by ezs | Mar 23, 2022 | evilzenscientist
Weekend – positive cases are down dramatically since the start of the year. Unclear how many tests are actually being run now. UK cases keep trending up; disastrous timing of all protections being lifted, along with a surge of BA.2. It’s a balancing act to what happens next in the US.
Friday – much discussion about vaccination rates, boosters, a fourth shot – and the timing of any fourth shot. Does this become an annual combination ‘flu and covid’ shot. I mentioned this two years ago.
Thursday – BA.2 keeps popping up as the next variant of concern. The "dance" of the Hammer and The Dance.
Wednesday – US airlines ask for mask mandates in airports and on planes to be lifted.
Tuesday – no funding in the budget for more COVID testing and boosters/vaccinations. BA.2 variant is now 25% of cases in Washington state.
Monday – New covid wave in the UK. Big jumps in positive cases. That peak is as bad as the end of 2021.
This time 2021 – another wave. Spring break, no masks, variants.
This time 2020 – Fauci predicts 100-200k deaths in the US. (it’s now 1M), military field hospitals being built in Seattle, 3.3M file unemployment.
by ezs | Mar 14, 2022 | evilzenscientist
Weekend – The Seattle Times weekly graph – rapidly declining cases, hospitalisations and death rates. Much discussion of a "second booster" or "fourth shot".
Hong Kong death rates are insane. This from The Economist.
Friday – Covid in over 70s in UK at record high. After two years, this is the pandemic that everyone is now forgetting.
Thursday – good listen from The Guardian on the coming wave of Covid.
Wednesday – Canada to drop testing requirement for visitors from the US from April 1.
Tuesday – BA.2 is starting to make news. ~100M people in PRC under lockdown or restrictions. Fourth dose (second booster?) will be needed, Pfizer CEO says an annual shot will be needed. I refer back to my comments from 2020. CDC Wastewater Surveillance System shows 1000% jump in Covid DNA in Seattle wastewater.
Monday – "UK should brace for rising cases", meanwhile all travel restrictions dropped in the UK. BA.2 Omicron variant starting to run fast. PRC locks down Jilin province. Concerns that Sinovac isn’t as effective against omicron and variant. Dropped The Guardian from the daily summaries – but no doubt another raging covid wave will force its return.
This time 2021 – another wave passes across Europe, Washington State following closely. 100M vaccinations in 58 days.
This time 2020 – the start of panic buying amidst FUD and calls for rationing.
by ezs | Mar 12, 2022 | evilzenscientist
Weekend – call for fourth jab in England, Covid cases rising again. Changchun, PRC on lockdown because of surge of Covid.
Locally – mask mandates end this weekend, many businesses still requiring masks and vaccine proof.
Friday – "one third of US Covid child deaths were from omicron". Hong Kong battling huge wave of Covid.
Thursday – Covid building up again in England.
Wednesday – vaccination mandates, mask mandates – ending across the US and Europe. Meanwhile Hong Kong, Israel and others are seeing a fifth wave of Covid.
Tuesday – ah – the variants are coming back. "Deltacron" and BA.2 are starting to enter the vernacular. With war taking the headlines, and a weary populous; this could just be "let it run" – which is a disaster for public health, those sheltering, the immune compromised, and anyone with children under 5.
Monday – good read on the coalition of extreme groups forming across the US.
This time 2021 – vaccination and beating the variants. A year into working from home, and it’s the new normal.
This time 2020 – getting into the groove of weekly blogging with daily news aggregation. Restaurants and bars closing, statewide school closures, large gatherings banned.
by ezs | Mar 2, 2022 | evilzenscientist
When we moved to Issaquah, back in 2008, we moved into a new home. I’ve spent the last 14 years or so researching and tracking the financials, efficiency and availability of photo-voltaic systems. Back in 2008-2010 I spoke at length with several colleagues who had made the early jump, these homebrew solutions came with costs, risks – but happily lots of data.
We are at the point in early 2022 where we have decided to take the plunge and make a major investment in a combined photo-voltaic and battery storage system. This series of blog posts will walk through a lot of our thoughts and decisions, mainly so I can have this for future reference.
by ezs | Mar 2, 2022 | evilzenscientist
Weekend – with war in Europe dominating the headlines, the US and much of Europe seems to have forgotten we’re in the tail end of a pandemic.
Cases are down – but still higher than much of the last two years.
Friday – Hong Kong planning to test all residents, shops rationing some food and medicines.
Thursday – Live coverage from the Guardian looks to be over. Newsroom is focused instead on war in Ukraine.
Wednesday – the end of Omicron is being mistaken for the end of Covid.
Tuesday – the smaller, child sized, shots of Pfizer are less effective. Stops serious illness, but doesn’t prevent infection.
Monday – European war, and the potential for massive global escalation, has given The Guardian newsroom a completely different focus. No daily aggregates from The Guardian in almost a week.
This time 2021 – vaccine rollout well underway; 28M in US with two shots. A great early lead.
This time 2020 – I was in the office, running an architecture design session, no social distancing. All of the talk was about the coronavirus. 2 March 2020 – State Of Emergency declared in Washington State. Work from home officially started on 6th March.
by ezs | Mar 2, 2022 | evilzenscientist
Like many other sites, large and small, well known to obscure – I’ve been getting a lot of external and malicious traffic.
Some slight tightening of security, mandating newer TLS versions and cipher suites.
by ezs | Feb 22, 2022 | evilzenscientist
Weekend – looks like The Seattle Times and The Guardian are down to weekday updates – which is unsurprising.
UW reporting "end of the pandemic". Locally cases are "much lower" than the peak of a few months ago.
Wednesday through Friday – Ukraine invasion. Newsrooms have put most coronavirus news way below the fold. General trend is lifting restrictions and mask requirements; continue to encourage vaccinations and boosters.
Tuesday – most COVID restrictions in UK, Ireland, US starting to be removed. On the other side – 100K new cases in Brazil. Free testing to end in England.
Monday – possible war in Ukraine has taken Covid off the headlines globally. NZ ends vaccine mandates.
This time last year – vaccination systems went online, and were swamped. 500k US deaths from COVID.
This time 2020 – this was the week when panic buying really started. Cleaning products, face masks, hand sanitiser, paper towels, toilet paper – all stripped from stores.
by ezs | Feb 16, 2022 | evilzenscientist
Weekend – potential for Ukraine invasion has bumped Covid reporting off the Guardian for the weekend. Second booster shot being considered. Queen tests positive for COVID.
Weekly infographic from The Seattle Times shows rapidly falling positive cases, and the overwhelming variant at the end of January was Omicron. Mask mandates are going away rapidly.
Friday – Omicron wave reaches South Korea. Building concern around Omicron variant BA.2 – this from BBC early in February.
Thursday – continued re-opening in the US. Washington State and King County removing mask mandates.
Wednesday – Omicron keeps heading east, across Europe, in it’s wake countries are emerging from and lifting most restrictions.
Tuesday – Canada, US, Europe – "protest convoys" and what looks to be some pretty major astroturfing.
Monday – Microsoft announce a broad plan to return to the office; most employees have been at home for two years. Flexible working will be the new normal.
This time last year – mutations, variants, "over by Christmas" which could have been the case in so many ways.
This time 2020 – still in the office, still looking at the handful of cases emerging in Washington State and New York. Regular, weekly blogging started in March 2020.
by ezs | Feb 8, 2022 | evilzenscientist
Weekend – still >9000 cases per day in Washington State, but that’s nothing compared to the peaks of a few weeks ago. Death rates are peaking, hospitalisation rates are falling. Warning that the next variant will "kill many more" as England drops all restrictions.
Friday – UK looking to eliminate all free testing – both PCR and lateral flow – to save money. All Covid regulations to be gone in two weeks in UK. Political rather than scientific.
Thursday – fast follow from yesterday; and outdoor mask mandates in Washington State for large gatherings will be gone next week. I expect indoor masking to be gone by end of month. In the UK Prince Charles has Covid for the second time; Queen has no symptoms. "Africa transitioning out of pandemic stage of Covid" – WHO.
Wednesday – I am somewhat hopeful for a return to the new normal this spring and summer. Locally there is a vast majority vaxxed and boosted; and the omicron cases have swept through quickly. Hospitals were stretched to breaking point, there were many deaths, there is loss and change everywhere. A "new normal" that we saw last summer/autumn isn’t bad: require proof of vaccination for indoor bars, dining and events. Use that as the carrot and the stick to slowly nudge people forward.
Tuesday – restrictions are being dropped across the US – as Omicron quickly tails off, and the number of vaccinated, boosted and previously exposed is relatively high. My prediction is for a late summer/early autumn booster to be produced, probably in conjunction with the annual flu shot. The next wave will really affect those who are unvaccinated and/or isolating.
Monday – potential exposure again, rapid lateral flow test shows negative. The advantages of having plentiful, cost effective, home tests are numerous. I wish the US had more lateral flow tests in the system back in November and December. Continuing anti-vac protests (and I question whether these are really astroturfing) in the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand.
This time last year – coming out of the first big winter wave in Washington State and the US. Vaccination starting slowly. UK ahead of the vaccination curve with 21% vaccinated.
This time 2020 – still in the calm before the storm; this was the few weeks of cruise ships being the main vector of transmission, watching the Diamond Princess in quarantine off Japan, watching a tiny number of cases in PRC start accelerating, the novel coronavirus was named "Covid-19".
by ezs | Jan 31, 2022 | evilzenscientist
Weekend – Omicron starts working through NZ; hopefully the vaccination drive means the impact is low.
Cases are on the rapid decrease here in Washington State; tests and N95/KN95 masks are now readily available. I hope the stockpiles get replenished for the next wave.
Friday – US health systems are "broken", full hospitals, understaffed.
Thursday – following record cases, Europe set for a spring and summer of "tranquility" WHO
Wednesday – COVID hospitalisations dropping in Western Washington State.
Tuesday – BA.2 subvariant of Omicron is picking up; re-infections seem to be picking up.
Monday – Spotify vs. Joe Rogan and misinformation vs. Neil Young. Downing Street parties.
This time last year – "US is blind to mutations and spread"
This time 2020 – the quiet between "first case" and "panic".