Daily Bread for 5.8.20

Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of forty-six.  Sunrise is 5:38 AM and sunset 8:04 PM, for 14h 26m 24s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 98.4% of its visible disk illuminated.

Today is the one thousand two hundred seventy-seventh day.

 On this day in 1429, Joan of Arc lifts the Siege of Orléans, turning the tide of the Hundred Years’ War.

Recommended for reading in full —

Lawrence Summers writes Given what we’re losing in GDP, we should be spending far more to develop tests

We are embarked on a policy path of opening things up without major complementary measures, an approach based more on wishful thinking than on logic or evidence. In guidance issued last month, the Trump administration stated this relaxation should only begin when the number of new cases daily had declined for 14 days. This criterion has not been met for the country as a whole or in many states, yet reopening has begun.

A simple calculation illustrates why this path is so dangerous. The most important parameter for understanding an epidemic is what epidemiologists label R0 (R-nought) — the number of people infected by a single individual with the virus. If R0 is greater than 1, an epidemic explodes; if it is less than 1, it diminishes and eventually ceases to be a problem. Experts estimate that before lockdown R0 was about 2.5, which is why lockdown was necessary. They now estimate, in part because case counts have been stable, that R0 is a bit below 1 — perhaps 0.9 or, on an optimistic view, 0.8.

Basic but grim arithmetic implies that if we move from lockdown even 20 percent of the way back to normal life, the epidemic will again be potentially explosive. (For example, if we are currently at an R0 of 0.9, and assuming that the R0 without any distancing is 2.5, then returning to 20 percent of normal would take the R0 to 1.22, clearly in the danger zone.) This is very worrying as the president and many other political leaders seem to be encouraging substantial reversals in lockdown policies.


The problem is that the main constraint on economic activity is not mandatory lockdowns. Rather, whatever is technically permitted, people will be reluctant to resume normal behavior for fear of being infected. The likely result: a resurgent pandemic, dramatically lowered economic activity, or both simultaneously.

(Emphasis added.)

Paige Winfield Cunningham reports Coronavirus is shifting from urban areas to rural ones:

Rural areas of the country, where 15 percent of Americans live, are seeing a rise in new daily cases even as the numbers decline in New York City and other urban centers that are now past their peak, according to Carrie Henning-Smith, a rural health researcher at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. These new hot spots aren’t seeing the declines experts had hoped for, even after weeks of social distancing.

In the two-week period between April 13 and 27,  novel coronavirus cases increased 125 percent in non-metro counties, compared to 68 percent in metro counties, according to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation. During that time period, deaths from the virus increased 169 percent in non-metro counties and 113 percent in metro counties.

 The History of Sriracha:

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