Weekly coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - week of April 25
This thread is posted weekly, and is intended as a place for more-casual discussion of the coronavirus and questions/updates that may not warrant their own dedicated topics. Tell us about what the situation is like where you live!
I think it's interesting how China is implementing closed-loop workplaces so that its supply chain can remain running even as they lock down. Such measures would never be accepted in western countries.
It raises (well, forces) deeply uncomfortable questions about how our western standards of living depend on systems of production antithetical to our professed values.
People in the West—both liberal and conservative—raise hell over increased consumer prices. But they would also be appalled if Chinese-style tactics were used to keep supply chains running here. I guess by outsourcing all of this to a country on the other side of the planet we get to have our moral cake and eat it too.
That's the nature of international trade, right? Other countries in the world have their own policies, which result in competitive advantages.
I think lately, with the Ukraine war in particular, we've seen that there are sometimes good reasons for tariffs. Sometimes you don't want to depend on certain low-cost producers and raising prices will encourage domestic buyers to find alternative sources.
But this can easily be taken too far. No country can make everything it needs.
I'm sorry if this isn't appropriate for this topic, but do people who live in countries without a mask mandate find it harder to wear masks around people who don't?
I had to be in two different social situations this week where I was the only masked person and I felt so awkward. I did get a couple of judgmental looks too, which didn't help. I don't think the awkwardness will ever take over my need for self-preservation, but I'm nonetheless surprised how quickly wearing a mask became the weird thing to do.
I've got a weakened respiratory system and elderly parents, so I'm immunized from awkwardness with deep indifference for anyone who tries to give me judgmental looks. They don't know my situation, and if they want to make a deal out of it I can unload all my frustration directly onto them. But yeah, it's amazing how quickly people stopped wearing them.
Yeah, I'm in a similar spot - highish risk with high risk loved ones, so I turn any awkwardness about wearing a mask into anger that we're being left to our own devices. Luckily no one has tried to tell me I can take it off yet, but that may be because I only go to doctor appointments.
I guess I'm doing updates on Tuesday now. Here's how the statistics look in the US.
US cases are up 29% since last week (seven day average from the Washington Post / John Hopkins), to 15 per 100k. The low point was April 7 and it's up 70% since then. (Also keep in mind that more people use home tests these days, and might not get officially counted.) East coast states seem generally higher. New York City looks flat, possibly having peaked? California is rising slowly. San Francisco is over twice the state average at 21 per 100k.
US hospitalizations up 5% to 4.9 per 100k. This is still lower than it was any time previously during the pandemic. But remember that hospitalizations tend to lag cases by a couple weeks.
US deaths down 17% to .12 per 100k, or 393 per day. It's not yet reached the low of last July. Deaths lag hospitalizations, but I don't know if this can still be attributed to the Omicron wave?
Looking at variants, BA.2 is the majority variant and BA.1 almost entirely gone. The up-and-coming variant is BA.2.12.1 which is rising fast and looks like it will become the majority. It already is in New York. (See tweet.)
The CDC released data that 60% of all Americans and 75% of kids have been infected by the coronavirus (USA Today).
Ruby Princess cruise ship docked in San Francisco with 143 cases of COVID-19
I remember the panic starting to set in after the Diamond Princess left Hong Kong and was stuck outside Japan.
One of the first global dashboards to monitor covid cases (at least that I knew about) was made by Johns Hopkins University.
I find it hilarious that they still include the Diamond Princess.
Serum Stops Making Covid Vaccines With 200 Million Doses Spare - Bloomberg - Archive
A fight over coronavirus safety at journalists’ gala event (Washington Post)