8 June 2020 – Monday – #85

Laura sent a message yesterday that she was returning to Barcelona with Jacob in early July because Jacob performs on July 11. I entered the concert in my nearly empty calendar. Jacob performed in the last concert I heard before the Covid-19 lockdown, so there’s some strange cosmic symmetry if he performs in the first concert after. Just so you know, the concert is outdoors. The New Abnormal in Spain.

Meanwhile, as the world surpasses 400,000 Covid-19 deaths, the US leads the way with 110,000 deaths.

Similar to what happened in Italy for weeks, it appears that US Covid-19 mortality has plateaued and is not declining. It’s hard to tell right now whether the mortality curve will follow Italy and eventually decline, or whether a second wave of Covid-19 is about to hit the US.

It’s not hard, on the other hand, to discern pre-election narratives forming about the cause of a second wave should it hit.

If you want to know how your state is doing, here’s another tracking site from ProPublica (see Resources page for other Covid-19 tracking sites). The chart shows some of the reasons a second wave of Covid-19 may not be far off—look at all the arrows pointing up!

ProPulbica Covid-19 status by US state and territory, 7 June 2020.

The ProPublica site gives detailed information by US state and territory. As you can see, many states have increasing Covid-19 cases. About 1/3 of US states have both increasing positive tests and increasing percentage of positive tests. In states with both these metrics increasing, the increasing positive tests are due to more people getting infected rather than more people getting tested.

If you live in one of the American states with bad Covid-19 numbers, you can thank your lucky stars you don’t live in Brazil or … Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has the right ingredients for a Covid-19 outbreak: international travel, a poor immigrant working class, and the celebration of Ramadan.

Last week, a senior Saudi doctor warned that the number of coronavirus patients in critical condition is “very disturbing”, after the kingdom reported nearly 1,300 cases are on ventilators.

Middle East Eye, “Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia passes 100,000 Covid-19 cases,” 7 June 2020.

As Covid-19 cases surpass 100,000 in the Saudi Arabia, the Turkish press notes that divorces in the Kingdom have shot up, too.

Apparently, the preventive measures taken to stem the spread of the coronavirus including imposing lockdown – contributed to helping women to uncover the secret marriage of their husbands.

Anadolu Agency, “Divorce rates increase in Saudi Arabia amid COVID-19,” 5 June 2020.

On our phone call yesterday, Mom said she thinks we’ll have a vaccine by the end of 2020—that’s in just six months if your keeping track—and thought out loud about who would get first access to a vaccine. I cautioned her that a year was optimistic.

I hate the way news media eats up early vaccine results and reports great things are close at hand. The San Diego Tribune has a balanced story about Covid-19 development with this great ‘splainer chart on the five basic ways science uses to make vaccines these days.

Different development approaches for Covid-19 vaccines, San Diego Tribune.

The world has 135 Covid-19 vaccine candidates, 40% of which are being developed in the US. The effort is unprecedented, but not bulletproof. There are no vaccines for HIV, SARS, or MERS even though those viruses have been around much longer. Don’t hold your breath for a vaccine.

I’m ending today with a shout out to a more ambitious Covid-19 project than Covid Diary BCN, the New Decameron Project.

The New Decameron project plans to post a story every day, to share art and aspiration during this crisis and bring our community together. All stories will be visible to everyone, but if you support us with a pledge, the money will go to pay the creators and to support Cittadini del Mondo, a charity running a library and clinic for refugees in Rome, which badly needs extra support during this crisis

I have considered linking to charities, but that gets into the complication of vetting and choosing between charities. I like the approach of the New Decameron Project to work with a known charity.

I also love using Boccaccio’s Decameron as an writing inspiration. It was written shortly after the Black Death hit Florence in 1348, so it’s relevant in so many ways to Covid-19. Enjoy!

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