Selected Posts from June 2020

Every few months, I delete my posts from Facebook. I know FB already got some value from my activities, and want to limit what I give them. So, each month I pick some posts to preserve on this blog.

June 1
George Floyd protests continue. Melrose gets hit up.

What’s up with these white people putting up “BLM”? Who are they?

Yeah I thought that tweet about invading white homes was fake.

June 2

Just when you thought the #COVID19PoliceState might not happen, we have a #RacistPoliceState like we always had, only more..

I know it’s not cool to share video of people doing petty thefts, but this is too funny. This Youtube user has posted all this security camera video from a Valero in San Bernardino. In this angle, you can see people stealing lotto scratchers. There’s other videos showing people taking Pringles, and a single six-pack of beer.

We’ll see in a few days if there’s an uptick in covid19 cases. I hope testing is OK.

This curfew sucks. The increase in chirping birds is nice, though.

June 3

Many postings are saying that sars-cov-2 is in decline, or that the curve has flattened. This isn’t true in LA County. This is a chart with a line showing the percentage of positive tests, and averaged in 7-day chunks. Infection appears to be increasing slowly for the past three weeks. Our curve hasn’t flattened. We’re not winning this.

Ignore the bars. Look at the line. To “win” we need that line to be decreasing. It’s increasing.

Again, it’s not cool to post a looter’s face, but this guy is doing it to himself on social media. He went to LA and got a lot of clothing. I have this conspiracy theory that the people were hitting stores to get stuff to resell online, and it was kind of organized.

June 4

Henry George, an economist and writer, and early Progressive, popular with some contemporary progressives, was also a racist, anti-Chinese essayist. I just learned this. I found the article, and prepared it so it’s easier to read on screen.

I’m not going to read this tonight. It’ll probably make me disappointed and angry, when I should be going to sleep.

Here’s another depressing chart from the LA County COVID-19 dashboard. Areas where poor people live are testing for more than their share of COVID-19. At the same time, they are being tested slightly less often.

This is the exact opposite of what the county needs to do. The areas with the most impacted people, need to be tested the most.

The latest policy of reducing access to testing isn’t helping anyone.

If this disparity increases, the current “time to reopen happy talk” could turn into even greater disparities and more death among poor people. They may even die undiagnosed, at home.

The rich will suffer, yes, but the poor will suffer multiple times the pain. The disease itself becomes the oppression, where policies force the poor people most at risk of death to labor to increase the odds of survival for the wealthy.

Trigger warning: violence.

Old guy just got knocked down. Bleeding from his head on the sidewalk.

June 5

State and County COVID-19 stats by race. Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders are suffering tremendously.

What’s useful about this study is that it looks at a poor and working class community that lives in larger households, without as much averaging out. When they were grouped with Asians in general, wealthier east Asian groups stats would drown out the NHPI stats.

Contact tracing is coming. Here’s the CDC page about it.

Illinois set a ratio of 30 tracers per 100,000 people. So LA County would need around 3,000 tracers.

We have around 500 new cases per day. If each case requires only 10 contacts, that’s 5,000 phone calls per day. That seems do-able.

I was afraid our numbers weren’t good enough.

Looking at the daily new cases plot here. It’s interesting. COVID-19 is blowing up in some countries, and winding down in others. In the US, it’s just slogging along, declining very slowly.

First is a screenshot of the daily new cases in the US (from another site).

Second is a screenshot of the same data from the LA County site.

In LA County, the case fatality rate is dropping slowly, and the number of cases is still rising. Testing is declining slightly — a bad thing, because it means the cases may be increasing faster than the plots indicate.

We in LA need to be vigilant, and shed any feelings of reassurance we might get from the national statistics, which might appear to be “good”. (In fact, they are not good, other countries have not had this long slog. They see the cases-per-day drop.)


This paper isolates a population comprising several ethnic groups, called Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI), in the US, that are urban, working class, low income, and have many comorbidities, like diabetes, obesity, HBP, asthma, and cancer that make COVID-19 worse. They are suffering the highest levels of disease and fatality.

In California, NHPI have tested positive for COVID-19 at 2.5x the rate of whites. HNPI are dying of COVID-19 at 4.2x the rate of whites.

Communities like this exist within all the racial categories (African American, Hispanic White, Non-Hispanic White, Asian American, Native American), but their statistics would be combined with the larger group, neutralizing or diminishing the impact of the effects of COVID-19.

NHPI communities had that exact problem when their data were mixed with the broader Asian American population data, because the AAPI category includes a large number of middle class and affluent East Asians who are filtered through post-1965 US immigration laws, which favor educated, professional, and wealthy immigrants, and prevent working class immigrants from entering.

The NHPI population are not immigrants, but US citizens who are internal migrants within the US, just like Puerto Ricans. They are from US territories, states, or lands that were territories in the past. Like all these colonized people, they live in places where the minimum wage is lower.

By disaggregating their data, it’s possible to see better what’s happening with COVID-19 within their community.

We may also get insight into how to manage COVID-19 as it impacts similar communities within the US, who might otherwise be “averaged out” within a larger racial category, or by the national statistics.

June 7

I wish all these people adamant about not wearing masks would be equally adamant about not wearing pants or shirts.

June 8

New Zealand isn’t using radio or bluetooth to do people-tracking and contact-tracing. Instead, they use QR codes assigned to businesses. People who go out to a business scan the code into an app. The government encourages people to scan.

I like the voluntary aspect of this tracking technology.

People who want to live and be responsible will scan the QR code.

People who don’t care, and are okay with dying and spreading disease, can ignore QR code.

You could monitor businesses and see the amount of risk inside, by looking at the people scanning the QR code. If nobody is scanning it, stay out. Red flag the business on social media, so people won’t go there.

June 8

So, I’ve been thinking about these virus-skeptic arguments about infection and the immune system being deprived of germs to “build up” the immune response.

I suggest, instead of unmasking, which risks respiratory illness, rub germs into open wounds. If you get a cut, don’t wash it too much, or bandage it up. (Unless you are immunocompromised – then you should clean it out. Just don’t use this tip. Cuts can turn into amputations.)

Maybe find some dust from your environment, and mix it into your cut, so it forms kind of “filth-bandage”.

This is just a suggestion, if you happen to agree with the people who are saying to unmask. Everyone else should ignore this idea. It’s kind of gross. I’m going to keep washing out my cuts.


(I was joking)

June 9

I was doing some reading about the yellow peril scare of the early 1900s and the late 1800s anti-Chinese movement, and came across this film, Broken Blossoms, by DW Griffith, of Birth of a Nation infamy. It made me wonder about Asians as a “middleman” or “perpetual foreigner” race within the larger context of the political polarization between a “white nation” or “white labor” and “black bodies”.

When did America shift to the left of Bernie Sanders?

June 10

Here’s a cool page about designing solar oven reflectors, with a calculator. Now that it’s getting really hot out here, I don’t want to heat up the inside of the house.

I’m using a found window pane (aka garbage), and a cardboard box to improvise one. Next up, the reflector. I may start looking for chip bags for the aluminized mylar.

Though I do vibe with #DefundThePolice, I get this feeling that we’d have a lot more fistfights and firebombing cars and stuff like that to resolve conflicts.

Not that these alternatives would be less effective. They might be more effective.

Jun 10

TL;DR: unsafe conditions at work. Work itself is a risk. Lack of access to healthcare. Also, the risks of living in a large family in tight conditions.

Clinica Romero is saying 34% of tests are positive!!! That is a stunning number. Across the county, it’s risen from 6% to 8%. So, 34% is 4x as high.

To isolate herself, Mrs. Chavarria, who lives in a 1BR with her 2 kids and husband, bought vinyl and created a “bubble” in her bunk bed. A tiny plastic room within her room.

These situations are similar to those experienced by African Americans and Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders (NHPI).

Jun 11

For purposes of COVID-19 education or mitigation, should the government reclassify any apartment or house where the residents have less than 200sq ft per person as “congregate housing”?

Jun 13

There’s cameras on cop cars. There’s license plates on cars. Why are there even traffic stops for taillights? Just snap a photo, contact the car’s owner by email or text message: “One of your rear headlights is out on the car with a license plate A123ABC. Please fix it. Have a nice day.”

Jun 16

Your employer’s re-open plan:

  1. remote meetings for management.
  2. remote desktop PC for office drones.
  3. physical presence for the rest, who will be most at risk of spreading infection.

When someone demands re-opening, look at what their work arrangements are. They might just want to preserve their job by sacrificing your health or life.

Jun 17

East LA and Boyle Heights areas are only masked up around 60% to 70%. I think people can do better and get to 80%.

Jun 18

GRIL – I did a search about Tulsa, and this came up, with a lot of information about how the information was received in Black NYC, and the uneven relationship between Black socialists and the left. The chapter is interesting on it’s own. The title is Liberating Negroes Everywhere: Cyril Briggs, the African Blood Brotherhood, and Radical Pan-Africanism

Jun 19

When you see these high COVID-19 death stats for Black people, before you get into the genetic theories, consider the economic aspects, and not just “low income”. Consider how the labor system is structured.

I think I’m part of the #LockdownLeft.

Jun 22

I’m trying to do this online course about contact tracing, and keep getting distracted. One minute, I’m watching an instructional video. The next, I get distracted by a funny essay on The Root. Then I read something about COVID-19. Then I end up editing my COVID-19 Hermit Excursion log, which I forgot to update. It’s related to contact tracing – and I’m thinking about adjusting the calculations to make it conform to what I just learned in the online course. Then it’s over to Calendar to check my past trips.

This is what college was like, for me. I had stuff to do in class, but I’d be at the library reading tangential stuff, and just getting educated about things that wouldn’t help the grades.

It’s too much “learning for the sake of learning.”

Jun 24

Shocking statistics about death of Black and Asian (in the UK this means South Asians) people in the UK. 94% of doctors who have died from COVID-19 are ethnic minorities.

There’s a theory going around over there that melanin and low vitamin D is the reason. I have my doubts that’s the main reason, even though I do think D seems to have an effect.

Jun 25

This is the story of how sicko cops would respect a white guy, Jeffrey Dahmer, over women and a brown boy.

I’m reading mask articles again, and starting to divide the world into people who follow the “5 second rule” for food dropped onto the floor, and people who won’t eat the portion of the french fry or taco that was touching their bare fingers.

Jun 26

I wiped my mask with some hand sanitizer, to clean it, and inhaled. It was like slamming a shot of vodka.

I didn’t write it, but my mom was in the hospital, and I was with her. Se got called back to the ER, after having been there a first time, for a kideny infection.

Jun 27

Is it time to create passports to leave Los Angeles County?

Jun 28

I’m still trying to wrap my head around this argument, that we should not mask up because 1) masks don’t stop the virus, and 2) you are more likely to get sick because the mask is covered with virus.

Which is it?

If there’s virus on the mask, it means it stopped some of the virus headed into your body. If that virus on there is enough to get you sick, then it’s implied that the mask may have been so effective that you wouldn’t have gotten sick.

What the pro-mask people say is that the mask stops some of the virus, but not all. It also stops the emission of virus, but not completely.






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