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COVID work from home – week 3 – 23 – 29 March

Sunday – Fauci predicts 100-200k deaths in US. WA DOH moved to PowerBI – looks to be developed by Microsoft IT – which is nice.

Saturday – “Best case, 20k deaths” in UK. 50% survival in ICU however. Closed borders, Brexit – no one to pick fruit and veg. Military field hospitals being built in Seattle.

Will need to head out for groceries later. Ended up travelling to Vashon Island to get car license plates done. Empty ferry and curbside pickup for food.

Friday – Boris has the COVID19. Took the car in to the dealership. Was told a story of “police checkpoints” in Issaquah. Mailed the mayor – it’s obviously complete BS. US at 97k cases and skyrocketing. 969 deaths today in Italy. $2T stimulus coming.


Thursday – the scale of pandemic in the US is becoming clear. Visually seeing the spread, county by county is chilling. NY state has 31k cases, 285 deaths. There is no PPE. 3.3 million file unemployment.


WA DOH finally got test data out for today. Gaps in total tests for Tue/Wed – which doesn’t help the trend analysis.


ExCeL exhibition center in London being fitted out as a 4000 bed hospital “NHS Hospital Nightingale” – NEC next. Tomorrow is three weeks of enforced working from home. NHS tributes are moving.

Wednesday – Prince Charles tests positive. Home testing kits for the UK. JHU dashboard! 100k cases in two days (compare below with above). $2T stimulus passing.


Tuesday – JHU dashboard jumped from ~365k to over ~415k. The global growth is huge; most from the US. NYC is hot. Work from home/school from home is settling into a rhythm. Up on time, breakfast, work/study, lunch, freetime for the kids. Having lunch together is really helping as a keystone of the day. WA DOH data missing the negative test data again.

Monday – @wsdot_traffic updated the message boards on the major highways. Traffic is exceptionally light. Watching the unfolding NYC horror.


The JHU dashboard looks to have an update – showing US counties now. Also looks to have removed the China/ROW from the confirmed/increase charts. US spread is explosive – major metro areas, small outbreaks following the interstates. New cases at >30k per day now.  Italy new cases rate is dropping. South Korea new cases lowest in weeks.

It took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases of Covid-19, but it took only 11 days for the second 100,000 cases, and just four days for the third 100,000 cases, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.


UK FCO calls for Britons to return home – there may not be commercial flights within “days”. UK now in enforced lockdown.

Local and global coverage for future reference.

Seattle Times BBC Guardian
23 March here here here
24 March here here here
25 March here here here
26 March here here here
27 March here here here
28 March here here here
29 March here here here

Tweaking QoS on the edge

With everyone home – and working on the internet – I’ve made some changes to the QoS to make sure things keep working well.

Video streaming gets bumped down; behind VOIP and work VPN traffic. That should help a bit.

COVID work from home – week 2 – 16 – 22 March

Sunday –  FUD and misinformation spreading on WhatsApp, more rationing at the shops, distancing, empty shelves. Federal major disaster declared in Washington; unlocking funds and resources.


Saturday – no shelter in place for the state, Everett issues stay at home, folk are out at beaches and parks – so shelter in place must be coming soon. Similar around the world. A real lack of PPE for hospitals. Still ten days behind Italy – where another 800 died. Some brutal reports coming in from NYC and NOLA.

Fridaycalls for food rationing in the UK (looks like a combination of JIT stock management and a move from eating out to eating at home), tax deadlines pushed out. CollegeBoard announced that AP tests will be short and online. That’s a relief here.

Washington confirmed cases per million is slowing – looks like a week of the slowing trend. This again from Mark Handley. Still ten days behind Italy.

Thursday – empty shelves in stores, rationing. US State Dept basically tells US citizens to come home. UK schools opening for kids of key workers.


WednesdayUS/Canada border closing for non-essential crossings, Eurovision cancelled (!), UK stores limiting quantities of food and cleaning products. UK schools closed indefinitely and exams cancelled.

Tuesday Mark Handley is now breaking out US State data – this from 16 March. WA is 10 days behind Italy right now – and still ahead of most of the rest of the states. It’s going to get bad, quickly.

Work from home has been extended from end of March to “foreseeable future”. CA and KS schools probably closed until the new school year (KS schools closed earlier, agricultural heritage).

Monday was more productive. I ventured into the deserted office on Friday to pick up a docking station – and now I have my work laptop connected to dual 4K screens – which means I can use all of that screen real estate, write and research more effectively.

Canada closed the borders to most (looks like US citizens are still allowed), Bay Area moved to shelter in place, UK Gov sent out ventilator blue prints to manufacturing (Rolls Royce, Airbus, etc).

Local and global coverage for future reference.

Seattle Times BBC Guardian
16 March here here here
17 March here here here
18 March here here here
19 March here here here
20 March here here here
21 March here here here
22 March here here here

COVID-19–WA testing totals, positive tests

For a short while the WA DOH were not reporting test numbers – now the data is back; interpolation using data from the COVID Tracking Project – caveat that the test totals may not be exact due to reporting times. The CTP pulls data at 1pm Pacific/4pm Eastern; WA DOH have been publishing numbers later and later in the afternoon.

At first glance the number of tests performed is growing at around 3000 tests per day. This seems to be the limit of UW Virology and other testing labs. Caveat – I don’t know whether this is a limit on tests requested, tests physically able to be run at the labs or a limit on the number of test kits available. I’m sure it’s a varying combination of the three.

The number of positive tests is growing; the rate of growth seems to be slowing.

In addition the percentage of positive tests is trending downward.

Nate Silver (538 fame) has a good commentary on this.



WA State COVID cases

Washington State DOH have been reporting confirmed cases since early February – and analysis shows this is exponential.

Update: 18 March – data up to 17 March shows that the rate of increase is slowing. This could be a net positive; or just a limiting factor of tests and testing capacity. Time will tell.


Data from WA DOH – collected daily.

Log trendline shows some 10,000 positive by around 22 March, 100,000 by 29 March. Staggering numbers – and likely to be depressed (i.e. delayed) by the lack of testing kits and testing capacity. UW Virology as an example has been running flat out and maximum capacity testing local and national samples.

Global and regional trends are available at the ever excellent JHU dashboard and this from Mark Handley at UCL.

COVID work from home – week 1 – 9 – 15 March

Work has been ok – I’ve been used to working remote, from home and using the technology for decades. Some coaching on best practices for the larger team – but it’s been ok. Certainly less productive – but ok.

A few folk started drifting back to the office; that should be discouraged. I travelled in early on Friday 13 March to pick up a docking station to be most productive. Traffic was exceptionally light.

Local businesses are struggling and closing. Seattle restaurants and bars are closing – for at least the spring. Many will probably not be back. Events have been cancelled for the foreseeable future – soccer, concerts, school events – everything. Public libraries in Seattle and King County closed on Friday 13 March. Large gatherings of more than 250 people across Washington state have been banned.

I discussed pulling the kids out of school early in the week. My personal preference would have been earlier – but they started the isolation on Thursday 12 March. Most of the local school districts started announcing full closures on Thursday 12; Issaquah School District declared on Thursday afternoon. There was significant pressure from local parents to close schools. The Governer announced a limited area school closure on Thursday 12 March – and extended this to statewide on Friday 13 March.

Continued coverage from The Seattle Times.

March 8

March 9

March 10

March 11

March 12

March 13

March 14

March 15

COVID early March

March 1 – 7

Most of this week I was in the office, running an architecture workshop in a closed conference room. Certainly no social distancing.

There was a slow build up of coronavirus news. March 2 – 18 cases locally, March 3 – 27 people locally tested positive. Most of these were centred on a care home in Kirkland. There were a couple of school closures based on early positive tests. Kirkland and Redmond saw a cluster of first responders with symptoms after responding to  the care home.

March 2 also saw the Governer of Washington, Jay Inslee, declare a state of emergency.

From the afternoon of Friday 6th the decision was made to work from home; this was initially somewhat voluntary and quickly morphed into a mandated request to work from home and distance.

Continued shortages and panic buying – with long lines reported, and bare shelves for toilet paper, hand sanitiser, bleach and the like.

A local, Issaquah, nursing home had more residents test positive during the week. This is in addition to one reported last week (March 6).

The Seattle Times made all coronavirus news free and not paywalled. This will become a useful archive and reference for the realtime local news.

March 1

March 2

March 3

March 4

March 5

March 6

March 7


I’ve been monitoring the slow build of novel coronavirus (aka SARS-CoV-2, aka COVID-19) since the new year – and the spread from Wuhan, Hubei, PRC to the rest of the world.

Early cases in the greater Seattle area started appearing in late January 2020 – and from looking at the preparedness of the US it was clear that this could only take two courses – quickly fizzle out, or become a major public health emergency.

It took around a month from the first Washington state case to the first death on 29 February. Since then it’s been just two short weeks featuring public anxiety, panic buying and now state-wide school closures, working from home and public distancing.

The first major panic buying spree was around the start of March. Here are shelves in our local Target, Issaquah, WA with all shelves of toilet paper, hand wipes, sanitiser and bleach stripped bare.


Since the beginning of March many workplaces have taken measures to allow employees to work from home where possible. Microsoft and Amazon both announced immediate short term restrictions on 4 March 2020. My own employer, BECU, has also supported working from home where possible.

The remaining posts in this series will chronical the development and spread of COVID-19 over the coming weeks and months.

Especially useful data, modelling and visualisation have come via the Johns Hopkins University dashboard and other online resources. I’ll try and keep a running list.

Good resources:

Old meets new

Todays fun – installing old (2005 era!) software on a modern (2019) distro.

I’ve been playing LAN shooter games with the boy for a while; it’s old school EA Battlefield 2 from mid 2005. It’s ancient. Today we looked at setting up a dedicated LAN server for this one.

openSUSE Leap 15.1 continues to be solid on a wide variety of hardware. I rescued an old laptop and it’s installed and running as a server (runlevel 3 – no GUI). Only additional module needed for the EA dedicated server was libncurses5 – easily installed using zypper. (As an aside – it’s a pleasure seeing this working so well after the delights of ZMD/ZLM back in the day..)

Hunting down the original EA bits for the server is a pain – eventually managed to find a pristine (and checksummed!) copy on a fan server.