Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The numbers as I understand them.

With a fully functional healthcare system that is not overwhelmed, 1% of people with Covid, die. 

With a system that is overwhelmed, that number rises. It's unclear how high, but a ceiling is 10%. 

2/3rds of those who die from Covid would have died at some other point in 2020 from other health issues.

The rate of ICU care per case is relatively stable across the world, and can be used to estimate the amount of undertesting and underreporting.

Every location will differ, as, start times were different; but we will reach the inflection point on or around easter.

If everyone behaves and sticks to social distancing, we can be out of this by early may

Everyone is not behaving

If you are under 65, your chances of dying from Covid are low.

Things with low chances still happen.

Things with low chances still have low chances to happen even if they happen sometimes.

China has under-reported. 

Italy has under-tested.

Iran seems to have managed to do both.

When all is said and done, the US will have been the worst impacted, both in terms of actual infections/deaths and reported infections/deaths.




Remember. This is just my understanding of what I read. I am not a doctor. I am not even a mathematician. Don't take health advice from a political blog. 

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Some Israel clarity

The new Bibi-Benny coalition seems to be forming up, and the numbers are getting a bit more solid. Here is what I've determined based on media reports:

36 - Likud (Netanyahu)
17 - Blue and White (Gantz)
9 - Shas
7 - UTJ
6 - Yamina
75 - government

17 - Yesh Atid-Telem (Lapid)
15 - Joint List
7 - Yisrael Beiteinu
6 - Labour-Meretz


If I understand all the moves...

Yesh Atid and Telem are leaving Blue and White, and forming their own coalition.
2 Telem members are leaving Telem to create Derech Eretz, and sit with Blue and White.
1 Blue and White member is leaving to sit with Yesh Atid.
1 Yesh Atid member is leaving to sit with Blue and White.
1 Gesher member is joining Blue and White.

If I understand the new Cabinet, it will have
9 Likud members
1 Shas member
1 UTJ member
1 Yamina member
12 Blue and White members
which doesn't seem quite right, so, I will continue to try to nail down this number.


Lastly, it's unclear what Labour is going to do. There are some reports they too would want to join the Government; if so, it would almost certainly be under the Blue and White umbrella. Politically, however, it would make more sense for them to join with Yesh Atid-Telem. If Meretz could be brought on board, the 4 parties could create a broad progressive opposition coalition.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Places without covid-19

North Korea, East Asia, 25.5 million.
Supposedly free of the virus, yet, also, supposedly had one or two imported cases. It is generally thought that their outbreak started near the same time as in China, and their lockdown measures have flattened the curve there. There may have been as many as 10,000 infected, but this is a wild ballpark guess on my part.

Turkmenistan, Central Asia, 5.8 million
Along with Eritrea (which has a confirmed case) and North Korea, this is one of the three most repressive dictatorships in the world. They claim to be covid free, but have shut all borders and clamped down on the media. Additionally, internal travel control measures have been reported.

Tajikistan, Central Asia, 8.9 million
The poorest former soviet republic, Tajikistan may not be as authoritarian as Turkmenistan, but they also report no cases. Unlike the above two, that claim as at least somewhat credible, even if doubtful. The lack of any social distancing may mean that should any clear and confirmed cases pop up, it would spread quite fast.

Yemen, Middle East, 28.5 million
In the midst of a civil war, its almost impossible to think that Yemen has 0 cases, but, quite probable that its broken health system has simply yet to register one. Regardless, the movement restrictions imposed by the civil war situation likely means any spread would be localized and somewhat slow.

South Sudan, East-Central Africa, 12.6 million
Like Yemen, this country faces civil war, and, like Yemen, is officially reporting 0 cases.

Western Sahara, North-West Africa, 500,000 people
Like South Sudan and Yemen, this is a place of civil strife, with most of the country administered by Morocco. Like Sudan and Yemen, they officially claim 0 cases.

Antarctica, South, 1,106 people
Our first entry on the list from a place we can fully trust the numbers. All below entries have numbers that are also trustworthy. Little travel is done to/from the continent, especially in the southern winter, which just started.

Botswana, Southern Africa, 2.3 million
Like most other entries on the list below, there's simply not much to say about this country at this time.

Lesotho, Southern Africa, 2.2 million
Surrounded by South Africa, which does have cases

Malawi, Southern Africa, 18.6 million
Slowly increasing worry about Covid, as the country is in an election process.

Burundi, Central Africa, 10.9 million
One of the poorest countries on earth.

Sierra Leone, Western Africa, 7.5 million
Last non-island on our list.


Self governing Islands, Island-nations, and Island territories, that are supposedly covid free, are as follows:

Indian Ocean:
Comoros (800,000)
Kerguelen (130)

South Atlantic:
Sao Tome and Principe (200,000)
St. Helena and Tristan da Cunha (5000)
Falklands (3000)
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (30)

North Atlantic:
Bonaire (20,000)
St. Pierre and Miquelon (6000)

Pacific:
Pitcairn Islands (67)
Tonga (100,000)
Niue (2000)
American Samoa
Samoa (55,000)
Tokelau (200,000)
Wallis and Futuna (15,000)
Tuvalu (10,000)
Norfolk Island (2,000)
Vanuatu (300,000)
Solomon Islands (600,000)
Nauru (15,000)
Marshall Islands (55,000)
Kiribati (120,000)
Micronesia (100,000)
Northern Mariana Islands (55,000)
Palau (22,000)

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Israel update

There appears to be an unexpected deal on government.

After s constitutional kerfuffle about the Speakership of the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) it seems Benny Gantz has been sworn in to that job on an interim basis. He, his party, and 3 others from Blue and White, are joining the existing pro-Bibi bloc in a coalition government. This means Blue and White are splitting apart, as the remaining members join the opposition.

As such, Parliament will look like this:


36 - Likud (Netanyahu)
17* - Resilience (Gantz)
9 - Shas
7 - UTJ
6 - Yamina
75 - government

15 - Joint List
13 - Yesh Atid
7 - Yisrael Beiteinu
6 - Labour-Meretz
3 - Telem
1 - Gesher


* = Includes one Independent, and two Telem members of Blue and White that are following the Resilience party into Government.



Sunday, March 22, 2020

What I would do (covid)

Some have been asking me what I would do in place of some of the big decision makers. While part of that answer is based on exactly which decision maker I'm replacing, the general rules are the same:

Everything that's now being done plus...

Lock down everything by law. Only allow the standard exceptions to continue to run (grocery stores, pharmacies, drug stores, gas stations, car mechanics, and the like) I would look at things like restaurant delivery staying open, but, until I'm done looking, they close like everyone else.

Arrest hoarders who refuse to donate their supply, and confiscate their supply. (specifically Masks, and Hand Sanitizer in particular) Have charged [with new laws if needed]

Reduce maximum group size to 1. The only exception is if you are already locked down with the individuals in question.

Remove the exemption to go out of your house for exercise. This is being abused and causing spread.

Reduce transit to meet the new level of demand by essential workers.

Instruct people who report symptoms but where those symptoms are not life threatening to shelter in place for 14 days. Testing, if there is any capacity for it, will come to them as opposed to the opposite.

Accept clinical diagnosis, and redirect testing to stopping the spread VS testing people we are already pretty sure are positive.

Immediate payments to all Canadians ages 18 and up of $300 to help with the crisis, to be paid out Monday the 23rd, or, at the latest, Tuesday the 24th. This would replace any GST top up.

Begin the process of mobilizing the army. Consult with the Generals as to the best way to ensure army members remain safe (IE, social distancing) and allow the Generals free reign over military base property to ensure social distancing is done.

Once mobilized, use military logistics to bolster food delivery. The ideal scenario being nobody stepping foot out of their house for 14 days straight while military brings all the items you need to your door for free.

Set the start date for all of this to be tomorrow (Monday the 23rd) with an enforcement grace period, ending the 24th.

Set the end-date for the lockdown to be April 30th, with the note that if we are able to get control of the virus, the end-date could be pushed to an earlier date.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Quick update on politics

Politics is effectively frozen in most countries. Poll changes that occur now may not stick. I do want to note that there was a single poll where M5S touches FdI, but, I will look into that more when things begin to normalize.

Two countries are still forming a government, Ireland and Israel. Ireland looks set for a FF-FG coalition, possibly with Independent and maybe even Green support. Israel is looking like a B&W-Likud coalition is possible with Gantz as Prime Minister. If there is movement on either, I will post.

Note as well that Elections around the world are changing their schedules.

I've compiled a list of Elections that were scheduled before September that we would or could have covered, and their current status:

Elections that have been delayed:
French municipal elections (2nd round) on March 22nd
Italy Referendum on March 29th (Reducing seats in Parliament)
Sri Lankan elections on April 25th (Parliament)
British council elections on May 7th (some regions)

possibly could be delayed:
South Korea's April 15th elections (Parliament)
Russia's April 22nd Referendum (Putin's Constitutional changes)
Bolivian Election on May 3rd (General)
Italy's regionals on May 31st (Some regions)
Australia's Northern Territory election on August 22nd (Parliament)


possibly not delayed (due to lack of infections in area):
Falklands Referendum on March 26th (Electoral Reform)

Thursday, March 19, 2020

two approaches, and why take the other

There are those who are saying we should reduce the measures we've been using to manage covid. In short, that we should simply let people get sick.

This is not a viewpoint I support.

I want to explain why some people have this viewpoint. It's actually quite simple.


The worst case scenario is that no matter what we do, we can't actually contain Covid. That even if we lock down every city in every country on the face of the planet, that it will continue to spread, and, in the end, the number of fatalities will be the same. The only difference, in this worst case scenario, is that the economy could implode to "civilization ending" levels.


Again, I do not support these ideas. I am explaining why some people hold them as I've seen confusion from the majority as to how some people could think this way.