01 April 2020

Lesson Learned

We'll never know, really, how it came to be but Bermuda's administration has called for a 24/7 14 day lockdown. Last I looked, there were 'only' 32 confirmed cases. Population is ~71,000, but kind of in the middle of nowhere. If only The Orange Shitgibbon had as many smarts.

31 March 2020

Keeping Count - part the fifth

Let's continue the tally of states that The Manchurian President is setting up to toss him out in November.

-- 31 March

And here's the long predicted Big Bertha shot to The Orange Shitgibbon's expanding gut
A growing chorus of big-city officials in red states like Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas and Missouri are now urging their governors to establish uniform statewide rules, arguing that refusing to do so undercuts their local initiatives by increasing the risk the disease will cluster in neighboring areas -- from which it can easily reinfect their populations.

There are way more voters in cities than in shitkicker country in every titular Red State. Piss them off enough, and they'll eat you for lunch. Need I mention that Xi got control of Covid in Wuhan/Hubei by simply ignoring such evident stupidity. Xi had the benefit, so to speak, of knowing where the patient absolute zero was, and could thus cordon off the area. Cities and shitkickers together.

Florida Again. De Santis is still a moron
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday said he had no plans to issue a statewide stay-at-home order, partly because he says he hasn't been told to do so by the White House task force.
When asked if Florida needed to issue a blanket order, Trump replied that DeSantis is a "great governor who knows exactly what he's doing."

What exactly he is doing is sucking The Orange Shitgibbon's johnson. Good Lord willing and the creek don't rise, they'll both be thrown out in a few months.

You're Full of Shit!! No! You Are!!

A twitter thread arguing about the lack of accuracy of predictions about the infection. The point of the initial twit is that the prediction timeline was only 2 weeks, and getting it so wrong must mean something. No, none of it is me. I am not a Twit.

The basis of the confrontation is: how much testing was/is being done, and the extent to which the perception of testing adequacy colored predictions. My recollection, all those few weeks ago is:
- we have no tests
- we test only those been to China
- we test only those who present as sick
- "everyone who wants a test can get one"
- some areas provide testing to those not obviously sick. some places require a Rx, others not
- we're generally back to testing only the sick

Of course, it's no longer doubted by anyone with a functioning brain that the asymptomatics (e.g., the Covidiots) are the prime driver of infection. It's the answer to a simple question: once Covid was identified on our Home Shores, who would get near anyone sneezing and coughing? Only the lonely, and the brain dead.

I suspect many experts gave their estimates assuming we'd come up with a concerted, coordinated effort to do the needful (shelter in place, etc.)

Very few could imagine we'd be so irrationally, catastrophically uncoordinated (starting from the head-of-rotten-fish top.)

The basic problem with the arguing is that by the time the 'contest' was run, the sick were being tested. Surveillance testing and contact tracing, not so much. But all you need to know to predict the future of some phenomenon is the preceding time points of that phenomenon. If you believe in time series analysis, of course. In this kind of situation where the data mechanism is simple and well enough known (symptomatic/asymptomatic infection divide doesn't matter), you figure out the shape of the curve and extend. Now, more and more large population centers, and less so in shitkicker states of course, are taking steps to curtail transmission. So, one might contract any further estimates from here. One pundit said on the teeVee (in the other room, so I don't know who or where is mentioned) that R0 had dropped from well over 2 to 1.5. That will diminish transmission in those areas where that's a true number. It doesn't mean, note, that the contagion is halted in said areas.

But, naturally, I've not seen or heard any pundit factor in the impact of the Florida Covidiots on future infections. We'll see in the next couple of weeks. If the Florida Covidiots spread the virus like peanut butter on a wet t-shirt contestant and they went back to their bucolic small-town USA homes where their Right Wingnut governors don't believe in science, then the game has only begun in earnest.

30 March 2020

Small Town Justice

From The Block Island Times
I have received reports from people that own houses here and from other states who have stated they are being treated poorly and aggressively when encountering others. Those that have called me have been here for weeks and are well past any quarantine issues. If there is a concern from a citizen, it is the police department's job to investigate and deal with those that are not in compliance. Please call and report any concerns here rather than confronting people. Let us not devolve into a modern-day episode of "Lord of the Flies."

Local population of the Island is around 1,000, and when we go in early spring (not this year I expect) and late fall (hopefully) we bond with no problem. We breakfast at "Bethany's Airport Diner" (now forced to close), and generally don't see many other mainlanders, which is one reason to go far off-season. We haven't spent much time there 'in season' and have not much interest in doing so. But like insular folks (literally and figuratively) everywhere, when 'the other' brings danger, hackles get raised. So far no reported Covid-19 infections on Island. The Island, in the form of the police department, is being pro-active (to be PC) in informing arrivals of required behavior as they leave the ferry. You betcha. What the reporting hasn't said, that I've seen, is how many arrivals are mainlanders or Islanders returning. The near off-season (the in-the-know call it 'shoulder season'; only recently found that out) starts late April. We'll see.

To say that it is refreshing to read a literary reference from a 'small town' police chief isn't near enough. Not to mention: he's right.

Dearly Departed

Among The Orange Shitgibbon's zealots, the clarion cry is "flu has killed 20,000 this season, so Covid isn't a big deal with 1,500" or whatever the number is at the time. Firstly, of course is that the flu season has been on-going since the first week of October (the data date, not necessarily when cases emerged) so, yeah, there are more deaths. Covid-19 has been reving for about 2 months. Not apples and oranges.

The other cavil from this cabal is that governors and medical folks are lying about the need for beds, ventilators, and supplies since the number of deaths compared to flu... and so forth. One might think that this string "what percent of flu deaths happen in nursing homes" entered into the Yellow Google (or your searcher of choice) would pop up a nice clean number; either total count or percent will do. So far, nada.

But this paper does provide some guidance.
Influenza viruses. Outbreaks of influenza occur with regularity in nursing homes and often affect multiple facilities in the same region. For example, in a 7-county survey conducted prospectively in lower Michigan during the 1989—1990 influenza season, influenza outbreaks were identified in 17 facilities (38% of those studied) [12]. Similarly, during the 1997—1998 influenza season, 43 adult residential facilities in Virginia, including 32 nursing homes, reported outbreaks, which involved a total of 788 residents [9].

The point being that some percent, and it could be rather large since upwards of 70% of flu deaths are among the elderly. The percent from this document is ~84%. So for the geezer cohort (65+) 46,862 deaths of a total 55,672. One might reasonably believe that far more of these deaths occurred in institutionalized folks than the remaining 8,810. The largest count, by far, is 85+, so inferring that a goodly percent of those patients were already in a medical setting is quite reasonable. The point with regard to the Covid hospitalization problem is that most, so far and by far, have been new admissions. That's what's causing the problem. The Orange Shitgibbon is way too stupid and biased to discern the difference.

Deadly Future - part the third

I was remiss in not checking this first before publishing part the second.

Here's another couple of data points. It's clear that the dispersal of hundreds of thousands of Covidiots (as shown in the Tectonix/X-Mode graphic) into the country east of the Mississippi is in fact happening. The Kinsa map: https://healthweather.us/ is a guess what moment? All that gray area between the Mississippi and the Atlantic is starting to light up. April 15th will be death and taxes.

Have a nice day.

One Class Dame - part the fifth

One of the other Science Channel shows I'm addicted to is "Impossible Engineering", which exploits the meme that today's technology is derived from yesterday's. Of course, 'yesterday' is a time span that is greatly fungible. In compute, that might be measured in months. For the case of SCM, a few years might be appropriate. A piece at AnandTech sparked some additional walking through the Yellow Googles, yielding this antique (in compute time) more than a decade ago piece, dealing with SCM and I/O. Fits quite nicely.

The main point being: it makes no sense to treat SCM as a filesystem, full stop. I can get on that train.

Of the, so far as I've so far found, unique benefits of byte-addressable SCM is the impact that can be had on transactions. Universally, again so far as I know, RDBMS implementations limit transactions to the row (some early ones, still extant, set the limit to the page or equivalent). A row is locked as either shared R/W or exclusive W. But, we know that, modulo key columns (and intelligent relational design), non-key columns are independent of each other and therefore independently updateable. Wow!! So that means Jill can update Bill's age and Joe can update Bill's height at the same time and not violate any (assumed) constraints!!! That can't be allowed with row/block level locking/updating, of course. But with a byte addressable data store, there's no reason to prohibit such transactions. The overall result is as it is today: last write wins; the only difference is, no locking delay. The engine has to track unique/primary keys, and prohibit conflicting updates, of course (Jill knows Bill is, and always will be, row 111, so Joe shouldn't be allowed to change Bill's row id to 333 while there's a transaction on Bill's row in flight; but you wouldn't allow update to primary key, now would you?). But, an intelligent database designer wouldn't have multiple unique keys, right?

The main effect of this is to shrink logical transaction scope. Transactions become relevant only to one key and the columns being updated. Now, that key may well span joins, but still, only the re-written columns are impacted. And logging is done behind, as discussed in previous missives. And again, since this is done in byte-addressed persistent memory, time and latch (lock in legacy RDBMS jargon) are vanishingly short. Database coders will need to be retrained, just as an A300 pilot needs a lot of time in a simulator before allowed to fly a B777 for real. Batch transactions may well span minutes or longer, but real time transactions shrink to within row level, and very fast.