Friday, March 27, 2020

Grief and fear from Coronavirus

Four hundred Americans died today of Coronavirus (at least 400). 268 died yesterday, and 249 the day before. March 22 was the first day more than a hundred Americans died of the virus. In the last week, 1445 Americans died of the virus. We're not succeeding in "flattening the curve."

I'm having a lot of trouble making myself going to bed. I'm afraid of death. I think about the people I know who are sick. I think about the people I love, in my family, who could fall ill with the coronavirus and die of it, because they're/we're old and have disabilities like lung diseases and asthma.

 I keep reading about people dying of COVID-19 like this, and frankly it's terrifying.

The New York Times has started a section of the paper with obituaries for people who have died of coronavirus - Those We've Lost. Does anyone remember the "Portraits of Grief" - the obituaries of all the people who died on 9/11?


I'm afraid of what we're becoming. Will we / are we rationing care for people ill with coronavirus on the basis of prior disability? Are people with disabilities somehow lesser than abled people, inferior, are their lives worth less than people who don't have disabilities? One of the things that's shocked me since the 2016 election campaign is the resurgence of eugencist thinking (and actions) from people on both the left and right. People who are coming right out and saying that the lives of older people are less important, and that we should even be willing to die of the virus for the political cause they support. This is Nazi thinking.
J SHAPIRO: Ari Ne'eman is a visiting scholar at the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University. 
NE'EMAN: They (disabled people) are terrified that when it comes to scarce resources like ventilators, they will be sent to the back of the line. And they're right to be terrified because many states are saying this quite explicitly in their allocation criteria. 
J SHAPIRO: Ne'eman looked at state policies for crisis care and found several - including in New York, Alabama, Tennessee, Utah - that ration care at the expense of people with disabilities. He says this violates civil rights laws like the Americans With Disabilities Act. 
NE'EMAN: Our civil rights laws don't go away in the midst of a pandemic. 
J SHAPIRO: He's worried of a repeat in this country of what's happening in Italy, where ventilators go to young people over older ones. He thinks are fairer ways. Let the ventilator will go to the first person who needs it. Others have suggested a lottery system. Meanwhile, disability groups in other states are preparing similar complaints. Another letter came from Neil Romano, who was named by President Donald Trump as chair of another federal agency, the National Council on Disability. He, too, asked the Department of Health and Human Services to take action to stop rationing. Now he's talking to the department's Office for Civil Rights.
From ProPublica:
Alabama’s disaster preparedness plan says that “persons with severe mental retardation, advanced dementia or severe traumatic brain injury may be poor candidates for ventilator support.” 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Tompkins County, NY - now 23 people have tested positive for COVID-19

Plus, the tracker for Coronavirus tests in Tompkins County, New York.

Coronavirus charts for March 25, 2020 for US and world

The chart for the increase is US deaths was made by me using Excel, relying on the Worldometer figures. The rest of them are from the Financial Times free coronavirus coverage. Worldometer link:

As of 9:17 pm EDT the number dead from COVID-19 in the US is 944, and the case fatality rate is 1.429%. (Number of total positive tested is 66,048). It's very possible that the CFR is actually much lower, since not very many people have been tested.

Here are the scary charts from FT. Link:

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

US Coronavirus deaths from February 29, 2020 to March 23, 2020

I decided I wanted to keep track of the Coronavirus deaths in the US myself, so I made a chart of the number of deaths and the daily changes from February 29 until today, using the numbers provided by the Worldometer. As a bonus, I learned how to make charts in Excel. Here's today's chart (as of about 11:30 pm, March 23).

Because I've forgotten most of the math I learned in elementary and high school, I don't know how to figure out the rate of increase.

By the way, if we continue on this trajectory without slowing the rate of infections and deaths, we're well on our way to being another Italy. See this article by Ezekiel Emanuel - Fourteen Days. That's the most we have to defeat Coronavirus: "Models from Imperial College London and others suggest that up to 2.2 million Americans could die within a year without sufficient efforts to 'flatten the curve.'"

Monday, March 02, 2020

Israel goes to the polls, again, for the third time in a year

The Israeli election is tomorrow (yet again!). Yediot Acharonot published a wonderful first page for their election edition - Israeli elections on the Monopoly board.

The main headline, in the middle: "Israel votes: third time to the polls. Perhaps this time... Elections, third time: Netanyahu and Gantz fight for every vote. Will there be a clear decision, or will we go to a fourth round?"