Some COVID-19 thoughts

COVID-19New York City

This post will inevitably fit somewhere into a series of posts on NYC life, but it's neither the beginning nor ending of this series, which has a couple of nice drafts in progress.

Also, I have no basis for giving serious medical advice, so please listen to sources like the CDC etc.

Hurrah! We have reached the time in which I write the inevitable post about Coronavirus: the latest and greatest in ultimate excuses to avoid visiting elderly family members! And also, a seriously quickly spreading plague. And a lot of memes about hand washing.

If I had written this post a week ago, I probably would have said something about the low fatality rate, and the lack of any need to be concerned. But, I am not someone who is as at risk as others. I can easily avoid putting myself in too much danger and lower the likelihood that I inadvertently spread the disease by working from home and doing a bit more hunkering down than I'd prefer to do.

The answer then to the title of this blog is that I'm at home with some pierogies, whiskey and coffee, but I still plan to go to Wednesday night karaoke.. just with the microphone being held farther away from my face...


I did watch a nice math youtube video that was all, "hey -- here's coronavirus. Great educational opportunity to talk about exponents!" which was actually real neat... which I've embedded below for anyone that wants to hear about epidemic spread from a mathematician instead of an epidimeologist.

Exponential growth and epidemics
Click to load YouTube video.


Of course, there's also a big class distinction especially with what kind of labor can be done remotely, and what kind of laborforce's health gets prioritized. People in the service industry are far, far more likely to lack the ability to work from home and also insurance to cover them if they get sick. This is especially important considering that getting tested for coronavirus or quarantined are both completely unaffordable.

And, of course, a coronavirus vaccine, if/when developed, is also likely to be unaffordable for most Americans. Luckily we have one presidential candidate who seems interested in addressing this inequality (in addition to many, many other inequities endemic to our society).

To move back to the topic of coronavirus and inequality, one other really disturbing news item is that New York State has started manufacturing its own hand sanitizer using prison labor. Now, it's absolutely the case that one needs to have this stuff at hand, especially in a time of need and shortage. However, it is down right ridiculous that Governer Cuomo and others should be touting their ability to do so cheaply when they have a captive laborforce being paid 65 cents per hour.

So, there are a lot of reasons to take to the streets, or at least to internet punditry. For now, I am hunkered down in South Brooklyn, with three pounds of coffee and an incredible amount of excitement to cast my primary ballot for Bernie next month!

Thanks for reading!

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