30 July 2020

Death of an Island - part the sixth

Well, the mainstream media haven't, that I've yet seen, made the effort to discuss the existential threat faced by Block Island, or other USofA tourist dependent islands. But here's a signature piece on the Caribbean experience.
The Bahamas reopened to tourism on July 1 after a two-month lockdown, confident the islands had the spread of coronavirus under control.

Almost immediately, the number of cases in the Bahamas spiked. Many tourists came from Florida, which has had more than 430,000 coronavirus cases, a figure larger than the entire population of the Bahamas.

One hopes that my beloved Island fares better.

27 July 2020

Parallax View - part the sixteenth [update]

Another week's up, so here are today's numbers:
>= 1,000 - 549
100 to 999 - 1,356

Grand total of counties reads at 3,164. Oh joy. Not much territory left to invade; most of it is in the empty spaces in Utah and Montana. Since these data represent current, active, cases not cumulative. But it looks odd to see voids appearing in the East, but away from the coast and the Big Cities. In particular, northern Florida around Jacksonville. Hmmm. Zooming in, unchecking 'All Affected Counties', then checking each group starting with 1,000+, the voids fill in. Odd.
[update 29 July]
A simple e-mail to the Topo folks, with that explanation, they fixed it. Appears to be an array bounding issue, and the 100 to 999 group count on the main page now says '1.3K'.

There is still a gap at the southwest corner of New Mexico's border with Arizona that hasn't filled in at the 100 level. Hidalgo county and Grant county fit like interlocking fingers; Hildago is south, smallest (4,240 pop.), and abuts Mexico, while Grant is rather larger (26,998 pop.) and slides in on the north-west spike of Hidalgo. Our Sea-to-Shining-Sea trophy run will almost have to go through Grant (more below). Luna county (23,709 pop.) abuts Grant's lower spike to the south-east, and still manages to fill the 100 group. C'mon guys, you can do it!!! Get out to those bars and honky-tonks!!! Party like it's 1900!! We'll see.

Well, surprise! Today's (25 July Saturday) data shows 64 cases in Grant and 85 in Hidalgo. How can that be, about 16% of the population and nearly 50% more cases? Covid cares nothing about borders; lo and behold, Luna county New Mexico abuts Chocise county Arizona, which has some fair sized cities and 1,327 cases. Them wee little critters do like to move.

24 July 2020

Past is Prologue

When I returned (circa 1990) to things data based after a brief sojourn in the land of freelance photography, my first significant role was as IT director for a local mechanical contractor. The main project was to replace two ageing minicomputer hosted applications: one for the contracting/construction side and the other wholesale/distribution side. It turned out that both ran on TI-990 cpu, one the original full board version while the other the more recent (at the time) chip (8086 packaged).

Finding full packages that were designed to handle both types of business turned up nothing, which wasn't surprising since that was what they had been forced into already, leaving separate applications dedicated to each arm of business, but written to the same platform. And by platform one means, at least, one machine but in the better case, also the same infrastructure. Being RDBMS fluent, that meant both applications used the same database. In the end there were two candidates, one that was hosted on AS/400 (a machine with an 'integrated' version of DB2), and the other on the RS/6000 using Progress 4GL/database.

The RS/6000 was chosen. I visited the company a few years ago, and they're still running the systems. I guess it worked out OK.

At the time the RS/6000 was IBM's foray into RISC and microprocessor/*nix systems. Their version of Unix was AIX; although now linux is a significant part of the business. These early RS/6000 machines weren't single chip cpu, but multi-chip.

Why drag up 30 year old history? Because Intel is repeating it. Not that Intel is the first to step away from monolithic chip construction, but it is kinda interesting. Who was it who said that history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes?
[N]o matter what happens, Intel will be transforming. At a minimum they will be transforming from a company that relies on monolithic dies to a company that embraces multi-chip packages,

I'd be willing to bet the motivation today is the same as 30 years ago: there was no way to reliably put so much function into a single chip, and still get a reasonable number of units that actually worked. As semiconductor engineering and manufacturing improved over the next 25 or so years, billions and billions of transistors would be written to a single silicon die and nearly all the functions of a PC ended up on that one die. But, since we're now getting down to feature sizes defined by not-so-many atoms, this problem isn't likely to succumb to 'smarter engineering'. You can't fool Mother Nature.

Dr. Demento

Well, once again ex-President AuH2O 2020 is lying. After all, this is a day ending in -y, so I suppose that's predictable.

No doubt, you've seen him expound on his 'extra point' performance on his 'cognitive test'? As I mentioned, he's lying. Being of a certain age, I was required to submit to such a couple of years ago. Thus, I don't recall all of the details, but I do know that
'person, woman, man, camera, TV'
isn't a proper set of nouns for that test. Again, the words I was given I don't recall, but what is clear in memory was that there was no correlation/relation between any of the words. Given a set of words that structurally hang together defeats the purpose of the exercise.

At the time I took the geezer test, I had no idea what it was; I'd never heard of it/one before, so I hadn't worked out a way to cheat it. Which is foolish on the face of it, since the benefit of 'failing' is getting treatment for a real ailment. One might get better, you see.

Yes, there are multiple parts, some questions and the infamous clock exercise. Even current geezers may not have seen an analog clock in years, let alone the situation in a decade or two?

Anyway, if any of dear readers expect to undergo this torture, here are two ways to cheat the word/memory segment
1 - acronym the words, so for example for: pig, screwdriver, tree, banana, acid one might just remember: PSTBA or if you don't care about the extra point(s), PABST. And, no, I didn't reverse engineer that before I chose the words.

2 - put them in a sentence: A PIG on ACID climbed a TREE to get a BANANA which he peeled with a SCREWDRIVER. You'll pass the test with flying colors, and avoid therapy for another year, or many years, until you can't even remember acronyms or sentences, much less construct same from random words.

22 July 2020

Death of an Island - part the fifth

Contrary to popular opinion, New England isn't exclusively Left Wing Snowflakes. Just read up this report.
The chief also felt the island was seeing so many young people due to what he called "stimulus package money" — unemployed young people who were provided an additional $600 in their unemployment benefits during the lockdown.

Now, without all those day hoppers, the Island dries up and blows away. The McMansion folks bring pretty everything with them, and might pick up fresh (well, nearly so) veggies and such at the Grocery. And might have a dinner or two at one of the Island's higher end eating establishments. But they don't buy hats and mugs and whatnot in the stores in Old Harbor. They just don't.

Does anyone really think that the Island would be better off without the dayhoppers?

Parallax View - part the fifteenth dot five

Another mid-week's up, so here are today's numbers:
  >= 1,000 - 514
100 to 999 - 1,296 

Grand total of counties reads at 3,157. Oh joy. Not much territory left to invade; most of it is in the empty spaces in Utah and Montana.

Updated the counts from episode 15, but that's not what motivated this extra edition. One can now journey from northern Maine to the West Coast (any part of California, from San Francisco to the Mexican border) passing through counties with at least 25 active cases. This is a Southern route, of course, turning inland around the Mid Atlantic states. Actually, you have your choice between a southwesterly route from around southern Virginia bee line to Texas, or veer south-southeast into the Carolinas thence due West into Texas.

What's of somewhat more interest, in the (near?) future, should events stay on their current track, one will be able to make a journey through counties with at least 100 active cases. And, naturally, it's worth recalling that in many of the southern counties you'll pass through, that's a notable slice of the population. Don't breathe during this leg. Even now, if one views coast-to-coast literally (rather than the typical NYC to LA meaning; cf. The Cannonball Baker), then you almost could get from North Carolina to California, needing only a smidgeon of road in west Texas and a bit more in western New Mexico. I'll wager that by the time the next full episode comes around, it'll be doable, and without the zigs and zags the journey now requires, just a grand arc from the potato fields to Malibu.

The South has risen again.

21 July 2020

Pyrrhic Loser [update]

Well, well. The martial law steamroller has fired up. ex-President AuH2O 2020 has invaded Portland with his Stasi, and asserts that he will do the same to most/all of the other Liberal Democratic cities (utterly unaware that such a description is at least a double redundancy: Democrats are liberal, vis-a-vis proto-dictators anyway, and cities are by definition Democratic no matter what the balance of elected persons is in the state. Here's a map of the 2016 election by precinct by party (I'll admit, it's one bit of reporting I don't recall finding before; it's a gem and not just because it clearly delineates my view of long standing - BlueCity/RedShitkicker divide). As is plain: even in Red States, the cities are Blue.
To a large extent, the map above is a map of where America's cities are, which, of course, is a map of where most Americans live.

Piss off those city folks with this shit, and you'll all but guarantee that they'll overwhelm the shitkicker voters in all the remaining empty counties.

ex-President AuH2O 2020 is what Tillerson said, "A fucking moron." Let's hope he doesn't smarten up before November. He shot himself in the right foot with the notion of injecting Lysol. How's about shooting off the left one?

I have always asserted that cities are Blue and the hustings are Red. From that, one might well infer, that cities all have Democratic mayors. And that would be cool. Turns out, almost. As you can see, of the 50 largest cities, only 13 are run by a Republican and all but one are well below the million meat bag count. And all 13 are in very Red country. Don't let San Diego (the largest Republican city) fool you; this is deep Red California, which through sheer stupidity, squandered the bullet ducking of the mitigation from the Spring. Freedom to infect and kill others is the bestest freedom of all.

20 July 2020

Parallax View - part the fifteenth [update]

Another week's up, so here are today's numbers:
   >= 1,000 - 490
100 to 999 - 1,255

Grand total of counties reads at 3,1503,151. Oh joy. Not much territory left to invade; most of it is in the empty spaces in Utah and Montana. A few weeks ago, the total count went down for a week. This week it might be unwarrantedly high. 3,1503,151 might exceed the total of counties plus 'county like' jurisdictions. And the newly affected count is 79, which, if memory serves, is way higher than recent months. And, we have a winner: Puerto Rico! 78 of the count; the lone other county is in the Lone Star state, not much to surprise there. Come on down! Seems to have been some data munging bewtixt this AM and now. Only one new county, in Idaho, which boosts the total to one higher than earlier today.

[Saturday, 18 July with 16 July map]
On that very subject, I had a look at Kansas county populations, Kansas being at the geographic center of the USofA (well, right on the state's northern border with Nebraska). What might be the case if Kansas counties made it out of the blue groups into the yellow+ groups?

Turns out that there just aren't that many counties with a passel of meat sacks. The list has 105 counties. Of those, only 38 have 10,000+ folks. And of those, only 10 are 50,000+.

Zooming in on Kansas, and fiddling with group display, we get the following:
   >= 1,000 - 8  
100 to 999 - 11
  25 to 99 - 31
  10 to 24 - 18
    5 to 9 - 19
        <5 - 15

Here's the interesting bit: as with the USofA map over all these weeks, if you display the 10 and 25 groups of counties, lo and behold, they neatly abut each other. There are but 2 blue counties all by their lonesome; one around Colby and the other around Pratt (you have to zoom in a lot for Pratt to be seen, btw). Covid is invading on a step ladder process. Just as it has from the beginning.

There is one interesting anomaly. When displaying the 25 and 100 groups, as might be expected, there are a number of 25 counties that don't abut any 100 counties; the inference being that Covid is under a bit of control in the lower count counties (say that 5 times fast). Well, may be not always. Add in the 1,000+ counties; lo and behold the southwest 25 counties are blocked on counties around the cities of Dodge City, Liberal, and Garden City. That's quite a jump. Kansas ain't out of the woods anymore, if ever they thought they were.

"Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore."
[Saturday, 18 July with 16 July map]

ex-President AuH2O 2020 spouted yesterday, once again, that Covid would just go away. Some day. And on that day, he'd be right. Lots of folks said much the same about the various Black Plagues through Europe in the middle ages.

17 July 2020

Betting Line - part the second

This is from 29 January 2017
OK, so Kim Jong-Don has gone into blatant dictator mode, ignoring all agency heads in issuing the Muslim ban. So we're left with the over/under times to suspending the Constitution and declaring martial law (starting with Chicago, of course).
1 week
1 month
1 year

Cast your vote. Vote early and often

Turns out, Portland looks to be the start. Pandering to the Militia crowd. George Wallace is clapping from his grave.

October Surprise

Is anyone stupid enough to believe that the Twitter hack isn't a ex-President AuH2O 2020 operation?
impacting accounts belonging to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian West and Warren Buffett

Let's see... all enemies to one extent or another of ex-President AuH2O 2020. Who benefits, da ya tink?
Neither Ivanka Trump nor President Donald Trump's account appeared to have been affected by the hack.

Gee, if the goal is to make money or influence the world, wouldn't that be the one account you'd go after?? Of course you would. Unless you're that account, of course.
[T]he hackers could have downloaded information about the accounts for later release — potentially including private messages, photos, phone numbers and email addresses. That would be damaging enough at any time, but during a critical election year in which trust in platforms and their handling of information remain key concerns, the stakes could not be higher.
"Are they going to come back later with a 'dump and dox' campaign or a blackmail situation?"

Gee, ya tink, may be???

16 July 2020

Out Damned Spot

It's in the news again: in the neighborhood of 20+ million renters will be tossed and 15+ million will be in or near foreclosure if the Republicans sit around with their thumbs up their asses. Support from DC is set to end.

This is a feature, not a bug, from the point of view of ex-President AuH2O 2020 and Moscow Mitch. It's a feature just because it will be just in time to disrupt voter registration. Not just vote-by-mail, but voting booth as well. Voter suppression on steroids.

14 July 2020

Herd Immunity - part the second

Way back in March one of these missives postulated that the evidence then available said that herd immunity was nothing like a slam dunk.

Now, about four months later, a medical heavyweight has published a piece laying out the history of Covid and related coronaviruses. It is not an endorsement of blue-sky herd immunity magic thinking.
[T]he facts are already quite clear: herd immunity will likely never be achieved for Covid-19 or any other coronavirus. We know this thanks to new research on the development and decline of Covid antibodies and from a wealth of epidemiological evidence on coronaviruses as a whole.

That leaves just a few ways out of this mess.

1 - vaccine immunity really is durable; I've seen no evidence one way or the other.

2 - the HIV approach of anti-viral cocktails; the prevalence of HIV and Covid aren't even in the same zip code, so making hundreds of millions of doses of multiple anti-virals doesn't sound appetizing. Assuming, naturally, that multiple effective anti-virals can be created. Since this is therapy, all those French kissing Covidiots will re-infect each other just about weekly forever. Good luck with that.

3 - ex-President AuH2O 2020 convinces an Elector College's worth of voters that Covid is just another daily risk like getting hit by a bus, so there's nothing that need be done. It worked before ("what have you got to lose?"). I'd wager, again, that the diversion of Covid reporting away from CDC to the Azar clan is the next step in defining Covid away.

4 - Americans finally get woke and go about life masked and distancing. In due time, Covid will be controlled. I'd wager that'll work in Blue and fail utterly in Red, just as we see with this second spike in the first wave. Since Election Day is November 3, may haps the catastrophe will become so severe in Red that even the knuckledraggers will get it. May haps not.

13 July 2020

Eek!! A Mouse

On Saturday, TCM ran "The Mouse That Roared" (right after "Dr. Strangelove..."!). A mini Peter Sellers-thon. A story in today's 'Royal Gazette' reminds one of that flick. This teeny duchy declares war on the USofA, intending to lose, and get Marshall Plan Bongo Bucks in the aftermath. Can't say that I've ever watched it, in any case. Peter Sellers, modulo "Dr. Strangelove...", is not an actor to whom I cleave.

Bermuda, in the persons of a couple who came to Massachusetts for unspecified medical treatment, send a shot across the bow:
"...Bermuda is in a wonderfully unique position in that if you want a Covid test, it's an easy thing to do."

Mrs Masters added: "That is not the case in the US, that is not the case in states where they are having a problem and you cannot just arbitrarily up and decide, I'm going to have a Covid test."

She was speaking after David Burt, the Premier, signalled last week that the rule that returning Bermudians, unlike visitors, do not require a pre-travel test might have to be changed if the coronavirus crisis worsened in the US.

Howitzer, stage right
Mrs Masters said: "We're not going any place and when we do go out, when it's sort of a necessity, I will tell you that we are continuously shocked at the number of people that are not wearing masks, that are not socially distancing and we completely understand why Georgia and some of these states are having the problems that they're having."

"I am Bermuda, hear me roar!"

Parallax View - part the fourteenth

Another week's up, so here are today's numbers:
  >= 1,000 - 440
100 to 999 - 1,160

Grand total of counties reads at 3,057. Oh joy. Not much territory left to invade; most of it is in the empty spaces in Utah and Montana. Texas, on the other hand, marches due North. The Great Folding Line from Texas to Canada (whether into Saskatchewan or Manitoba; the mnemonic to remember the western provinces is BASM, Borland's alternative Assembler for Intel chips and DOS, obvious to those with a history of programming rejection) is filling in with all due haste. The expansion of counties is back on track. And, as is obvious, the largest groups count continues to rise. All of the other groups, save the bottom, are growing in count. The trek up the mountain of contagion continues unimpeded. While Europe, made up of many countries and more humans than the USofA, managed to co-ordinate a continent wide plan of attack that has reduced Covid-19 to embers. Really. Even Boris learned the error of his ways.

Yeah, just a few embers.
"The White House press secretary responded by characterizing the surge in cases as 'embers in the country' and blamed the increase in coronavirus testing on the uptick." An interesting account of causation.

And, if you've not been taking in any News, and I sympathize completely, Mississippi government is shut down with at least 36 persons in the capitol being sick. Not a big number, in the grand scope of things, but amounts to 1 in 6 legislators. That hurts. Some times stereotypes are based in truth. Redneck rubes without an ounce of brains among them all. In God's Country, they ain't no Covid-19 among the God Fearing White People. I guess this means that God IS punishing them for their sins. Kind of like AIDS and Plague and locusts and such.

I suppose that more testing is also the cause of more hospitalizations. Not at all that more people are getting more sick. Hell, if we stopped cancer screening, we'd win The War on Cancer (1971), wouldn't we?

The pincer movement continues; red/orange marches NNW from the Deep South and ENE from SoCal/Arizona.

Well, may be we can celebrate the Covid-19 equivalent of the Transcontinental Railroad's Golden Spike. That was in Utah, 1869. Didn't happen in Middle America, just because building the railroad through the Rockies was a tad more difficult than screaming across the flatlands on the West side of the Appalachians. This bit of the weekly missive is happening a day early, on Sunday with Topo says, Saturday data. A bit more exploration led to the conclusion that one needn't wait. Even so, we have connection (with the next-but-lowest group) in mid-Kansas. Yahoo!! You can watch the march from The Coasts by clicking off 'All Affected Counties', then click on groups in order from the largest. You'll see the pincer movement in stark detail. If you were so motivated, you could trek across country taking a mid-South route, in a direct line, needing only the top 3 groups. Let that sink in. Among other factors, this trip encompasses a boatload of low density rural counties. In due time, I suspect, we'll have connection with the larger groups. Given the magnitude of new infections throughout the South and West and Southwest, I suspect we'll have connection with at least one more group by the next episode in this serial drama.

What the exercise teaches, is just what Cuomo (and the epidemiologists) said all these months ago (24 March 2020):
This started in New York first. We have global travelers, more density, and you will see this in cities across country. ... We are just a test case and that's how the nation should look at it.

New York is the canary in the coal mine, New York is happening first, what is happening to New York will happen to California and Illinois, it is just a matter of time

His warning to God's Country got more strident as weeks rolled on. This is just the earliest quote I could find. I don't guarantee it's the first. The Red South just assumed that they wouldn't have a problem because their towns weren't cities and their cities weren't as densely populated, with lots of public transportation, in particular. How's that working out for ya, Orange County knuckledraggers?

As to the new attack on Fauci's "mistakes", the one ex-President AuH2O 2020 keeps harping on is the mask quote. A few points to note:
1 - at the time he was asked, all masks were in very short supply, and he said that masks should go to first responders and health workers over others.
2 - whatya wanna bet that ex-President AuH2O 2020, or a minion, told Fauci to downplay masks?
3 - at the time he was asked, the medical community wasn't yet sure that presymps and asymps were driving contagion; Fauci didn't make up the recommendation off the cuff.
4 - ex-President AuH2O 2020 followed that March 'advice' until this weekend; why is he complaining? Fauci said what ex-President AuH2O 2020 wanted to hear, whether pressured to or not.

10 July 2020

Geezer Exam

I actually took one when I, uh, very recently, when I was, uh, when I was — you know the radical left was saying, 'Is he all there? Is he all there?' And I proved I was all there 'cause I aced it, I aced the test
-- ex-President AuH2O 2020

Now, anyone who's on Medicare, or visits a gerontologist who knows about Medicare, gets the 'Geezer Test'. I've been through that.

It consists of the following:
1 - the practitioner (in my case an RN) tells you some words, unrelated to each other
2 - then, you're asked to draw an analog clock, with the hands at some time, say 10:17
3 - you're asked to repeat the words

That's it. Nothing more. I aced it, too. We're both stable geniuses.

08 July 2020

Games People Play

It's been enlightening to hear what the reporter class has found in Mary Trump's screed. What is clear is that ex-President AuH2O 2020 really is, in Tillerson's phrasing, a fucking moron and a malignant narcissist in the bargain. He and DeVos have entered into a suicide pact.

He insists that all schools return to usual classroom state this fall (which starts, annoyingly, in August in some states). What might be the result?

1 - It is not likely that the ongoing tsunami of Covid infection/hospitalization/death that runs from North Carolina to California will abate by Labor Day, for instance.

2 - If ex-President AuH2O 2020 follows through, legally or not, to rescind funding from states that don't open fully, we might well see Red-ish states saying, 'fuck it, let's go!!'.

3 - What's having all those Typhoid Marys running around middle age and older adults in classrooms and cafeterias and buses going to do? Well, some of said adults will get sick. Some will end up in hospital. And some will die.

4 - Now, teachers and administrators ain't dumb Mesicans cutting up meat in Iowa, but ex-President AuH2O 2020 is desperate to become Dear Leader for Life, so why not announce that all school workers are 'essential workers' just like the Mesican meat cutters? (You remember them? Haven't heard much about them for the last few months, now have we?) You don't want to spend your days in the midst of all those Typhoid Marys? Too bad. "You're fired!! And no unemployment!"

5 - What will all those suburban soccer moms do when Covid decimates Joey's and Jill's schools by early October? It will, we know now, take only a few weeks to kill off the older adults in the schools. We know now that some of those juveniles will get sick enough to die, and will die. That's been happening from the beginning.

So, if ex-President AuH2O 2020 and DeVos go their own way, even the Red States will rebel. Don't mess with our kids.

07 July 2020

Death of an Island - part the fourth

Additional information through the 'Block Island Times'. Note, in particular, this
Our plan is to reopen before the end of the month but we have not yet determined an exact date.

This is one eatery out of a few dozen, going to be closed for 1/3 of the usual season. Given the revised schedule on the Island, closer to 1/2.

And, of course, some of the day hoppers are just Southern
We are all exposed to visitors on a daily basis — some of whom are not abiding by Centers for Disease Control, Rhode Island, and town guidelines.

How many restaurants and lodgings will fall for a month or longer? How soon will Mainlanders just stop getting on the boats just because too many of their fellow day hoppers are idiots?

One of the Island timeshares opened two months later than normal. It followed the RI and town requirements. The hotels, on the whole, followed suit.

High Priced Spread

You have heard about the letter to WHO, demanding that its recommendations include the finding that aerosols are a factor in spread of Covid-19? Yet, this missive has caused controversy. How come?

From the beginning, including in these missives, the smartest guys in the room argued that such rapid spread of Covid-19 had to include non-symptomatics (both asymps and pre-symps). To not include such folks is to assert, by definition, that most folks are stupid enough to gather around other folks who are openly coughing and sneezing and such. In the Red States, may be, but not Northern Cities where folks have at least 100 IQs, for sure.

You just can't get such a surge in infection as happened in the NYC Metro in the Spring, and in the Red State cities now only with coughs and sneezes. Does anyone really, really think that the infections coming from bar flies is from coughers and sneezers? Really? Further, this fact should have been obvious in the Spring when clusters appeared in prisons and meat plants. These were outbreaks not tethered to Big Eastern Cities; I still believe that the importation was Spring Break Covidiots and such. In any case, once the first case was found, spread was immediate. Kind of like a bomb going off.

So, yeah infection through aerosols has to be the major vector of infection. As Dr. McElhone used to say, "it is intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer."

06 July 2020

Death of an Island - part the third

What happens when an Island of fewer that 1,000 persons, which depends on about 20,000 visitors a day spending freely on touristy thingees like restaurant dining (mostly day-trippers) for the summer season, doesn't get anywhere near that volume of traffic? And what if the problem is that those visitors bring a pathogen which is capable of killing off, at least, most of the adult population? The Island news brings more pressure on the Island's viability.

Today brings the inevitable reporting. There is the first seasonal worker positive. Most likely a restaurant worker. Ignoring the case of Mainlanders (particularly Day Hoppers) infecting each other, contact tracing among the residents and such seasonal employees is the prime directive. How far and fast Covid spreads will settle the question of the Island's viability. I surely hope the Island survives. Since many seasonal workers are aliens, back filling those who must quarantine or are hospitalized, will be problematic. Seasonal staff aren't, of course, mostly geezers (if any), but rather the younger folk. It is highly likely that this person isn't among the usual suspects. Did the majority of service establishments go pro-active by hiring extra staff, in anticipation of attrition? Did they all get together, collusion style, and build a bench of replacements? Would be interesting to know. The wait staff where this person works/worked could be sidelined for the rest of the summer. Did s/he bring Covid to the Island, or caught it from a Mainlander in the course of work? How many establishments will be unable to staff through the season? Could be.

Parallax View - part the thirteenth [update]

Another week's up, so here are today's numbers:
  >= 1,000 - 361 
100 to 999 - 1,053

Grand total of counties reads at 2,985. Oh joy. Not much territory left to invade. Since the topo map counts are limited to 3 digits, it's impossible to tell (for sure) what's been happening around the 100 to 999 group. The rollover shows 4 digits, but appears to merely reformat the '1K' display. I've sent a message asking for, at least, the rollover to show the exact number, since it has the space. No word yet. All of the other groups, save the bottom, are growing in count, so it seems highly likely that 100 to 999 is too. After all, the >=1,000 count counties don't just appear deus ex machina. And, alas, I've not yet found another source for total counties affected.

The pincer movement continues; red/orange marches NNW from the Deep South and ENE from SoCal/Arizona. Texas, on the other hand, marches due North.

Topo folks did answer my e-mail, and it turns out the exact number is available: click the ellipsis next to a group entry, then click 'open table', which table is annotated with the count. Yippee!

Data? We Don't Need No Stinkin Data!

The title says it all. Here's yet another example of why and how it costs 'Billions of dollars' to develop drugs in the USofA. While not guaranteed, it's a pretty sure bet that all the money spent so far and in the future will be rolled into the sum total of drug R&D used to calculate the $$$/approved drug billions of dollars number.

Once again, a drug company's compound fails in PII, yet the company asserts that there's some sliver of good news to justify further trials. Throwing everybody else's good money after bad.
The Phase 2 RELIEF trial of BLU-5937 did not achieve statistical significance for the primary endpoint of reduction in placebo-adjusted cough frequency at any dose tested.

I have to admit, a drug for (I guess) idiopathic persistent cough seems very niche to start with. And, of course, the company is going to hang its hat on a niche of that niche
A clinically meaningful and highly statistically significant placebo-adjusted reduction in cough frequency was achieved in a pre-specified sub-group of high cough count patients (all patients at or above the baseline median average of 32.4 coughs per hour).

It's a Canadian company, although listed in the USofA, so I suppose it's no skin off our noses. But still....