Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Plant Muggings and Covid-19

Well, color me aggravated.  I had two really pretty plants that I would put out by the wall.  They added a nice splash of color and pleased me greatly.

This is what I found yesterday morning.  We've been moving them up to the sliding glass doors at night, believing (erroneously) that the deer and javelinas would not come that close to the house.  We were wrong.  The deer ate all of the flowers.  I am so pissed.  The geranium will bloom again, the Gerbera daisy was too much eaten.  So now the geranium has to come in the house at night.

The hopseeds are blooming.  They are such pretty plants.  The deer hate them, so that's good.

The northend Costco is out of toilet paper.  There is no, none, not any.  I am surprised it happened this quickly since there are only three cases in AZ.  Well, that's three cases that we know about since there are no test kits available. Updated post:  Well, there were three yesterday, today there are nine.

There is some very cool science happening.  Various labs are sequencing the genomes of the Covid-19 strains that are moving around the world and are uploading data as soon as it becomes available.  So, much is known about the mutations and where they went.  Plus, data is being shared and not hoarded as it was during the race for a test kit for HIV.  It's published on

This was on twitter yesterday.  Chestmedicine is asking about the best way to wean people with Covid-19 off of ventilators.  Calvinball's response was fairly chilling.  He's an ER doc in the Seattle area; they do have higher than average mortality due to the people coming from the nursing homes.

More has been published on why Covid-19 is so bad.  The novel coronavirus known as Covid-19 is new, we know very little about it.  No one, except those who catch it and survive, has immunity.  It is believed that 80% who get it will survive without medical intervention.  Many of the 80% will not feel particularly badly, and thus will go about their days, possibly infecting everyone they come in contact with because they are still contagious.  Twenty percent will not survive without a hospital.  The bad thing is, it's flu season.

Hospitals are full to the gills with people with the flu.  Covid-19 is not just another flu.  It has a doubling rate of about 4 days.  The best mental image of this (borrowed from WAPO) is that you have a pond with one lily pad, it reproduces every day. So you have, 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 and etc.  If it takes 48 days to cover the pond completely, how long will it take to cover the pond half way?

The answer is 47 days.

Here is more from that WAPO piece.
During the current flu season, they point out, more than 250,000 people have been hospitalized in the United States, and 14,000 have died, including more than 100 children. As of this writing, the coronavirus has killed 29 people, and our caseload is in the hundreds. Why are we freaking out about the tiny threat while ignoring the big one?
Quite a number of people have suggested that it’s because the media just wants President Trump to look bad. Trump seems particularly fond of this suggestion.
But go back to those lily pads: When something dangerous is growing exponentially, everything looks fine until it doesn’t. In the early days of the Wuhan epidemic, when no one was taking precautions, the number of cases appears to have doubled every four to five days.
The crisis in northern Italy is what happens when a fast doubling rate meets a “threshold effect,” where the character of an event can massively change once its size hits a certain threshold.
In this case, the threshold is things such as ICU beds. If the epidemic is small enough, doctors can provide respiratory support to the significant fraction of patients who develop complications, and relatively few will die. But once the number of critical patients exceeds the number of ventilators and ICU beds and other critical-care facilities, mortality rates spike.

That could happen here.  The fact that the administration does not want to say "don't fly", "don't go on a cruise", is just shameful.  They're putting profits over the health of the populace. 

Italy is now in the position of having to decide who gets treated, and who doesn't.  Currently they're giving young people priority access to ventilators and beds.  You can read about that here.  For them to have closed the entire country so they could get a grip on it is just astonishing.

 The over arching goal is to flatten the curve.  That is, to keep the number of infections below the threshold of what the health system can handle.

Here is yet another missed opportunity to find the virus. It's a good read about how researchers proactively went looking for the virus using flu swabs.  They found the virus, circulating in the general population, but then were told to stop testing; they were a research facility and could not test the flu kits for Covid-19.  Valuable time passed due to intractable regulations.

So, do what you can for you and yours.  Quit shaking hands!  Wash your hands and stop touching your face!!!!  Avoid large groups of people.


  1. We have to go shopping today and actually do need TP, I already know our Costco is out of it! Stocking up on food supplies to make sure if it comes to it we can self isolate for a number of weeks...

  2. At the beginning of the month I tried to buy a month's worth of groceries, not a week's worth. It took me five trips to bring up one bag at a time to my kitchen.

  3. Are you sure the bunnies didn't eat your plants? That's what I've been having trouble with! I watched a video from a guy who actually got the virus. He said he felt fine, then one day got a very high fever ... like 104. Eight hours later his fever went away. He was quarantined and given lots of Gatorade by the hospital ... nothing else. Now for three days he has tested negative. His wife who was on the cruise ship with him every minute, did NOT get it, nor has she tested positive ever since. Weird. I'm buying gatorade instead of toilet paper!! LOL