Current Events, LLG, Mar 10


  • DMN Collin County reports first ‘presumptive positive’ case of new coronavirus
    • A Frisco man in his 30s is the county’s first ‘presumptive positive’ case.
    • The resident is a man in his 30s who recently traveled to California. He is a parent of a Frisco ISD student, Collin County Judge Chris Hill said at a news conference Monday afternoon.
    • A case is considered “presumptive positive” when a patient has tested positive by a public health laboratory, but the results are pending confirmation by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, according to the agency.
  • Virus
    • Scientific Definition
      • A virus is a tiny, evil being that gloms on to an innocent cell and uses its machinery to make baby viruses.
    • Britannica
      • “Viruses are quintessential parasites; they depend on the host cell for almost all of their life-sustaining functions.”
  • Coronavirus
    • Disease = COVID-19
    • Virus = severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2
      • SARS-CoV-2
    • The virus consists of a single strand of RNA + four proteins.
    • The virus has four structural genes and about 10 accessory genes. (Humans have between 20,000 and 25,000.)
    • The spikes are for attaching to the host cell
  • Protection
    • State Department Warning:
    • Factors determining whether you get sick from an infected person:
      • how close you get
      • how long you are near the person;
      • whether the person projects viral droplets on you
        • A “naked” virus needs to hitch a ride with a droplet of mucus or saliva.
        • Viral droplets are ejected from the mouth or nose as a person coughs, sneezes, laughs, sings, breathes, and talks. 
      • how much you touch your face.
        • To get access to your cells, the viral droplets must enter through the eyes, nose or mouth.
    • Keep 6 feet from people coughing and sneezing
      • Transmission is primarily by respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes within a range of about 6 feet
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose or sneezing.
    • Hand Sanitizers
      • CDC recommends rubbing on hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol when you aren’t able to wash your hands.
    • Don’t touch your face (eyes, nose, mouth)
      • Keep a box of tissues handy.
      • Identify triggers.
      • Keep your hands busy.
  • How the coronavirus compares with the flu
    • Both the coronavirus and influenza are respiratory illnesses. Both have similar symptoms. Both are contagious. Both can be deadly.
    • The known symptoms for influenza and covid-19 are nearly identical: fever, cough, body aches, fatigue and at times vomiting and diarrhea. Both illnesses can manifest in mild or severe ways or even cause death
    • We know what to expect from the flu, but not from Covid-19.
    • No vaccine for Covid-19
    • study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week found a death rate of 1.4 percent among a group of 1,099 patients, suggesting the rate could be lower than those reported by the WHO and Chinese officials.
    • By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1 percent of those infected
  • Case Fatality Rate
    • The case fatality rate measures the risk that someone who develops symptoms will eventually die from the infection.
      • The number is calculated by monitoring a large group of people from the point at which they develop symptoms until they later die or recover, then calculate the proportion of all these cases who had died.
    • I’d say on best available data, when we adjust for unreported cases and the various delays involved, we’re probably looking at a fatality risk of probably between maybe 0.5 and 2 percent for people with symptoms.
    • Over all we’re seeing maybe 1 percent of symptomatic cases are fatal across all ages. There’s still some uncertainty on that, but what’s also important is that 1 percent isn’t evenly distributed. In younger groups, we’re talking perhaps 0.1 percent, which means that when you get into the older groups, you’re potentially talking about 5 percent, 10 percent of cases being fatal.

Stock Market

  • This Morning:
    • Stocks roar back after bruising sell-off yesterday
  • NY Times
    • Stocks in the United States on Monday suffered their worst single-day decline in more than a decade, as the coronavirus and an oil price war fueled concerns about the state of the global economy.
  • As the stock market plunges some investors get nervous and transfer their investments from stock funds to bond or money market funds.
  • When the market recovers they transfer their funds back to stocks.
  • Result: the’ve Sold Low and Bought High


  • WaPo The markets are sending a message about coronavirus: The recession risk is real.
    • Yield of U.S. 10-year Treasury is below 0.5 percent.
    • Saudi Arabia basically launched an oil price war on Sunday. The world has a glut of oil right now and the Saudis aren’t interested in scaling back production. So oil prices plunged 30 percent Sunday, the largest one-time drop since the 1991 Gulf War. Oil is now trading around $30 a barrel, a price most energy companies outside Saudi Arabia can’t survive on, including many in the United States
    • The bigger threat to the economy right now is probably defaults ― both personal and corporate.
    • Consumer spending powers 70 percent of the U.S. economy. As people lose their paychecks or simply grow fearful of losing their income pay, they rein in their spending. That can start a very quick downward cascade. Less affluent households will struggle to buy the basics. 
  • NYT Upshot Why the Outlook for the Economy Just Got Worse
    • Coronavirus worries already signaled a slowdown in consumer and service sectors. Then came abrupt moves in oil prices and bond yields.
    • Then over the weekend, Russia and Saudi Arabia began an oil price war that sent the price of crude to its biggest plunge in three decades — which could cause widespread bankruptcies in the American energy industry.
    • Ignore the steep sell-off in stocks — that is an effect, not a cause, of the disruptions remaking the global economic outlook. What matters now are bond yields and commodity prices, the two most vivid indicators of a shifting landscape.
    • These market prices are telling us that a recession is becoming more likely in the United States this year, and that it will probably leave scars on the economy for years to come. 

2020 Census

Biden vs Sanders

  • Biden vs Sanders
    • Primaries today, March 10
      • Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Washington
    • Nate Silver (Fivethirtyeight)
      • After Super Tuesday, Joe Biden Is A Clear Favorite To Win The Nomination
        • Sanders behind 70 delegates
        • Biden will probably get a bounce in the polls as a result of his Super Tuesday wins
        • Some of Sanders’s best states (California, Nevada) have already voted
        • There aren’t that many delegates left after March.
        • Finally, even if Sanders does come back, it might merely be enough to win a plurality rather than a majority of delegates. 
    • Nate Cohn (NY Time Upshot)
      • Biden’s Delegate Lead Is Small, but Could Be Hard to Overcome
      • If the race doesn’t take a decisive turn in favor of Mr. Sanders, Mr. Biden is likely to build an insurmountable delegate lead over the next few weeks.
      • Mr. Biden largely swept the Eastern half of the country, where most of the delegates awarded after Super Tuesday are at stake.
      • Biden needs around 54 percent of the remaining delegates to claim a majority heading into the Democratic nomination, and his path to accomplishing this might be as simple as repeating a Super Tuesday outcome under a more favorable set of states, without the burden of early votes cast before he emerged as the top rival to Mr. Sanders.
      • Sanders now needs around 57 percent of the remaining delegates to claim a majority. To pull it off, he would need to post decisive victories in states he would have almost certainly lost if they had voted on Super Tuesday. He would probably need the race to fundamentally change in the coming weeks, as it has before.


Global Warming Effects

FRED’s Graphs