As the pandemic strengthens its grip on the country, like many of you I’ve been at home. Although homeschooling my child has taken up a lot of my time, I have still found some time to be glued to my smartphone, where I’ve been reading about what is happening. Here’s some stuff that I have found interesting:
Food Safety and the Coronavirus by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. This is an excellent guide that will answer your questions about how to eat safely during the pandemic. While you’re there, check out the rest of Serious Eats, which is definitely my favorite food site on the internet. After all, even if you don’t usually cook much, there’s a good chance you have some time on your hands right now, so I can’t think of a better time to try it.
Interview with Max Brooks on COVID-19. Part of the reason why World War Z was so good was that it was very well researched, and it shows in this interview. Brooks has spent a lot of time talking with experts about pandemics and provides a lot of insight in this interview, especially in regards to the Defense Production Act (which I admit I didn’t really understand until reading this). The highlights cover a lot of the important stuff that was discussed, but listening to the whole thing is definitely worth it. Also, if you haven’t yet you should read World War Z, which is my personal favorite zombie book, the audiobook version was also excellent, sounding like an NPR retrospective special on the zombie apocalypse.
Lowering Speed Limits Will Help Stop COVID-19. Okay, I know it sounds ridiculous, but since limited hospital capacity is the gun whose barrel we are currently staring down, we should do everything in our power to reduce the number of people going to the hospital for preventable causes, such as traffic collisions (which, honestly, we should be doing anyway). In any case, regardless of your reaction to the article’s title, you should give it a read.
Despite what your government has told you, masks are a good idea. This is just a summary of a study done about influenza, but what it comes down to is that if you want to stop the spread of a disease like influenza or COVID-19, impeding the path of droplets from people is a good idea, even if you have to do it with homemade cloth masks. Also, since we don’t know who is sick and who isn’t (even if testing were in place), it only works if most people do it. I hope that this changes the culture around wearing masks in public. Even if COVID-19 doesn’t become a seasonal illness, the benefits for preventing deaths from the flu are totally worth it.
Of course, there’s a lot more going on, and a lot more that I’m thinking about, but haven’t spent much time reading up on (will a work-from-home culture emerge from this and if so, how will it affect things like family budgeting and transportation emissions; will this result in public education being properly funded; will workers be able to leverage their demonstrated utility in the face of executive waste). If I have time, I’ll try to do another of these in a few weeks and maybe answer some of those questions.
No matter what, we are in for an . . . interesting time in this country. Please stay home and stay safe.