Social distancing

Friday, March 6th. Happy birthday to Lou Costello, Ed McMahon and Shaquille O’Neal.

The New England School of Photography is shutting down. Too bad. Lots of great photographers got their start there.

Global coronavirus infections crossed the 100,000 threshold overnight, with 233 confirmed cases in the US. I began tracking the numbers in late January when there were less than 2000 cases worldwide, almost all in China. There were fewer than 10 people thought to be infected in the US then and they were all in quarantine. Everything was “under control“. That was 6 weeks ago. It’s textbook Black Swan. So far, Russia is reporting only 4 cases. Nobody buys that. Also, we’re starting to see cases pop up in the southern hemisphere, in Africa and South America, along with outbreaks in Australia. Watching to see if warm weather south of the equator has an impact of outbreak spread.

All eyes are on the markets this morning. Airlines are being hit hard already. Planes are taking off empty. The Times notes that the broader economy would be threatened when people stop going out for fear of being infected. MIT cancelled gatherings of 150 or more and Tufts announced restrictions. Other schools are closing entirely. It’s a vicious circle. But Susan Desmond-Hellmann, who has a few credentials, says not to panic.

If this research pans out, it could be a big deal for people with food allergies.

And the MBTA is on a cleaning spree. I would have thought that this was happening all along but apparently it just got started. Better late than never.

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