Sun. Mar. 15, 2020 – 3 months, not 3 weeks

Warm and wet.

Light rain started last night, after a damp and overcast day. Some moments of clear sky and nice breeze, but generally threatening all day.

My AC is working again. It took several pounds of R22 to bring the system pressure back up. I’m hoping it holds for the season.

If you haven’t been reading comments, I encourage you to do so as that’s where the good stuff is. I think of the day’s post as a topic sentence for the day, but it often ends up something completely different. It’s always interesting and civil.

Also, please check out Aesop at https://raconteurreport.blogspot.com/ He’s on the front line of this in CA. I’m active in the comments over there too (if you’re interested).

After consideration, and some thought, PLEASE STOP GOING TO STORES. The curiosity factor will get you killed or sickened. All over the web I’m seeing people check in and admit they didn’t really need anything but were just curious. I admit I did it too, last week. But now, the freaking stores are full of people from the community. That’s where “community transmission” comes from! Read the Italian ICU report I linked late last night. The ONLY thing that will help when the ICU inundation starts is slowing the rate of contagion. The only thing that slows the spread is isolation.

Don’t even think about ‘get it now, while there are still beds’. Between the time to show symptoms and the normal time until it gets bad, you won’t beat the rush. Everyone with it NOW will beat you there.

I commented last night why you need at least 3 months of supplies, please take a moment and consider my timeline. If it doesn’t make sense, let me know. No need to tell me it’s overreaction, but do please keep sharing your honest thoughts. We all need to avoid any mania (beyond what some of you already believe we’re infected with, and if we are, we need to slow the spiral. If you change your mind, I’m not going to judge, I’m going to celebrate.) Getting your stock up to the three month level is about the only reason I can think of to risk going into a store at this point.

I’m also sure we are about to get some internal domestic travel restrictions. It’s already been mentioned in at least two official places. The Governor of Florida is calling for it. They will ground most of the planes at some point, the math insists on it. I expect one or both of my siblings to be stuck in FL but at least my mom will have company. No resources, but company. I don’t want to consider what that means for my family long term. No matter what YOUR belief about the validity and necessity of the measures is, this now has a life of its own, and shutting down air travel is the next step. They will likely wait until they have something they can point to for such a drastic seeming decision, so watch for that. It may be a ‘magic number’ of infected, dead, or occupied ICU beds, or it might be something external to the USA. There won’t be much if any warning, we’ve already BEEN warned. One, maybe two weeks minimum would be my guess, but it’s coming.

This sort of disaster is about the worst kind. It’s everywhere. There won’t be help coming in from outside the region, like most natural disasters. What help might be available because it won’t happen everywhere at the same time, will be held in reserve for what the outsiders know is coming to them. You are on your own. No one is coming to save you. The ONLY thing that will help is if you get immunity after having the virus. If that happens, the people with mild cases will be able to keep everything going and we’ll only lose those with acute symptoms. If you don’t get lasting immunity, or worse, get it bad the second time, better start praying for effective drugs. And soon.

With that in mind, start praying for an antibody blood test, so we can confirm who’s had it and is possibly immune. There are an increasing number of people sharing stories of having been sick in the last month, but not having the flu. Heck, I have been coughing for the last month. I don’t think I got the flu, as I never had any real fever, but I felt pretty bad for a while. It’s important to remember that there might already be, and certainly will be, a large pool of people recovered from the mild symptoms. As long as they have immunity we’ll get through this. Until we can identify them though, we need to keep everyone isolated. (and there was an article about the virus being present in lungs for 30 something days after recovery, that would be bad news if true.)

So, if you aren’t stocked up, get there. Stop going out. Time to pull it all in and hope for the best.

nick

68 thoughts on “Sun. Mar. 15, 2020 – 3 months, not 3 weeks”

  1. 1 to 2 percent of people tested in the United States for the Corona Virus test positive. These are people who feel sick enough to be convinced that they have it. The 98 to 99 percent who tested negatively have the regular flu, a bad cold, or are imagining the symptoms. (This is paraphrased from the address Dr. Fauci gave on Friday.)

  2. NYC just gave up on containment. Since their efforts so far have been based in PC nonsense and appeasement of the poor and diverse (we can’t close the schools, most of the kids will run riot, and the rest of the kids will starve) containment was bound to fail. It looks like they’ll be running the same experiment as the UK.

    n

    ‘Everyone in New York should assume that they have been in contact with COVID 19,’ a read-out at the conference call said, according to Foreign Policy.

    In the Saturday briefing medical officials stressed that the city is ‘in the mitigation phase of the outbreak’ and the virus could threaten the health of residents until as late as September.

    “‘This means that all individuals should assume that they have had some contact with the virus and practice maximum-possible social distancing; most cases will be mild and medical care should only be sought in urgent, worsening, or vulnerable cases.’ “

    “‘It’s your responsibility not to get infected, and your responsibility to stay home if you do. Your odds of not dying are rather great — if you get close “give us a call,”‘ one senior diplomat said on the New York’s standoff policy. “

    Interviews with confirmed cases and contact tracing is not a good use of our resources when the virus is widespread. There will be little emphasis on tracing,’ briefers said at Saturday’s meeting.

    ‘We are hopeful that exposure to COVID will make people immune, but too early to say definitely,’ the briefers added.

  3. We’re up from 1400 cases yesterday to 2200 cases today. Presumably an artifact of more testing, but…wow.

  4. NYC just gave up on containment. Since their efforts so far have been based in PC nonsense and appeasement of the poor and diverse (we can’t close the schools, most of the kids will run riot, and the rest of the kids will starve) containment was bound to fail. It looks like they’ll be running the same experiment as the UK.

    Keeping schools open is more about appeasing middle- and upper-middle class parents who don’t have available options for alternative care, regardless of reason. It is wrapped in reasoning about poor kids without other food options to make everybody feel better.

    A quick check of the ISD web site shows Round Rock schools still planning to reopen in a week, following Spring Break. That may change tomorrow once offices reopen from the weekend.

    Even in WA State, where the schools are “closed” for six weeks, it looks like kids will still be in the building where ours went to elementary school. The district’s childcare services are still operating for the enrolled families — bet that enrollment expands real fast — and some schools cafeterias are still distributing breakfasts/lunches.

    The elementary school where my kids went to school is generally regarded as one of the best in the state of Washington, certainly in the Portland Metro. There were about 90 exemptions to zoning six years ago with a lot of Oregon plates pulling into the parking lot daily. *Closed* would be a huge problem for companies starting with HP but also TSMC, Shin Etsu, and Fisher Investments which have jobs not easily worked from home due to either logistics or security.

    Yes, I didn’t mistype. *Oregon* plates pulling into a *Washington* school.

  5. Is this the end of the World? I don’t think so. I don’t go out a lot, but the minute I got the dogs in the new/old house, they peed on the only carpet in the house (#2 #3 bedrooms). I have to get a cleaning machine. Probably that little Bissell.

    I don’t have/never had 3 months of supplies. I left the dehydrated with the family. With that I could last 5 months. Maybe have them UPS it to me. LOL! Me first, biatches. I also didn’t bring cleaning supplies, and, of course, the stores are out of the good stuff. Scored a Pinesol to at least swish the toilets. Who took all the frickin’ bleach? I bet a bunch of people who have no idea of what to do with it.

    A 1-2% death rate is horrible, but I believe there will be enough technicians with “cold symptoms” that will keep the infrastructure up. Optimistic? Yes. We will get a much better picture of the FUSA’s standing in a month. I have enough food to last a month, and enough fat for another. I will make trips to the grocery store a couple times a week. Maybe wear a Tyvek suit and a bandito mask. I’ve got some disposable glove to top off the look. That should clear the isles.

    My first neighbor, Rex, came over to introduce himself. He’s 87, a Korean War Vet, and thinks we will weather this no problem.

    Be positive. I know many here are not optimistic, but more cheer than gloom will make this a lot easier. If this is the Zombie Barackalypse, three months of supplies won’t make a difference. You’ll have to run to Alaska where the Zombies freeze, then whack them in the head.

    Anybody have family or friends infected?

  6. @Nick. I keep reiterating that the UK policy is NOT to let Covid-19 run wild and damn the consequences. The Government is going through a planned escalating process with the aim of minimising the overall duration whilst trying to not overload the emergency care services. Just introduced is the advice that any cold/flue like symptoms you should self isolate (gradual ramping up). Next I expect a lock down on elderly and vulnerable. Yes, it is an experiment, but lead by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer. I am still on board with this approach – it will be wrong – just a case of how wrong, and whether an alternative approach would have been better! This we will find out some months from now.


  7. Who took all the frickin’ bleach? I bet a bunch of people who have no idea of what to do with it.

    Hell I bought 12 gallons of pool chlorine at Lowes on Wed. No prob $3.50 a gallon in two packs. Needed some pool maintenance at the old house that I ignored all winter. They had plenty.

  8. @Nick. I keep reiterating that the UK policy is NOT to let Covid-19 run wild and damn the consequences.

    The misinformation about the UK’s planned response from the article in The Independent got quoted and spread everywhere in the US this weekend.

    The KGB (or whatever they call themselves these days) isn’t idle.

  9. Point me to a link with the actual plan please.

    [insert Clausewitz quote about plans and the enemy]

    I haven’t looked at all at the UK equivalent of the CDC pandemic planning. I’m pretty familiar with the CDC materials. I actually watched the WHO press conference where they explained “flattening the curve” before other places started repeating that.

    I don’t currently understand how other approaches will keep the UK’s ICUs from being overwhelmed. Italy didn’t do containment and they got swamped. (until after, and too little too late) What will the UK be actively doing that will reduce the impact on EMS, other than not using EMS? Because I don’t think people will reduce their use of EMS. (for a short time they might out of fear of catching it in the ER, as some people have reported on Aesop’s blog.)

    Island nations should be able to isolate, but that’s long past… I wonder how the Caribbean islands are doing? map shows they all have cases. Spring Break strikes again.

    Isn’t it hot in the caribbean right now? Kingston has 85F and sunny but still has cases. 8 in fact which is pretty high for its size. I wouldn’t count on summer ending this threat.

    n

    added- how will allowing people to do as they please slow the spread? People do not self quarantine. We’ve seen that when they show up to work sick, when they go shopping even when under orders, and in the medical staff during the 14 ebola outbreak who returned home and went out socializing.

    People are right now organizing common child care services so they can replicate the school environment for spreading disease, at someone’s home.

    I’d be supportive of a civil liberties or personal responsibility argument, but no one is making those.

    I really don’t understand, from anything I’ve read so far, what the supposed mechanism of slowing would be.

    n

  10. Yesterday our Costco started to limit the number of people allowed in the store to less than 200 at a time. There was a line that circled the entire store exterior twice. As a person would leave another would be let in. All items were being limited to various amounts. All the paper products, water, soaps, cleaners, disinfectants, etc. were out before noon. Canned goods, dry goods, and rice were also being limited. The situation is very tense.

    Against my wishes, my wife went to our Winco this morning for some things she wanted. Many of the shelves were bare. Our Winco’s warehouse is in Boise, ID and a snowstorm in the Blue Mountains halted their trucks. There was bread as that comes from bakeries in the area.

    BOHICA and SNAFU

  11. “Anybody have family or friends infected? ”

    –we just learned that several families in our neighborhood/school circle have kids with symptoms and negative flu tests. Some of them even have a recent travel history but all were told by their pediatrician that test were unavailable.

    Since Houston is supposed to have approved labs, I’m not sure why testing would be limited.

    The family with both symptoms and travel has self quarantined since they started coughing, and this is the first time they’ve mentioned anything about it, and that was only in response to and after another family’s admission.

    nick

  12. If this article is accurate, it looks like the UK’s plan is based on about 5 unproven and mostly unlikely to be true assumptions.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/world/europe/coronavirus-britain-boris-johnson.html

    They are assuming that large events have LESS of a chance of transmission than smaller gatherings.

    They are assuming that medical workers will stay home to provide childcare if schools are closed.

    They are assuming that people will voluntarily restrict their contacts. (most do not)

    They are assuming that the virus will slow down in summer heat (how hot does the UK get? ‘cuz it’s spreading in a lot of places where it’s currently hot, and not winter flu season.)

    They are assuming victims get lasting immunity (evidence exists to the contrary)

    They are assuming that herd immunity works on CV.

    They are assuming that everyone else’s strategy is wrong.

    And key for me is that they made this decision so that NEXT TIME it won’t be such a big deal.

    Assuming all those things, if it takes 70% having had it and developing immunity, that means 66M people x .7 = 46M sick. 20% with symptoms requiring hospital treatment = 9.24M hospital beds, with 15% * of those being ICU with ventilators = 1.4 M ICU beds THIS YEAR. In 2012 UK had 4100 critical care beds (ICU and one step down.) Recovery takes 3-5 weeks.

    The beds will fill up, and then for the next 3-5 weeks, almost everyone who needs a bed but can’t get one will die. Of course some beds will become available as the sickest patients die before recovering. Some stats suggest that IF YOU GET ACUTELY SICK, your chances of dying increase to 50-50 or worse. Even if half the ICU beds die every day, that only opens 2000 beds per day and your death rate is HORRIFIC.

    Just by assuming 70% of the population need to get it and recover for herd immunity could mean ~1.4 million deaths in the next year. Blithely accepting that is horrible. But hey, assume further that tested positives are only 1/10th of the population, so you can knock a zero off the numbers, you still have 140K dead this year.

    —–

    But let’s not use the bigger, hidden number of inconsequential cases, let’s just see where we end up with tested numbers…

    Today’s numbers for the UK 1319 infected, 20 critical cases.

    Cases are doubling every 3 days. (actually more than doubling but let’s use that) If critical cases also double at that rate, somewhere between the 7th and 8th double beds will be full. From that point on, people that might have been saved will die. Keep in mind, the doubling won’t stop, but it might slow or increase.

    So, between 21 and 28 days from today, if the doubling rate for critical cases matches the rate for people sick enough to get tested, the UK will be Italy. Two more doublings, six days later, you’ve got 12K sick and only those same 4100 beds. Six days later, 50K.

    The only way to not run out of beds in a month is to slow the doubling. It won’t keep you from running out this year, but will delay a bit.

    Which part of the plan will slow the doubling rate?

    n

    *I can’t be arsed to look up whether it’s 15% of the 20% or 15% of the total, IE 3/4 of the people hospitalized. I used the smaller number for the math. If it’s .75, of 9M, you’ll run out that much faster.

    Looking at cases cleared, UK is running 2 to 1 deaths vs recoveries. That’s with all the care that can be focused on the patients. Pray for an effective treatment.

  13. One case reported in North AL – a Marshall Space Flight Center employee. That means it will get everywhere here quickly. We also can assume there are many more actual cases in the wild. Huntsville schools are closed beginning Thursday, but absences for Monday thru Wednesday are excused. The wife and I are betting something comes out later today saying schools are closed starting tomorrow. We are contemplating keeping our son home starting tomorrow.

    As long as the wife and I have to go to work, we will implement the following. Shoes will stay in the garage. As soon as we get home, clothes go into hamper and we take showers. Nothing is perfect or foolproof, but it seems like a reasonable measure to take.

    I don’t think it’s the end of the world, but I do think it’s prudent to take precautions.

  14. “Mayor Bill de Blasio and NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo have insisted that they will do everything possible to keep NYC’s subway and its schools – which hundreds of thousands of children depend on for shelter and food

    –how the hell did we get to a point where this is reality? HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF KIDS DEPEND ON DAILY HANDOUTS TO LIVE? JUST IN NYC?

    That is insane.

    n

  15. My church is closed for the next four weeks. No services. Everything will be streamed. Thus myself, the sound person, one camera person and the person doing the speaking will have to show up for the next four weeks, including Wednesday. Record number of viewers on the stream this morning, 18, up from the normal 3 to 4.

  16. By the way, anyone still interested in a broad spectrum disinfectant and viricide that is available online at pre-panic prices and is probably in your local home center as well– Mold Armor. Not the Mold Armor Housewash (although I haven’t looked at the ingredients, a wash and the concentrated spray are usually different.) there are over a thousand gallons in the Lowe’s stores alone within a dozen miles of me.

    https://www.moldarmor.com/pro/safety/

    n

  17. They are assuming that medical workers will stay home to provide childcare if schools are closed.

    I’m not sure about Britain, but that would certainly be true in this country. Get below the physician level, and a lot of healthcare workers are mostly female, usually Hispanic or African American, running single parent households with the Boomer grandparents presenting very narcissistic attitudes about not providing help in the present while still able yet expecting the world down the road when they become unable to fend for themselves.

    We’ve lived it for 20 years. Dealing with the support staff in an outpatient clinic clinic in the US is “Total Drama Island” under normal circumstances.

    One of my friends who went to see my wife at her office about 15 years ago in Florida overheard two of the support staff plotting about which professional person to support in the office politics, my wife or the salaried office manager. My friend said, “It was like watching ‘Survior'”.

    Post ACA, healthcare in the US is extremely brittle. For most of the line workers, even the doctors, it us just another lousy blue collar job. Pray that the system isn’t severely tested to the point of being overwhelmed because even a lot of physician contracts are ‘at will’.

    My wife’s last private practice job had a $10,000 zero notice buyout. Write the check, find tail malpractice (roughly an equal dollar amount), and the lawyers can’t touch you if you walk away from the job.

  18. –how the hell did we get to a point where this is reality? HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF KIDS DEPEND ON DAILY HANDOUTS TO LIVE? JUST IN NYC?

    Twenty years of Nanny Bloomberg followed by de Blasio.

    The next time you head to Austin, take Riverside drive from 71 to the intersection with I35 and think about what that will look like after 15-20 more years of “compassion” from the city.

    A coworker was upset on Friday when I pointed out that closing Austin ISD schools for two weeks wouldn’t matter beyond the daycare aspect. I don’t think it was concern for his kids as much as living in denial about the true value of his inflated real estate within the city limits, having lost his last engineering job and with the realization that our place is probably just interim.

  19. @Nick. Your projections may turn out to be correct – or the modelling undertaken by the UK Chief Medical Officer might be closer to ultimate reality – we will find out. Again, let me repeat, the aim is NOT to get to 60% infection (herd immunity), it is what they believe will happen. There is no current cure, so the only way this infection will be controlled is by surpassing 60%. I take the point of your number crunching and understand your scepticism. I hope you are wrong – but we will find out. If an early lockdown is undertaken, no ‘herd immunity’ is achieved, so when coming out of lockdown, you go to another peak …. then lockdown …. how many times for how long? Complex outcomes whatever the choice.

  20. If an early lockdown is undertaken, no ‘herd immunity’ is achieved, so when coming out of lockdown, you go to another peak …. then lockdown …. how many times for how long?

    People are already ignoring quarantines in this country. A lockdown wouldn’t work unless the streets were actively patrolled with National Guard (military reserves) under “shoot to kill” orders. At the very least, people would have to be worried about getting imprisoned — like the “Office Space” line “pound it in the a** prison” — not zip tied and hauled back home.

  21. Confusing times.
    Moms house in Healdsburg has been on the market since early February. I vented about the lipstick on a pig driving the asking price to near $700k and delaying the ready for market date by months. Moms dead, certainly she didn’t care.
    I was frustrated at taking the house beyond the means of middle class working stiffs willing to do sweat equity, and delaying the sale when the economy was spiraling down. This seemed obvious even 4th quarter 2019.

    Lo and behold a possible miracle. An offer ($50k below asking) and money in escrow. Two weeks for the buyer to get their inspections done. Praying hard the foolhardiness continues. That house needs to be offloaded ASAP, even at the cost of losing the money fools poured into it. This is NOT the time to have an empty house thousands of miles away.

    I can’t believe anyone is thinking about buying houses in the midst of a pandemic.

    I’ll never understand humans.
    —-
    Regarding the FSA. Better hope the FSA keeps fed. Husband and I attended a couple of Massad classes. The man is downright eloquent, terrifying, on the subject of FSA denied. He paints a grim picture.

    People not like you and I. Their values are not our values.

  22. Regarding the FSA. Better hope the FSA keeps fed. Husband and I attended a couple of Massad classes. The man is downright eloquent, terrifying, on the subject of FSA denied. He paints a grim picture.

    Near the end of his term as FL Governor, ahead of a storm hitting South Florida, Jeb! Bush got in trouble just for saying something like, “Doesn’t everyone have a few days of canned goods at home?”

    Monster.

  23. Hell I bought 12 gallons of pool chlorine at Lowes on Wed. No prob $3.50 a gallon in two packs. Needed some pool maintenance at the old house that I ignored all winter. They had plenty.

    Shoot, maybe I had better go buy some more chlorine for my septic tank. I’ve only got a half bucket at the moment. Each bucket is good for about 5 to 6 months.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Norweco-10-lb-Pail-Blue-Crystal-Chlorine-Tablets-for-Aerobic-or-Septic-Systems-509/202194806

  24. Ireland have announced closure of pubs & clubs, following on from school closures. This is after a riotous weekend in Dublin and St Patrick’s day imminent.

  25. Orlando Airport TSA. We already hated TSA at the airport and always fly through Tampa.

    https://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-ne-tsa-officer-coronavirus-transmission-20200315-olzfqavyuvdxzjzpp5n3waauiq-story.html

    While the TSA presents the same problem at all airports, there’s something about Orlando. Maybe it is all the tourists or the p*ss poor design of the screening areas.

    On our last trip through OIA, the body scanners were still new, used at random, and the TSA staff was not budging about insisting one obvious transgender woman go into the scanners or submit to a private screening with a male officer.

  26. I visited my parents this morning. They are in their late 70s and live only 5 miles away. I go there frequently. Dad and I took a walk in the woods so he could point out some interesting things he discovered along the old railroad bed that runs behind the retirement community. Mom and I talked about life, the universe, and everything. A nice and normal visit. At the end I told them I won’t visit for a while because I will come into contact with many people through work in the coming weeks and things are heating up here in Massachusetts. It wasn’t maudlin, we have phones, email, and text and will be in touch. I will go to them in an emergency or extreme situation but casual visits will cease for now. My sisters have all said the same. Family gathering for Easter is on-hold.

    Yeah, there is a lot of hype but that doesn’t negate that this is a real serious situation. Real precautions must be taken.

  27. Germany has closed all restaurants and movie theaters for the next month. DB is running on emergency schedule. Most are being asked to work from home if possible.

  28. @JLP, I’ve got a Cushcraft R8 vertical for HF. It is compact, requires no radials, and while all verticals are compromises, it has both longevity in the market and good reviews. Mainly, it was free. The new version adds even lower bands. I’ve got a discone for the scanner, and a dual band quarterwave for the VHF/UHF radio. If I ever get the pole, I’ve got a Ringo waiting for VHF on my big radio, and if I run the cable, a 440 eggbeater for satellite receiving.

    Lots of people talking about how great the new MFJ Cobweb is. One guy on my way to the kids’ school has one, so I know they are out in the wild. If I was buying new, I’d look very hard at that for HF.

    In the mean time, wire dipoles are cheap if you have somewhere to hang them.

    n


  29. Mold Armor.

    Thanks for this. Just bought a gallon. Label specifies it kills coronaviruses.
    Bought the spray bottle with an extra quart to bring the total over $25 so I could get the free shipping by entering the code: FREEHA.

    Delivers right to my front door. Goody.

  30. Flour is gone everywhere. All varieties.

    My wife used a bunch of her reserve flour and oil making my son his usual 12 fried chicken legs on Thursday, not thinking we would be home this week instead of on the road to New Orleans.

    Not a big deal. Target had vegetable oil, but not flour. Walmart, HEB, HMart, and Sam’s were out as well.

    I wonder how much flour will come back next week. HEB took an order from us for Thursday at Curbside at the local store.

  31. I should have bet the farm. Huntsville schools are now closed Mon – Wed as well. It will be interesting to see what happens at work this week. I would like to isolate, but that choice isn’t up to me yet. At least I can limit exposure somewhat at work. My wife, who works in a bank, not so much.


  32. Curbside at the local store

    is actually someone in the store doing your shopping.

    Not like at Walmart where some stuff seems to come from the store and some is shipped in “just for you”.

  33. is actually someone in the store doing your shopping.

    Not like at Walmart where some stuff seems to come from the store and some is shipped in “just for you”.

    This far out, my guess is that they will ship additional stock based on the orders.

    The virus situation is an interesting test of the concept. If they are filling orders today then that side of the store has stock of things which are not available to people walking in to buy in the traditional manner.

    Thats where all the toilet paper went. 🙂

  34. Rumblings are Vegas casinoes will close soon for an indeterminate amount of time. That will put thousands out of work in Vegas. Ugh. I wonder if the Feds will give them money. Gotta keep the vices prepped for the comeback.

    Got my rug cleaner today.
    Got a close out King size comforter set.
    Fridge comes Wed.
    Mattress comes Thu.
    Wiener dogs love the backyard.
    Need some salt for the conditioner, so will check for Mold Armor (thanks Mr. Nick).
    HEB announced they are closing earlier so more trucks can resupply.
    Got my Mac Mini set up and TV shows are downloading as we speak.

    Two days ago I got some of my favorite snack, plain Corn Nuts, at HEB. Today they were mostly gone! I did look behind some other boxes (they are on the floor level shelf). I scored six of the bigger bags that some YAGNI doosh missed. Plenty of meat, fish, cold cuts, cheese on hand. Of course, I have no fridge.

    And, people are so stupid. Some dude was running around in HEB with a mask with the one way filter buttons on the front. The only thing was, he had a real bushy beard making the mask useless. I was tempted to point and yell “doosh”.

  35. Well, HEB seems to have all stores running from 8AM to 8PM.

    Which, if it’s “all hands on deck” enough to close the Business Center and put that person or two on a check-stand, to have all check-stands open, cutting Open hours doesn’t mean folks are not getting their hours.

    I saw on Facebook that HEB was limiting purchases. Can’t find it now. But from the HEB site it says “Chicken – 4 units, Ground Beef – 4 units”, etc. No more heaping carts of TP for anyone.
    https://newsroom.heb.com/product-purchasing-limits/


  36. This far out, my guess is that they will ship additional stock based on the orders.

    Perhaps. Maybe if you order a case of something.

    I ordered 2x of the Lido dry milk Nick or someone said was good and I only got one. Out of stock. I ordered several days ahead of pick-up date.

    There were several cans on the shelf this last Friday.

  37. Ok. I don’t know the layout and storage capacities of every HEB.

    The Burnet store is pretty much “if it on the shelf, we got it”. Back-stock is mostly beer and wine and water and paper towels. And GM stuff like BBQ grills and patio furniture.

    Sure, pallets of green beans and stuff for Thanksgiving. And a reefer trailer outside full of turkeys.

    But pretty much, two days gets tight and at three days you _might_ get a package of flour tortillas.

    How do I know? I was working there and the roads were too icy for the trucks to deliver.

    Extra tidbit: That HEB truck you see at your store’s docking bay, well, out here, that truck goes to Marble Falls and Burnet and Lampasas and I dunno where. Maybe 10 pallets per store.

  38. WinCo posted a statement on Facebook this afternoon (and posted in stores):

    WinCo Foods WILL NOT be accepting returns on items overbought because of the Coronavirus (and has never accepted returns because of over-purchasing).

    This includes, and is not limited to: water, toilet paper, cold medicine, canned goods, dry goods and cleaning supplies. These sales are final.

    We are limiting purchases on select items, see your store for signage.

    We will continue to address quality concerns as always, and on a case by case basis.

    Thank you for your patience & understanding.

    I hope ALL stores do the same. This “overbuying” is senseless. I have no sympathy for the unprepared.

  39. I had expected to see a drop in our ATM usage but no. Our ATMs are busier than ever. Great weekend. Most of the activity was at our convenience stores co-located with Indian casinos. The cash bars aren’t seeing much change. I will monitor as we move forward. ATMs are our big money maker but the Storage Facility makes costs and payroll. I’m not too worried about company income now, we just sold a house and have plenty of cash to weather a 3 month drought. I feel sorry for the majority of folks who live week-to-week. This must be a very scary time.

  40. Jenny, busy, so just glancing. Old investing axiom: Buy straw hats in winter, overcoats in summer. Or, something like that. 🙂


  41. I’m not sure why testing would be limited.

    They are ramping up testing, but the bottleneck is the equipment to do the test. It’a PCR based test for virus RNA segments. It takes hours to run, even on advanced equipment. (24 for the CDC test, 4 for the one from Roche.) If the virus is out in the wild, and it seems to be in many areas, testing is only needed to decide treatment/isolation in a hospital. Most cases can resolve at home with fluids, rest, and anti-fever drugs like Tylenol. And testing in kids that aren’t being admitted is even less informative given the low fatality and reported low severity of symptoms.

    In short, if someone in the family gets sick, you self quarantine unless you need to go to the hospital.

    Your remark about the antibody test is right, though. There is one in work.

  42. @ Paulthemanc,

    I made an error in my research. The 4100 beds is TOTAL acute care, and they are normally 90% occupied. That only leaves 410 beds for new patients. Even if you could clear out another 20% and get to 1230 you run out of beds a LOT sooner, and then everyone additional dies.

    Seems like Home Office already knows that though–

    It says: ‘As many as 80% of the population are expected to be infected with Covid-19 in the next 12 months, and up to 15% (7.9 million people) may require hospitalisation.’

    All over the world, if you are sick enough to need hospitalization you have terrible odds of surviving (closed cases, recovered vs. dead). 1 in 3 is the best. 2 to 1 against is not unusual. That’s a lot of dead people. (and those numbers might improve as more data comes in and as Drs learn more, or not.)

    If the goal is to preserve the economy, I don’t think that’s gonna work either. Once patients are stacked in the hallways, the economy is going to tank due to the general public’s reactions… because people ARE going to shit themselves when it happens.

    And it will only take between 5 and 6 doublings to get past 1230 acute care beds, with the same caveats as before. 4 doubles get you pretty near 400 cases. So, depending on how many beds they can clear, between 12 and 18 days should fill the acute care beds.

    12 days of not really normal… then it all comes apart anyway.

    FWIW, I don’t see even a complete USA wide lockdown slowing the doubling rate that much. We’ve got more beds available, and we can clear some out, but we’ll get there eventually too. (97K and about 75% occupied best case is where we’re starting from but with only 10 critical cases listed, we’re one double behind you, or 3 days – if our critical cases are in the exponential part of the curve.)

    Once we start doubling critical cases, we’re only 10 doubles from our own capacity. If it takes 40 days instead of 30 we’ll see beds open up as people are discharged. It will only delay maxing out for a short time, but it will save some lives.

    I SINCERELY hope this isn’t the case. I really really do not want to see that.

    nick

  43. @ech, thanks for the info. You are in IT or informatics in the Med Center? I can’t remember if you ever said. In any case, stay away from the patients and the public!

    ————————————-

    There have been a couple of articles suggesting that gloves are a better bet than face masks for most people in most places, most of the time, with the suggestion that most infection comes from transferring virus from surfaces to you. You still need to keep from touching your face with your dirty gloves, and do some research on the proper way to remove them.

    I’m wearing gloves if I have to interact with any public place from now on. Cheap and low impact.

    nick

  44. I am a retired aerospace systems engineer. But I worked as a programmer for 8 years at the start of my career, including 4 years at a company that computerized pathology labs. My wife is a retired physician, and my dad was a podiatrist, so I’ve been around medicine all my life.

  45. Went over to the old house this afternoon and worked our butts off cleaning and fixing the old house. They are staging tonight, pictures tomorrow, and listing Wednesday.

    Some asshat dropped a sheet metal screw into the kitchen sink disposal. I could not get it out so I had to pull it. 15 minutes to pull it, 15 minutes to get the screw out, and 2 hours to get it back in because I am getting old and holding up a 20 lb device while getting the collar fastened in three places is difficult.

  46. Some asshat dropped a sheet metal screw into the kitchen sink disposal. I could not get it out so I had to pull it. 15 minutes to pull it, 15 minutes to get the screw out, and 2 hours to get it back in because I am getting old and holding up a 20 lb device while getting the collar fastened in three places is difficult.

    The last time I changed the disposal, I piled bricks and wedged a folded towel under the unit to keep it in place while I got the collar fastened. I removed and replaced the new unit several times getting the install to a point where it *might* pass inspection when the time comes.

    Home Depot charges $99 for the install. I’ll do that next time. Though, I didn’t do a bad job. The previous owner’s install, most likely done by a trades person, had a tiny leak from a crappy putty job. My install doesn’t leak.

  47. @lynn .. . re: replacing disposers. I’ve seen advice from somewhere about using a bottle jack to hold it up during reinstallation. Advantage is to be able to easily raise/lower as needed during install.

    But the $99 install is also a good idea. As I get older, I’m more inclined to let someone else do all the grunt work. Like oil changes (although I change the air filters).

  48. I’m going to let Home Depot replace the over the range Microwave/fan/light at my rent house. It’s dead as a doornail, so probably something simple, like a blown fuse on the main board, but I don’t want to be in someone else’s living space. She has a very public facing job, and he’s in O&G in a ‘dirty fingernails’ job. She’s the one that’ll bring wuflu home.

    The current one is 7 years old. Still looks good. No worky though.

    Worth a few bucks to me to not mess around with it.

    IDK how I installed the last insinkerator. I know I forgot to punch the hole for the dishwasher drain, and the tenant used it that way for over a year…. it drained the washer really slowly………

    n

  49. I want to replace our microwave, but for an admittedly stupid reason. It’s black, and we have slowly and unintentionally gone to white on everything else.
    Never thought I’d be “that chick”, but it doth offend mine eye.

    I was toying with doing it myself (I’m handier than the average bear) but hearing Nick say he’s gonna farm his out makes me reconsider. Still, what could possibly go wrong?
    -cue laughter-

    Non plague stuff. Baked a cake from a semi complicated mix with kiddo today. She is on the verge of 8 and is pretty darned capable. She operated the Kitchenaid with only a few guffs. She slowed down and got more respectful when I reminded her it would snap a finger if she was careless. I unplugged it whenever she had to manipulate the bowl or paddle, and she used an appropriate degree of care. Most of the mix remained in the bowl. Then she helped me stem and slice the brussel sprouts, and used scissors to cut up the bacon. Chose spices for the roasted sprouts and applied with an educated eye.

    We do our children no favors when we treat them like fine bone china. Could she have hurt herself tonight? Perhaps, but not badly and only thru great carelessness on both our parts. I wound up chopping the lettuce because her hands weren’t actually big enough to grasp and hold the heads safely. She tried, and was game to keep on, but it wasn’t a reasonable risk with that technique. And at that point she’d seen how I do it and was unwilling to switch methods to a way that was appropriate for her hand size. No biggie. Gave her a different clearly equally meaningful task and away we went. She prepped 85% of dinner tonight. I dealt with the oven because she has neither the height (controls are in the far back – I scarcely reach them) or physical strength (heavy door, tight spring) to manage it just yet.

    You can’t protect someone from every risk and expect them to grow to their full potential.

    Life doesn’t work that way.

  50. @jenny, I installed the current micro/combo and in fact all the cabinets, washer/dryer and flooring…. and cut a panel out of the 1940s back door and replaced it with glass, and designed and welded up the security door that keeps it safe. Dad and mom made sure I was quite handy, and then working in scene shops doing carpentry, welding, formica, plastic fab, painting, and even a little bit of pyro in college expanded Dad’s base far and wide. Oh, and a semester in the costume shop added pattern use, sewing machine, and serger to the list…my wife, mom, and dad all helped with the kitchen over there, it wasn’t me alone 🙂

    If it was MY micro at home with no pressure from a world wide pandemic, I’d dismount it and at least look at the main board. Installing it wasn’t difficult and a car jack and some short 2×4 to build cribbing would help with the weight, but– I don’t have time or desire to be in the house AT ALL. Tenant does public relations, out and about with the unwashed masses for a sports team. Right now, I ‘m getting heebie jeebies just thinking about breathing the same air.

    From all you’ve shared, I don’t think you’d have any trouble installing a microwave,other than strength to lift it into place, and I would get help with that too.

    nick

    Oh, forgot that I remodeled the bathroom and rekeyed all the locks, replaced the front entry door and jamb, and installed a security storm door. Reconditioned all the ’40s wooden double hung windows including replacing the weights. I don’t like doing plumbing or roofing though. Rebuilt the porch and installed all the handrail. Fixed all the gutters and downspouts. Installed the garage door opener…. homeowners work is never done, and we lived in the house for years before it became a rent house.

  51. One of the neighborhood cats is peeing on my garage door. Anyone got a solution to make it stop that doesn’t involve catricide?

    n

  52. @nick: I recall an old story about a guy that had a problem with a dog doing that to his garbage cans.

    So he rigged up a doorbell transformer backwards to the metal garbage can.

    Problem solved.

    (Maybe some of that “Critter Ridder” capascin spray … but I don’t know if cats sniff before peeing like dogs do.)

  53. “Bill Gates Steps Down from Microsoft, to Focus Full Time on Climate Change and Philanthropy”
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/03/15/bill-gates-steps-down-from-microsoft-to-focus-full-time-on-climate-change-and-philanthropy/

    “In 2015 Bill Gates described representative democracy as a “problem”, because voters frequently select politicians who do not believe climate change is an urgent issue.”

    Who would have thought that Bill Gates would want to be a dictator ? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you.

  54. One of the neighborhood cats is peeing on my garage door. Anyone got a solution to make it stop that doesn’t involve catricide?

    The cat is marking and advertising that it is available for mating. Catch the cat and get it spayed.

  55. “Italy reports 25 percent spike in coronavirus death toll, in deadliest 24-hour span to date”
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/03/15/coronavirus-latest-news/

    “The country’s death roll has risen at an alarming rate: In each of the past three days, at least 200 people have been reported dead because of the virus. It was only three weeks ago that Italy had its first reported death from the virus. Now, more than 1,800 people have died.”

    I’ve gotta admit, I don’t like these numbers. On the gripping hand, 1,800 deaths out of a 60+ million population while tragic, is not a pandemic.

    Hat tip to:
    https://drudgereport.com/

  56. One of the neighborhood cats is peeing on my garage door. Anyone got a solution to make it stop that doesn’t involve catricide?

    You can try putting an old chair mat for medium pile carpet in front of the spot, “spike” side up. They really don’t like stepping on the spkes, but it doesn’t hurt them if they do.

    Our cat was working a particular area of our living room for a few weeks, no matter what I did with litter, chair mats, etc. I cleaned the carpet last Sunday and have an old fan running in there for a while with the lights on. So far, no pee, but I’ll need to put all the furniture back sooner or later.

  57. This article, which has some real numbers, is why people are dying in Italy. And why they’ll die in France, Spain, the UK, and Germany.

    https://www.ft.com/content/5a2ffc78-6550-11ea-b3f3-fe4680ea68b5

    If you have trouble with the paywall, google this phrase, and click on the result. If that doesn’t work to get past the paywall, turn off javascript for the site and try from google again.

    “Italy, the country at the epicentre of the European outbreak, told the country’s only ventilator manufacturer to quadruple monthly production, even deploying members of the armed forces to help meet the new quota. ”

    –even seeing the numbers with my own eyes, I can’t believe them. All of France has only 5k beds with vents? The UK has only 4100. Jeez.

    n

  58. In my experience, working under a sink is worse than working under the dash in a car, but not by much. There is just no comfortable position. I have installed all our disposals. The ones with the quick mount, whatever it is called, are best. These allow me to install the collar on the sink, and then snap the disposal onto it. Really great. But, if you don’t have one of those, a small scissor jack salvaged from one of the newer cars, or, better, a real one from Sears about 50 years ago, is essential. Bottle jacks are OK, but they are a little tippy, and hard to let down precisely. Better than nothing, but those scissor jacks, especially the ones that can be turned with a socket wrench (the Sears ones) are the dog’s pajamas.

    I have used those for many tasks. My fav is exhaust system work. This involves a lot of propping and adjusting, and the jack is perfect for that. Blocks and wedges are almost as good, but take much more skill to use properly. Watching a master uses wedges is magical.

    Oh, there are jack stands that have screws. I have never used them, but they are commonly sold for RV leveling. They are probably cheap and handy. Need to look for some.

  59. Never had a problem with cats marking territory, but we live out a ways, so we have all sorts of critters roaming around. Maybe get a BIG cat? I hear bobcats make good pets. No. Not seriously. There are a few famous exceptions, but I have had a little experience with bobcats, and they are solitary and too ornery to keep as pets. Some dogs keep cats away, but our dogs always loved cats, so not good.

    There is an old trick with mothballs, but I doubt it works, especially in wet territory.

    Oh, just thought. Cats supposedly hate citrus. A friend has had success burying orange peel in his flower beds. Messy in front of a garage door, though.

  60. One more thing on disposals. NEVER use plumber’s putty. When we built our house, the plumber used it liberally, and we had leaks out the wazoo. Called him back a few times, but no joy. Talked to another plumber, who said to disassemble and clean out the putty. No more leaks. This was on the then-new ABS with compression fittings. The first guy was great on everything else, but had not learned the new stuff.

    The disposal has a rubber gasket. Just make sure everything is clean and then either assemble dry or lightly coat the gasket with silicone grease. This lets it seat with low torque, and it might last longer. I have never had one leak or fail years later.

  61. No !!!!!!!!!!! I have reached the last episode of season 1 of “Picard”.

    Early 2021 for season 2, really ?

  62. –even seeing the numbers with my own eyes, I can’t believe them. All of France has only 5k beds with vents? The UK has only 4100. Jeez.

    Welcome to socialized medicine. I note that the article did not say how many ventilators are in the USA. We had my wife’s mother on one for a week back in 1993 ? It was horrible. We turned it off since she had no higher brain function.

    BTW, the care and maintenance of a ventilator requires several highly trained personnel. It is not just the equipment.

  63. Cats: you can try citrus peel. I’ve used it with success in flower beds that cats thought were litter boxes. Dunno if it will work on pavement in front of a garage door.

    Disposals: completely unknown here. Funny. OTOH, after so long in Europe, I don’t miss them. Stuff just goes into the compost.

    Picard? I’ll have to have a look, since y’all have enjoyed it. This week is going to be busy, but maybe next week…

  64. No !!!!!!!!!!! I have reached the last episode of season 1 of “Picard”.

    The last two episodes of the season haven’t aired AFAIK.

    If you only saw up through the episode where Seven hotwires the Borg cube, that’s not the last episode.

    I’ve heard some really sad rumors about the fate of one Next Generation character who hasn’t shown up yet. Plus a totally wild spoiler about the last cameo of the season.

  65. Who would have thought that Bill Gates would want to be a dictator ? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you.

    I’m not kidding when I say that something is “off” with Gates IMHO and has been for a while. A health issue of some kind.

    This year’s edition of The Simple Homespun Wisdom Of Chairman Warren (Ghostwritten by Carol Loomis of Fortune) TM had the head Gecko talking succession again, and Gates recently also stepped down from Berkshire’s board. The widely held belief among the shareholders up until this year was that Gates would be the figurehead for the company after Warren passes.

    Nobody wants the waitress to inherit the whole shebang, but that would be Warren’s style.

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