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    • Open Thread & March 28th US Covid Numbers Update
      As usual, use this for topics unrelated to recent posts. Since the blog has been all Covid, all the time this last week, this is a good place to discuss other issues. The results of the work I do, like this article, are free, but food isn’t, so if you value my work, please DONATE […]
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Crowdsourcing -You need to read this one


The pope has quarantined himself and THIS just popped up on the news this morning:

So, the heads of state are starting to get infected. That’s very significant. And whether we like him or not, the fact that Trump was in India just a few days ago and India hasn’t updated its status for about a week, should raise alarm bells. If Trump becomes sick or incapacitated, Pence is supposed to be next in line. But I can just imagine the chaos in the White House as the staffers start looking out for #1 and it won’t be Trump. Is there a plan?

For that matter, should the candidates be getting close to crowds when there is no way of knowing for sure what the current infection rate is in the US?

It’s all connected, oh best beloveds. Let’s keep calm and think ahead.


Most of the time, ALL of the time, you commenters are amazing and conscientious people. I appreciate every one of you.

But there are days when I wonder if you could please pay attention to posts that are just as important as elections. The Coronavirus posts are what I’m referring to. If I put one up, I hear crickets in the comments section and, guys, we just can’t do that anymore.

I don’t think we can trust our government to give us good information anymore. You’re probably saying, “duh”. But I’m serious. This is what the Masha Gessens were referring to at the beginning of the Trump administration. We are so overstimulated by a barrage of outrageous behavior from Trump that we are in danger of shrugging it off when something really urgent happens. We have to snap out of it.

In the last couple of days, I put up posts about what I’ve seen on the JHU Covid19 tracker that look really disturbing. There was a significant blob of infection at the Oklahoma- Kansas border that grew quickly over the course of one day and then disappeared, like magic. I don’t know where those cases came from or where they went. Shouldn’t we know?

There is still the puzzling case with India. It hasn’t changed it’s confirmed status in over a week. That’s 1 billion people surrounded by a sea of red from China and Iran who are blissfully immune to this rapidly spreading and dangerous virus. And if that’s not strange enough, Trump just spent time there and came back from India the day before his disastrous press conference. Shouldn’t we know what’s going on with India, especially since so many of our offshore technical resources are locate there and many onshore technical resources still travel back and forth?

I’m not saying we need to keep people in holding pens. I’m saying that the lack of transparency makes us vulnerable because we don’t know what’s going on around us. Community spreading is possible because we look at those red dots and say, well, it’s not in my city yet. How do we know that? I mean, how do we know that in the age of Trump? How do we practice defensive disease control when we can’t see the disease coming?

I’m not blaming Johns Hopkins University for disappearing dots in Oklahoma but it looks like someone leaned on the users that maintain the site to delete some crucial data. Or some sources stopped sending updates. That’s something scientists are taught to never do. The data is agnostic. We just report it. You can’t predict or formulate hypothesis or draw conclusions unless the data is transparent and honest.

So, we have to rely on ourselves. We need to become the Waze of Covid19. We need to practice “see something, say something”. We need to write requirements for tracking the virus without the help of JHU or the CDC. Carefully, calmly, accurately. We may need to create our own app. For the code challenged among us, this is the time to figure out how to get it done.

As an American citizen, I want an app for crowdsourcing Coronavirus cases and observations so that I know the risks to my community in real time.

Your turn. Write your own “As a, I want, so that” requirement.