A No-Nonsense COVID-19 Explanation

My friend Sam shared this video with me, and I found it incredibly helpful. It’s a recorded Zoom call with Dr. David Price, a NYC doctor working almost exclusively with people who have COVID-19.


  • Wash your damn hands.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask if it helps you remember not to touch your face.
  • Stay a safe distance from others and avoid prolonged close-proximity exposure.

COVID-19, Day 18

Masks. Should we wear them? Dunno!

CNN says:

World Health Organization officials Monday said they still recommend people not wear face masks unless they are sick with Covid-19 or caring for someone who is sick.

But then I see things like this:

When historians tally up the many missteps policymakers have made in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the senseless and unscientific push for the general public to avoid wearing masks should be near the top.

That link is loaded with links to other articles and research showing that masks help.

And yet! Folks I’ve spoken to who have consulted with doctors have been told to skip the masks, that they’re good to keep you from touching your face, but their efficacy in preventing spread or infection is negligible.

Then again, there’s a graph floating around showing the infection rate curve for a bunch of nations. Those that turned the corner fastest are circled with the word MASKS scrawled in the bubble. The implication is that masks helped slow the spread in those countries.

I still don’t know what to make of this. It’s confusing because knowledgeable people are refuting each other’s claims over and over, and I’m unsure who to trust.

I’ve also read conflicting information about whether the virus is primarily spread via droplets in the air or from people touching infected surfaces and then touching their faces.

Trying to get a handle on the truth about these things is proving to be exhausting.

Zoom’s misleading encryption claims are just the latest problem for the popular service – Six Colors

Dan Moren:

You can’t just make words mean whatever you want. “End-to-end encryption” has a specific definition, and trying to massage it simply because it’s inconvenient is a real problem.

No one should use Zoom anymore. The company is profoundly dishonest. Apparently there’s at least one full-featured open source alternative. Hoping to give it a try soon.

Apple Buys Dark Sky – 512 Pixels

Stephen Hackett:

That is also the cutoff date for the Dark Sky website and API, meaning other weather apps that use Dark Sky data will need to look at other services to populate their apps.

Shutting off the API is a real dick move. Apps like CARROT, which is a fantastic weather app, rely on that data.

Update: Looks like the API will stay active, but they’re no longer accepting new users. That’s fair. Also, a friend of mine speculated that this could eventually become WeatherKit, which I find highly intriguing.

The Social-Distancing Culture War Has Begun – The Atlantic

McKay Coppins:

In recent days, Republican governors in Alabama and Mississippi have resisted calls to enact more forceful mitigation policies. Polling data suggest that Republicans throughout the U.S. are much less concerned about the coronavirus than Democrats are. According to a recent analysis by The New York Times, Trump won 23 of the 25 states where people have reduced personal travel the least.

I wish this were not a thing, but it's definitely a thing. I've seen it with my own eyes.

COVID 19, Days 16 and 17

Whoops. Missed a post yesterday. It’s worth noting that the day was rather uneventful, though, which is good given the circumstances.

Remote school starts for our oldest today. She has a Zoom meeting with her classmates this morning followed by several lessons sent by her teacher. Morning announcements were held via a prerecorded YouTube video.

I had a dream last night that I didn’t get her in front of the computer at the right time, and we missed the class check-in, and her teacher was super mad at me. So if you’re wondering about whether parents are stressing out about their kids’ schooling, well, there ya go.