Here’s a great infographic from the Seattle Times that shows how to thoroughly wash one’s hands.
I made a late-night grocery run on Saturday (the Safeway store on 23rd Ave).
There was enough of every kind of food. I do try to make sure that I always have two or three weeks’ supplies of all my staples.
Some shoppers go completely overboard, or post pictures of empty shelves on social media. (Don’t do that. It just stirs up anxiety. Yes, the store may have run out of some items, but they are usually quick to restock the shelf).
Gov. Jay Inslee expanded school closures and prohibited large gatherings across all of Washington State on Friday, in an effort to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. Health officials reported at least five new deaths, and more than 560 people have now tested positive.
– Associated Press
Trump finally announced today — some 30 minutes before Wall Street closed for the week— that he declares a National Emergency* over the coronavirus. He shook hands with at least three Fortune 500 executives (a bad example in the time of coronavirus), and proceeded to exchange barbs with the press. ‘Such a nasty question’ he said, without answering, when asked why he disbanded the pandemic response team when he took office.
Panic buying erupted on Wall Street, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other indexes up almost 10%.
Okaayy .. but there is going to be a recession. How can there not be? The world is grinding to a halt. The three largest cruise ship lines have announced a suspension in cruising for 30 days. Delta Airlines says the drop-off in business is worse than after 9/11. If any number of states is like Washington State or the State of New York, the national economic impact will be significant.
*The Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act of 1987 is activated. When the Stafford Act is activated to deal with a pandemic, the federal government can begin providing direct emergency medical care to citizens throughout the country. This could include the establishment of temporary hospitals, for example, to ease the nation’s projected shortage of intensive care beds. The government could also use the act to provide food, water, medicine and other supplies to Americans. [Source: USA Today].
More cancellations today: the entire NBA season cancelled — and the NCAA’s March Madness games, as well (Madness? No, necessary).
Trump’s muddled speech about banning travel from Europe to ‘stop the spread of the coronavirus’ landed with a thud in the financial markets, as did the Federal Reserve’s announcement today, that they will intervene in the markets and pump in more than $1.5 trillion (yes, trillion with a T).
The United States is having a crisis of confidence in the President, and the White House, during this nationwide public health emergency.
• WHO declares COVID-19 disease a pandemic (at last)
• Seattle district schools closed for two weeks, as are gatherings of 250+ people, or smaller – if people are going to be ‘packed in like sardines’
• Italy closed for business (except drug stores & grocery stores)
• Stock market falls further; Boeing stock slumps a stunning 18% just today
• NBA league games cancelled, nationwide
• St Patrick Day’s parades cancelled in Boston & NYC
• Crowds at political rallies cancelled
• Stock market falls further; Boeing stock slumps a stunning 18% just today
• Late Wednesday, Trump read something from the teleprompter in the Oval Office that bans foreigners arriving from Europe for 30 days, excluding the UK
My friends and I debated if we should go out for our Wednesday night beers. In the end we said: let’s go eat, drink and be merry.
Who knows what tomorrow, next week and next month will bring?
‘If you do the math, it gets very disturbing’, said Inslee. ‘In 7 to 8 weeks, there could be 64,000 people infected in the State of Washington if we don’t somehow slow down this epidemic. And the next week, it’s 120,000 — and the next week, it’d be a quarter of a million’.
– Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, Tue. Mar 10, 2020.
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee will announce tomorrow that all gatherings of more than 250 people, are banned in the Seattle metro area. The current coronavirus numbers may seem small: a total of 267 infections in Washington State (24 deaths).
The trouble is —
1. the real number might be a lot bigger, and
2. if left unchecked, infected persons can each infect between 2 and 3 others, making for exponential growth in the number of infections.
Check out the graph below: my own rough calculation starting with the 267, and repeatedly multiplying by 2.5 each week. We know know that an infected person will typically start to show symptoms some 5-6 days after exposure.
Well, it was not quite Black Monday, Oct. 19, 1987 – but I see there is already a Wikipedia entry for today.
What happened? Well, a Russian–Saudi Arabian oil price war erupted over the weekend. The Saudis are planning to ramp up oil production, so that low crude prices put the Russians and the North American shale producers out of business. This situation has actually been years in the making.
So together with the instability brought on by the coronavirus crisis, that was too much. The S&P 500 was down by 7% almost immediately after the markets opened in New York. So the circuit breakers kicked in to halt trading for 15 minutes. The idea is to let traders step back and ‘take a breath’. With all the high-frequency & automated trading happening today, who knows if this is any help at all, though. (At the end of the day the S&P was down by more than 7%).
‘Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood,
And do such bitter business as the day
Would quake to look on.
-From William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ (written 1599-1601), Act 3, Scene 2.
At 2 a.m. Sunday morning local time here in the United States, it was that silly moment of the year again. Clocks were made to ‘spring forward’ by one hour (adjusted to Daylight Saving Time).
Of course, only some clocks spring forward by themselves.
The others all have to be adjusted manually.
I guess it could have been an uglier week on Wall Street. (The three major indices actually ended up more or less where they started the week).
A great February jobs report* did not help at all today: it is in the past, and says nothing about the economic impact of the coronavirus.
Donald Trump would do well to just shut up about it — but he cannot. He has to be the bride at the wedding, the corpse at the funeral, and the expert on the coronavirus.
*273,000 jobs added; employment rate at 3.5%.
I sent my vote in today. It’s so easy in Washington State: you get your paper ballot in the mail, you fill it out, the mailman picks it up. No stamp needed.
As someone said on Twitter about voters in California and Texas that had to wait in line for 4 hours or more on a Tuesday workday, at a polling station: that is not ‘democracy in action, in America’. That is voter suppression.
Here’s the pledged delegate count, as reported late on Tuesday night by the New York Times. Biden 228, Sanders 211, Warren 13, Bloomberg 8. It sure seems to be down to a two-person race (first to 1,191 delegates wins). And it seems Bloomberg’s campaign has to do some introspection.
Biden won in at least 9 of the 14 contested primaries. Texas was too close to call by late Tuesday night. Biden will likely lose California to Bernie Sanders, but he will probably make the 15% cut-off, to still garner some of the state’s huge number of 415 pledged delegates.
Update Wed 3/4: Michael Bloomberg announced that he is dropping out of the race, and endorsing Joe Biden. By now the delegate count is Biden 432-Sanders 388.
In doubles tennis, it has become standard practice for the partners to high-five and low-five between points, all done to promote team spirit.
Well, with the coronavirus going around here in Washington State*, we decided at our regular social tennis on Sunday, that we will go with fist bumps instead.
*The count is 14 cases so far, of which 6 had turned fatal. The local Costco store was swamped this weekend with shoppers, stocking up on basic food supplies and other necessities. (People! Keep calm and carry on).
I found these daffodils in Volunteer Park today.
Researchers from the University of California Irvine discovered that during landing, toads’ muscles adapt to the varying intensity of impact. As the creatures hop over longer distances, their landing muscles increasingly shorten in anticipation of larger impacts. UC Irvine biologist Emanuel Azizi says that toads are ideal for studying jumping and landing because they’re so good at it, and that studying them provides the basic science on how muscles respond during high-impact behaviors like landing or falling. [Video clip by University of California @uofcalifornia on giphy.com].
P.S. Also: it’s Saturday, so the stock market cannot go down.
The South Carolina presidential primary is tomorrow, Saturday.
Saturday will be followed soon by Super Tuesday (Mar 3), leaving only two or three candidates of the remaining 7 contenders in the race for the Democratic Party’s candidate for President.
Whoah. What a rough day, and a rough week so far, for stock markets around the world. The Dow Jones Industrial Average index declined another 4.4% today. Yikes.
Oh, and here you go, CNN Business.
I corrected your sensational and misleading headline for you.
Well, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index tried to close in the green today, but failed. The next few weeks — and even months — may get ugg-ly for investors.
The 10-Year US Treasury Bond’s rate closed at an all-time low today: 1.310 %. So: many investors are putting their money into these bonds to seek safety from the stock market sell-off, driving the rates down.
Update Fri 2/28: When all had been said and done at the end of a tumultuous week, the 10-Year had closed down even lower, at 1.13 %. So going to 1.00 % is certainly possible.
Update Tue 3/3: And there it was. The 10-year US Treasury note yield ended the day at 1.005%, after falling to an intraday record low of 0.914%. Earlier in the day, the Federal Reserve Bank surprised everyone with a 0.50% emergency rate cut to the federal funds rate (now down to 1.00-1.25%, from 1.50-1.75%).