Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Asked whether Americans should be prepared for 100,000 people in the U.S. to die from COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said point-blank, “The answer is yes.”

“As sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it. Is it going to be that much? I hope not. I think the more we push on the mitigation, the less likelihood it would be that number. But, as being realistic, we need to prepare ourselves that that is a possibility that that’s what we will see.”

the answer is yes | 6:43 am CDT
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Missed yesterday’s covid-19 update. Oops.

The Johns Hopkins live map, updated at 5:30 this morning, indicated there were 800,049 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world and 38,714 deaths.

At the same time in the U.S. there were 164,410 confirmed cases, almost one-quarter of the world’s total. The U.S. accounted for 3,170 deaths from COVID-19, about eight percent of the world’s total. 914 of U.S. deaths – almost one-third of the U.S. total – were in New York city.

In Wisconsin there were 1,285 confirmed cases and 24 deaths. 10 deaths – almost half – were in Milwaukee County, where they had a total of 617 confirmed cases — just shy of half all the confirmed cases in Wisconsin.

The southeast corner of Wisconsin has been the hardest hit; beside Milwaukee County, Kenosha County had 30 cases, Ozaukee County had 36 cases and 3 deaths, Racine County had 21 cases, Washington County had 34 cases, and Waukesha County had 93 cases. Including Milwaukee County, the region accounts for 831 cases – 65 percent of all COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin – and 13 deaths – 54 percent of all deaths in Wisconsin.

There were 192 confirmed cases in Dane County and a total of 2 deaths (1 more than reported on Sunday).

missed | 6:38 am CDT
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Sunday, March 29th, 2020

It’s Day 15 of shelter in place at the O’Folks Home, counting from the Sunday after we flew back from Florida. We are both still free of any of the red-flag symptoms of Covid-19, and I’m pretty sure we owe that to the fact that we’ve stayed in our little red house virtually 24/7 since our return. It’s not that we never leave; I go out periodically to stretch my legs and get some air, and we’ve both gone out a handful of times to buy necessary supplies. That’s pretty much it, though; we don’t eat out any more, we’ve stopped making trips to the convenience store for cookies or chips, and I haven’t been to a book store since we came back, not that they’ve been open.

My Darling B made a trip to the co-op for groceries yesterday. We usually shop at the Willy Street Co-Op, a small neighborhood cooperative in Madison where they seem to be doing their best to make shopping for groceries as safe as possible. They open at ten o’clock and the first hour is reserved for senior citizens and people who are immunocompromised. Two people stand at the door, counting noses, and let only 30 people into the store at a time. At eleven o’clock they start letting in anybody else, but allow only 50 at a time to enter. You have to stand three feet back from the counters and bag your own groceries.

After B got back from shopping, she burned her clothes and took a shower. Kidding. She didn’t burn her clothes, but she did immediately take a long, hot shower. Then we put away the dozen or so bags of groceries she brought home with her. I think we can hunker down with the food we have for at least a month, if it came to that. I don’t think it will. I think it’ll get bad, but not so bad we won’t be able to go out at all. But I might be wrong about that.

Day 15 | 12:00 pm CDT
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Trump, insinuating at a press conference that medical professionals are squandering or selling the supplies being sent to them to deal with the pandemic:

“Many of the states are stocked up, some of them don’t admit it, but they have, we have sent just so much, so many things to them, including ventilators, you know, there’s a question as to hoarding of ventilators, some hospitals and independent hospitals and some hospital chains, as we call them, they are holding ventilators, they don’t want to let them up, we need them for certain areas where there’s big problems, can’t hold them if they think there might be a problem weeks down the road.”

“For years, 10- to 20,000 masks, okay, it’s a New York hospital, it’s packed all the time, how do you go from 10- to 20- to 300,000, 10- to 20,000 masks to 300,000 even though this is different, something’s going on and you ought to look into it as reporters, where are the masks going? Are they going out the back door? How do you go from 10,000 to 300,000, and we have that in a lot of different places so somebody should probably look into that ’cause I just don’t see, from a practical standpoint, how that’s possible to go from that to that and we have that happening in numerous places”

smdh | 5:58 am CDT
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1,441 more people tested, 0.64 times more people than yesterday.

123 new cases, 0.84 more than yesterday.

14 new cases in Dane County, 0.56 more than yesterday.

No new deaths.

I get these numbers from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, which posts them on their web site at about two o’clock each day. A disclosure on the web page indicates these are the numbers reported at 9 pm the previous day, so there’s a seventeen-hour lag built into them.

At the same time that WI DHS was reporting no new deaths, the web site of Johns Hopkins University was reporting 17 deaths in Wisconsin.

alternate | 3:36 am CDT
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Saturday, March 28th, 2020

2,239 more people tested, 1.3 times more than yesterday.

147 new cases, 1.1 times more than yesterday.

25 new cases in Dane County, 1.3 times more than yesterday.

No new deaths.

Nationwide, the 1st recorded death from COVID-19 was on 2/29.
The 1,000th death was 3/26, two days ago.
Today saw the 2,000th death from COVID-19.

rainy | 5:23 pm CDT
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Friday, March 27th, 2020

1,692 more people tested, 1.05 times more than yesterday.

135 new cases, 1.1 times more than yesterday.

19 new cases in Dane County, 1.4 times more than yesterday

5 more deaths, 1.6 times more than yesterday.

ramping up | 3:17 pm CDT
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Thursday, March 26th, 2020

1,616 more people tested, 364 fewer people than yesterday.

122 new cases in Wisconsin, 6 fewer than yesterday.

26 new cases in Dane County, 1.6 times more than yesterday.

2 more deaths, both in Milwaukee County.

less is more | 7:12 pm CDT
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Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Q: Mister President, you tweeted earlier, linking the closing of the country to your election success in November. Is this Easter timeline based on your political interests?

A: What do you mean, my election success?

Q: You said that the media wants the country to remain closed to hurt you —

A: Yeah, no, I think the media would like to see me do poorly in the election.

Q: Sir, lawmakers and congress on both sides of the aisle have said that reopening the country by Easter is not a good idea. What is that plan based on?

A: Just so you understand — are you ready? I think there are certain people that would like it to open not so quickly. I think there are certain people who would like it to do financially poorly, because they think that would be very good as far as defeating me in the polls. And, I don’t know if that’s so, but I do think it’s so that there are people in your profession that would like that to happen. I think it’s very clear that there are people in your profession that write fake news. You do. She does. There are people in your profession that write fake news. They would love to see me, for whatever reason, because we’ve done one hell of a job, nobody’s done the job that we’ve done, and it’s lucky that you have this group here now for this problem, or you wouldn’t even have a country left. Okay.


barking | 6:11 pm CDT
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1,980 more people tested, 1.6 times the number of new tests reported yesterday.

128 new confirmed cases in Wisconsin, 3.0 times the number of new cases reported yesterday.

16 new cases in Dane County, 1.2 times more than yesterday.

1 new death, reported in Dane County.

jump | 5:16 pm CDT
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Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

corona virus in Wisconsin1,228 more people tested, 1.4 time more people than reported yesterday.

41 new cases, 1.2 times more than yesterday.

11 new cases in Dane County.

No new deaths reported.

Trump wants to lift restrictions by the end of the week because the economy’s not making enough money. Sick and dead workers don’t make money, you derp.

slow rise | 2:11 pm CDT
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Monday, March 23rd, 2020

855 more people tested.

Thirty-five more confirmed cases.

One added death in Milwaukee County. No new positives in Dane County.

The governor ordered all non-essential services shut down tomorrow and told everyone to stay indoors.

Working at home again this week. I’m not sure how much I like this working from home. On the one hand, we don’t have to drive on the beltline, and we’re home the minute we clock off. On the other hand, our home used to be my refuge from the stress of work, and now it’s not.

#safeathome | 8:29 pm CDT
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Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

1702 more people tested.

One-hundred more cases today over yesterday’s total, a thirty-six percent increase, can probably be attributed to more testing but is right in line with the daily thirty-three percent increase seen in other countries.

No increase in the number of deaths, thank goodness.

Source: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/outbreaks/index.htm

thirty-six percent | 3:54 pm CDT
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Saturday, March 21st, 2020

COVID-19 in Wisconsin 281 positive 4 deathsI left the house yesterday to go shopping for groceries but I did not feel good about it. I’m not sure there’s any way to do that and feel good about it. Here’s what I mean:

For as long as this pandemic is raging, we should all be acting as if we are contagious and are spreading the virus everywhere we go. (A survivor of the SARS epidemic wrote: “Pretend that everything is covered with snot.”) You don’t have to come into contact with other people; you only have to come in contact with things: door handles, shopping carts, food packaging, the keypad on the credit card reader, the floor. You have to act as though you’re shedding virus on everything any part of your body touches. And you have to act as though everyone else is doing the same.

And I try. And I’ve noticed that, for every time I mentally pat myself on the back for not touching something unnecessarily, I slip up and touch something else unthinkingly. It’s just not possible not to touch anything. I’m going to touch things. So is everyone else. All the customers picking up packages to read the ingredients or brand or whatever and then putting it back on the shelf. All the workers in the store who put products on the shelves. The worker who rang up my purchases — she encouraged me to bag them myself if I wanted to, which I did, but she handled every single item.

All those people might not be sick. Maybe only one of them is. But we have to act as though we’re all infectious. We’re not doing that. We’re trying — I’m trying — but we’re only about fifty percent successful, at best. That’s not successful enough.

I did another thing we really shouldn’t be doing: I stopped at a local brunch restaurant to pick up breakfast sammies to go. Locally-owned restaurants are using social media to beg customers to order food for pick-up so their businesses don’t dry up and blow away, and while I agree that keeping your employees, y’know, employed is a laudable goal, by doing this we are not acting as though everyone is infectious. The guy who made our breakfast sammies and the gal who checked me out at the counter might not be contagious, but we should assume the exact opposite until the number of people dying of COVID-19 begins to drop.

That’s why we’re going to end up like Italy by the end of the month: a whole country with a runaway infection rate, confined to our homes in a last-ditch attempt to bring down the number of sick people flooding into hospitals.

out and about | 7:44 am CDT
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Monday, March 16th, 2020

So we’ve just come back from a cruise. In hindsight, going ahead with our plans to cruise was probably one of the dumber decisions we’ve made, now that it’s become clear the nation was already diving headfirst into the calamity that is the novel corona virus pandemic. At the time it seemed as though we had a month or so before things got really serious; there were reports of outbreaks in Washington state and a few very localized communities and we talked ourselves into believing that’s all there was to it, but with little to no testing going on, we were only denying the reality of the situation.

And it was pretty easy to keep on denying anything was wrong. O’Hare airport was jammed shoulder-to-shoulder with travelers and the airlines weren’t taking any special precautions that were apparent to us. Fort Lauderdale airport was just as busy as O’Hare and the motel we stayed in appeared to be fully booked with people who were for the most part unconcerned about being in close contact with one another. I noticed a few people at the continental breakfast making good use of hand sanitizer, but they were just two or three out of dozens. We all happily climbed into crowded buses to take the short ride to the cruise port at ten o’clock.

We boarded in one of the early groups and although they warned us we would be subject to a stringent medical screening due to the pandemic, this amounted to little more than asking us to fill out a questionnaire and requiring us to submit to having our temperature taken. They used little plastic pistols which they pointed at our foreheads to take our temperature, and we’re a little doubtful about their accuracy — B’s temp was 91 degrees Farenheit, which I’m pretty sure is not possible for a walking, talking human being.

Sanitation is very important on a cruise ship, so the crew is used to keeping everything clean, and there was almost always someone standing guard at the entrance to the dining hall, squirting everyone’s hands with a jumbo-sized bottle of hand santizer. The people who ran the charter cruise we were on regularly reminded everyone to wash their hands and even played a couple of specially-recorded videos with catchy tunes to keep it at the front of our minds.

Nobody got sick on the cruise that I know of. Although a few people reported on social media afterwards that they were under the weather with sniffles or coughs, they attributed it to “cruise crud,” a catch-all description for the various bugs people suffer from after a cruise. B had a nasty case of cruise crud the first time we went cruising; we made sure we washed our hands more or less constantly the next two times and we avoided coming down with anything. If we’re lucky, it worked again this time around, too.

hindsight | 9:13 am CDT
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