bubble Tea. That must be it--let's all drink bubble tea! Fun with Y Axes Note the Y axis is cumulative cases, not cases per million population. Singapore and Hong Kong are city-states with populations of 5.8 million and 7.5 million. Those are small populations as far as countries go, so we'd expected them to have low cumulative numbers of cases. Also note that these are cases, not deaths. Spain and Germany are in almost the same place on the chart, and yet Sp

Dispatch from an Emerging COVID19 Hotspot

I'm writing from my home in Indianapolis, a city the Surgeon General recently called an "emerging hotspot" for coronavirus. Since I'm part of a skeleton crew in the office of an essential business, I was able to drive by three hospitals on my way home from work today. (Indiana is under an emergency order to avoid non-essential trips.) IU Health North Hospital, just two miles north of the Indianapolis city limits, looked like they also had a skeleton crew there if the parking lot at 6 PM was any indication. Ascension St. Vincent Heart Center a few blocks away had a lot more cars in the parking lot, but a lot of empty spaces, too. Community Hospital East, a mile from home and the site of Indiana's first COVID-19 death, has a lot of construction going on. It was hard to see how many cars were there, but I didn't notice any parked on the street, and I haven't heard more ambulances than usual. Here's I ndiana's own death map of COVID19 deaths

Thoughts on COVID19

I've kept a close eye on the coronavirus and found a few facts and trends: It seems to me the logistical plan here in the US is to have a lockdown for a few weeks, and in that time, set up hospitals and build personal protective equipment and ventilators night and day so that we don't end up with a bottleneck where there aren't enough supplies to go around.  Heart & lung disease, diabetes and high blood pressure (basically, diabesity) are high risk factors. This is worrisome for the US. I'm being careful to avoid high-carb foods that would raise my blood sugar. Some articles have said the virus is vulnerable to oxidation. I'm not taking high-dose vitamin C. It's being tried for people who are already very sick, but I'm not convinced it's a preventative. COVID-19 can be killed by UV light and heat (low oven for half an hour). Humidity seems to limit transmission. Light, humidity and UV rays sound a lot like summer, and countries in the tropics

Forget Italy, Now We're a Week Behind New York City!

Since deaths from coronavirus have leveled off in Italy over the past days, the press no longer says we're a week behind Italy, but a week behind the new epicenter: New York! USA Today says many states are on a "similar trajectory" as New York: Looks like leaving Colorado when I did was a good move. Kidding aside, though, why are people in Trenton, Telluride or Tampa now a week behind New York (City) and not (northern) Italy? Or the UK, or Washington state where it first landed here, or any other place on earth? The answer is clickbait . Pathologist Dr. John Lee describes disease trajectories in The Spectator : Those trajectories for the flu level off and come down, just as coronavirus is starting to do in Italy, and just as it's done in China and South Korea . Washing your hands, staying home if you're sick and social distancing all seem like good practices to avoid spreading illness, and we should all be doing those things, but to what ext

Worldometer Now Shows Deaths per Million

After I mapped coronavirus deaths per million, Worldometer added a column of deaths per million population. Hey, maybe they liked my maps ! After I brought up some doubts about coronavirus not being the apocolypse on a few sites, the reaction showed that some people are enjoying this crisis too much. I don't mean they enjoy working from home and skipping their commute and avoiding coworkers they don't like, I mean they're oddly resistant to the idea that they're probably going to be fine. Maybe the adrenaline gives them more energy. Maybe panic shopping gives them a sense of purpose. Maybe there's a normal they don't want to get back to.

Are we Two Weeks Behind Italy?

What the media were saying two weeks ago: Today, two weeks later, we have these total deaths per 1 million population: Maps here: Further, t he US’s first case of COVID-19 was  January 21 . Italy’s first cases were  January 30 . Considering the virus has been in the US longer than it has in Italy, and that we haven't gone the way of Italy, I don't think we're two weeks behind Italy. Maybe the people there had more exposure to the virus due to the significant population of Chinese immigrants. Some have pointed out that the population is fairly old. Maybe their health care system is undersized. In any case, the doomsday predictions have so far not come true.

My Coronavirus Death Rate Maps

Deaths per million in various countries and states as of March 22, 2020: Countries with less than one million people and fewer than one death per million have been excluded. States with 0 deaths have been excluded. Note: map originally posted had a formula error. Figures as of March 22, 2020: Country Deaths/1M Population Italy 79.79 Spain 37.49 Iran 20.09 Netherlands 10.43 Switzerland 9.25 France 8.63 Belgium 6.46 UK 3.54 China 2.25 Denmark 2.25 Sweden 2.08 S. Korea 2.03 Portugal 1.37 Norway 1.29 Greece 1.25 Germany 1.11 USA 1.05 State Deaths/1M population Arizona 0.27 California 0.71 Colorado 1.04 Connecticut 1.40 District of Columbia 4.25 Florida 0.61 Georgia 2.17 Illinois 0.47 Indiana 0.59 Kansas 0.69 Kentucky 0.67 Louisiana 4.30 Maryland 0.50 Massachusetts 0.29 Michigan 0.80 Minnesota 0.18 Mississippi 0.34 Missouri 0.81 Nevada 0.65 New Jersey 1.80 New York 5.86 Ohio 0.26 Oklahoma 0.51 Ore

Just Buy your Weekly Needs in Groceries

"Stores will stay open throughout the days the lie ahead. We were told that hours may be reduced for cleaning and to re-supply, but Americans can be confident your local grocery store's gonna be open, it's gonna be well supplied, and they specifically asked us to encourage Americans, just buy your weekly needs in groceries."

Food Desert? No Problem!

My doomsday haul. At least, finding groceries wasn't a problem in the food desert near my house. I picked up a few things at Healthy Harvest and CVS this morning. I didn't get much because I have two normal-sized deliveries coming next week, one of them from a farm in southern Indiana that makes deliveries to restaurants and stores in Indianapolis. Healthy Harvest was featured on Returning the Favor with Mike Rowe. Grocery store bare where you live? Your local farmer might be able to hook you up.  Find a local farmer at this site: Have a happy doomsday!