The Worldometer says California is now over 3K cases. This heat map looks to be lagging them a bit as scanning the hot spot counties gives closer to 2K total. So I uplift Santa Clara County by a fudge factor. Presently showing 459. Call it a thousand today or tomorrow.
Then figure with non-symptomatic spreaders, not testing folks with low symptoms, early stage disease being unsymptomatic: Figure about 10 times that number are actually in the population. So 10,000 likely cases of potential exposure.
Santa Clara County has about a 1.8 million population (per wiki 2010 census – though likely closer to 2M now).
Do the division: 1,800,000/10,000 = 180 (to 200 top end).
So, as of now, any venue with over 200 folks in the day has near certainty of a spreader there or passing through.
That is every grocery store, most bank ATMs, and certainly big box hardware stores. All places currently OK to go and approved without masks or gloves. This guarantees continued spreading of WuFlu / Covid-19.
So, OK, as of now, going there is off limits for me. In an emergency, with my own mask, gloves, alcohol wash, maybe.
My Complaint About Government
The Political Class continues to approach this incrementally, “data driven”, and reactively.
That is guaranteed to fail.
There is a 1 to 2 week lag time between reality of cases and hospital check in / data. If you wait for the data, you will always be too little too late. “A day late and a dollar short” on steroids. You MUST look ahead. Notice that my risk estimate did a “look ahead” to probable spreaders 10 times known symptomatic patients.
Look at Italy. That is where you WILL GO deciding incrementally. We know R0 is incredibly high. So you can easily know you must do everything possible to get that down. It is horribly irresponsible to tell folks not to wear masks. Masks stop the asymptomatic spreaders and newly infected from spreading it around as much.
The responsible thing would be to encourge folks to make masks and wear them. Fold an old T Shirt in half along a line top to bottom, you have 4 layers of cotton cloth. Sew the outline of several masks on it, cut them out, and apply strings, shoelaces, or folded and sewn cloth straps. Tell America to do that, our people will get it done. R0 plummets in a few days. Universal mask wearing is part of how China and S.Korea and others have beat this.
Decide what to do based on the nature of the virus and what if WILL DO, not what it has done. Go to the necessary end state, not incremental ineffective steps for 3 weeks, infect 10x more, and then be screwed.
Enforce the physical distancing and isolation. Saying “We can’t do that here” is defeatist and wrong. We CAN DO what it takes. This also drops R0 a bunch. The longer you do a half assed job of isolation, the longer, exponentially, you will have to keep doing a half assed job of it.
Saying there’s only 4 cases somewhere so you can ignore it and only react to the big problem spots is reactive and stupid. This all started with ONE CASE. Every case is critical. One guy in nowhere West Texas is going to infect the whole county if you ignore it. Instead, build out from zero cases zones and very aggressively eliminate cases in low case areas. That one case? Test everyone in town (as Nowhere Towns are small) and find the 5 asymptomatic folks he’s already infected. Now the town is no longer a spreading zone. Add it to the zero case map and move over to the next spot with few cases. Keep doing this until you only have a few crisis spots to deal with.
Telling us we are stupid so ought to do something stupider, is incredibly stupid. Stop it! Sure, one in 20 will use their mask wrong. Telling the other 19 to not wear a mask and keep spreading is incredibly stupid. Instead, put out a “how to wear, handle, and wash your mask” PSA. The 19 will “get it” and the one can get help from the local social pressure. Trust your citizens.
Similarly, exhorting folks to only buy a little food and every week go back to the Grocery Germ Exchange Store, unprotected by gloves & mask, guarantees spread. Instead, put an enforcer at each store. Limit folks inside. Clean the touch pads and carts after each person. Require a mask to enter (otherwise some of them are breathing virus onto the produce). Deliver a monthly sized food box to anyone in a high risk category, assembled and delivered by staff who are tested every day. That isn’t hoarding, it is limiting exposure to once per month. They still only eat one month of food per month.
TEST EVERYONE! Until you do, the asymptomatic cases are exponentially spreading and you can never beat the exponential. Yes, I know there are not enough test kits right now. But there will be. Stop lying to folks by saying not to test everyone. Be honest and say “We can only test the most necessary now, but eventually we must test everyone.” We’re able to handle that.
Start 100% testing your very low population areas, building out your rural Green Zone. As more kits become available, climb up the population size areas. From the other side, test all hospital staff and cases presenting for treatment. As kits are available, expand out to family, friends, neighbors, regions. Telling folks with low symptoms not to get tested, just go home, is just guaranteeing they will infect bus riders, neighbors, family, kid’s friends as they get it, the grocer as they buy groceries on the way home…
Going for “herd immunity” by telling the “at risk” to hide while everyone else shares the bug is asking for disaster. With about 340 million population, if only 1% of them are surprise bad cases, an order of magnitude below experience, will be 3.4 million and that will break the medical system and be a disaster. Better to be hyper proactive than disastrously reactive.
Think like a farmer who must plan a season ahead, not like a boxer reacting to each new punch. You MUST identify all cases, even the asymptomatic spreaders, and pull them out of the herd into isolation. If boxing, know your opponent is doubling in strength every 3 to 6 days.. Eventually you, as boxer, must lose.