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Coronavirus Diary: Saturday March 21

Being largely sequestered in our home is starting to wear a bit thin on the family. My wife was short tempered and my daughter had a few moments today as well.

There was also panic brought on by a phone call from a well meaning relative who declared that they had just heard from a friend who had a friend who was related to someone in the National Guard who received an email telling them to be ready to mobilize for a shut down of the state starting at 1pm tomorrow (Sunday the 22nd). Keep in mind we just listened to the governor tell the state that she is trying to avoid the “shut down”.

** Quick aside ** Is it me or is the phrase “shut down” being used very inconsistently? Worse is that no one seemed to be able to translate the phrase into a meaning. I have heard “shut down” interpreted as everything from self-quarantining  to martial law. It would be nice if the governors of all the states could agree on how the term was being used. **

So this got us worked up. My wife threw a list together of additional food items (that we are not out of but will be within a week… Milk and OJ) and headed out for a 2 hour shopping trip. I swear we haven’t spent this much on groceries in years.

Both United States and Italy made slight decreases in their exponential growth rates. US is down to 1.40 from 1.48 and Italy is down to 1.13 from 1.14. Those numbers may not seem significant but they are the difference of hundreds of people at this point. With that in mind I am fully aware that they reported numbers have some really big flaws built into the variables. For example effect the formula a person needs to be tested and that test needs to be processed and I know in the United States that process is taking quite a bit of time and causing artificial spikes in the numbers. We also cannot make the assumption that the person being tested was “clean” the day before. If this sounds like I am repeating myself, well I guess I am. But I feel like I need to remind myself (and whatever readers I have) that the numbers might look like some pretty scary things are happening but those numbers are complex and not painting a factual picture of the outbreak.

That is the danger of using numbers. When an official or manager in a workplace spouts numbers in a speech it implies a level of precession that may not be entirely factual without a level of detail and context that the majority of our instant information culture is incapable of sitting still long enough to absorb… We demand our leaders to have all the information and be “right” but reality can sometimes be a very harsh mistress.

Speaking of reality… Those foolish Spring Breakers are about to head home from their parties in the sun. The odds are that they are carrying some extra baggage now too (outside of the STDs that were no doubt picked up). The majority of Universities have closed down on campus living so now these plague bearers are heading to community near you to take up residence with their older parents whom have been no doubt been following all of the social distancing guidelines (more on that in a moment). We will see a spike in states that don’t deal with these kids before they return home. I was discussing this and the idea was presented that the returning Spring Breakers should be quarantined in one of the now empty local schools for 14 days… with the added punishment of no access to phones or internet. Yes, it is a bit evil and perhaps cruel. My wife pointed out to me that there would be many babies born in 9 months if we lock up all of those 20 somethings in an enforced quarantine.  She is right of course and it would be wrong to do that to them. But man am I irritated at the level of poor judgement being displayed by these young people. Further proof that the brain and maturity is not fully developed until the mid-twenties (23-25).

Meanwhile, I played D&D with the teenagers tonight. I should write a DM perspective log of the shenanigans going on in this game because wow it was like trying to guide while at the same time empower hungry squirrels that couldn’t remember where the nuts were buried. Don’t misunderstand, I love these kids. They are creative and fun to listen to but they really got distracted. In the end a good time was had and the party especially enjoyed attempting to toss a halfling across a 50ft river.

Coronavirus Diary: Friday March 20I think tomorrow we will try to watch a movie as a family, too much time in our corners.

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