Plague journal 12/13

Woke up yesterday from dreaming about Bill Hicks. An Austin startup had worked out how to bring him from his timeline to ours. He was still going to die of pancreatic cancer at 32, but they could scoop him into the present day for one last sellout performance. Since this is a dystopian SF timeline we’re in, you can download the SARS-nCoV-1 genome on the Internet. Maybe you can turn it into a pretty picture or a piece of music?

Plague journal 11

Today I had a phone appointment with my doctor to get some updated prescriptions; I figured it was a good time to make sure I had all my asthma inhalers up to date rather than making do with old expired ones that still basically worked. As we hung up I wished her good luck. (It was supposed to be a video chat, but the video system wasn’t working at their end.

Plague journal 10

Starting to see the stories of horrific COVID-19 deaths appearing in the media. On Fox News, Hannity read off a letter listing ingredients for a quack preventative for coronavirus. After Trump mentioned chloroquine phosphate as a cure for the coronavirus, a man in Arizona ingested it, and died. Trump had to shut down almost all his hotels, including the ones that make him most of his income. In an amazing coincidence, he has started to talk about wanting to ignore experts and lift the coronavirus lockdowns soon.

Plague journal 9

Apple is donating millions of face masks to medical professionals.Texas is up to 325 cases as of yesterday, 6,522 tests administered. The Fed is predicting that we could see 30% unemployment and a 50% drop in GDP in Q2. US infection rate has now apparently outpaced where every other country was at this point in their infection curves. Each country started the battle on a different date; but N days into the respective battles, we have more infected than China or Italy and a faster rate of increase.

Plague journal 8

So the answer to “How long would it be before mathew decided he’d quite like to leave the house and interact socially with some people?” is “About 8 days”. I haven’t changed much in that respect. My parents used to have to literally force me to play with other kids. I’d be quite happy with a book or a giant box of LEGO, but they’d take me out to playdates whether I wanted it or not.

Plague journal 7

Today rothko went to the supermarket so we could restock a few items. She went alone, the idea being that two of us in the supermarket have a bigger chance of getting infected than one of us. She also went in the morning, to try and avoid as many people as possible, and wore disposable gloves. When she got back we wiped everything down with bleach wipes before putting it away.

Plague journal 6

After telling the public that everything was fine, Richard Burr quietly dumped a ton of his stock. Recordings now prove that he knew weeks ago that the epidemic was going to be serious and just opted not to tell the rest of us. The CDC is now saying that contrary to earlier belief, younger people are being hit badly by COVID-19 too, with 20% of US hospitalizations being 20–44 years old.

Plague journal 5

It’s amazing how quickly one can become used to something. On Monday and Tuesday I had a hard time doing anything, but today I got on with work pretty much normally. Yes, we’re in the middle of a massive crisis, and tens of thousands of people are going to die, maybe even over a million… but on the other hand, my daily life isn’t much different to the way it was before.

Plague journal 4

My gym has closed until at least April 1st. I had already decided not to risk it anyway. I’m a swimmer, and it’s not totally clear whether SARS-CoV-2 is destroyed by swimming pool bromine treatments or not. Instead, I’m getting some exercise by going out and walking. My parents have decided to self-isolate. Dad has Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, so he’s at high risk. It means they don’t get to see the grandkids, but it’s the right thing to do.

Plague journal 3

Germany is banning gatherings in churches, mosques and synagogues. Wynn and MGM have closed their Vegas casinos. Here in Austin, the city has shut down swimming pools, golf courses, and libraries. All Alamo Drafthouse movie theaters are closed. San Francisco is expected to issue a “shelter in place” order any time now. Not everyone got the memo, though. Disneyland (California) was closed down at the end of last week, but Disney World (Florida) stayed open for large crowds on Sunday night.