Tag: SARS CoV-2

SARS COV-2 Visualizations

I see charts of the cumulative number of infections (‘the curve’) and the number of tests administered … but comparing the daily number of tests to the cumulative number of infections is not particularly meaningful beyond seeing that the increase in infections is still rather exponential.

A better visualization compares the cumulative tests to the cumulative infections (or, for less staggering numbers, the daily tests administered and the daily number of new infections identified). No, it doesn’t appear that ‘the curve’ is flattening. I’m curious to see, however, the impact of multiple states going into lock-down has in a week or two.

Looking at a number of infections, especially compared across the globe, provides a bit of a distorted view. Comparing countries by the percent of the population that’s been identified as infected instead of the raw number of identified infections avoids the appearance that small countries are less impacted (and that highly populated countries are disproportionately impacted).

News and Falsehoods

Even without watching the live mid-day briefings (which we do watch), I’m amazed at how much disinformation makes it to the edited evening newscast. Trump’s got a good feeling about some drug that didn’t have production scaled up for a bunch of “wtf, it cannot get worse” off-label use. Or, hell, his seeming claim to have legalized off-label use because it’s the only way we’re going to address the current health crisis.
Before this outbreak, it infuriated me to tune into the evening news and hear “Trump said X” when X was verifiably untrue. Sure, ‘Trump said the untrue thing’ was accurate … but without clarifying the veracity of Trump’s statement … saying “Trump said X” comes across as “X” to a whole lot of people. Hasn’t changed just because it’s more dangerous to say “Trump says chloroquine / hydroxychloroquine is a game-changer and is totally safe”. If nothing else, were I writing copy, I’d delve a little into the difference between the two drugs. Hydroxy- is a less toxic derivative … which doesn’t at all sound like “totally safe, slam some and see if it works” to me.


Reading this, I cannot help but think the response to this pandemic is playing out according to a fundamental tenant of Republican philosophy. Push power down closer to ‘the people’. Each school district, city/township, county, and state gets to decide how to respond to this virus. In other words, it’s a feature not a bug.
Personally, I think it’s important to have a strong federal government to coordinate things that impact everyone — environmental regulations, educational concerns, energy efficiency, public health. I hope people who push for decentralized government think about how chaotic our response is and extrapolate to how their preferred form of governance can react to other important situations, whatever those may be.

Web Meeting Platform Capacity Comparison

I’ve had several situations now where a group is looking to start an online video meeting. To eliminate platforms that don’t support the number of people required, I put together this quick list. Teams and Zoom are, unfortunately, something home users are less apt to be familiar with … but it really is “click to join the call” easy.

Microsoft Teams (300)
Zoom (100)
Facebook Messenger (50)
Skype (50)
FaceTime (30, but limited to Apple products)
Google Hangouts (10)

Hangout Meet has a 250 person limit, but only if it is part of the gSuite subscription. It’s not part of our school district’s education package. Not sure if it’s part of our Township’s government package. Update: Google is now offering paid Hangout Meet features for free through 01 June.

SARS CoV-2 Data

Visualization from Johns Hopkins Uni Center for Systems Science and Engineering: https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

Testing Stats: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing-in-us.html

Interesting combination of data — there have been 13,624 tests (although the data points for the past few days is currently incomplete) and 1,663 infections. That means like 87% of the people who have been tested weren’t infected. Which could be that they’ve been tested before they are infected enough, or it could be that there are a LOT of uninfected people getting tested. Since the actual number of tests is going to be higher, the percent actually infected is lower.