Time for Weekend Rambling

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We’re going to do a mix of mostly light stuff with just a touch of serious stuff at the end. I’ll warn you before I start doing that.

So I got carded at the store yesterday trying to buy some beer. I’m actually only planning on using it to cook some brats for dinner some night this week. Our state laws suggest you should card someone unles they “reasonably” look like they are over 40. Maybe this cashier just likes to follow the law to the letter but it was a little odd to have to dig out my ID.

Then I realized that my 2020 hair that hasn’t been cut in several months seems to hide the grey quite well. Heck, if I had know this was going to make me look almost 20 years younger, I’d have done this a long time ago. Vanity I know but who wants to look older?

Yes, even though our haircut places are back open, I consider that a non essential activity. Not that I’m paranoid or anything but, knowing what I know about the non effectiveness of cloth masks, sitting that close to someone for a period of time isn’t something I really want to do at this time. Maybe in the fall. Or maybe I’ll just keep the hippie hair going. If I really wanted to, I could make a little mid head pony tail but that is usually for guys who are bald on top and just trying to deny it.

As the start quote noted, we are having a very hot and humid weekend. One of those days when you get out of the car and your sunglasses immediately fog up. When the wall of humid air punches you in the chest when you first step into it. Still, Rocco wanted his walk so we went for a short one today. At his age, we have to make sure he doesn’t overdo it but walks are the highlight of his day so we can’t deny him. Now he’s passed out on the rug next to me and will likely remain there for several hours.

Sunday mornings, the paper has a large Sudoku which I’ve mentioned before. It is just my time to kick back and have a little fun. Yes, I’m the geek that enjoys that kind of puzzle. It always takes me back to the times when my parents visited because they’d have to fight over the puzzles in our paper. Mom was big into the crossword while Dad did the word jumbles (until his eyesight kept him from doing them). The little memories are sometimes the best.

OK, we are about to get a little serious now.

I’m not an anti-masker but I do try to make up my own mind and then I came across this on the WHO website. So this now makes me a little worried about ballroom dancing. When I was in last week, there was an older couple doing Viennese Waltz with their masks on. I’m not sure if they were going all out or not but it makes me wonder.

There is no way around the fact that ballroom is a physical activity. Combine that with the age group of a lot of dancers and it just makes me wonder if we are doing more harm than good. Obviously, you can’t maintain a proper social distance in partner dancing. But are the masks really safe to wear if you are dancing at a party and sweating all over the place? I suppose if you didn’t go all out, then maybe it is less of a problem. But who wants to dance a fast dance to half speed?

Seems like a real catch 22 situation.

Also, my brother likes to cover his face when running outside. I may have to send him this.

So I know I said I was done with the numbers around the ‘rona but never say never again.

One of my methods is to take a 10 day moving average of new cases. I probably should have just gone with 7 days given the periodicity in the data (usually lower counts on weekends and then spikes early in the week as places clear the backlog). But the10 day works better for certain places in the world where reporting is really spotty.

In general, you can make a reasonably good prediction of the next day’s case count just by adding the 10 day average to the previous day’s count. It doesn’t work well when the case counts are in the exponential growth phase but it does give a signal when the case count has started to stabilize.

What I had been doing in the US is seeing if I could project out a week – assuming that the 10 day average remains flat over that time. In places where the case count is flat or slightly increasing, I get good results. But it also flags those cases where the case count is still going up at a rapid rate.

The funny thing is that the states with the highest rate of increase are Montana and Idaho which don’t really get much press. Probably because the overall numbers are so small, they aren’t as sexy and alarming as the larger states.

And I only bring this up because Arizona is the one state where the number of new cases on 7/18 was significantly lower than my projection back on 7/11. I don’t know if that makes the news or not. I know everyone thought Arizona was headed for disaster and things could still spike again. Right now, it looks like the worst is over there but I hate making predictions like this because something always happens.

As of yesterday, New York still had the highest number of cases. By next week, both California and Florida should overtake them. California will have the top spot but I suspect Florida will get all the bad pub.

And that’s enough of that for the day.

My plan for the rest of the day.

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