Our idea is to basically help coordinate independent makers and small businesses which have e.g. 3d printers or sewing machines in order to help with supplies (masks, etc) for the coronavirus epidemic here in Ontario.
I’ve been personally involved in Community Make. Our idea is to basically help coordinate independent makers and small businesses that have e.g. 3d printers or sewing machines in order to help with supplies (masks, etc) for the coronavirus epidemic here in Ontario. Turns out the big need is for face shields – which are more protective than facemasks, plus easier to make & use properly, as well as being easier to reuse safely. So that’s been super interesting and has kept me busy several hours of every day. If you’ve got a 3d printer, laser cutter, or sewing machine, we’d like to hear from you.
Lots of other groups are organizing in Ontario/Toronto as well. The most awesome resource I’ve found is this: COVID Resources (Toronto mostly), it’s a spreadsheet with links to a lot of different kinds of info, such as how to help (volunteer, etc), support services (e.g. government and not-for-profit groups), mental-health info, etc. It links to this more detailed breakout of Impacts and Supports for helping specific types of people, etc.
Here’s an amazing log-plot chart comparing countries’ responses to each other, based on day-1 = when each country had 150 cases. The USA looks to be heading to a real disaster (mostly because of the super poor behavior in New York, which is almost half of all US cases now). Log-plots are super important because they let you see the growth rate in constant terms – basically, the slope of the line in the log plot tells you about the growth rate. You need to see the slope flattening to zero as quickly as possible. You can also get up-to-date log-plots for the Canadian provinces and US states individually here: 1point3acres COVID-19 in the US and Canada.
The big boys are also getting into emergency manufacturing: Ford, 3M, GE, and the UAW to build respirators, ventilators, and face shields for coronavirus fight, which is great news. I wish it had happened 2 weeks ago, of course, given the extent of the problem in the USA, but hey, better late than never!
Also in good news, there are tons and tons of clinical trials that are starting for treatments and for vaccines. The Milken Institute has a great tracker for all of them, it currently lists 39 vaccines and 65 treatments, and if you want details there is a PDF about all of them updated daily. The hydroxychloroquine treatment is listed under “other” for its mechanism, and every treatment and vaccine has links to Sources for more info. I’m just not Biomed enough to be able to actually parse most of that stuff, but it’s super cool to see that thousands of scientists are working hard.
As a final note, most locked-down Chinese cities opened today, two months and a day after they locked down. Wuhan itself plans to keep on lockdown till at least April 8th. The big question is whether this is too soon, and they will start to see rising numbers and community transmission again, and thus have to lock down all over again – a problem which has already occurred to some extent in Hong Kong and South Korea. It’s great to have China running that experiment now, we can basically keep an eye on them to judge our own future response. Realistically the lock-down they did in China is far harsher than our own has been to date (or realistically ever could be), and so we can expect our lock-down to need to last longer. So: at least 10 weeks, maybe more, it will depend a lot on our collective behavior, our ability to ramp up testing, and of course our actual case counts. Unless new tools or treatments can somehow make a new strategy possible – wildcard, who knows. Anyway, I guess my realistic scenario from a couple of days ago may be quite optimistic… I think maybe I’ll make a more pessimistic timeline prediction for my next post, with some economic thoughts thrown in as well.