The COVID-19 crisis makes it critical that governments rein in patent rights, not expand them. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/04/lengthening-patent-terms-10-years-exactly-wrong-response-covid-19
If there are Firefox developers here, I really would like help to resolve this bug related to WebExtensions and dialogs (alert/prompt/confirm):
alert/confirm/prompt dialogs do not work properly in the sidebar
It took me another couple of decades to realize sometimes, and especially for emotional pain, you can help just by being there and bringing your empathy. It doesn't actually fix anything, but somehow sharing the pain for a little while relieves the pain a bit for the person going through it.
Right now more of the world is going through some kind of physical or emotional pain than ever before in my lifetime.
I want you all to know I'm here to hold your hand. Are you here to hold mine?
I've always been uncomfortable with people going through pain, whether physical or emotional. A big part of that is empathy: I can imagine myself in the same pain. Even when it is fictional pain in a book or a movie.
But there was another aspect of it that took me literally decades to understand: I want to fix things that are broken.
Sometimes another's pain may be fixed with a bandaid or the right words at the right time. But when there is nothing you can *do*? I feel the pain of uselessness.
So the problem here is: although deaths are the best indicator we have, given how badly we've implemented testing, deaths are a 'trailing' indicator with at least a two week lag. Meaning the people dying now were probably exposed about two weeks ago. And that means if you calculate total cases and Ro from deaths the numbers you come up with are two weeks old.
And if you do something to reduce Ro (forex lockdowns) the results of your action do not show up for two weeks or more.
Meanwhile the folks at the UW (who certainly know more than me about this) say we are looking at ~40k by April 16 (3 days after I'm calculating we hit that number) and 'only' a total of ~80k deaths by the end of July; which seems to assume a drastic reduction in Ro soon. https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections
I'm a pessimist, yet I hope they are correct and my numbers are wildly off base. But in 'glass is half empty' terms the doubling rate has not changed in weeks, meaning neither has Ro. So?
As of last night the total number of known* #COVID19 dead in the US passed 10,000.
At the current doubling rate (3 days) it will be >20k by Thursday. >40K a week from now. >300k in three weeks. >1m a week after that. That's more than a MILLION dead by early May.
I did the math twice and I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around these numbers. We have to slow this thing down!
Stay inside. Do all the things. Don't die. Don't kill me.
Margaret Burbidge, the astronomer who's work demonstrated how we are all made of "star-stuff," has passed at the age of 100. Here's a celebration of her life and work from last year in Sky & Telescope.
Do I end up going to the hospital? If yes, that's probably better for me if not for my savings account. But what about the dog?
And maybe the hospital isn't better for me. If they are overwhelmed with patients I'm more likely to get triaged into the hallway than your average person due to age and risk factors.
So, yeah, I'm afraid for myself. I'm more afraid for my parents and other elderly family. And I'm anxious about the long term for everyone.
And I'm just one of many.
I could easily end up with a worse case of the illness than I would otherwise simply because I have no one to run to the pharmacy for me or do any of the other hundred things that would need doing, which I would be unable to do.
I have a police scanner. Even here in my underpopulated rural county there are two to three callouts a day for someone experiencing 'shortness of breath'; the code words for COVID-19. Let's say I become one of those.
I'm going to be open and honest about something here: I'm actually very afraid of getting #COVID19. Not only because of my age and other risk factors, but also because I live alone in a remote place.
Let's suppose I get the 'mild' form of the illness, which those who have survived it describe as weeks of fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and overwhelming fatigue. Consider that I live alone with no company but a dog. Who is going to care for me? For the dog when I cannot?
Whenever you are past the edge, out in the wind, look for me.
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