Earlier today, All the Time in the World beat out Built, Not Born to advance to second round Final Four action in our Dark Matter Greatest Episode Tournament.

Today, two more episodes face off.  It’s #2 vs #7, Kill Them All vs We Voted Not To Space You.

Click on the link below to vote!

I hesitate to call this Quarantine Day #2 since, as a writer, especially one working development, I’ve been in defecto quarantine since wrapping production on my last show.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to report in from parts all over (Ireland, San Antonio, Saint John, Michigan, Quebec City, Kingston, Spain, Ottawa and Bavaria to name a few).  It’s really fascinating to see how different countries are responding to the virus and how people are reacting.  Reports of pubs being shut down in Ireland, choir practices canceled, fresh produce flying off shelves (but leaving scratch baking ingredients fairly untouched) – while, in other areas, it’s business as usual even to the point of ignoring requests to avoid crowds and large gatherings.  Keep checking in.  And would love to hear from any blog readers in Singapore, Taiwan or South Korea to discuss the great job your governments have done to combat the virus.

Pleased to hear many of you have either prepared or have support systems in place.  In some cases, certain of you are taking on the responsibilities of becoming the support systems and to those (like Ponytail), I wish you uncomplicated times and nothing but positive thoughts for the good you do.  Also thinking of those of you with special needs, as well as those who literally cannot afford to stay home and not work – yet have no choice but to do so.

Thanks for some of the sage advice left in the comments section, like this from reader Mike Bruce: “Best advice I have had was from a Chinese doctor not to allow my lungs to get dry & to take long steamy daily showers to keep my lungs clean making it easy to expel mucus the normal way.”

I’ve started a little morning news update for a friend to keep them abreast of coronavirus-related news.  If you’re interested, I’ve copy and pasted this morning’s newsletter at the bottom of today’s entry.

More #AmazingPeopleWithWhomIHaveWorked:

Hand sanitizer with at least 62% alcohol content is great, but soap and water is the best!  Why?  Alton Brown breaks it down for you: https://laughingsquid.com/alton-brown-soap-is-better-than-hand-sanitizer/?fbclid=IwAR3ekYMoPAmJaHxtjN5UCj0gbxOftj6_qtqhEjxnfXniIOiCoUMQzoi8rjs

There’s some suggestion that the death rate skewed male in China because Chinese men smoke at a rate of 63% to Chinese women at 3%.  If you smoke or vape, now might be a good time to quit.

Amazon stepping up as more people turn to online shopping for their daily needs: https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-to-hire-100-000-warehouse-and-delivery-workers-amid-coronavirus-shutdowns-11584387833

On the other hand, the service industry is going to be hit hard.  When we’re not eating at home, Akemi and I are going to use Ritual (or just call ahead orders for pick up) to help support the local restaurants, many of which will be operating under a take-out/delivery system only: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/restaurant-layoffs-coronavirus-risk-millions/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab7e&linkId=84454802

Also in a bad way are the world’s airlines that face bankruptcy and are asking for a 25 billion dollar handout from the government.   Them I feel a lot less sorrier for. https://diazhub.com/coronavirus-will-bankrupt-nearly-all-the-worlds-airlines-in-a-matter-of-weeks-aviation-experts-say/

Well, this is alarming.  There are A LOT more cases out there than we realize.  I already thought as much, but ten times as more?   https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/health/coronavirus-statistics-undetected.html

Testing on potential vaccines have begun, but in all likelihood they won’t be approved for general use until next year: https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-03-16/coronavirus-vaccine-test-opens-as-us-volunteer-gets-1st-shot

Certain Asian countries were very proactive (unlike most of the West), immediately shutting down borders, enacting mass quarantines, and testing like hell. As a result, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore have seen relatively low death rates.  In the case of Singapore, life is already back to normal: https://twitter.com/MsMelChen/status/1239604019460558848

Some good news.  The lockdowns, especially in China, have been very good for the environment: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/16/asia/china-pollution-coronavirus-hnk-intl/index.html

When the governments realized that they hadn’t prepared and there weren’t enough masks for medical professionals, they started a misinformation campaign claiming that masks didn’t work in order to keep people from hoarding.  This has backfired on them: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/opinion/coronavirus-face-masks.html

This is interesting.  People with Blood Type A may be more susceptible to the virus while those with Blood Type O may be at lower risk.  I don’t even know my blood type:

Based on the Diamond Princess “experiment”, it is believe that 17.9% of those stricken by the virus will be asymptomatic (symptom free) for the duration of the infection – but still contagious.  https://www.eurosurveillance.org/content/10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2020.25.10.2000180#html_fulltext

New York: https://twitter.com/chrislhayes/status/1239638657792987139?s=20

There are not enough ventilators in ICU’s to deal with the deluge of patients.    Meanwhile, a company that makes ventilators claims they can increase production fivefold…but haven’t been asked: https://www.forbes.com/sites/baldwin/2020/03/14/ventilator-maker-we-can-ramp-up-production-five-fold/#622bfaf45e9a

More good news!  Dogs and cats can’t get the virus! But they can, of course, be carriers if an infected person coughs on them: https://www.pressherald.com/2020/03/13/idexx-tested-thousands-of-cats-and-dogs-for-coronavirus-all-came-back-negative/

Finally, gross incompetence on the part of the UK government.  There are two approaches to dealing with the virus.  The first allows the virus to spread unchecked, resulting in a quicker acquisition of herd immunity (majority of people who will require immunity).  This approach shortens the time span of the outbreak and is very good for the economy, but is terrible for human life as it overloads the healthcare system and raises the death rate, in some cases, to as high as 20%.  The other approach is called “flattening the curve” and seeks to slow the progress of the contagion.  This lengthens the time a society must deal with it.  It’s bad for the economy, but prioritizes human lives as, by flattening the curve, it keeps the numbers low at any given time, allowing the healthcare system to keep up.  Anyway, the UK opted for the former – not realizing the consequences until they’ve gone well down the road: https://www.buzzfeed.com/alexwickham/coronavirus-uk-strategy-deaths


And that’s today’s update.  Thanks for subscribing to my newsletter.

18 thoughts on “March 17, 2020: Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter!

    Best wishes to everybody. I’m looking for volunteer opportunities starting next week, after I’ve healed a bit more from my “non-COVID crud” (13 days, no fever, no breathing issues, coughing has eased).

    Special virtual hugs to Ponytail, as I’ve walked in those shoes.

  2. Joe, I’m posting COVID-related articles to my FB feed with “public” privacy setting. Feel free to use them in your newsletter.

    Forgot my hashtags, adopted from a Spanish friend (and SG fan).

  3. Wishing Akemi, Suji, you and your family, all your readers and followers the best, stay safe and healthy!

  4. I vote for ´´Kill them all´´ as today´s best episode. Thankyou Joe for the mention in your blog – prevention is much better than any cure. Here in Denmark with 4 corona deaths in super mild early spring like March and 82 hospitalized (out of circa 900 positives) our situation is actually better than an average March for normal flu which historically is cause of death for an average of more than 4 people here.

  5. My blood type is A-, so I guess I’m doomed. 😉

    I’m voting for “Kill them All”. That line from Jodelle was a jaw dropper.

    Ponytail: Sending {{{Hugs}}}.

  6. Virus is still fairly slow spreading in NB, but I suspect the rate will increase shortly. Still staying here at home but I have to admit I’m getting a bit stir crazy already. Luckily, tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and +4, so I think I’ll go do a walk around of the NCC trail I help maintain at Black Beach. I hear it’s mostly clear now and not too icy. Unfortunately, I already know there’s a bunch of trees down, so maybe I’ll take my bow saw with me too.

    I really like the long shower advice – I feel I’m way ahead of the curve on that!

    I’m passing the time today by peeking through the curtains at people walking outside and imagining that they are already partly zombi-fied. J/K! Mostly.

    This will be coming soon: https://twitter.com/gnuman1979/status/1239523796542992387?s=21

    Type O blood FTW!!


  7. I love your morning newsletter, thanks for posting it (I don’t know my blood type either). Is it subscribable (is that a word)? If not I hope you’ll consider comtinuing to post it here. Thanks!

  8. I loved reading about this kid who made this effective virus tracker. He was on democracynow.org https://ncov2019.live/

    I’m of the opinion that most capitalists would welcome a high death count, you make more money rebuilding. My worse fear was that our pets would be infected, I haven’t stocked up anything, I’ve always had a rotating month storage food. But I have stocked up on pet food for 5 months.

  9. Unsurpised by Boris’s approach here in the UK. He has always cared morw for money than people. With an increased ageing population, letting them die eases the strain on pensions. He is a total asshat.

  10. This coronavirus crisis is a strange feeling. It is world wide yet kind-of comforting knowing that we are all in it together. It’s weird. I’m not stressed out about it because I have a bazillion other things on my mind. But I can’t believe what it is doing to the economy and jobs, not to mention all the illness and death. Terrible.

    @Tam – What is Narelle’s twitter name? I want to make sure I am following her. Twitter has been more entertaining lately. Pretty funny and lots of dog and animal tweets. I guess more people are on it right now.

    (Thanks Joe, Gilder and Tam)

    1. It’s @narellefromaus. I believe her account is locked down. I’m not sure how that works. Can you dm her for a follow?

  11. Terrific! I’m A+, in the highest risk group for several reasons, and am living in a state in the southern US with one of the highest infection rates and least aggressive responses to the pandemic. Oh, and I work in a pharmacy. I’ll just say goodbye now and you’ll know I’m gone when I quit liking your posts. It’s been fun!

    Please either start a subscription to your daily virus update or keep posting it here. Great intel as usual. Thanks!

  12. Is there an actual way to subscribe to your newsletter and get email updates, rather than hear about them on Twitter? If there is, I’ve yet to find the link, and would appreciate anyone posting that info to me. Thanks!

  13. I meant to add, here’s a really good article on the risk the pandemic causes for our pets and them to us.


    Keep in mind that the CDC is the current source for this information and that their understanding of how this pandemic is playing out is constantly evolving. What’s touted as true today may not be tomorrow. Stay tuned!

    Thanks again, Joe.

  14. I’m definitely interested in your morning updates if I can subscribe. Thanks for keeping us posted on developments with accurate information. I don’t know my blood type either, but it probably won’t matter given how high risk I am. Just taking it day at a time here in Wisconsin.

  15. My company is still open, however that’s subject to change on a daily basis. I work in materials handling, so while I’d like to think that they could just send us all home, there’s a supply chain out there that requires their forklifts to keep running. Although many of our customers are no longer allowing vendors onsite. The good news is, I may be able to work from home starting next week. Fingers crossed.

    New Jersey has seen a “recommended curfew” of 8PM-5AM. But there are also checkpoints on major highways after 8PM. So…recommended? Sounds like mandatory to me. We’ll see what comes of that.

    Bars and restaurants are allowed only take-out service. Our stores are fairly barren of just about anything useful. I stopped at 4 stores last night in hopes of buying eggs. Nope.

    We’re playing it by ear, and planning as we can. We live in a somewhat rural area, and I’m well armed, so should shit go south (er), we should be okay. The issue again, is food and water. But we’ll make it work.

    Be safe, everyone.

  16. Oh great, I’m A positive. Another notch against me.

    I’ve had some weird birthdays, but a pandemic???? Never had that happen before on my birthday. There is always a first.

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