Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on Unpopularity of efficiency · 2021-01-29T07:44:48.953Z · LW · GW

I have often remarked "If we had viable third parties in this country, and there was a party that held no policy positions whatsoever but just vowed to make government more efficient, I would vote for them every time".  I feel that this is the forgotten element in so many things.  We argue between American health-insurance healthcare and single-payer healthcare, but I believe both systems could be really good if they were run efficiently, and both systems could be horrific abominations if they are run inefficiently.  

I really wish politicians would establish clear KPIs and track their progress against those KPIs.  Even if the KPIs change from administration to administration, having clear goals and optimizing for them would be a huge benefit. 

Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-09T19:14:20.634Z · LW · GW

If you are going to donate them I would suggest local hospitals or urgent cares might put them to best use.

I wish we had managed to get some hand sanitizer, we only managed to find travel sized ones before shtf.

Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-09T19:09:26.640Z · LW · GW

Do you expect transmission to occur within your house? From a guest? Or at a grocery store or outside contact? Seems like it would only help in the in-house case. I expect this to be pretty far down the list of useful interventions

Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-09T19:07:23.739Z · LW · GW
Household transmission In China, human-to-human transmission of the COVID-19 virus is largely occurring in families. The Joint Mission received detailed information from the investigation of clusters and some household transmission studies, which are ongoing in a number of Provinces. Among 344 clusters involving 1308 cases (out of a total 1836 cases reported) in Guangdong Province and Sichuan Province, most clusters (78%-85%) have occurred in families. Household transmission studies are currently underway, but preliminary studies ongoing in Guangdong estimate the secondary attack rate in households ranges from 3-10%.

From the WHO report on China, most infection clusters they found were family clusters. This may be applicable to your thinking on this.

Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on March Coronavirus Open Thread · 2020-03-09T19:01:44.834Z · LW · GW
Maybe it's optimistic, but in my model of the world, there are islands of competence within the intelligence community which do things like this.

For me, that fits my model of what the US intelligence agencies used to do during the cold war times, and we have unclassified documents about proactive, unethical experimentation they did - like Operation Sea Spray and MK Ultra. I don't know if the 2020 US intelligence community is up to the same task. I get the impression that capability and competence have fallen there, although it's hard to know since so much is classified. But judging by the fact that we have had several elections disrupted by pretty predictable cyberattacks without visible countermeasures, my estimation of their competence has fallen.

On the other hand, here's an article about a UK laboratory infecting people with a non-covid coronavirus to help with vaccine research.

Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-03-01T08:25:21.253Z · LW · GW

I bought soylent along with rice, beans, dried mushrooms, dried vegetables, cured sausage, etc. I think soylent is useful but I wouldn't want to consist on it fully.

Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-03-01T08:22:58.042Z · LW · GW

Thank you for your input. I would like to go but I want to bring my partner with me and she is against it, I think because it feels extreme. My brother thinks it would be dangerous to my parents to travel to them, my father thinks it is inevitable to get the virus everywhere so it would be useless to travel to them. It feels like each is uncomfortable with taking action and justifying that feeling with a different faux-logical screen.

Sigh. I'd like to go and I'll work on convincing my partner. We went out for dinner today which strengthens my suspicion that as long as we remain here we won't ever really isolate. My parents have said that I am welcome to come and quarantine in the in-law unit. Thanks for your advice.

EDIT: My partner started to cough, which increased my estimation that we might be incubating it. Still very low chance but it made bringing it home to my parents a more real possibility. I decided to stay and risk it in the city

Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-03-01T08:16:11.758Z · LW · GW

I discovered a way to practice this recently, I was drawing with vine charcoal, which is dark and very dusty, and I got dark dust all over my hands. Then I touched my face inadvertantly and I could see in the mirror where I had touched.

Later I tried to wash it off and was able to wash it off only when I really focused on how I moved my hands in order to scrub any area. The entire thing felt like good practice with hand higene. So to practice this, improvise a colored dust - charcoal, ash etc, and practice washing hands and not touching face.

Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-03-01T08:08:08.554Z · LW · GW

The aim of your quarantine procedure and other actions should be to delay your exposure to coronavirus until after the peak has passed. It is unlikely to be possible to delay it indefinitely, especially if we are going to have a return to normalcy.

With every epidemic there is likely to be a peak - a period of exponential growth, climaxing in a peak and then a slowdown. Your goal should be to get exposed after the peak period. During the peak, medical supplies will be stretched very thin and hospitals may be overflowing. After the peak, medical professionals have a lot of experience dealing with the disease and we will know the landscape of outcomes and treatments. As long as the medical systems are not destroyed by the virus, that may be the best time to get it.

I modeled a logistic growth equations for a population of 7 million (bay area) and different estimates of the doubling rate I found in the literature - for a doubling rate of every 3 days, the peak seems to come after about 2 months from initial exposure. For a doubling rate of every 7 days, the peak comes about 4 months after initial exposure. Since the virus has likely been circulating for several weeks already, we can predict the peak in the bay area is 1-3 months out. How it actually plays out will vary a lot based on containment measures, public events, lifestyle of the populace, etc.

This is all extremely speculative but gives me a goal to shoot for - before I was trying to figure out what is the goal of quarantine for myself, if I was ever going to rejoin society. Now I have a model for why I should avoid getting it.

Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-02-29T23:48:25.996Z · LW · GW

So the SARS virus exhibits, at least in the lab, Antibody Dependent Enhancement which is what can allow a virus to affect you multiple times. Here's a paper on it. Since COVID-19 is related to SARS it seems plausible the reports of reinfection are real. I don't understand this enough to say much more about it.

Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-02-29T10:45:35.334Z · LW · GW

TLDR You may be able to use a rice cooker, instant pot or pressure cooker to sanitize disposable masks after wearing them, although this will slightly damage the mask.

Due to the worldwide mask shortage, it seems inevitable that many people are going to have to reuse masks. Personally I have 2 masks per member of my household which seems troubling low.

It may be possible to decontaminate masks - I found a paper that reviewed 5 mask decontamination methods, both a review of how they affected the mask, and a review of how effective they were at decontaminating. The papers are very technical, so please double-check my interpretation

Takeaway - here are the 5 methods in the first paper:

  • Rice Cooker
  • Autoclave (similar to pressure cooker)
  • 10-minute submersion in 70% ethanol
  • 10-minute submersion in 100% isopropanol
  • 10-minute submersion in 0.5% bleach solution

All methods of decontamination damaged the masks. It seems that alcohol and bleach significantly damaged overall filter quality (ratio 0.30 to original), but rice cooker and autoclave relatively preserved it (0.98 to original). I can't see the results for the IPA method on their chart but I expect it to be similar to the other chemical methods.

The other paper on sanitizing efficiency also looked at UVC and UVA light. It found "Bleach, UVC, an autoclave, and a <rice cooker> provide better biocidal efficacy than ethanol and UVA".

My conclusion in this is that rice cookers, pressure cookers and especially the instant pot - which offer comparable performance to commercial autoclaves can be used in an emergency situation to sterilize masks for a few uses. Be very careful about the way you don and doff the mask and handle them generally.

Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-02-29T10:00:30.281Z · LW · GW

I have read many reports from people in Wuhan and there is food in the grocery stores. Actually it seems like no currently effected area has a permanent food shortage - there is a run on the stores and then they are full after a restock. However, shopping requires you to leave your house so you will want to minimize it. I think people are over-focusing on food shopping because it feels actionable. You are right that there is almost no downside

Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-02-29T09:54:56.939Z · LW · GW

I've been struggling with the question of whether I should leave the SF area to go to my parent''s house in the suburbs of Virginia, and I expect other people are facing similar conundrums. I'll share my thoughts on it below and would welcome any advice especially anything that I have not considered.

Background: My parents (both 50 - 60) live in a detached house in the Virginia suburbs. It's very large with 3 floors and many bedrooms and has an inlaw unit. I currently live with 3 roommates, one of whom is my partner, in a tiny apartment in downtown San Francisco. 2 of those roommates have jobs in SF, another is unemployed but unconcerned with the virus, and I'm unemployed, living off saved income and very concerned. Currently we are all asymptomatic, but my partner did fly to Canada last week and has been isolating with no symptoms.

I'm considering whether to take my partner and fly to Virginia to be in our parent's house, likely early next week. Thoughts

  • I expect the transmissibility of the virus to be much lower in the suburbs since they are so much more isolated - people driving around in private cars, each with large lots of land. The city is a sea of people. Pro-leaving, for my own safety.
  • Isolation will be more pleasant at my parents house since the house is much larger. If all four of my roommates were couped up together, which is the ideal case, it would be pretty close quarters for a long time. We have one tiny kitchen and tiny living room. Pro-leaving.
  • I expect we will be more successful at actually isolating in the suburbs - for one thing my partner will be forced to work remote, for another, stores will be much further away, currently even knowing we should isolate we are continually shopping for groceries, prep supplies, etc.
  • The SF area seems to have some sustained community transmission. Pro-leaving for my safety, anti-leaving for my parent's safety.
  • I expect the virus to be more dangerous to my parent's health than to me due to their age. This is anti-leaving if I could spread it to them, but pro-leaving if my presence there would encourage them to take it more seriously.
  • There seems to be a part of my brain that believes this is all an overreaction, although I think there is great cause for concern. I think that may just be normalcy bias talking.
  • I'm unsure if isolation is a viable long term strategy but isolating for at least a few months gives time for more information and potential treatments. It is unclear when the "best" time to contract the virus would be, outcome wise.
  • The virus is spreading here more and more, and if I am going to go, I had better go soon as a quarantine could come down or my chance of infecting my parents will go up

I am not working right now and my partner would be able to work remote so income/etc doesn't really factor into it for the near-term.

I think it shakes out that leaving would be good for my safety and my partner's safety but bad for the safety of our parents if we transmit it to them. But it's possible we could even isolate there in the in-law unit.

What haven't I thought of?

Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on COVID-19 - a good or bad time for extended travel? · 2020-02-29T09:31:24.353Z · LW · GW

If I had to chose a place to go to, I might choose Singapore. They clearly have some cases but they are also seem to have their act together more than any other country. They have published some amazing contact-tracing graphs and seem to have managed to get ahead of the virus and contain it in a way other countries have not. I visited it this summer and left very impressed. It is a totalitarian city-state with a government that seems to try to do it's very best to do a good job, and errs on the side of being overprotective/overbearing.
It feels like a beyond-first-world country. Surveillance cameras are everywhere and it seems like everyone is constantly tracked. It's also very warm, though moist.

I don't know though if you should leave especially if you would just be staying in like a hotel or airbnb for months in another country. I'm facing a similar conundrum - wondering whether to retreat to my parents house in the virginia suburbs.

Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-02-29T09:19:16.627Z · LW · GW

I read a paper which said no significant difference between surgical mask and N95 mask for protecting healthcare workers from influenza.

Edit: Here's the paper!

Comment by Ŀady Jade Beacham (ady-jade-beacham) on Coronavirus: Justified Practical Advice Thread · 2020-02-29T09:13:49.214Z · LW · GW

That seems useful. You forgot one of the most commonly touched items - phones and computers. I am gonna put tape on the back of my phone case and my laptop.