April 6, 2020

by eric

Schools in Washington State are closed through the remainder of this academic year–so my oldest won’t return to Kindergarten.

Summer meetings are starting be cancelled.

It’s… interesting? how the hive mind coalesces around certain goods (flour, seeds, baby chicks) and how rapidly they are all sold out and back-ordered.  If you think of something you might want or need before everybody else does, you might still be able get it.  If you read about it online you are too late.

There is no plan for how we get out of this.  Currently, because of (successful! necessary!) curve-flattening, only about 3% of the population has been infected–which means that as soon as containment is released the virus will spring right back up.  (We clearly seem to be incapable of test-and-trace at any scale.)  We need to get to >70% of the population immune, either by everyone having had the disease (terrifying, lots of people die) or a vaccine (a long way off, and how much do Americans like vaccines again?).  Even if the basic facts of the modeling were clear (what is R0? is it seasonal? how many asymptomatic carriers? how long are people infectious?) this is not an environment where people just accept expert consensus.  It’s deeply depressing how quickly hydroxychloroquine has become subsumed in partisan epistemology. PPE definitely helps, why don’t these folks get excited by that?

A powerful metaphor for the experience.