What can Michigan do about Cronavirus in the absence of federal leadership?

As of yesterday, in spite of the President’s repeated promises that coronavirus tests are readily available, only about 7,695 Americans have been tested for the deadly virus, putting us far behind every other developed nation currently battling the pandemic. [Donald Trump, as you’ll recall, said at the CDC this past Friday, “Anybody, right now and yesterday, that needs a test, gets a test. They’re there. They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful. Anybody that needs a test gets a test.” This, as the numbers tell us, was not even remotely true.] Here, from Vox, is a graphic showing how we’re actually doing compared to other nations, some of whom are testing more people per day than we’ve tested since the beginning of this whole thing two months ago.

I know it’s being reported that the long-promised tests are finally on their way, but I’m curious to know what, if anything, our state government and local health care providers might be able to do to fill the gap in the interim, as every minute is absolutely critical. I noticed today, for instance, that the University of Washington Virology Department was ramping up capacity so that they could run more tests, and it got me wondering what the University of Michigan, Henry Ford Health System, Spectrum Health and others might be able to do to ensure that tests are being administered and processed faster. [I, of course, have no idea whether or not such a thing is possible, but, as I see that the University of Washington is doing it, I have to think that it might be conceivable that other university labs with PCR capacity could do the same thing.] Absent any meaningful action on the part of the federal government, could universities and health systems, for instance, roll out mobile, drive-up testing facilities, like we’re beginning to see in Denver and San Francisco? [Again, I don’t know how difficult it is for entities to create their own tests, but, as I’ve read that many hospitals are doing just that, I have to wonder what, if anything, we might already be working on here, in the state of Michigan, to address the vacuum in federal leadership.]

I assume that these discussions must have already been happening around the state, right?

Again, as we’ve discussed, aggressive testing is the key. This virus is spreading exponentially, and we don’t have a chance of mitigating the damage unless we know exactly how far it’s already penetrated into our communities. [One Ypsilanti restaurant is already showing up on a list of possible exposure locations.] We need actionable data, and we can only get that through testing. Michigan went from 2 known cases yesterday to 12 today, and you can be sure there are many, many times that. At the risk of terrifying everyone, I’d like to suggest that you read Tomas Pueyo’s most recent piece on Medium, “Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now,” which makes it really clear that the only way we’re going to make it through this is to aggressively test and then contain those areas where the virus is rampant. It’s not a pleasant read, but it’s an absolutely necessary one.

So, how do we ramp up testing here in Michigan if the federal government is either too inept to do it, or just doesn’t care? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

One last thing. I know we’ve already discussed in detail the many failures of the Trump administration relative to the rollout of these tests, so I won’t go into it here again. I will, however, say that, if it turns out to be true that Donald Trump purposefully delayed testing in order to keep the outbreak numbers artificially low, as is being reported this evening, he should not just be immediately removed from office, but tried for treason – the crime of betraying one’s country.

update: Governor Whitmer just gave the word that all Michigan K-12 schools would be closed starting this Monday, March 16. It’s the right thing to do, of course, but the impact on Michigan families is going to be tremendous.

update: For those of you who do not read the comments section, here’s a recent anonymous update left by a reader of this site who works in the health care field here in Michigan.

Multiple health systems and private companies are working on COVID-19 tests. It’s not as easy as it looks from the outside. What works in a research lab needs to be validated to ensure that the test is repeatably consistent. It takes special technical skill. It takes time. It takes special supplies. Even with wider availability of the tests, there will be limits on capacity, and doctors will need those tests to be reserved preferentially for people who are pretty sick because the real limit is the number of hospital beds that can be staffed to take care of the really sick people while still being able to take care of other sick patients that have other illnesses. There is contingency planning for loss of staff due to self quarantine, family quarantine, as well as call outs because of school and day care closures. There is contingency planning for a blood supply shortage because of a shortage of donors, who tend to be older. There is contingency planning for specialized hospital supplies because of a disruption of the extended supply chain…

PCR tests are great, but very difficult to do well. The reaction process is very delicate and conditions have to be just right so that it works to completion. If it doesn’t work, then a negative result could mean reaction failure rather than lack of disease. It can also detect very very small amounts of genetic material so the workspace has to be very very clean. Otherwise a positive result could mean contamination from another sample rather than the presence of disease. Now most available commercial tests have machinery to handle that, but in the days of manual testing, which the CDC provided kit is, there were specific requirements for airflow, personnel flow, specimen flow, and special clean room type gear to prevent specimen cross contamination. I’m not surprised that it takes so long for a result to come back. The state lab tests as a daily batch, with specimen testing for COVID-19 beginning in the mid morning and results for that day available in the late afternoon or early evening. It’s a guarantee that a sample collected today will be tested tomorrow at the soonest with notification of the physician that evening. If there are delays in transport, or if that days batch run is full, then it’ll have to wait until the following day.

update: On the subject of what states can do to help fight this epidemic in the absence of federal leadership, here’s another comment from a reader in Washington State about the efforts being undertaken by Democratic governor Jay Inslee.

Yesterday, Governor Inslee shut down all schools in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties for 6 weeks. They are offering free child care for all health care workers. They are also continuing to pay bus drivers, janitors, etc. their salaries and trying to find other work for them to do during this period. No pay interruption. Kids that were receiving free or reduced meals can go to the schools and pick up meals. In addition, anyone who needs food for whatever reason can also go to the schools and pick up meals. Inslee showed true leadership.

One hopes Michigan can handle this as well.

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65 Comments

  1. Posted March 12, 2020 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

    This is absolutely fucking insane.

  2. John Brown
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    Social distance is critical. Allow 6′ between yourself and others so spitum isn’t exchanged when speaking or sneezing. So it’s actually a good time for your commenters to sit behind the keyboard and really rack up a huge number of abusive exchanges.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Multiple health systems and private companies are working on COVID-19 tests. It’s not as easy as it looks from the outside. What works in a research lab needs to be validated to ensure that the test is repeatably consistent. It takes special technical skill. It takes time. It takes special supplies. Even with wider availability of the tests, there will be limits on capacity, and doctors will need those tests to be reserved preferentially for people who are pretty sick because the real limit is the number of hospital beds that can be staffed to take care of the really sick people while still being able to take care of other sick patients that have other illnesses. There is contingency planning for loss of staff due to self quarantine, family quarantine, as well as call outs because of school and day care closures. There is contingency planning for a blood supply shortage because of a shortage of donors, who tend to be older. There is contingency planning for specialized hospital supplies because of a disruption of the extended supply chain.

  4. Bob
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    A real leader would executive order the nation three weeks of FREE Skinemax

  5. Anonymous
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    PCR tests are great, but very difficult to do well. The reaction process is very delicate and conditions have to be just right so that it works to completion. If it doesn’t work, then a negative result could mean reaction failure rather than lack of disease. It can also detect very very small amounts of genetic material so the workspace has to be very very clean. Otherwise a positive result could mean contamination from another sample rather than the presence of disease. Now most available commercial tests have machinery to handle that, but in the days of manual testing, which the CDC provided kit is, there were specific requirements for airflow, personnel flow, specimen flow, and special clean room type gear to prevent specimen cross contamination. I’m not surprised that it takes so long for a result to come back. The state lab tests as a daily batch, with specimen testing for COVID-19 beginning in the mid morning and results for that day available in the late afternoon or early evening. It’s a guarantee that a sample collected today will be tested tomorrow at the soonest with notification of the physician that evening. If there are delays in transport, or if that days batch run is full, then it’ll have to wait until the following day.

  6. Meta
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Huffington Post: “California Governor Calls Out What A Mess Coronavirus Testing Is Right Now”

    California’s ability to test people for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, has been limited by incomplete test kits provided by the federal government, the state’s governor said Thursday.

    So far only about 1,500 people have been tested in the state, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said in a press conference. While the state government has 8,000 test kits available, the kits have not all included every necessary component to actually perform the test for COVID-19, Newsom said.

    “I continue to reinforce the tests are not complete, kits all do not include re-agents, chemicals, solutions that are components,” Newsom said, adding that it was “imperative” that labs get access to “all ingredients that are components of the test.”

    “I’m surprised this is not more of the national conversation,” he said, adding it was analogous to going to a store and buying a printer but not having any ink to print with.

    Newsom said that at the “beginning of this process,” the state did not realize the federal government’s test kits were incomplete. The issue became clear after “ambiguity” and “queries” from local labs saying they couldn’t use the kits. There have been backlogs in local labs because tests did not have all the necessary components, he said — though as of Thursday there were no reported backlogs remaining.

    Read more:
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/california-coronavirus-testing_n_5e6a957dc5b6bd8156f3d84b

  7. M
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    In response to Donald Trump’s “sleepy joe” comment above, I offer the following fact.

    “During H1N1, 1 million people were tested within a month of the first diagnosis. ”

    https://twitter.com/danpfeiffer/status/1238461738338549760?s=20

  8. iRobert
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Coronavirus Live Q & A

    http://www.FB..com/MichiganMedicine

  9. iRobert
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Coronavirus Live Q & A

    http://www.FB.com/MichiganMedicine

  10. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    How is what President Trump said insane? H1N1. Forgot about that? Can’t accept our President probably prevented a major outbreak with a (criticized as racist) timely travel ban? R U OK, Barky?

  11. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Presumably the H1N1 test already existed, yes?

    The best you can do now is hope the virus spreads and destroys the economy and sends Twump packing.

  12. Lynne
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    HW can’t you see that he obviously did NOT prevent a major outbreak. Possibly because his racist ban didn’t include US citizens who then brought the disease back home. No screening or anything. The guy is going to kill us.

  13. iRobert
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    “As a precaution, Washtenaw County Health Department is asking anyone in the following locations at the specific day and time listed to watch themselves for symptoms of COVID-19. Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. If symptoms appear, contact your health care provider or the Health Department. There are no ongoing exposure concerns at these locations.

    Monday, March 9

    Detroit Metro Airport, 9000 Middlebelt Road, Romulus, North Terminal in the afternoon, approximately 12:00 to 1 pm

    The Hair Spot, 1512 North Maple Road, Ann Arbor from 5:15 to 5:45 pm

    The Ann Arbor YMCA, 400 North Washington, Ann Arbor from 6:00 to 7:00 pm.

    In addition, Oakland County Health Division announced a low-risk, possible exposure on Saturday, March 7 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm at the Tap Room, 201 West Michigan Avenue, Ypsilanti.”

    https://www.washtenaw.org/3095/COVID-19

  14. Lynne
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    One suggestion I have heard but I don’t remember where is to turn on something like Google Location that uses your phone’s GPS to track your movements. If you get COVID-19, this will help authorities track where you have been which can help them find others who may have been exposed. Considering the lack of testing though this may be pointless and as one of my more paranoid friends mentioned, this would help the government find you when you don’t want to be found? I don’t know about *that* !

    I have mine on anyways for other reasons and also have Life360 installed so my family can know where I am when I am driving around the country so obviously I am not worried about the government using this technology. If I do get ill, I expect that I will not be able to get tested but will notify anyone in the places I have been as much as possible

  15. Nobody
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Yesterday, Governor Inslee shut down all schools in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties for 6 weeks. They are offering free child care for all health care workers. They are also continuing to pay bus drivers, janitors, etc. their salaries and trying to find other work for them to do during this period. No pay interruption. Kids that were receiving free or reduced meals can go to the schools and pick up meals. In addition, anyone who needs food for whatever reason can also go to the schools and pick up meals.

    Inslee showed true leadership. He was asked to respond to Trump’s statement that travel to Washington may be banned, and gave a measured, non partisan, adult response.

  16. iRobert
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered a temporary ban on all large gatherings and events over 250 people amid the coronavirus outbreak.

  17. M
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Nobody, thank you for sharing that. I’m glad to hear that your governor has stepped up, demonstrating leadership in the absence of federal action.

  18. Nobody
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Another suggestion that is being discussed out here is a more targeted approach… to identify those most at risk, isolate them, and provide them and their care workers with support. It would help address an increased demand on hospital resources by slowing the infection rate among the most vulnerable.

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Here are latest cdc guidelines to self-assess for exposure.

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/risk-assessment.html

  20. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    “HW can’t you see that he obviously did NOT prevent a major outbreak. ”

    How do you think you could know that? It’s a hypothetical reality where he didn’t impose a China travel ban in January. There is no way to know what would have happened without it. That’s why I said probably. Certainly there is an increased likelihood of a far greater outbreak without the President’s travel ban. You are not even trying to argue that. It’s just waah! waah! waah!

  21. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Here are SBA guidelines for small businesses.

    https://www.sba.gov/page/guidance-businesses-employers-plan-respond-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

    People are working on tenant protections at state and local level as well as other means to support workers and small businesses.

  22. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Italy didn’t follow our President’s lead and look what happened to them.

  23. Frosted Flakes
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    That makes a lot of sense Nobody. The key in my minds seems to be just slowing it down so that hospitals are not overwhelmed.

  24. Nobody
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    The hospitals out here are trying to prepare for crisis mode. They are looking for volunteers to help with things like data entry, cleaning waiting rooms, helping clinical staff with checklists of PPE, screeners, transporters…

    I’m considering volunteering once I clear out all my current projects.

    Mark – Jules has more info. She is in the thick of it at UW medical.

  25. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    HW — Italy outbreak happened weeks before arrival in the US. How would they have followed us??? Seems like we, at a state, level are Following them. Iran also had a worse response. That’s where you set the low bar for Trump to limp over. literally every other developed country is more on top of it than we are. Trumps dissembling of the pandemic response bureaucracy and his inaction and delays and failure to make testing available, purportedly for political reasons, will cost many lives. He’s just the worst possible president.

  26. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_coronavirus_pandemic_in_Italy#First_confirmed_cases
    On 31 January, the first two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Rome.

    That’s the same day NPR was tripping about why Trump was making such a big deal with travel restriction from China. How do you not figure these things out? I’ve stated it many times now. You are off in lala land is the problem. Then when people show you reality you get mad and try to discredit them with lies.

  27. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    You understand? Your logic in that post depends on ignoring the fact that can’t be ignored. Travel ban 1/31/20.

  28. Anonymous
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    It’s funny the little things you latch onto in order to preserve your worldview, like this idea that a reporter questioned the a ban on flights from China. While that may well have happened, it doesn’t mean that the left was, en masse, up in arms about the administration restricting travel. I don’t, for instance, remember any complaints here. I think a vast majority of people on both sides probably accepted a ban from China as necessary. I sure did. What people have an issue with is being lied to about the situation we’re facing, the availability of tests, and the magnitude of the danger we’re facing. You can keep yelling, “BUT SOMEONE GOT MAD AT TRUMP FOR STOPPING FLIGHTS FROM CHINA,” all you want. It doesn’t change the facts. He held back on testing and downplayed the danger.

  29. Frosted Flakes
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    One of our probable Anonymous posters said the following, on another format, on Feb 1: “Betting that people wouldn’t be calling for bans on incoming flights from Norway if there were a disease outbreak there.”

    HW’s point is not without merit, imo, regardless of your attempt to dismiss HW’s point.

  30. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    HW— it would have been great if Trump’s response to the spread to Italy and Iran was to do more than just ban most (not all) flights to and from China. There are steps one takes to prepare for a pandemic. Which he might have been able to implement a month ago if he had not dismantled the WH commission charged its responding to pandemic threats.

    Sometimes people on the left are wrong. That doesn’t make Trump or you right

  31. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    BTW I flew out of LA on 1/26 and they had two confirmed cases in LA on that date. I know because why sweet son was worried for me and I had no idea what he was talking about.

  32. Lynne
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I remember first reading about this in late January. The reason the news stories struck me is that I was pretty sick. Dry cough, fever, etc so I joked that I had this new disease. I didn’t realize that it was already in California then. Part of me really hopes that what I had WAS COVID-19 because then I would be immune but the odds are it was just the regular flu.

  33. Lynne
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    On a side note, some of my more HW like relatives are spreading a story that this whole thing is a plot by Democrats to hurt Trump’s election chances in 2020. Do they actually think that the Democratic party is simultaneously powerful enough to start a global pandemic while at the same time being too weak to win an election? I guess so!

  34. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Your presidential candidate called the travel ban “hysterical xenophobia”. Damn, you lose every time. Loser.

  35. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    That’s right.

    https://twitter.com/TrumpWarRoom/status/1238144416147288066

  36. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Politicians say stupid things. Biden gaffs are legendary. Doesn’t this gotcha game get old?? There were other relevant steps that we should have been taking. And a partial travel ban from one nation is pretty weak sauce. We have limited information because we have limited capacity for testing. Trump really bungled this and will pay a price. What Biden might or might not have done is irrelevant because he’s not in power and we don’t know. Despite what Trump asserts, this IS his responsibility.

    England is going about this entirely differently, keeping everything possible going in hopes of creating herd immunity Among less vulnerable citizens faster. It will be interesting to compare results.

  37. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Trump slowed testing for political reasons in January.
    https://twitter.com/nprfreshair/status/1238186469690429440?s=21

  38. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Gotcha? I’m refuting an insufficient critique. Aren’t you trying to do a gotcha on the President?

  39. Frosted Flakes
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    You think Trump was not ramping up testing preparedness in February because he thought it would damage his chances in November elections? I don’t get it. Explain your reasoning, please.

  40. Lynne
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    FF, It is possible that he was worried that the virus would have a negative effect on the markets which in turn could hurt the economy. That would certainly have an impact on the 2020 election. Possibly he is a racist who thought a racist travel ban on Asians would keep the market was falling?

    I don’t know and I don’t care what was going through his mind. I do care that there are not enough tests and that we have a health care system that might not be up to the task.

  41. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    “Possibly he is a racist who thought a racist travel ban on Asians would keep the market was falling?”

    What a moron you are.

  42. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    FF — I’m sorry you still think logic has an bearing on our president. The report says he thought that by holding back tests, he would hold back cases and so the pandemic would seem less severe. This was back when many felt this would be like the flu which regularly goes undercounted because ppl don’t seek treatment. Now of course we know that this is much more severe especially for susceptible populations and since it’s a new pathogen we have no herd immunity to it.

    The point is the president preferred to have less information available about a brand spanking new pandemic in hopes he could deny its severity down the line. It wasn’t reason that motivated him. It was the squirrelly response if a guy who likes to evade any responsibility or accountability.

    Now he’s just blaming Obama which is comical.

  43. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Should have said: ‘confirmed cases’

  44. Nobody
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Now that all the schools in Washington are closed, they have run into a problem with the Federal FAPE mandate ( Free Appropriate Education ). They are trying to set up online learning, but are having trouble clearing the FAPE hurdle. My understanding is that no public school in Washington will be offering any classes until this is resolved.

    The Northshore School District has been closed down for over a week now and switched to classes online. They have been making sure that any student that needs a computer gets one. I heard that Comcast was providing free internet to any household that could not afford it, but have not confirmed this yet. Northshore School District was asked today to stop classes until the FAPE issue is resolved.

    I believe that some of the concerns about special education are being resolved through “tele-therapy”. Superintendant Michelle Reid of the Northshore Schools here is working at the front line of this and is tirelessly trying to find solutions. The NSD website is documenting some of their efforts and may be worth reviewing now that Michgan has closed schools as well.

  45. Jean Henry
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Comcast and att are offering reduced cost internet in Michigan.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.freep.com/amp/5040427002

  46. Frosted Flakes
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Ann Arbor libraries closing. That is going to be difficult for a lot of people who rely on the libraries for the internet and a computer.

  47. iRobert
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Hopefully, it is how most commenters here access the Internet.

  48. Sad
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Good luck President Trump.

    I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes.

    I wonder if this will finally break down some of the divisions in the country?

    Good luck everyone. Be safe.

  49. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Aloha the travel ban was a pr stunt at best. It operated like a leaky sieve. It seems likely that the virus entered Michigan from Italy, brought back to US by a group of EMU students and faculty. Trumps racism allowed US citizens to return to US from effected regions and spread virus throughout country. Half measures are about as effective As no measures.
    Still no confirmed cases anywhere on Islands. Economy will fall off table as tourism disapears.

  50. John Brown
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Half measures are way worse than no measures because it allow moronic partisans like HW to cling to the lie of effective action.

    The Mar a Lago cluster is growing. Not only can he not competently address it, his sleazy crew is actually spreading it.

  51. EOS
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    We can all work together to thwart Trump’s plan to kill us all with this virus. Self isolate for the next 6 weeks, regardless how you feel or whether you think you have been exposed. The more people we can get to survive until November, the better our chances to elect our candidate.

  52. EOS
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Our bodies – Our lives. Refuse to be an incubator for this virus. Stick it to the man.

  53. iRobert
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    It’s about time you started using sarcasm, EOS. I almost came to the conclusion you didn’t have it in you. Welcome to the dark side.

  54. EOS
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Robert,

    Sarcasm? No one else in the bunker agrees with your assessment. We are serious as hell and we are going to survive.

  55. Jean Henry
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Comcast and AT&T are offering low-income households 2 mos free and $9.99/mo internet service after that. They are also working on increasing bandwidth to accommodate anticipated service use increases.

    Thank goodness we’ll all be using the internet more.

    As a side note, if you want to support local businesses and workers through this crisis, please consider buying gift certificates and gift cards for later use. Many businesses are offering pre-orders and pickups. Literati closed to the public but is offering $1 delivery. Lots of restaurants are doing to go orders for pick up outside or for delivery. If you are asymptomatic and decide to go out to eat, please tip generously.

    My daughter in Brooklyn received several 100% tips on bills from the few customers who came out. By the end of the night, she had received a week’s tips which will help enormously. If things get worse sit down restaurants will simply close.

    The house passed emergency aid funds. Hopefull McConnell will put it to a Senate vote. The SBA is working on emergency loans. NYC has offered them to small businesses. There is a lot more to this than just the health impact. The economic impact may be worse. I’m very concerned about another banking collapse as there is still way too much derivative and derivatives of derivatives exposure in that sector. Amazing that they just did the same shit again.

    Gov Whitmer just asked Trump to re-open enrollment for the ACA. She should have asked him to open up medicare to anyone uninsured. Not that either is likely but her ties to the health insurance industry were painfully evident there.

    Ok now I’m just catastrophizing, but if you have means and there are businesses you value, please do what you can to support them and their workers.

  56. iRobert
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Like our president says, this is a hoax.

    Italy has a rich history of theater. China too.

  57. Jean Henry
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Many images of young people in NY going out as usual. I drove by some UM frats that were on full St Pat’s party blast last night. Fewer kids but they were definitely not keeping their distance from one another.

    Recent reports about the wisdom and foresight of the young may have been overstated.

  58. iRobert
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Is it okay for me to make fun of how dumb people are now?

  59. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    So you think it would be better if the President never banned China travel, Dirty? Fewer cases somehow or no increase? You are the moronic partisan. I’m not partisan at all. I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to vote for one of the two parties again. It took a non-conformist like Trump who has laid waste to business-as-usual politics to change me from my normal Independent protest vote.

  60. EOS
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    The experts at University of Michigan understand. They told all their young, healthy, progressive students to leave the area and go to their home residences. They told all their employees who could work from home to do so. They told all their non-essential employees ( who had jobs that didn’t allow them to work from home) to stay home without working and they would pay them as usual for 2 weeks. More ways to keep their income flowing TBD. They told their employees if they feel sick, to talk to their doctors by “tele-visit”. They cancelled all in-person classes, all sports, cancelled meetings with large numbers of people.

    Don’t be afraid, just use common sense. Young healthy people who don’t isolate will get the disease and survive. But they will be the ones who spread the disease (during two weeks showing no symptoms at all) to to older and immune compromised persons, who will be fighting for limited hospital beds and a shortage of respirators.

    If we all self-isolate and stop the exponential spread of disease, we can reduce the spike of patients so that the existing infrastructure can handle it.

    Stop going on cruises, fighting over toilet paper, and take steps to save lives.

  61. Sad
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    https://www.michigandaily.com/section/news/case-covid-19-confirmed-student-apartment-vic-village-number-cases-washtenaw-county

  62. Lynne
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    It does seem that the China travel ban helped *some* but it also true that because he was allowing some people to travel here from China without screening, it didn’t help enough. He simply is not good at this. Why are there not enough tests? Had he also had a policy of testing and screening everyone coming in from China, we might be in a better position than we are today.

    EOS, you will be happy to know that the biggest cruise ship operators have suspended operations for now so very few people will be going on cruises in the coming weeks.

    I have a dentist’s appointment in Michigan and when I called to see if my appointment was still on, I was told that it is! He will probably pull out that hazmat outfit he has sometimes. LOL. I also have confirmed that my appointment at UofM with the oncologist is still on. I would like to buy a mask for my travels so that I reduce the risk of infecting others but alas, none to be had.

  63. Sad
    Posted March 14, 2020 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    It will be really hard to get behind Biden this fall with his promise to tinker around with Obamacare.

    Bernie! Bernie!Bernie!

    Maybe Joe can pivot and take Warren as his Vice President to institute universal coverage.

    Go big or go home!

  64. Posted March 14, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Spectrum Health is starting drive-up testing in Grand Rapids.

  65. Nobody
    Posted March 16, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    There is a new twist developing… as in the underpants of gun toting, don’t tread on me patriots. The introduction of the national guard language out here has apparently got their dander up. That is all we need is a standoff between the national guard and Cabella’s customers about whether they should stay in their bunkers or not.

    In other news, a friend volunteered at a local hospital as a “dofficer” and got a close look at what is going on inside. The job was to make sure that doctors and nurses entering and exiting the patient rooms were properly putting on and removing PPE,a nd to open and close the doors. The experience freaked her out. What I am hearing is that the hospitals are now relying on volunteers to perform work that helps the nurses and doctors be more efficient.

    I hope this social distancing works before the health care system is pushed beyond its limits.

    Does anyone here know if there are standardized protocols for PPE? What about safety protocols for food distribution? Does Meals on Wheels have protocols in place for food delivery to their shut ins? Is their case load increasing?

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