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Treatment News. One of the companies testing a treatment put out a press release today with news that has sent the stock market soaring (if you can ever attribute one thing to the stock market's movement). The press release effectively says that the drug they are testing is as effective with a 5 day treatment as it is with a 10 day treatment. That means that twice as many people can be treated with the same supply of drug. Sure, that sounds like good news, but nowhere in the press release did they say that it worked better than the placebo in the trial. What am I missing?  Update: Later in the day they announced that patients got better faster with the drug than the control group by a few days. Apparently that's a big deal when looking for a cure. We shall see.


California's Phases. Unlike the Federal Government that issued three phases on the path back to normal, the State Government issued four phases. The primary difference being that the feds have not yet started their phases, while the state tells us we are already in Phase 1; otherwise call the lockdown phase. It's a small labeling message but it feels like progress to me. The only surprises to my eye are that Phase 2 includes daycare which is seen as a requirement to open the state. I'm going to think of Phase 2 as the limping phase where we can have curbside pick up from more stores. Phase 3 we'll call the "walk don't run" phase gets almost everything back open but clearly with restrictions. We are told that this phase is "months and not weeks" away. Phase 3 includes gyms and hair care. I ordered hair cutting equipment yesterday over Amazon. Phase 3 allows for sports with no crowds and Phase 4 is our return to normal (the "run" phase). He was very clear that Phase 4 would not happen until there were "therapeutics are developed" (presumably either a treatment or a vaccine or possibly some level of herd immunity). It's nice to have a plan.




Selfish. I think that greed is like salt. Too much is a bad thing and too little is a bad thing. A democracy needs to greed to function. That's the incentive that if I invest, I will see a return. Too much greed might mean that I come by that return in some fashion that is unfair to others. For example, if I live on a river and use ALL the water on my farm and effectively starve the farms downstream am I being too greedy? The answer lies with what's best for society overall. Greed drives us to do the right things for us but society rightly tries to ensure that no one person's greed comes at the expense of the benefit of the community. I just heard an interview with the owner of a barbershop in Vacaville who believes that he has a right to open his business and that government, in this case, does not know best. His argument is first and foremost financial. "I shouldn't be forced to lose everything." He supports his argument with his commitment to cleanliness. He closed his argument with the promise that he will not force his customers to get a haircut.


What I see is greed. I see someone more concerned about himself than society as a whole. No one knows if cleaning the chair or disinfecting the tools or wearing a mask is enough. What we know is that this disease is spread through interactions. This barber's actions to defy the government essentially puts all of society at risk. The barber has found arguments that are selfish. He is not worried about dying. He is not worried about getting sick. But he's not worried about a pandemic that is likely to have killed as many people in the month of April as we lost in the entire Vietnam war. And April is a month where most of the country was socially distancing. This barber is selfish and has raised his personal short-term interest above society as a whole. This can't stand and if I was the governor I would place the national guard outside his shop and make an example of this guy.


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