Saturday, April 11, 2020

Behind Trump's failure

From the NY Times:

“Any way you cut it, this is going to be bad,” a senior medical adviser at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Carter Mecher, wrote on the night of Jan. 28, in an email to a group of public health experts scattered around the government and universities. “The projected size of the outbreak already seems hard to believe.”

A week after the first coronavirus case had been identified in the United States, and six long weeks before President Trump finally took aggressive action to confront the danger the nation was facing — a pandemic that is now forecast to take tens of thousands of American lives — Dr. Mecher was urging the upper ranks of the nation’s public health bureaucracy to wake up and prepare for the possibility of far more drastic action...

Throughout January, as Mr. Trump repeatedly played down the seriousness of the virus and focused on other issues, an array of figures inside his government — from top White House advisers to experts deep in the cabinet departments and intelligence agencies — identified the threat, sounded alarms and made clear the need for aggressive action.

The president, though, was slow to absorb the scale of the risk and to act accordingly, focusing instead on controlling the message, protecting gains in the economy and batting away warnings from senior officials. It was a problem, he said, that had come out of nowhere and could not have been foreseen...

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Sidewalk pandemic etiguette

Doherty family run at Fort Mason on Thursday, April 2, 2020, in San Francisco, Calif.
Photo: Liz Hafalia

From Ann Killion in the SF Chronicle:

“It is difficult to imagine that joggers represent a threat to others,” wrote John Swartzberg, an infectious disease expert and professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, in an email. “We define a significant be face-to-face contact within 6 feet with someone with a symptomatic infection that is sustained for at least a few minutes (e.g. 10 minutes). 

“The chance of catching SARS CoV2 from a passing individual in a public space in negligible.”

Still, tensions are running high. Nerves are frayed. So, just like everyone else, runners should be mindful of their impact...

Rob's comment:
That goes for walkers, too. Walking off the sidewalk into the street when approached by someone else seems excessive, but I see that a lot on my daily walk. Maybe it's people in the neighborhood that don't like my blog?

Since people are afraid, you can't take it personally.

Larry David has a common reaction about this stuff:

Mr. David ventures out for solo walks in the deserted neighborhood. “I cross the street when I see someone coming, like I used to do when I was a kid in Brooklyn and the Italian kids would shake me down for change,” he said. “And when someone crosses first, I know I shouldn’t take it personally but I can’t help it. How dare they?”

See also The Viral ‘Study’ About Runners Spreading Coronavirus Is Not a Study.

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