Safer At Someone Else’s Home

California turned up the screws last night, but extermination is an exempted activity, so the fumigators are still coming today, and we’re still driving up to Cambria (and returning Monday) with the cats. If anyone stops us, I’m pretty sure that once we explain the situation, we’ll be waved on. But there is still plenty of traffic on the highways (though nothing like normal), so no reason to pull us over (unless I actually do something wrong). I may be a little less leadfoot than usual.

[Saturday-morning update]

Probably the quickest trip from LA to Cambria ever–about three and a half hours, which was good because we had a crying cat. Traffic was light, and moving along at 80 mph on the freeways. More anon.

21 thoughts on “Safer At Someone Else’s Home”

  1. Have a safe journey, Rand.

    In a related question, has anyone given any thought to how long we keep trying the current strategy at this level? In other words, how long do we give it until we either see positive results, or give up and try something else?

    I’m far more worried about the economy than the virus right now – and I consider the virus worrying indeed.

    As for an alternative strategy (which we will have no option but to shift to by the end of the month or so, unless what we are doing now starts to work) isolation for those at high risk (and therefor also for those like me, who are caring for a very high risk family member) and most everyone else can go on with their lives? (That would be rough for the isolated, very rough, especially if this goes on for a long time, but what else could we do?)

    I earnestly hope it does not come to that and I hope our track is more like S. Korea and Japan than Italy, but… we do need a fallback option.

    I also think the question needs to be asked; if we can’t stop this, why were so many countries apparently successful (S Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, even Hong Kong – I’d count China if I could trust there numbers, but I do not) yet we could not? That is largely why I do think we’ll turn the corner on this soon, but, I do think we need to have fallback plans, in case what we’re doing now does not work fast enough to be economically survivable.

      1. The problem is that, once you’ve caught everyone who was infected, you can’t allow anyone in who is infected or you have to start over.

        The Asian countries who’ve controlled this have seen exactly that; they aren’t getting many more cases locally, but people keep arriving from other countries and bringing it with them.

        So the borders have to be closed, or at least a two week quarantine on anyone entering the country. Australia is even introducing two week quarantines between states.

        1. The Chicom virus is out of control here. We blew our chance on January 23 and have even been letting cruise liners with positives dock and discharge their passengers in the last few days.
          Bon chance, mes amis.

      2. Good point, but it’s less than that in general; for those who do actually show symptoms, the most common reported presentation time is 4 to 5 days (that’s just an average, some are longer of course). There are also around half (per the Diamond Princess data) of the infected who never show any symptoms, at all (And that’s in a demographic skewed heavily elderly).

        If this thing is over soon, I think we’re looking at a V shaped economic hit. The problem is that the longer it goes on, it’ll get both wider and deeper. I think 4 weeks is about max we can hold this course, but we’ll need some signs it’s working by the end of the month to even manage that.

  2. Protecting the most vulnerable should have been the first response. It would have taken organization but not a lot of money. Things like home delivery like Meals On Wheels expanded and traveling nurses to keep them out of doctors offices and ERs. Most could be done by volunteers, daily contact, even at a distance would make it more palatable, especially for those without family near by.

    1. The risk there is that if we tried to protect the vulnerable while letting it spread elsewhere, vastly more of the caregivers and contacts for the vulnerable would themselves become infected as the disease burns through the general population, so you’d still end up infecting most vulnerable unless you essentially kept them in a bubble.

      And as we’ve seen in Washington, those in assisted-living facilities may have more outside contacts than many elderly people simply because of the large number of care workers and the group environment. It’s the health care workers who infected them. There’s no getting around the fact that health care workers will be on the front line, and thus be one of the most likely transmission vectors.

      1. There was no or. Making it easier to protect vulnerable people doesn’t imply not working to protect the general population. Keeping them out of the hospital frees up resources and keeps them as far as possible from the where they’re most likely to pick something up.

        We may come out of this with a net decrease in mortality just from the hospitals paying attention to hand washing. Thousands die every year from infections acquired in the hospital. You can buy a lot of hand soap for the cost of a course of antibiotics to treat a resistant organism.

  3. Rand, if you get pulled over tell them you’re rushing diphtheria antitoxin to Nome. If the police officer is 100 or older, he’ll probably know exactly what you’re talking about and wave you on your way.

  4. I would not be surprised if deeper research shows this coronavirus is a front-end vector for some novel mycoplasma, which would help account for why chloroquine, plaquenil, etc. have some efficacy. On the other hand, I will be surprised if deeper research is ever done.

  5. This disaster has shown the foolishness of libertarianism. America needs to establish national cabinet-level departments to provide health and human services, as well as homeland security.

    1. The last time I checked (about a minute ago), the Secretary of Health and Human Services was a national cabinet-level department, currently headed by Alex Azar. As luck would have it, on the alphabetical list on wikipedia’s cabinet page, it falls just before Homeland Security. Communists are even dumber than Libertarians.

      1. Well, OK. But this obviously isn’t working. We some people to interpret esoteric texts and tell everyone else what to do. To give them the appearance of authority they should wear robes and work in a fancy building on a hill. Let’s call it a Temple of Justice.*


          1. Mea culpa. I grew up in a household where sarcasm and irony were often used in ordinary conversation. My father would sometimes answer the simplest of questions with questions and parables. He had learned this habit from his own father. For some years I have been trying to teach myself to speak and write more directly.

    2. “This disaster has shown the foolishness of libertarianism.”

      When I was young, libertarians were in favor of strong borders and localism. It’s only since the left took over Libertarianism that they’ve become advocates for open borders and shipping all the jobs to China.

    1. Everyone is fine. The cats are getting used to their new home just in time to go back to the old one tomorrow. But this was the first time they’d been on a road trip.

      1. Due to moving, I had to take an 8 hour drive with a non-car-accustomed cat quite a few years ago. The cat had to be confined to a carrier (to keep him away from my head while driving), but howled, growled, and hissed the whole way. It was a journey I shall not soon forget, no matter how much I would like to. The cat (who was usually pretty good natured) was unhappy for weeks after, and I never did quite manage to get the smell of cat pee out of that car (he sprayed out of the carrier, including on me, more volume than I thought a cat could ever hold).

        I hope your journey home is safe and uneventful, for all of you.

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