COVID-19 - Matt Whipple

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Motivation

Here I'm going to collect some information about COVID-19[c19-wikipedia]. Everyone is presumably being inundated with a flood of information about COVID-19, but here I'll be looking to collect information which is relevant to me which I can use to inform my personal actions. Most of the widespread information does not seem to lend itself immediately to informed actions which is likely due to a combination of the far reaching impacts of the pandemic (thereby producing information which covers those effects and generally has a more global or national perspective) and the unfortunate politicization of the handling of the disease. Given the current administration in the US the latter issue is particularly pernicious in that guidance such as that from the CDC may be tampered to produce messaging which better fits desires rather than collected data. Regardless of the particular forces any such broadcasted information may be subjected to certain filtering for a variety of purposes to produce a simpler, seemingly consistent answer rather than a more accurate complex one which may be less likely to produce the desired outcome (for example the possibility that masks were discouraged so that supply would not be depleted for medical workers).

I also have additional concerns as to how some of the available information passes through the official channels; many of these channels are also ultimately political entities and that may impact their reactions. There is also a potential tendency for the scientific community to have slower directional changes than is suitable for the current uncharted territory. Among the assorted questionable aspects of the existing scientific publication process, peer review can fail when faced with cognitive inertia when any differing findings may run up against a confirmation bias which can be firmly entrenched within the minds of the experts of the prevailing counter winds. I'm certainly in no way qualified to make such judgements, but by paying attention to a wider section of the scientific community such ideas may be unearthed. An example of this is that as far as I know there is little to no evidence to support any significant spread through surfaces, however there seems to be significant evidence to support aerosol spread but the WHO seemed very slow to recommend precautions to prevent the latter. Such knowledge can transfer fairly directly to actions where specific precautions can be taken more eagerly and otherwise may be somewhat relaxed.

My So-Called Pandemic Life

I've been very fortunate with the pandemic in that my nuclear family is happy and in good health, our immediate finances have not been notably impacted, and I live in a beautiful, sparsely populated area. Being a software engineer I was also able to easily transition to working fully remotely from home (particularly given that I largely worked remotely prior to the pandemic). I quickly started to make use of delivery services and I've spent virtually no time in buildings other than my house, nor have I had any sustained outdoor close contact with anyone outside of my family (adhering to distance and mask recommendations).

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Sources

Bibliography

  • [c19-wikipedia] @miscc19-wikipedia, title = Coronavirus disease 2019 - Wikipedia, url = https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronavirus_disease_2019, status = todo,

Author: mwhipple

Created: 2020-10-27 Tue 19:36

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