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Wednesday, 29 April 2020

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On the subject of introverts, if you have not already done so I can highly recommend Susan Cain's book Quiet.

I'm fairly introverted. Before this event, I'd spend 23 hours a day in my house... now only one extra hour, easy!

I do go out in early A.M. and shoot around town which is allowed in my area. There is no interaction with any other people, just a cool ability to shoot naked cityscapes.

When this is finished I hope I haven't acquired too much static inertia which will make me even more agoraphobic.

"I wear jury-rigged ones made of the sleeves of T-shirts"

That won't offer as much protection. I'd consider fashioning something that incorporates filter from AC/HVAC (MERV 12+ would be best) or vacuum bag filter. See for example here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DL8n_zJk3_Y

This is a nice article:
https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-homemade-mask-material-DIY-face-mask-ppe.html

Sorry Youtube link with I think better instructions:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6d3twpHwis

Like you, I am rather fortunate in this most unfortunate of times. I have a spouse with who I get along, am retired, have adequate funds, and have an obsession, photography, which keeps me busy. There have been days I have literally not left my home, but also do have a small fenced yard in which I can get fresh air. I do daily walks with my wife and rarely see people with masks. When I ask people whom I am able to ask, they say walking outside is low risk... but they always wear masks when in stores. I am not sure this makes sense, any of it. I wish I were in Sweden or New Zealand. My issue is that I am over 70 and even in Sweden I would be quarantined. There's not enough discussion of the different paths we could be taking. The Swedes say they are slowly building herd immunity, Lloyd Chambers feels we're punishing the 90% of people for whom this would be no worse than a bad flu, for the others. I have absolutely no idea what is the correct thing to do. You?

[My feeling is that the best we can do is prevent the medical system from becoming swamped and overwhelmed, and that we need to protect medical personnel. Those two things go hand in hand. So I think flattening the curve is the best strategy. --Mike]

"Lloyd Chambers feels we're punishing the 90% of people for whom this would be no worse than a bad flu, for the others."

Absolutely, but this so called "bad flu" has already killed more Americans in 3 months than the Vietnam War which lasted 19 years. And we have an under count on COVID-19 deaths as many people that die at home or nursing homes from it aren't tested posthumously. Btw, this soft-closing would not have lasted as long as it has (or will) if we had a more stringent quarantine and a swifter response at the onset. That's why we're all suffering, not because of those 10%.

2nd vote for Quiet by Susan Cain. Very interesting and thought-provoking read. I think only us introverts will ever read it though...

3M do have a reusable mask that can be disinfected (including the filters). This is their technical bulletin for the NHS recommending the mask and filter combination.

Unfortunately, they do look very intimidating!

Pak

https://www.3m.co.uk/intl/uk/ohes/segments/healthcare/(9666a)OH_ReusableTechBulletin_lft.pdf

Hey, Mike -
I am quite a bit further toward the introvert end of the spectrum. The idea of asking people on the street if I can take a photo (a la Peter Turnley, whose work I love) fils me with anxiety. So I wonder if you might consider a corollary: extroverts are more likely to be "street" shooters; landscape and still-life shooters may fall toward the introversion end of the spectrum. Of course, your experience and knowledge of the field might suggest otherwise.

I agree with Mike's opinion that we should flatten the contagion curve to protect hospitals and medical personnel from becoming overwhelmed with Covid-19 patients. Consider that this strategy helps anyone who needs urgent medical attention. If the hospitals are overwhelmed and you arrive at the emergency room with some other medical condition -- whether it's an illness, an accident injury, or a crime wound -- a harried doctor will have to decide whether your life is worth saving versus someone else's.

Most Americans aren't expecting such a harsh but necessary triage. It already happened in Italy. In the U.S., the state of California is distributing guidelines to help hospitals make that difficult decision, should the need arise. It's based on a point system that considers several factors. If you lose, you lose.

``So I think flattening the curve is the best strategy.''

Or bleach...

(I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself.)

"I wish I were in Sweden or New Zealand"
Or Australia? Population 25 million, 6750 infected, 90 dead and 25% of those deaths are from a few "hot spots" that should have been prevented [aged home, cruise boats].
We have not yet got the virus beaten but should it continue our medical people will now be able to handle it.
"Lloyd Chambers feels we're punishing the 90% of people for whom this would be no worse than a bad flu"
What about the 10% for whom this would be far worse than a bad flu. Surely the greater number of people who are exposed to "a bad flu" then increases the risk of the more vulnerable catching it?

Another way of looking at it. 3,350,000 Vietnamese were killed during the war with USA. In contrast, no one in Vietnam have died of this virus (270 have been infected). To be fair, it was also a civil war so not all died because of the USA, but probably most did. To be also fair, the number of virus deaths depend heavily on number of tests so may not be entirely accurate, but it is sure that the numbers in Vietnam are very low.

I found this interesting: https://www.printyourmask.online

Be sure to read the OSHA publication on how face masks work.

Hi Mike,
I am intrigued with the way you wrote Vietnam as Viet Nam.
I don't think I have seen that before. Is it significant?

[Either is correct. "Vietnam" is more usual in the U.S. and Britain and "Viet Nam" is used by the UN. In Vietnamese it's "Việt Nam." --Mike]

I had a similar experience regarding ordering masks. Ordered a box of 30 disposables a month ago that never seems to have shipped even though a tracking number was provided. Amazon is refunding my money. Here we're now required to wear a mask when entering an essential business. I was lucky to find the besillyproject (https://besillyproject.com/) which is a group in Minnesota making cotton surgical masks--for each one you buy they donate one. We got ours within a week. There is no choice on fabric pattern and the difference between male and female masks seems to be a slightly larger elastic ear band on the male one.
I'm lucky that my wife and I are both moderately introverted and have a large enough home to find some alone time together.
Stay safe.

I've been a strong union man all my working life, simply on the idea that teamwork is good in almost everything. I've battled governments trying to tell us that "unions bad, individual bargaining with employer good". (Ah retirement, being able to drop the stress from that!)

It's made me think - in virtually every form of life and work, we work better as teams, collectively. Especially when bargaining for wages and conditions. Blind Freddy can see this.

But strangely, the one area where teamwork is not needed is the creative arts such as writing, painting, composing, maybe sculpture, and photography. In all these, the end product comes from the mind, requiring very little in the way of materials or outside help. Odd.

Yet, you couldn't work without your computer, which was the result of huge teamwork. You couldn't photograph without your camera, ditto. An author couldn't publish without a printing press and all that teamwork. And so on.

Personally, I'd call myself mostly an introvert (and hence this lockdown makes little difference to me, living alone). When I go photographing, I have to be alone. My mind has to be fully engaged on the photograph before it's taken. I can't be talking to someone at the same time. Being an introvert is part of being creative. Of course, some of the greatest creators are beyond introversion into the weird end of the spectrum, as we know. I don't admit to that.

I'm getting a bit confused about "flattening the curve." It was sold in, like you mention here, as a way to slow the spread of disease in order to help the hospital system be less overwhelmed. We were promised inundated hospitals, lack of ventilators and doctors deciding life and death based upon lack of supplies, beds, icu's, etc. I am in Boston, objectively one of the hardest hit US cities. We have been in the surge for a couple weeks now - probably a bit beyond any apex. The doomsday scenarios, fortunately, did not come to be. The goal of flattening the curve was achieved. Hospitals managed and currently almost all have excess capacity even while we are still in the surge. We were never under the impression that flattening the curve was going to lower the number of infections long-term - it was simply to spread the infection rate over a longer period. Now we are told we can't reopen because the virus will begin to spread again. Yes, we know that. That's not what flattening the curve was about. I feel like it was a bait and switch. Won't we be in the same position a month from now, three months from now - even 9? If we are not reopened soon, we are in 1933 - by our own doing. There are significant societal consequences, health and economic, that come with that. Sweden will not face additional waves. They are absorbing the disease in a natural way and front-loading illness and death from Covid19. It is a very serious pandemic. People are going to die and that is very sad - sadder still for those who lose loved ones. We are very fortunate though that this disease does look to be far less lethal than originally estimated. And while we have seen some rare cases of death to young and those without co-morbidities, the average age of death is 82. My guess is that a year from now, the Sweden covid19 death rate (currently at about 5x that of Norway, Finland and Denmark, will look very similar to other western nations, but without the economic disaster. Regarding the comparison with deaths in Vietnam, I think that is a bit of headline sensationalism. I believe the average age of death of a Vietnam soldier was 19? That person is robbed of approximately 60+ years of life. I'm not saying some lives are worth more than others. But I bet you can't find an 82 year old that wouldn't sacrifice their own life in the place of their 19 year old grandchild? These are tough times, but I think we need to have deeper and more honest discussions.

Also worth mentioning is that any given person, either introvert or extrovert can be shy or outgoing. I view myself as an outgoing introvert. I can be almost as outgoing as any other person at the party, but I'm drained at the end and wish the party would have ended 45 minutes ago.

You're going to like the mask from MaxMax.com. It's comfortable and effective. Just don't stretch the strap as far as you would when using a surgical mask. They break easily.

Unfortunately, you can't look down with the mask in place. That's not a problem unless you are nearsighted and like to look under the edge of your glasses when reading labels at the store. The mask will not be useful for dentists because we look down so much.

No specific insult to anyone, but if someone compares this to "a bad flu" they are instantly ignorable. That was a really stupid argument a month ago. At this point it's criminal.

A better comparison would be aerosolized AIDS. Not very accurate but somewhat closer to the point.

Based on current deaths during a generalized somewhat effective lockdown of 2k per day we are looking at about 750k deaths for the year. Without a lockdown, who knows? Seems like well over a million are likely. It will be people you know and care about, if it isn't already.

Just the facts.

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