Contact tracing

A beautiful Tuesday. Quick update today.

Irish citizens in the US are advised to return home while they still can.

Would you install location tracking software on your phone? Normally I would be suspicious but in this case I would certainly allow it.

Massachusetts Public Safety Secretary Thomas Turco has tested positive.

This sounds like good news but much of the technical jargon is over my head.

Dion Rabouin writes about the long term economic impact of the coronavirus.

And I’m glad someone is getting a haircut. For the rest of us it’s DIY. Wirecutter has some tools for home cuts.

Seeing the unforeseen

Monday again. We can do this.

If you absolutely have to go to the grocery store, here are some tips, and advice for doing it safely.

George W. Bush, speaking in 2005, after reading about the 1918 Spanish Flu: “Look, this happens every 100 years. We need a national strategy.” This crisis was absolutely foreseeable. In fact, it was a train coming down a straight track. On a set schedule.

Former homeland security advisor Tom Bossert wrote an interesting article that considers strategies for eventually getting back to normal. To do that right will require a complex and well coordinated effort from government, business and the medical establishment. Whether America in 2020 can pull it off is anyone’s guess.

Dan Balz writes about the challenges of crisis management within the federal bureaucracy. It’s a long article but worth the time.

Abbey Road is closed.

And Google Maps is helping us to find local restaurants that offer takeout and delivery so we can support them. Tip, tip tip. Lots of food workers depend on tips.

Managing expectations

It’s Sunday and it’s National Cheese Doodle Day.

Italy has been shut down for a month and it’s not ready to reopen.

The US is bracing for a tough week or two in the northeast, and in Michigan and Louisiana. But there’s no reason to believe distancing will be over when this wave slows. Presumably there will be more to follow in the south and in middle America.

Another mixed report on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine.

I’ve noticed that the StatNews Covid-19 map was consistently redirecting to fake Flash upgrade sites or grammatically poor virus detection scams. (“Your Norton subscription might expired today.“) Watch out for these scams. Hackers never sleep.

Henry Kissinger is still writing op-eds.

Hockey and basketball are done. Baseball is probably a wash. But will there be an NFL season this year? My guess is that, in the absence of a very effective vaccine being widely available by mid-summer, the answer is no. But there’s a range of speculation on the subject.

And Larry David says stay home. Just not his home.

Hall pass

Saturday. Another cool cloudy day.

Contact tracing is a lot of work but here’s why it’s important to do.

If a good test for determining who has post-infection immunity becomes widely available then there will be a new class of people documented as being ‘safe’ to interact with. They would be free to move about while the rest of us self-isolate. That raises some potential social and civil rights concerns but in the short term it may be a way to open workplaces and get some people back to work. Italy is having this discussion now.

Two members of the bi-partisan Problem Solver Caucus (that such a thing even exists in these times is a good sign) write about other approaches to reopen the country when the time comes.

The sensational headline isn’t helpful but the content of this article describes an interesting development for an antibody treatment that could potentially block the virus. Testing will take at least until September.

People are happily waiting in long lines at the local Starbucks drive through. I guess it’s more entertaining than sitting on the couch at home. Don’t forget to tip more than usual if you can.

And it’s a first world problem but the coronavirus is making us fat. All that dried pasta stored in the pantry is tasty but hard to work off. And while it’s great to support local restaurants by getting take-out, all those burgers and pizzas are not good for the waistline.

All masked up


Welcome to love in the time of coronavirus.

It looks like the tide is turning on masks. (So much for that ban proposed for Bostonians. What a difference a few months makes.) Unfortunately, not all of us have access to masks. For those of us not so good with a sewing machine or home crafts, it’s time to break out the scarves.

Spencer Buell explains how one essential employee is dealing with life these days.

This is a nice reminder that the small sacrifices we’re all making are appreciated by the people on the front lines who are making much larger sacrifices.

James E. Baker writes about the Defense Production Act and how using it would have avoided all of those state vs. state issues on obtaining ventilators and PPE.

If the governor of Georgia doesn’t resign in embarrassment he should at least fire his advisors for allowing him to be so ignorant of critical information in the middle of a crisis. This information was out there very early on. Where was he getting his information? Astonishing. And then there’s Florida. Another ‘shit sandwich‘.

And meet the newest superhero, Susana Distancia.