Social Distancing…with feathers


Burrowing owls
Amateur category/Andrew Lee/Audubon Photography Awards/2020

Click to enlarge

In my neck of the prairie, burrowing owls are about the most common owl there is. Yes, I have other favorites. But, burrowing owls are critters you might bump into most any owl-time you’re wandering around rural New Mexico. Though, not in numbers like this.

COVID-19 deaths won’t peak in most states for weeks

The model, which uses data from cellphones to determine the impact of social distancing, provides a daily estimate of fatalities from COVID-19 in the United States for the coming weeks.

The findings indicate the number of deaths almost certainly has not yet peaked and is not likely to peak in many states until after May 1, a finding in contrast to one of the most frequently cited models.

The new model, from the University of Texas at Austin…uses data from the US to estimate the impact of recent social distancing measures within each state…

“On average, there seems to be a three-to-four week lag between when someone gets infected with COVID-19 and when they’re at risk of death,” says Lauren Ancel Meyers, who leads the University of Texas at Austin COVID-19 Modeling Consortium.

“That means we’re just beginning to see the life-saving benefits — and the clear signal in the data — of social distancing that began in mid- to late March.”…

In addition to using local movement data from individual US states to make projections rather than drawing on patterns observed in other countries, another difference in the new model is that it accounts for greater uncertainty further in the future.

Not that our Fake President and his 19th Century advisors pay much attention to models based on scientific studies. Good sense tells us to minimize deaths from this plague. Fearless Leader is more concerned with fund-raising for the next presidential election.

Social distancing management with Republicans in charge


Click to enlargeAustin Boschen/AP
Waiting to go through customs at Dallas Fort Worth Airport

The Trump administration needs to “get its shit together” in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, the governor of Illinois said on Saturday, as travelers returning to the US at Chicago’s O’Hare international airport waited more than four hours for required medical screenings…

On Saturday night, Illinois governor JB Pritzker tweeted directly at Trump and Pence, noting that the customs process is under federal jurisdiction and demanding they take action to ease the crowding at O’Hare.

“The crowds and lines … are unacceptable and need to be addressed immediately,” Pritzker wrote.

“Since this is the only communication medium you pay attention to – you need to do something NOW. These crowds are waiting to get through customs which is under federal jurisdiction…

“The federal government needs to get its s@#t together. NOW.”…

“I’m less concerned about having to stand here for the amount of time that I am, and more concerned about where the people are traveling from that are around me and what they may or may not have been exposed to,” one traveler, Dorothy Lowe, told WFAA-TV at Dallas/Fort Worth international airport, where some waits stretched to three hours…

“We have not reached our peak,” said Dr Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health at the same White House briefing. “We will see more cases, and we will see more suffering and death.”…

Regular readers will know I haven’t much respect for either of the two old political parties conventionally allowed in the United States. Those in charge range in practice from quasi-fascists to unimaginative incompetents. Regardless of either party’s history, their elemental function, nowadays, is to grease the wheels of short-term commerce. And today’s lackeys do a piss-poor job of that, as well.

There is no essential concern for the needs of the nation, the people who constitute the body of citizens – or their families. The self-serving creeps-in-charge have a single agenda: Take the money and run.

Do I generally support Democrats? Of course. They are “the best of a bad lot”. That’s not saying a lot for our future.