Corona Diary 19 March 2020

Stay strong, people!

2020-03-18 14.21.03

We have missed the window for an Asian result. We need to pull together and beat this thing. Why we missed the window, and who is to blame, can wait.

Turn off the TV. For the next ten days, the news is going to be grim.

Our brains are not equipped to distance from sensational imagery. Take information from the most reliable sources via black and white print, not full color video. You need to protect your ability to think clearly.

Get yourself ready for a 30-day lockdown.

Don’t sit on the couch. Get ready to rebuild!


Virus Spread

Key takeaways of the last 24 hours:

1- Gov. Polis and hotspot medical management have confirmed it is a lack of testing, not a lack of virus, that have Colorado’s numbers low. Self isolate now.

2- Minimum home school period is five weeks. I’m expecting it will run through to end of academic year (10 weeks).

Colorado starting to get it and our messaging has improved a lot over last 24 hours.

Colorado’s guidelines for shopping:

Gov. Polis (doing a great job) is sending a mobile testing team to Pueblo as there has been no testing down there. This confirms my thought that a lack of positives was a lack of testing, not a lack of virus.

Front page of the local Boulder paper cyber edition: Positives in a college kid announced – patient had attended St Patrick’s Day parties over the weekend. People are upset at college kids being college kids.

Don’t fight human nature.

Share facts and let the well-trained human responses of fear & panic get people to self-isolate.

Another article about a positive result in our local healthcare system with a hospital employee. The virus is in Boulder’s healthcare system (and will be in yours).

Outstanding letter from the CEO of Vail Health:

  • 56-bed hospital expected to be full in 2-4 weeks, already sending serious cases to Denver (lower altitude). I expect it will be full in ten days.
  • 400 tests backlogged, many expected to be positive (NOTE at 3/18 the state had results on 2,328 people who had been tested, 216 positive). Clearing that backlog at the same rate of positives as the rest of the state doubles the positives in Eagle County. Given their strict testing policy, Eagle County has far, far more positives than we can track.
  • 70 samples per day being taken, State center overwhelmed so they are shifting to private testing.
  • Expectation of a doubling every three days until social isolation taken seriously. Word on the ground is the Vail Village is deserted.

Unfortunately, Eagle County public health makes another poor decision. Our hottest hotspot has decided to export the virus.

  • Eagle County Public Health asking Vail employees to leave => how can a public official not assume they are infected?
  • The argument is they need to reduce dense housing => note that HK, Taiwan and South Korea controlled the virus in societies with extremely dense housing.
  • There was no word on exit testing.
  • 14-day quarantine, with exit testing is a better solution.

Vail shutting down free bus services (finally). We’ve been told the virus lives for up to 12 hours on metal surfaces (like railings and bus fixtures).

Argument for the bus shutdown delay was they wanted to make it easier for people to get around (not a joke).

State testing is woefully inadequate. Our leadership owns the fact and is asking us to self-isolate. Colorado has ~2,300 patients tested so far. UW Virology did 2,300 tests yesterday. Note – people tested is not total tests. Some people might get more than one test.

Unfortunately, second death in Colorado. To me this implies 2,000 positives now, with a peak over 20,000 positives, if we get our act together. We can look back at my prediction.

Mexico: Their Federal early messaging is even worse than ours (hard to believe). They lack testing, are highly connected to US hotspots and many Mexican states have a healthcare system that’s not used to treating flu, let alone coronavirus. Doesn’t bode well for our Southern Neighbor.

Canada looks better than the US and has (more of) a culture of quickly following advice.

Yaneer (well worth a follow on Twitter) asked us to practice social distancing within households. I am unwilling to traumatize my children. We will focus on breaking the network of transmission between households.

For the duration of the crisis, our youngest/strongest/hottest grown-up (my wife) will be our shopper. The rest of us are going to hunker down. No shopping, yet. I want to track what runs out.


Home School

School suspended by Gov. Polis until April 20th.  Corona-School in session for a minimum of FIVE weeks.

I am assuming that the in-person school year is over, my view. Our district starts online-learning on March 30th. I’ve asked them to share, if they can.

State wide testing suspended => the right thing to do. No equity in education at present.

2020-03-18 15.05.32

Yesterday, social studies was a travel video on Hong Kong.

I had the kids write questions while watching and we did a Q&A after (pic is above).  I lived in Hong Kong 1994-2000. This session went well and we will choose another country I know well (South Island of New Zealand).

2020-03-18 14.47.47

Kid Cooking yesterday was Avocado Brownies – delicious!


Snow Day Ideas (we are on a 3/1 cycle, this is our first non-school day)

  • Train with a parent (girls with Mom, son with me)
  • Clean house => the kids helped and we got through in an hour
  • Wash all sheets, pillow cases, blankets
  • Watch “The Swap” on Disney+
  • Snow walk and hero shoveling for neighbors
  • Another movie TBA


2020-03-19 09.39.25

Finance and Markets

Yesterday, bought a little more for my own account. I am ready to buy more if the market falls further. The market dropping a third, from here, wouldn’t surprise me.

A very experienced friend noted the selloff is a risk pricing adjustment – not expected to revert quickly because it is a fundamental change in valuation, not a flash crash. He advised me to temper my FOMO for client money. updated their US treasury yield curve chart to show negative yields.



Our youngest has a dry cough that is progressing, runny nose at night, no fever. Energy in all of us is great. Craft idea => turn a tissue box into a cat!

2020-03-19 06.33.08

Axel joined my workout this morning. A big moment – Dad training with Dad!

2020-03-19 07.42.09

The girls were trained by Coach Monica.

2020-03-19 07.59.23

1st rule of helping others => don’t become a casualty yourself!

Remember to turn that TV off.



Where is our Bear Stearns?

Where is this downturn’s Madoff?

They are out there but we can’t see them, yet.


Brownies for breakfast? Why not!

2020-03-18 15.12.34