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June 12, 2020

BehindTheMedspeak: It's not even the end of the beginning for COVID-19

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Above and below, today's COVID-19 worldwide numbers from Johns Hopkins.

If you look carefully at the yellow line in the lower right corner of the figure below,

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denoting confirmed cases around the world, you will note that it made an upward deviation in late May, which corresponds to the daily increase in cases pictured in finer grain in the figure up top.

What does this mean?

To me, it means that, contrary to the ballyhooed reopenings and phases and whatnot sweeping the U.S. and the world, we are nowhere close to being safe.

Think years, not months.

Half the states in the U.S., relaxing restrictions, are experiencing significant and in many cases alarming increases in COVID-19 cases.

Countries in Europe which have begun reopening have likewise noted worrying spikes. 

Secretary of the Treasury Mnuchin says there will be no second lockdown regardless of increases in cases and deaths in the U.S. with the current phasing out of restrictions.

Like I said in last Sunday's post, "I'll be the crazy guy with the mask."

I don't want to lose a single reader to COVID-19.

Don't listen to the politicians proclaiming it's O.K. to do this, that and other: it's not.


Here's a Facebook post by MIT research neuroscientist Christin Glorioso, M.D., Ph.D.:



Here's another:

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[Dr. Glorioso's posts were brought to my attention by my Crack Pittsburgh Correspondent©®]

June 12, 2020 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Dawn Chorus

June 12, 2020 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

"Last Night in Montreal" — Emily St. John Mandel


This is the third novel (her first, published in 2009) by this singularly gifted writer I've read in the past several months.

I started with her fourth, "Station Eleven,"


and was enthralled.

Not only did this book win the 2015 Arthur C. Clarke Award, but it also was a PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction finalist as well as being shortlisted for the National Book Award.

I followed "Station Eleven" with "The Glass Hotel,"

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her latest, published this year: another tour de force.

She reminds me of Philip K. Dick in that while reading her books, there's a sense of dislocation — in a good way — and the world seems askew and different.

I'm going to intersperse her second and third novels, respectively "The Singer's Gun"

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and "The Lola Quartet,"


with books by other authors over the next few months, so as to be able to look forward to the remaining two titles.

June 12, 2020 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Freedom of Movement Passport Index

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"Henley & Partners have created a Passport Index, which ranks passports by the freedom of movement they impart. Coronavirus may have changed the system for now, but it has not rewritten the ranking, which the company updates based on 'peacetime' conditions...."

"The information provided here reflects the Passport Index ranking on April 7, 2020."

[via the Washington Post]

June 12, 2020 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.

Another: inedible.

Another view:


June 12, 2020 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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