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Tag: COVID-19

Extraordinary Statistics

Not unexpected given virtual shutdown of many state economies but Holy Cow, Batman! Largest filing in recorded history. Next largest was 687K in the Volcker recession.

Stocks rallied today after last week’s crash anyway, but probably related to the $2 trillion stimulus that hasn’t actually passed the House yet.

Anthony Fauci Interview

Yesterday Science magazine published an extraordinary interview with Anthony Fauci, head of the  National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He’s been essentially the only technical voice of the Administration for the COVID response. Otherwise, it’s been all politicos–Kushner, Pence, etc. T’was brilliant of him to give this interview to Science magazine and not the mainstream media. On the other hand, I read this thinking that Fauci’s begging to be fired. One just doesn’t gainsay the President in a public, on the record interview. And he did it more than once. I have to believe he’ll be gone by the end of the week.

Fauci wasn’t in today’s presidential briefing. Today’s WaPo article doesn’t mention the Science article, though it quotes from it, but the administration is apparently about to “pivot” towards “reopening” the economy. That’s clearly not what Fauci thinks should be done at this point in time. Pivoting towards profit again over health and safety is being championed by the usual right-wing suspects: Larry Kudlow, Stephen Moore. The talking point is that the “cure shouldn’t be worse than the problem.” And since we have a businessman president who refused to divest his holdings, it’s worth noticing (as he surely has) that his own businesses are collapsing along with the services and tourism sectors.

In the same vein, on Twitter today historian Mar Hicks suggested today that even the “liberal” New York Times is helping the White House with the pro-business framing:

The graphic is about people. The headlines, $$$$. This isn’t a surprise to a sometimes-historian of climate change denial, of course. It’s the same logic. Profit for a few outweighs the health of the many.

Starting to Log the Pandemic

My old friend Alice Dreger says we should record our experiences during this pandemic. And she’s right. It’s been such a surreal few weeks at Casa Conway that it’s worth trying to capture, at least at some level.

First, some background. It’s very likely that the Mate and I have already had the disease. She had two trips back East in January (DC Jan 8-10, Dallas Jan 25-28. . .both East-ish from Los Angeles) and became very sick. By January 31st, she was bedridden, 103F fever for 3 days, all the rest of the symptoms we’re now familiar with for COVID-19. Of course, we didn’t know what it was then but as the COVID stories started to appear, we became convinced that’s what she had. I also got sick but in my case, instead of the 3 weeks of illness, 3 days of 103 fever, respiratory issues, falling, etc., that she went through, for me the whatever-it-was lasted a week: 1 day of 100F temp, terrible headache and sinus congestion for several more days, and then recovery. I was tested at my own doctor’s office for the seasonal flu, and it wasn’t that.

If the above is correct, the Mate had the virus within 10 days of the first confirmed patient in the US (which was announced January 21, 2020.)

Since our recovery from the mysterious illness, we traveled to India (21 – 29 February), and then I attended the Columbia History of Science Group meeting at the Friday Harbor marine research station on San Juan Island (5-8 March). The India trip occurred just as official response (beyond the pointless travel bans) was beginning.

My own quasi-isolation from the world started with the trip to Friday Harbor. On March 2nd, my manager requested that I telework from my return on 8 March until 22 March. The precaution of telework was based on the single known case of “community spread” case of COVID-19 in the Seattle area. I can do most of my job remotely, so I didn’t argue.

That end date, while it hasn’t passed yet as I type this, is now moot. On March 17, my employer put about 6000 of its 7000+ employees on mandatory telework. Today the State of California issued a “stay home” order , which has no end date. It’ll be another month at least before I go back to work.

Gotta do some other things now but I’ll be back with more.