Data. The TVs seem to be focused on New York which clearly is the big story but this is a story playing out over the entire country and it's increased our reliance on local news. In the months leading up to this pandemic, I was bored of all local news. Eve always felt it was important to see at least the top stories, but in my judgment even those felt unworthy of my attention. That all changed. It's the local news that is providing what's really important today.
One of the ways I maintain a level of sanity is to track the numbers. In my own Rain Man way, I feel comfort in counting and numbers and the order that they present. And the analysis that follows is my way of processing everything that is going on. I've been tracking four different numbers...the growth in cases in our county, in our state and in our country and then compare that to Italy which represents our future. By looking at percentage growth rates, it's a number that can be compared no matter what the population of any one place...it's all relative.
What the chart on the left below shows is that San Mateo county is holding new cases very low. One of the first places in the country to issue a mandatory lock down, this data shows our success and that California overall is only slightly better than the national average. The death chart on the right might be the more relevant measure (the availability of cases has a big incluence on case growth and tests are still highly rationed). Deaths attributed to the virus do require a test prior to death and here the numbers are a little harder to read. We can see clear success in California relative to the national average but that read San Mateo County line is a little hard to read.
San Mateo has about 767,000 residents in total and we've had 21 deaths in total. That's a death rate of 27 per million. California overall is about 14 per million and Texas just 8 per million. Of course New York's 360 deaths per million puts everything into perspective but again my focus is on San Mateo first and foremost. I guess there are some explanation to help put this number into perspective. As a gateway to China, San Mateo had early cases and a strong Asian community. And deaths per million are numbers that tell as much about the maturity of the outbreak as anything else. It's reasonable to conclude that ours is more mature and we've been stuck on 21 deaths for five days now.
Washing Packages. I heard an emergency room doctor say that washing packages was "silly." He is convinced that the transfer is not going to happen if you "pass some on a trail" (something I've been thinking a lot about as I walk the dog). The interviewer pushed back on the word "silly" and you could hear that the doctor immediately wanted that word back. Then he offered some perspective. He spends his day in rooms with COVID-19 positive people who are coughing up a storm and he has managed to stay healthy, he's pretty confident that we can use good judgment and simply wash our hands even if we come into contact with a risky surface.
Puzzles. I saw a puzzle that started two people are walking toward each other and they both want to maintain a 6 foot distance.... Yes, it held my interest. Eve and Kevin are doing a jigsaw puzzle that has no picture. Under normal circumstances, I can't imagine anyone doing a puzzle without a picture as a guidepost.
Hair Care. The CEO of Walmart said we are entering the "hair color hoarding" phase of the pandemic.
Psychological Health. Increasingly lots of talk about our psychological health as if that was something we would use to weigh judgments about sheltering in place. It shouldn't. To everyone who is feeling claustrophobic or uncomfortable in any way, I have three words for you, SUCK IT UP.
Dog Walks. How do you tell if you are 6 feet apart? If you can smell someone's perfume, you are too close.
Happy Easter. We have our honey baked ham, plenty of hard boiled eggs and I'm confident that chocolate will emerge before the end of the day. Caly and I had a long walk before anyone else woke. Just another day.
Facetime Easter Egg Hunt. The discussion this year wasn't "are they too old to do an Easter egg hunt" but instead, "how do we do a virtual Easter egg hunt.
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