Interesting and/or Informative Coronavirus Link Dump

Out here in Seattle we seem to be one of the US hot zones for the COVID-19 corona virus. There is a lot of information floating around out there. I am going to use this topic to post links to stuff I see that I find interesting or informative. This is mostly for my reference. Add your own if you want.

Caveat: I can’t fully vouch for the accuracy of anything but I do try to look for credible stuff and I will follow up if I find problems.

I should say that we are holding up fine for now at our place. I work from home from a garage office so am able to maintain pretty good isolation. The grocery store is a couple of blocks away and has been limiting the amount of cleaning products you can buy but doesn’t seem to have any shortages.

I have a fair amount of food stored away but we are in the midst of a kitchen renovation now so our food prep area is quite limited. No kitchen sink and almost no counter space. We have a working oven/stove. We have installers coming in in about a week :crossed_fingers:.

It seems to me that the lack of testing, at least in the early stages, is a problem. You can’t know how big your problem is without properly measuring it.

This is from my friend, @andreasj who is an economics professor at Bluffton.

This one came from Dad (@gdyckmd) .

[The WHO] report is unequivocal. “China’s bold approach to contain the rapid spread of this new respiratory pathogen has changed the course of a rapidly escalating and deadly epidemic,” it says. “This decline in COVID-19 cases across China is real.”

The question now is whether the world can take lessons from China’s apparent success


Seatte’s US Representative Pramila Jayapal has a lot of information on her Official Website.

Good to see that my employer has now joined in for COVID-19 testing. We are a company with a lot of logistical resources to bring to the fight. It is our business after all.

Here’s a link to the press release.

Quest will be in position to receive specimens for testing, and begin to provide testing on Monday, March 9, 2020. With the new service, Quest Diagnostics will provide access to a COVID-19 test service for patients in the United States.

This is a really good article from the NY Times with a Washington state focus.

Ironic how the Seattle Freeze will save us all. (Tongue firmly in cheek)

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Epidemiology seems like an interesting field. It turns out there are currently 4 coronavirus strains in circulation right now. COVID-19 could become the fifth. This article discusses what that would look like? A lot of uncertainty exists around how mutable it is.

The Bedford Lab at the Fred Hutch center here in Seattle has a blog that publishes some interesting genetic research on virology. They are mostly discussing COVID-19 these days as you’d expect.

The first Washinton case is a person that came over from China on January 15th. They brought the WA1 strain. It has since mutated to a WA2 strain which looks like it is related to WA1 directly. This projects that right now until the end of March is a critical time for us to contain the spread.

This falls into the category of informative.

A new weekly podcast devoted to the coronavirus from Scientific American. I listened to the first on my run today. W. Wayt Gibbs is a SA contributing editor and lives in Kirkland, the center of the US outbreak. This one talks about why kids don’t seem to get symptoms and the pros and cons of canceling school.

This story is getting a lot of play today. I think it is cast as the heroic researcher who fights the immobile bureaucracy but what’s interesting about it is that it was a difficult ethical choice. The rules she defied are good rules that help ensure ethical behavior. In retrospect, we all see that she probably made the right choice but I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision to make.

Here is the data (in a github repo, natch) assembled by the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. It includes a spiffy dashboard visualization

for your desktop and a mobile edition for your phone.

[EDIT: This data isn’t very reliable I think. I’m seeing lots of fluctuations that don’t make sense. For example, there were about a dozen cases in Colorado yesterday but there are zero now. I’ve seen other reports about cases in Colorado so that seems wrong. It’s difficult to know what is reliable and what isn’t but that is true of all data at this point. ]

Based on the NY Times article I linked to yesterday it would seem that WA2 is the flu study teenager subject they refer to.

This is the best reference I’ve seen yet. Lots of detailed information which is indexed and is being updated regularly. This is worth bookmarking.

There’s still a lot of news swirling around this. ESPN withdrew their story about this as far as I can tell. I imagine there is a lot of phone calls going on right now between the NCAA and the two schools.

I do applaud my alma mater (and that other school) in doing this though. KU is the presumptive number 1 team so they have a lot to lose here. This should make everyone think twice about whether or not it is worth it for all those people to be traveling all over the country at a critical time.

[EDIT: and now it is official]