Social Distancing – Saving Lives by Staying Home

Eva’s Data Sources and Post-Talk Chat


Eva Carlstrom’s March 22nd Talk at Seattle Atheist Church

The talk at Seattle Atheist Church on March 22nd, 2020 was given by Eva Carlstrom, on the topic of “Social Distancing”.

  • A video of the talk on YouTube
  • The video starts with the standard introduction and welcome to Seattle Atheist Church.
  • The talk itself begins at the 2:00 minute mark.

Eva’s Data Sources

Post-Talk Chat Summary

  • The growth rate of infections is exponential (2^x) not geometric (x^2). Exponential grows *even faster than* geometric.
    • At x=3, 2^x is 8 — x^2 is 9
    • At x=4, 2^x is 16 — x^2 is 16
    • At x=5, 2^x is 32 — x^2 is only 25
    • At x=7, 2^x is 128 — x^2 is only 49
    • At x=10, 2^x is 1,000 — x^2 is only 100
    • At x=20, 2^x is 1,000,000 — x^2 is only 400
    • At x=50, 2^x is 1,125,899,906,842,624 — x^2 is only 2,500
  • China had to use a total lockdown to stop the epidemic (far beyond California’s “shelter in place”, let alone Seattle’s “social distancing”). They went so far as to only permit one family member to leave each house, once per three days, to buy groceries.
  • South Korea used aggressive, wide-scale testing, contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine to stop the epidemic without such extreme measures.
  • Until March 23rd, Washington was still doing “social distancing”, no widespread testing, and only minimal contact tracing. And was still seeing high-R exponential growth.
  • California is doing what they are calling “shelter in place” (but which is far from a serious lockdown), but still has no widespread testing (the tests aren’t available). They are probably doing a better job of flattening the curve than Seattle has been.
  • America as a whole has no mandatory restrictions, not even social distancing. No widespread testing. No flattening at all of the curve. We’re still at R0 in the 2-4 range through most of America, with a doubling period (for both infections and deaths) of ~2.6 days.
  • Rough simulations per state, based on known infections. Note that actual infections are probably higher than known infections by a significant factor, since we have had unrestricted, unmeasured community transmission for some weeks now:
  • If you have any medical supplies that you can donate:
  • Especially if you have N95 masks, or any type of mask, please donate them. Cloth masks are not effective protection for our healthcare workers:
  • For motivation, some first-hand accounts from our frontline healthcare workers:
  • If you do get sick, you may still be infectious for up to two weeks after you have symptoms.
  • It can also take up to two weeks to show symptoms after you are exposed (in rare cases, up to four weeks). But the median is 5 days (i.e. half of the people who are exposed will show symptoms within five days of the exposure). If you know you have been exposed, self-isolate for *at least* two weeks before concluding that you have not developed COVID-19.
  • If you are in the asymptomatic 20% – 40% of cases, you may not even know that you have COVID-19. BUT!
  • One symptom that has recently been identified as an early indicator of COVID-19 is a loss or dulling of the sense of smell and/or taste:
  • 30% to 60% of all people with COVID-19, including some otherwise-asymptomatic people, may experience anosmia (loss or dulling of the sense of smell and/or taste).
  • Basically, it’s best to assume that everyone has been exposed, and just avoid everyone for at least the next several weeks. i.e. voluntary lockdown.
  • Why fighting the coronavirus depends on you:
  • A proposed strategy against coronavirus, “The Hammer and the Dance”:

Curated by Mickey Phoenix (email, Messenger). Contributions welcomed.

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