Thursday, April 23, 2020

More daffodils


Yesterday I took a long walk in the conservation land next to my father's house here in Westport. I got kind of lost, but found my way back. It was sunny but cold.

Before I took the walk, I got a few more photos of daffodils together with these little purple flowers, which I had originally thought were mini-irises, but I think they're something else.


A map of the Dunham's Brook Conservation Area

I took the path from Main Road, then turned right and walked on the long path all the way to the right (the south), took the turn to the east, then to the north, and all the way to the corn field (that's the "seasonally active agriculture"). I wasn't quite sure where I was, so I took a left and walked along the edge of the field until I came to the blue trail and went back into the woods. I ended up walking all the way around again on the tan trail, back to the corn field, and realized I had to find my way out, so I struck out across the field (on what I now realize was also part of the blue trail), and then turned and found the trail back to the entrance. There is a curious big round stone construction which is called the "stone silo foundation," which I passed by and then knew I was on the correct path back.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

The view from my window

There's a new Facebook group called "What do you see from your window? #StayAtHome," which started with just a few people (mostly from Israel, as far as I could tell). It now has over 280,000 members - many from Romania, Australia, lots from the US, many Israelis, Brazil, a really beautiful rainbow from Romania - you get the idea.

I posted a couple of times, and here's my two latest efforts.

Deer in the field next door.

View from the bedroom window onto the front of the house,
including one of the many red cars belonging to the household.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Thoughts on deaths from COVID-19 in the US (on numbers, not uplifting)

The IHME (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation) projections of total deaths in the United States, which many people are using to try to figure out how many people will die from COVID-19, seems like it needs to be updated. I just checked out the projection for New York state.

Currently, according to Worldometer, 16,106 people in New York State have died of the virus. https://ncov2019.live/ gives the same figure. 

The IHME projection for deaths in New York State, through August 4, 2020, is 14,542 (with a large area of uncertainty ranging between 11,000 and 23,000 deaths. It has the current death total at about 10,000 (from April 12), even though New York has reported a much higher level of deaths than that today. (See the screenshot below). It seems to me that they need to update their estimate for New York.


Currently, in Massachusetts, 1,245 people have died of COVID-19 - this includes some deaths in nursing homes, but not all of them, it seems. (This is also true of New York, even though New York City has just added thousands of people to the death toll who hadn't been originally counted). This is slightly below the IHME projection for this day (April 16). The total projection of deaths for Massachusetts is 8,219 by August 4, 2020. The per day death projection does seem closer for Massachusetts than for New York State.


The IHME projection for total deaths in the United States by August 4 also seems low to me. 


This chart shows 20,461 deaths as of April 11. The figures from that date from Worldometer, https://ncov2019.live/, and Johns Hopkins University are about 22,000 deaths. Their projection is for 29,902 deaths today (April 16), but the current figures are 34,475 (Worldometer and https://ncov2019.live), which incorporates many more deaths reported from New York (especially NYC) than was earlier reported. 

I think that because there are still probably many deaths not being reported, the actual number of people who have died from coronavirus is a good deal higher than we know now, and therefore the estimate given by IHME is really quite misleading. Like everyone else, I don't know how many people will die of the virus by August 4, 2020, nor can I predict the future about whether the infection and death rates will go down or up from now on. 

Some relevant articles on how the numbers of deaths are probably too low:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/fdny-sees-huge-uptick-in-doa-ambulance-cases-as-covid-ravages-city (information from the Fire Department of New York City about home deaths that haven't been reported in the COVID statistics)

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/10/nyregion/new-york-coronavirus-death-count.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/14/nyregion/new-york-coronavirus-deaths.html (addition of 3778 deaths to the total number in New York City).

And this article is about the count of excess deaths in several cities in northern Italy, in the heart of the pandemic there: https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/this-is-very-important-from-italy-please-read

Thursday, April 09, 2020

Sunday, April 05, 2020

More signs of spring from Westport, Mass.

I don't find that I really feel like posting any words during the coronavirus. I feel melancholy, and worried, and anxious, and all of the other depressing emotions that most people are feeling now. I feel like I have insights that are new to me, but not new to the world. So go read some profound thinkers. 

I can give you photos of Westport on a beautiful April spring day, however. The first photo is from the end of the driveway of my folks' house in Westport. The second photo is of the field across the road, which could have cows in it, but doesn't now. 

The next two photos are of a few of the many daffodils (and I mean many) that Eve has planted here. The last is of a forsythia bush, one of the two that's started to bloom. If we manage to get a decently warm day or two with consistent sun, I'm sure all the forsythia blossoms will come out 

Yesterday, I took a drive down to Westport Point to go look at the water - carefully, wearing a mask, avoiding other people. I saw two magnolia trees - one that was already blooming, the other one just about to pop. I'll have to go back tomorrow and investigate them again. I also saw an extremely enthusiastic big dog jumping straight up the entire length of its body, and then standing with its front legs on a woman's shoulders. I would have liked to have gotten a photo of that, but I didn't.