1.101 novel, Yosemite

Thursday, 3/12/2020

This morning I resumed editing the novel. Amazing number of typos, but also small tweaks that improve the text, all made visible by putting it in a different format.

I could do that because this week, the Yosemite shift is not a full day, but only half a day, from 1pm. They didn’t say, but I bet the morning is being used for staff meetings on the virus issue.

I went to Yosemite where Dave B., Elena, Toni, Tom and Allen also gathered. We traded virus news, as one does. We nearly completed the sweep of all boxes looking for the lost Ferrante plug-board. Another hour or two will do it.

Back home, to a peculiar email from Stanford Sports, thanking me for my ticket purchase with a price of negative $136. Soon after came the email saying the Stanford had canceled all sports for the rest of winter and spring terms, and they would be refunding purchased tickets. So I presume that -136 represents a refund of the remainder of my baseball season ticket?

Not long after, news that the NCAA had canceled all of the basketball post-season, and other sports.

Not long after, via Reddit I find a link to a Guardian article citing what seems like very credible scientific studies from China and Taiwan, showing that the virus is communicable from 2 to 7 days before symptoms appear. This is very disturbing to me, and should be to anyone. You simply don’t know which healthy-looking person you interact with, is infected and might infect you. And they don’t know, either. Suppose that everyone who had the slightest respiratory symptom, dutifully self-quarantined (and they won’t). It wouldn’t make any difference! Or at least, not much.

If it’s upsetting to me, how must it be for someone who has a job meeting the public? A restaurant server, a store clerk, any kind of public-facing clerk? Every single person they deal with is a potential case of virus.

This makes it entirely credible that, as competent epidemiologists are already saying, a year from now, 60%-80% of the US population will have had the virus. That’s the point at which herd immunity kicks in, when the newly-infected encounter mostly immune people and can’t create new infections. Present “social distancing” efforts will have some effect in slowing the rate of infection, but nothing will stop it from becoming endemic.



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