Thoughts on Trump testing positive for the coronavirus

  • When Trump loses the election, he will claim he was winning until this (which isn’t true) and blame a loss entirely on the infection.
  • He will use this as an excuse to not participate in the remaining debates, which were a debacle for him, and continue his claims that the debate commission and moderators are biased against him anyway.
  • On the other hand, he may know that he is losing and use this as an excuse to withdraw and claim he would have won a historic victory had he remained.
  • He will, of course, demand testing of Biden. Biden will oblige and test negative.
  • He will push for a delay of the election (which won’t go anywhere) claiming anything else is historically the most unfair thing ever in a presidential race.
  • If the shoe was on the other foot Trump would have immediately demanded that Biden withdraw as physically incapable.
  • There will be far-right rumors that Trump was infected by deep, dark state actors.
  • Those rumors will somehow include Hillary.
  • Trump will retweet those rumors.

An afternoon at… the park?

In retrospect, I’m not so sure this was a great idea

My neighbor, who has a sister of Pao, was getting into her car as I was coming back from a walk with Pao. She said, “Let’s go to the Arakawa Sports Field.” It’s on the river bank.

I asked how far away it was and she said 2 km, and very spacious and empty.

It seemed safe enough, so Pao and I got into the car and went over.
It seemed to be the very essence of social distancing. I don’t think any two small groups of people were within 100 yards of anybody else. But there were families playing ball, some runners, and other people around by the river.

Pao enjoyed the car ride, but he wasn’t used to all the stimuli. When we got back and got out of the car he threw up what appeared to be his lunch and snacks. He’s quietly resting now. I think it was a bit too much for him. And it didn’t exactly follow the Tokyo Governor’s advice to stay home this weekend.

There was no contact with other people though. And the river looked nice. But Pao is subdued at the moment. He loved having the open space to run around in at the length of his 5 m leash though.

I’ll post some more pictures later.

Comparing COVID-19 with SARS and MERs

I don’t remember a worldwide epidemic (or global epidemic panic) like this in my lifetime. I heard of MERS and SARS but don’t remember there being a worldwide shut-down of things like is going on with COVID-19.

I tried to find some comparison info, and this article is informative.

In simple numbers, SARS began in 2002 and there have been no more cases since 2004. There were 8,098 reported cases and 774 deaths.

MERS began in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Since then there have been 2,494 reported cases and 858 deaths.

While COVID-19 appears to have a much lower mortality rate than SARS or MERS, it’s hard to know for sure because it’s still spreading. So far the mortality rate is 3.4%.

It’s also more widespread. So far it’s in 60 countries, has infected more than 99,000 people and there have been more than 3,300 fatalities.

So I guess this might be the largest worldwide epidemic in my lifetime.

Coronavirus days in Japan

Things are definitely beginning to feel weird. On the one hand, I wonder if social media and non-stop TV coverage is causing exaggerated alarm. On the other hand, I wonder if something “more than they’re telling us” is going on.

In my daily life, things have already changed though.

I usually visit Dave twice a week when I can, though because of my own quarterly checkup, and tax filings, I was only able to visit him once a week the last two weeks. This morning I got a call from his place saying they are putting his whole senior facility (Tsukui in Shimoigusa) on lockdown through March 31st. No visitors from family or friends.

Fortunately I was able to connect with Dave via FaceTime, and he did say he understood. But still, he was down about it because both Sato-san and I visit him all the time, and he gets quite bored there.

Some friends were planning on visiting Dave in March, from the U.S. and Australia, and they have now canceled their trips.

Then there are my weekly Hibikinokai volunteer teaching classes in Hachioji. The Hachioji city government requested all such group events be canceled until at least March 15th. So for now, the Sunday classes are on hold.

In Japan, all the public schools have been closed by order of the Prime Minister, which caught people off guard, because parents who work need to figure out what to do with their young kids.

Tokyo Disneyland is also closed. And you see signs posted on community bulletin boards all over the place about canceled meetings.

April 1 is when new employees attend big events at their new places of work for orientation, and to welcome them. Those are all being canceled or held remotely.

More and more companies are asking people to work from home.

The March Sumo tournament in Osaka will go forward, but will have no live spectators. That may be the first time ever. It’s just going to be broadcast, with a silent arena.

People naturally wonder how this will affect the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, though planning is staying on schedule. Some IOC members have called for them to be canceled though.

Then there are the weird shortages, which started because of supply rumors. The rumors turned into a self-fulling prophecy and now you can’t find things like tissue, toilet paper, hand sanitizers, flu masks and some people said even rice on sale anywhere.

Trains are also noticeably less crowded as people hunker down.

It’s just a very weird feeling.

I hear there are also growing supply shortages in the U.S., and places are closing all over the world, including the Louvre in Paris.

The atmosphere just has a vague “pre apocalyptic” feel to it.

I also wonder if this is going to affect my planned trip to Boston to see my mother and sister in mid-April.