COVID

Happy New Year. Now What?

We’ve survived 2020.

Hooray for us. So now what? What’s the new normal going to be?

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Why We Do This

I was posed a question over Christmas. It was respectful and well-meaning, but the gist of it was, “Why do you bother to do this? You’re no expert, and sometimes you’re wrong.”

And that’s perfectly true: I have no degree in political science, nor even one in journalism. From time to time I’ll make a mistake — sometimes an egregious one. It’s even possible that the entire premise of an article might be completely off-base. These are all quite valid points, and it’s worth remembering them when you read: I might be wrong.

On the other hand, it’s occasionally possible everyone else is wrong.

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Winter 2020: The Great Fire

In early July, we released an exhaustive article on COVID-19 trends. It was meticulously researched, with dozens of subordinate links to data sources. In it, we cited our earlier prediction that, unless Americans were to act with unprecedented foresight and responsibility, we were looking at between one and six million deaths by the end of autumn. Our tracking gave us cause for cautious optimism.

Winter officially begins in one week, and the official COVID-19 death count just passed 300,000. Given the standard two to six week lag time in reports combined with a 3000+ person daily increase, the final numbers will be closer to 400,000 by that point. Advances in hospital treatment protocols combined with local lockdowns and responsible behavior in much of the country have prevented, at great cost, the loss of millions of American lives. Our optimism has proven justified.

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Why We Don’t Have COVID Relief

The Senate has adjourned for their pre-election break following marathon sessions to confirm a new Supreme Court justice. This makes it highly unlikely that we’ll see more stimulus checks before Election Day.

But for once the blame doesn’t actually belong to the Senate, despite how bad this looks. They don’t have anything to vote on.

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F&L 2020: Death Of A Candidate

President Trump has been tested positive for COVID-19. Since we’re presently engaged in an election, it’s important to consider what happens if he — or another candidate — should die.

Fortunately, we have a process to determine this for us. So, in order to reduce uncertainty, let’s consider the possibilities and project, as best we may, what will happen under each of them.

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Hallowe’en in the Age of COVID

October 31st, 2020 falls on a Saturday. It’s far too soon to know the weather, but the fact that there’s a full moon is pretty unlikely to change. In other years, this would be a Hallowe’en-lover’s dream. And I, as you know, am a Hallowe’en lover.

This, alas, is not other years.

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COVID-19: Goggles And Gloves?

There’s a great deal of information available on protective gear and its recommended use during the present pandemic.  In a healthcare environment, full gowns, face shields, masks, and gloves are frequently used when there’s any great chance of exposure.  The general public, on the other hand, is advised to wear cloth masks, wash their hands, and stay away from people.

But there a lot of essential workers out there who have no choice but to deal with the outside world and (more…)

Masks, Handwashing, and Social Distancing: The Science

The following is basic medical knowledge backed by science, and I’ve linked the science for you.  Very little of this is new; the concepts have been around for quite a while now, and we’ve spent decades refining our knowledge.  Most is not a matter for discussion; it is factual rather than opinion, and should be treated as such. (more…)

FAKE NEWS: Tracking Apps On Your Phone?

The answer to this one’s a little complicated. The TL;DR version is, no, the U.S. government hasn’t downloaded a secret COVID-19 app to your phone in order to track you. Some governments are doing this, but the U.S. and Canada are not among them.

This doesn’t mean your movements aren’t being tracked. It just means you probably (more…)