STUMP » Articles » Pandemic: Coronavirus Links and Some Fun Stuff » 13 March 2020, 16:02

Where Stu & MP spout off about everything.

Pandemic: Coronavirus Links and Some Fun Stuff  


13 March 2020, 16:02

I have shelved a couple of posts that just can wait a few months. If not longer.

[and deleted a rant about flu shots. Seriously, that can wait til fall]

I am currently working from home, and personally, I’m concerned about Stu’s potential exposure to the new coronavirus, and also concerned about having sufficient food for my son if we have to quarantine (our son is autistic, and has a restricted diet that is difficult to stockpile.) I should be fine and my daughters should be fine, so there’s that. But yes, I’m stressed, and I know a lot of people are stressed right now.

I do not want to add to people’s anxiety, so I am not going to write about the stock market swings, interest rate drops, nor the effect on pensions. Yes, I’ll write about them sometime (and may be writing about them now… but not posting til later), but now is not the time to add to people’s concerns.

QUICK PIECE OF ADVICE: Please, unless you’re used to trading in a time of great volatility, I recommend not doing any active stock trading right now. Yes, I know some people enjoy doing this, but for many people not used to it, it’s a great way to lose a lot of money rapidly. I will write more fully about that another time.

For right now, I’m going to collect some COVID-19 related links that I think may be useful… or may make you laugh. Also, a few things to pass the time — we may all be stuck inside for a while, so it’s good to have activities lined up.


A very good piece covering many important things: Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now

I like this chart:

It shows in orange bars the daily official number of cases in the Hubei province: How many people were diagnosed that day.

The grey bars show the true daily coronavirus cases. The Chinese CDC found these by asking patients during the diagnostic when their symptoms started.

Crucially, these true cases weren’t known at the time. We can only figure them out looking backwards: The authorities don’t know that somebody just started having symptoms. They know when somebody goes to the doctor and gets diagnosed.

The important thing to note on that is the lag between incidence of the disease and when it’s officially detected.

Actuaries have to deal with that all the time. When I was in financial reporting, I had to make estimated of what is called IBNR (incurred but not reported) – we have to use patterns from prior stats to look at what has already been reported to make an estimate of what has already happened, and not yet reported.

Flatten the coronavirus curve

This is why we need to reduce the spread of coronavirus: even if it is almost guaranteed to hit everybody (like colds), if you can stretch it out, this will reduce the burden on the healthcare system.

Coronavirus, a Visual Rundown – The Process 080

News you may be able to use: The Coronavirus and Your Job: What the Boss Can—and Can’t—Make You Do

Can my employer cancel my vacation time and make me work instead?

In most workplaces, yes. Vacation time isn’t guaranteed under federal law, and most employers are within their rights to cancel a vacation and require workers to return to the job, says Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt, a professor of labor and employment law at Indiana University Bloomington. The exception is if an employee is covered by a union contract or specific employment agreement that includes certain time-off protections, he says.

Still, most bosses know that pulling a vacation is bound to be an unpopular move, a reason many are loath to do it unless an emergency requires it. “People can get upset if vacations are canceled,” Prof. Dau-Schmidt says. “That would be the major limit on it.”

FWIW, my own employer is making us stagger work-from-home, barred from being in the presence in certain people, and some people who were on specific trips have to self-quarantine for a couple weeks. Given the type of work we do, I think compliance will be 100%.

Coronavirus Has ‘Pokémon GO’ Changing So You Don’t Have To Leave The House:

Pokémon GO has always been about getting outside, exploring and interacting with other people, the exact opposite of what most public health officials recommend that you do in the midst of this ongoing pandemic.

Niantic is making some changes to the game as a result of the Coronavirus, which should allow players to stay put where they are rather than being forced to go out and meet up with other people, short of immovable parts of the game like gyms and raids.

That’s good to hear.

Some more links:



Now we are getting into the silly zone, so enter at your own risk.

Keep touching your face? Pet store has a solution to prevent coronavirus

Want to make your own? Check this out: Wash Your Lyrics — put in song name & artist, and it will generate a lyrics poster.

Yeah, I have no shame.


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Kratu's back at it again

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TwoSet Violin are pretty much the only YouTubers I follow.

That’s enough entertainment for now. ;)