Corona Diary 20 April 2020

2020-04-17 15.37.03

Key things:

  • I don’t need to take a side
  • All-sides have valuable input

2020-04-18 09.26.15

Kids loved three movies over the weekend:

  • Zootopia – a classic
  • The Main Event – Netflix kid-wrestler movie
  • The Karate Kid – way back classic – “sweep the leg”

2020-04-18 11.24.46

Despite five weeks in lockdown, we’re not seeing a material drop in positives in Colorado. COVID is one contagious pathogen!

I’ve looked at virus growth different ways. Slide down for charts, probably won’t work well with a phone. I’m on my desktop for that work.

2020-04-19 07.55.31

Here’s a memory game to play.

Write down what you, think you, thought five weeks ago about:

  • Rate of growth of positives
  • Death rate
  • Hospitalization rate
  • Where your location could be if you didn’t lockdown

Monica and I played this game over the weekend.

After we played, I went back to check the data.

Despite building a spreadsheet and tracking daily… my memory was out by a factor of 17x. Monica’s memory was out by a factor of 350x.

Colorado was growing at 33% (daily) with an expected hospitalization rate of 20% and a forecast death rate of 1-4%. When we self-quarantined there were 72 positives.

(1.33)^(35) * 72 = 1.6 million total positives

The number was so large, I didn’t believe my HP-12C. So, I made a simple table to check my math => see the Growth Table tab.

The positives didn’t happen => nor were they likely to happen because we would have pooped our collective pants way before it got that bad.

We are at ~10,000 positives in Colorado, with the lockdown in effect. So the actual growth rate was ~15% daily across the period, with hospitalization rates not far off the expectation.

The death rate isn’t clear. It is going to take some time for us to have reliable all-cause mortality information.

2020-04-18 11.38.45

The memory game is important because your mind is (1) going to assess your decision based on what happened, not what could have happened.

Your mind is also (2) going to assess your decision based on what is known today, not what was know at the time you made your decision.

Your mind will (3) ignore the fact that life is path dependent.

  • Our ability to choose “now” is based on choices we made earlier
  • In places where hospitals are overflowing and their health system is breaking down, they will not have the ability to ease up on lockdown. They lost the ability to make a choice Colorado can make now.

Seeing all of the above (1/2/3), by placing one’s memory in the past, is something humans are spectacularly poor at doing.

  • Just the way it is.
  • This skill will never improve in the general population.
  • This is an area where calm, national, leadership can make a difference => see New Zealand and Germany.
  • Don’t spend energy railing again human nature.

I don’t explain this 1-on-1 to anyone other than clients, my wife and kids.

I write blogs to educate the collective.

By the way, this is the method I used to beat life-long endurance athletes, far more talented than me, when I started racing elite sport in my 30s,

Iterate based on experience, make mistakes visible.


Where to now?

Colorado is locked down with daily positives of ~340 per day, 14-day average.

We’re going to open up before we hit “0” and the rate of daily positives will grow.

From yesterday, if we maintain our current rate of growth (4% per day) then daily positives will be ~1,300 by the end of May.

We don’t have a lot of room to maneuver.


Watch Singapore and Indonesia => this virus doesn’t appear to care about climate.