March 20. Welcome to the New Confined World

March 20.  Welcome to the New Confined World

Usually I look for the hopeful in the data or our efforts.  However, The NY Times projections of vast infection by July 1, mean that avoiding the virus will even move inland from the coasts to the central USA.  The article estimated that the number of cases out there is ten times as large as those so far detected.  The Roman advice:  “flee fast, go far, stay long” won’t even work in the long run.  75 million people are now in stay-at-home, and that doesn’t seem to be enough in the long run.  I noticed in walking, that people are giving me six feet clearance.

What about Trump’s news conference?  Well, Trump has grabbed all of the power now, as was predictable, and made it all about him.  That is only the start of the the breakdown.  While getting through a careful Presidential script, Trump assumed his real character during the Q and A, using the strategy:  If you can’t answer the question, attack the questioner.  Calling the question Nasty, attacking the honesty of the questioner, calling him a bad newsman, and attacking his network, a full cannon attack.  

When I wrote about Trump’s “Chinese virus” slander, I forgot to mention what everybody else has said, that this was to divert blame from his coverup and lack of recognition to someone else.  Sure, a few Chinese bureaucrats tried for a coverup.  But why should that devolve on all 1.4 billion Chinese, or especially those Chinese-Americans in the US, who are just as American as all the rest of us descendants of immigrants.

It’s another Friday without the promised 1 million tests.

US intelligence in January and February were issuing reports that a pandemic was coming, reports the Washington Post.  The reports were unheeded.  The President was skeptical, didn’t think that it would affect the US, and changed the subject.  Remember, in 2018, he disbanded the pandemic office in the National Security Council. 

The tax deadline has been moved to July 15.

Payment and interest on student loans has been deferred.

The standard testing has been dropped.  I hope students without online access and internet access are being equipped.

The President has activated the Defense Production Act, details unknown.

An estimated 2.25 million will be filing for unemployment. 

Four states are now on stay-at-home restrictions.  They are New York, California, Illinois, and Connecticut.  75 million have to stay at home, unless they perform essential services.  They can go out for groceries, medicine, doctors, and walks.

45 states have shut down their schools entirely.  12 million students don’t have reliable internet access.  Setting up hot spots doesn’t sound good if it gathers them together.

Despite watching the news conference and reading articles, I saw no mention today of the paper that said that the virus was airborne.

A member of the Vice President’s office now has the Coronavirus. 

I watched the first UC Irvine OLLI web class, which was a success, and a thorough talk by member Al Glasky on the Coronavirus. 

Here is a table of today’s increases in cases for the US, the most affected states, and surrounding countries.  Brazil is included because of their access to the President.

Domain Cases Percent Increase
US 19,624 27.4%
NY 8,403 47.1%
WA 1.524 10.8%
CA 1,247 21.1%
NJ 890 19.9%
IL 585 105.1%
FL 563 30.3%
LA 537 37.0%
MI 552
GA 485
TX 429
MA 413
Canada 1,085 24.4%
Mexico 164 76.3%
Brazil 977 57.3%
Los Angeles County 292 28.6%
Orange County 65 22.6%

Illinois doubled in one day.  New York increased by half.  Washington has an 11% growth, small for three days in a row.  Mexico has had a small number of cases, but is now growing rapidly.  Some states have been added for the first day, and their growth rates will follow in the future.  The US rate has dropped to a slower rate, although it was predicted to have a rapid rate for a few more days, as more tests become available..  We’ll see.

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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