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Coronavirus thoughts Fri, Mar 20, 2020
A few observations regarding the coronavirus outbreak and ongoing quarantine:
  1. I could be wrong, but I think the main consideration in slowing the spread (i.e. flattening the curve) is simply (a) hospital beds and (b) ventilators.  People will die simply because there aren't enough medical supplies to go around, which is stupid but true.  It's a logistics problem that simply can't be solved.
  2. How will small businesses survive even a week without income?  Even if the government offers some sort of assistance, I can't imagine it'll be enough, or that there will be enough to go around.
  3. Seeing store shelves empty of something makes you sort of panic and think you've missed the boat.  It's not hard to see how mass panics start.
  4. I've never had a stronger desire to touch my face than when I was walking around a store around other suspicious-looking people.
  5. It'll be interesting to see how many jobs really require physical presence, after everyone has been working remotely for weeks or months.
  6. It was surprising how quickly people started taking it seriously.  Less than a week ago, it was still somewhat a fringe pandemic in the eyes of the average American.
  7. The projections are looking pretty grim in terms of timeline and mortality (Twitter thread).
  8. It's hard to convince people who will likely suffer no ill effects that quarantining and social distancing benefits other people more than it benefits them.  Those dumb kids on spring break in Florida could be any one of us 20, 30, or 40 years ago.
  9. It'll be interesting to see the long-term effects of this in terms of policy (more hospitals, beds, better emergency preparedness) and society (no more handshakes or hugging, only bowing from now on).
  10. If this all works out ok, it'll feel like a huge waste of time and energy and panic.

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