Cellphone Data Map Reveals Which Americans Are Ignoring Quarantine

Cellphone Data Map Reveals Which Americans Are Ignoring Quarantine

Found on Yahoo, but mostly Yahoo, sucks down news from elsewhere. Still in the article there is a link to another website that will let you look at the raw data for your state.... [Read More]

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Vietnam’s Ministry of Health

In an animated music video from an unlikely source, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health may have unwittingly delivered the epidemic’s anthem — a catchy three-minute tune that sounds like it belongs on Top 40 rotation reminding citizens to wash their hands vigorously, avoid touching their faces and stay clear of crowded places.

... [Read More]

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Your Privacy Is Safe With Us

The US CDC wants to track your every movement using your personal mass surveillance device, i.e., your mobile phone.

The White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are asking Facebook, Google and other tech giants to give them greater access to Americans’ smartphone location data in order to help them combat the spread of the coronavirus, according to four people at companies involved in the discussions who are not authorized to speak about them publicly.... [Read More]

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TOTD 2020-3-29: A Tale of Two Cities

I was reminded this morning of this quote from Charles Dickens.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.... [Read More]

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Book Review: Collapse

“Collapse” by Kurt SchlichterIn his 2016 novel People’s Republic, the author describes North America in the early 2030s, a decade after the present Cold Civil War turned hot and the United States split into the People’s Republic of North America (PRNA) on the coasts and the upper Midwest, with the rest continuing to call itself the United States, its capital now in Dallas, purging itself of the “progressive” corruption which was now unleashed without limits in the PRNA. In that book we met Kelly Turnbull, retired from the military and veteran of the border conflicts at the time of the Split, who made his living performing perilous missions in the PRNA to rescue those trapped inside its borders.

In this, the fourth Kelly Turnbull novel (I have not yet read the second, Indian Country, nor the third, Wildfire), the situation in the PRNA has, as inevitably happens in socialist paradises, continued to deteriorate, and by 2035 its sullen population is growing increasingly restive and willing to go to extremes to escape to Mexico, which has built a big, beautiful wall to keep the starving hordes from El Norte overrunning their country. Cartels smuggle refugees from the PRNA into Mexico where they are exploited in factories where they work for peanuts but where, unlike in the PRNA, you could at least buy peanuts.... [Read More]

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Online Learning Would Be Ideal–For a Few

Recently, conservatives have expressed hopes that the switch to remote learning during the time of crisis will lead to major school reform, to models that will decrease our dependence on federally funded schools. If online education approaches are improved and refined during this time of transition for schools, I wouldn’t argue against that. However, I don’t believe that this temporary switch should revolutionize the way we do education in the United States.

Students who are advanced and ready for this model will do well. However, our typical student who is struggling with literacy and other crucial academic skills will fall further behind. For example, many students have difficulty reading and/or understanding what they are reading, even in the upper grades. Their difficulties can be traced to either a lack of knowledge, lack of phonics instruction with decoding practice, or both. Technology can be a great tool to help with individualized skill practice and immediate feedback for these students; however, they will suffer from a lack of in-person instruction.... [Read More]

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Italy Explained

Italy’s severe problem with the WuFlu is crying out for explanation. At last, the explanation is at hand.

More than 99% of Italy’s coronavirus fatalities were people who suffered from previous medical conditions, according to a study by the country’s national health authority.... [Read More]

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Discordant Data from the Diamond Princess

Diamond Princess (ship)One of the first concentrated outbreaks of COVID-19 was on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess, one of whose passengers tested positive for COVID-19 in Hong Kong on 2020-02-01.  The patient had onset of symptoms on 2020-01-19, one day before boarding the ship and disembarked at Hong Kong on 2020-01-25.  When the ship returned to Yokohama, Japan on 2020-02-03, it was held in quarantine, during which time a total of 3,063 PCR tests were performed on the 3,711 passengers and crew.  By 2020-02-20, there were 634 confirmed cases on-board, of which 328 were asymptomatic (positive on the PCR test, but with no self-reported symptoms as of that date, although symptoms may have developed subsequently).

A detailed analysis of this outbreak by eleven authors from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, “Estimating the infection and case fatality ratio for COVID-19 using age-adjusted data from the outbreak on the Diamond Princess cruise ship” [PDF] has been posted on the medRxiv preprint server.  The paper has not been peer-reviewed.... [Read More]

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Well somebody told us Wall Street fell…

…but we were so poor that we couldn’t tell.

All the bad news lately has brought to mind a classic song by the country music super-group Alabama: “Song of the South.” The tune was released back in 1988 (when I was thirteen years old) off of their album Southern Star. It became an instant classic:... [Read More]

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Market, Schmarket

During the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19, the US stock market barely noticed. This pandemic was global in extent, had a case fatality ratio of 2 to 3% (the same numbers bandied about for COVID-19), and killed anywhere between 10 and 100 million people globally at a time the Earth’s population was about one quarter of today’s. In the US, 28% of the population was infected, about half a million of whom died. Scaling to today’s population, that would be 1.5 million deaths.

... [Read More]

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