Model Madness

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I took Rocco back to the vet today. They talked me into doing some chest x-rays just to make sure there wasn’t some hidden problem. I mean he’s an old dog so that’s probably not a bad idea. Came home with an antibiotic. They suspect an upper respiratory thing which I kind of figured since he had no temperature or lung issues on Friday.

I didn’t wait in the parking lot so I drove back to get him once he was all done. The tech had him outside just waiting for me since they aren’t allowing non hospital personnel into the clinic (unless it is a truly special case). It is just still a little strange to see all the techs with masks and gloves but if it keeps them out of harm’s way, then it is a good thing.

We took him to the park to make up for the trip to the vet. They have kept the parks open for people but with caveats about trying to keep a safe distance. Now, I’m not going to be the social distancing police but I saw a group of people pulling out lawn chairs to sit and have a picnic. I shouldn’t jump to conclusions because they could all be one family but it sure didn’t look that way. I mean the point is not to go meet up with your friends at the park. That’s not social distancing.

It probably also explains why the number of cases here is still going up and faster than a lot of other places. Not exactly a category you want to lead the nation in. I’ll run my models again over the weekend but if this trend keeps up, they aren’t about to relax the restrictions anytime soon.

I wonder if it is just that we haven’t been hit as hard as New York City. It is probably easier to take it seriously there when the news is full of reports of dying people and stories about burying people in parks. We don’t have that here so even though the number of cases and number of deaths increases every day, it may still seem like not that big of a deal.

Just because its spring and I like flowers!

While I avoid big doses of the news, I do catch snippets and headlines. The governor of New York was talking about things there. I guess the number of cases is less than what the models were predicting and he said that was showing social distancing was working.

Maybe. Or maybe the models have just been way off from the start. Given that they’ve been revised downward several times, maybe they just didn’t input the right set of assumptions. This is my problem when people put too much faith in science and “experts”. You assume science has all the answers and it doesn’t. And experts can be just as wrong as anyone else.

But, given the political situation in this country, I know this is going to turn ugly and political like everything else. There are those questioning the continued reliance on the models to keep the country in lock down which is clearly having a negative impact. But if you turn things loose while the models still predict doom and gloom, then you can expect to hear things like people being “anti-science” and so on. We’ve lost the ability to have a rational discussion on things because too often everything just comes down to the parties shouting at each other.

With the numbers I’m playing with, I don’t yet see any real evidence that we’ve hit a peak. It does seem like we are past the real rapid increase stage but my best guess is we’ve got another week or so of days with 30000 new cases. We’ll probably see things decline in New York but other states will be there to pick up the slack.

Sorry too many numbers – need to insert a happiness quote

There does appear to be good news in Europe which has really been hit hard. Based on WHO numbers, the number of new cases in Italy today was the lowest it has been since March 14th. The trends are growing stronger and suggest that things have peaked in Spain, Italy and Germany and are close to a peak in France and the UK. Those are the countries with the largest number of cases. But even in places like Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium and Austria, the data are suggesting that peaks have been reached.

So another day of mostly staying at home. Taking the dog to the vet is considered essential and getting outside for exercise is still acceptable. I do hope our government is willing to give up all this power but I also think there are going to be arguments over when we can start to “normalize”. They will pretend it is about science but I suspect politics will be the driving factor.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay positive.

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