Tuesday 31 March 2020

Interactive charts of Coronavirus impacts in the US

Let's see how this projection works out
Projected peak: 15 April
ADDED, 31 March: governor Andrew Cuomo said last night that they had five models, predicting peaks between 7 and 21 days. So: April 7 to April 21.
ADDED: The one above is the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, and is the one recommended by Bill Gates. Bill, he of the prescient warning of a virus outbreak back in 2015.
ADDED, 9 April: the chart today says the peak in the US is 11 April. 


Everyone is posting their sourdoughs. Some of mine…
I’ve been making sourdough weekly for over five years. From before it became trendy? Anyhoo well before the ugliness of coronavirus, the beauty of all-natural bread…
Pumpkin and sunflower seed bun, mini
Baguette, Rondo al forno, mini baguette, loaf
cooked in Dutch oven. All cooked same bake
becoz I prepped a bit too much dough
Got an earful
Star Baker
Daughter in the UK, loves baking, tells me it’s difficult to find flour there. I thought it was ok here in Hong Kong, but now difficult here too. One of the reasons: all of our flour — like most of our food — is imported. A quarter [4/4/20 update] HALF of air freight is in the hold of passenger planes. Passenger flights drastically reduced. Ergo…


Form here 
As Korean church gathering sparks virus outbreak, remember: coronavirus is a punishment by God or punishment by Allah!

It’s perfectly safe to like this cartoon. Not bigoted.…

Convos-19 virus update, 31 March

Hong Kong wages to drop 20%
Van Gough ‘Spring Garden’ stolen. (Our Spring Garden)
Social distancing could save millions of lives.[*] Seattle restrictions bear fruit
But…Global food shortages?
We feel their pain. French nurses: ‘when I wake I cry
New York: Central Park is now a field hospital. Stop the blame game, already. As Great Depression 2 looms
German minister commits suicide distraught over economic damage of coronavirus
Hong Kong total: 683. Restaurants remain open but can only be half full. On streets 99% have masks. Here in DB, in parks no masks but social distancing.  In supermarkets 100% masks. Even me!

09:45 HKT: C-E Carrie Lam presser. Need to abide by quarantine orders ($HK50,000 fine if not). Three arrested for breaching. $HK 2,000 on-the-spot fines for gathering more than 4. Please stay at home. Talks of Policing challenges, strain on healthcare workers. Calls for rent reductions. Schools to continue closed till TBA. Q: Should China border be reopened?  A: No. Situation too fluid. The border control regulation will expire in early May anyway. 10:07: End.

Record deaths
[*] ADDED (2 November 2022): Below are the first paras of the article. It’s now nearly three years later. Actual deaths in 2020, worldwide were 1.9 million, that is 1/20th of the low estimate and 1/40th of the high estimate of the University College London. At the time we didn’t know, that is I didn’t know, that the UCL was the one with the models that turned out to be wildly pessimistic, but which were the main influence on the UK government and other western governments to pursue strict lockdown polices. I guess they would say in their own defence that social distancing measures were very effective. However, most of the world did not lockdown like the UK, and numbers were still 1/40th of predictions. 
Here’s the first paras of the article:
The Covid-19 pandemic could kill as many as 20 million people worldwide this year even if people take steps to reduce their social contacts, according to a mathematical model developed by researchers at Imperial College in London.
The researchers’ model indicated that if no social distancing measures were taken at all, the disease could kill as many as 40 million people worldwide but this could be halved if people cut their social meetings by 40 per cent and the elderly reduced their interactions by 60 per cent.

Monday 30 March 2020

We can be happy … our spring garden is happy

From my default couch-potato position
Click to enlarge 
It’s raining. Lovely light spring rain. Soaking rain. It’s 23 degrees c.  Our spring garden is happy. Lawn is springing. Bougainvillea and bottlebrush are blooming. The bb, that’s callistemon viminalis, Aussie native, three in our garden, we planted in 2002.
I’m listening to a YouTube selection of  "Classics for Spring”, which YouTube suggested to me. Correctly, it seems. It’s very soothing in these troubled times. 
Of which the Chinese would say 哭笑不得, kuxiao bu de. “If you don’t laugh you cry”…
ADDED: Van Gogh’s “Spring Garden” is stolen

Covid-19 virus update, 30 March

Social distancing at local market
59 new cases in Hong Kong, 40 of which imported, people who had returned from US and Europe. Total now 641. No new cases in China.
Worldwide it’s horrid. I don’t know what to say. Trump just said: if US can keep deaths to 100-200,000 that would be a “great victory”. (CNA)
We here in Discovery Bay are fine, thanks for asking! Our clubs are closed down, so no gym. Jing goes hiking on the trails which start right in our doorstep and some lovely walks. Temperature in the twenties, so it’s comfortable. I ride the bike mostly through the park a few circuits. People are out and about, social distancing. When I meet a mate, we do an elbow raise, no bump.
Our supermarkets remain open and well stocked and we can easily go out. So compared with some other places in complete lockdown, we’re doing fine. Lucky us…

News Roundup 
US National Institute of Health: virus circulating in humans decades before the outbreak
Supplements won’t help and may harm
Dogs and social distancing owners, Siena Park, DB, yesterday
My spreadsheet from figures at Worldometer:

Sunday 29 March 2020

US could start reopening the economy in June

Media like MSNBC, CNN, and ABC are saying that Trump’s “plan” to reopen the economy by Easter is the equivalent of killing the Greatest Generation. Killing! And older Boomers like me are also in the firing line, apparently. 
But his Easter deadline was only aspirational. As Dr Fauci said.
You might quibble with whether he should have fixed a date. But to signal that you have to restart the economy at some stage sooner rather than later, that’s a good idea. ADDED: In any case, he’s apparently pushed the aim back to June.
A writer to the New York Times gets it. 
Here’s a sensible article, suggesting steps to the reopening. What I’ve called the Meta Triage. Knowing what comes first and what comes next. Sorting. [ADDED 30/3: comments are by no means on side, on this; many in the “one death is too many” camp]:
The argument that harsh restrictions on business and social interaction during the Covid-19 pandemic will do more harm than good has real power. Unemployment is projected to rise to 30 percent in a few months, and an economic contraction in the second quarter of 15 percent or more has been forecast.
President Trump’s wish to open up the country by Easter and avoid a nationwide shelter-at-home policy is understandable. After all, a Covid-19-induced recession will cause its own serious health problems — depression; suicides; the damage stress will cause to those with heart disease, diabetes and other conditions, not to mention the effects of growing poverty.

Some figures on the virus. AKA “China Can’t Win"

The reaction in the West to good figures coming out of China -- low rates of cases and deaths per population and a high recovery rate of 93% -- the reaction on both Left and Right, has been to say: “China is lying”.
Well, we live here in Hong Kong, and we know that there is a very vibrant community here that absolutely loathes the mainland and loathes Xi Jinping (on the latter, I do too) and would look for any opportunity to lambast them. If China were indeed lying, we would know about it here pretty smartly. 
There is no real “Great Firewall of China". Anyone in China can get a VPN. I've got one. My friends visiting China get one set up in China in minutes. The VPN gets you access to any site in the world you want.
China is not a police state. Whatever you’ve heard, whatever you think. It’s not. People can say anything they want.  You can even criticise Xi Jinping. Just not in national media. 
There is a flow of information. Including on Covid-19. We would know if people were coming down with the virus and dying, and if China were hiding it. So, our conclusion is: they’re not. Or we’d know. We’d know it right here in HK. Right on the unfettered social media of LIHKG and Telegram.
Ergo: China has indeed managed to control the virus. Not so the West. 
So: rather than face their shortcomings, they hate on China.
China can’t win.  If it donates medical equipment, it gets blamed for doing “generosity politics”. If they don't donate, they’re hammered for being callous and uncaring. If they shut down a whole province, it’s “dictatorship” and “cruelty”, then a few months later the west has to to that same and it’s “necessary tough measures”. Hypocrisy. 
A few months ago, they changed the way they recorded Covid-19 cases, which led to a spike in the numbers. Consternation. But now, that the numbers are coming down, the only explanation for the west is that “they’re lying”. 
The longer the west believes that, continues to be in denial, the longer they will take to get this virus under control. 
Below the fold are my spreadsheets with selected comparative figures:

Meta Triage

Result of search for “Triage” on Google Trends

That spike in searches for “Triage” was when we learnt that Italy didn’t have enough beds for all the ICU patients and so they had to “triage”. That is, to make choices about who should get a bed and ventilator. Older folks were at the end of the queue.
A few things to say about triage:
I reckon I first learned the word in the sixties, from my nursing mates. They told me: patients come in to emergency wards; they’re handled first-come, first-served. But if there are too many at once -- after an earthquake, say -- you have to triage. They explain: you make judgements about who should be helped first and who should be tended to next. That’s Triage. The most extreme cases get first attention, then the less severely injured, then those who can simply wait.
I’ve heard the word “triage” used elsewhere.

Covid-19 virus update, 29 March

My spreadsheet from figures at Worldometer 
Oh dear! 69,431 new cases, 3,615 new deaths, so no hint of a break yet.
Is there anything good about this virus? I don’t think so. Some think dialling back globalisation will be a good thing. I doubt it. Extinction Rebellion extremists are saying “Humans are the virus; covid is the answer”. They really are nutters. As far as we know Homo sapiens exist in only one place in the whole universe.
News Roundup:
Australia faces recession and 15% unemployment. No one alive has known that.
Concerns about China’s ‘mask diplomacy
Stretched rubbers
HK gyms cinemas to close tonight. More than four together and you’re arrested.  But we have plenty of beds
Germany doubts Japan numbers
ADDED: Text last night. HKSARG = HK Special Administrative Region Government:

Saturday 28 March 2020

Latest situation of coronavirus COVID-19 in Hong Kong

Click on the screenshot to go to the interactive chart

It’s way, way better if you view this interactive map on a Desktop or Laptop. Second best is an iPad or similar. It’s really difficult to work this map on an iPhone.
42 new cases as of 17:00. Most imported 

‘Has Japan cracked coronavirus?'

I was just saying to J this morning, that I thought perhaps the reason Japan was doing so well, with few coronavirus cases and low deaths, is that they have a culture of bowing. Rather than handshaking and air-kissing.
We’d just been watching the news of Boris getting the virus, with clips of him just a few weeks back saying “I went into the ward of the hospital, and you’ll be glad to know I shook everyone’s hand”. Wouldn’t say that now! It resulted in him getting the virus. Most likely because of handshaking. And in Italy not just handshaking, they kiss, all over the place.
But in Japan, when they meet they bow. Standing apart. And about the distance that is now recommended we keep apart.

Coronavirus cases in Discovery Bay

Click to enlarge 
Above is a screenshot from an updatable Hong Kong government map
As of this morning three cases in Discovery Bay:
  1. Top: Auberge Hotel, M 32, HK resident, attended wedding, last week. Case 332. Likely Imported. Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital
  2. Left: Woodland Court. M 30, HK resident. Case 279. Imported. Tuen Mun Hospital
  3. Right: Twilight Court. M 60, HK resident. Case 461. Imported. Princess Margaret Hospital
All three here are imported or likely imported cases, having contracted their cases overseas and returned to Hong Kong. All three are currently hospitalised 
It appears there were no new cases in Hong Kong yesterday. Total = 518 cases confirmed

Sages and sage

Sage in sun: Master Zhuang
contemplates the Joy of Fish
Sage in shade: Mengzi under bougainvillea

Covid-19 virus update, 28 March

My spreadsheet from figures at Worldometer 
Some people still believe the virus is man-made. It is not. I re-post below the proof we have that it’s natural:
Conspiracies theories abound. The most pernicious being that the virus was bioengineered by China or America. As the Three Stooges club each other...
The New England Journal of Medicine says.
… scientists tell us that SARS-CoV-2 did not escape from a jar: RNA sequences closely resemble those of viruses that silently circulate in bats, and epidemiologic information implicates a bat-origin virus infecting unidentified animal species sold in China’s live-animal markets.” [ADDED 28/3/20: scientists remain unsure where exactly the virus originated]
This view is supported by The Lancet, by the American Medical Association by professors of medicine and epidemiologists. In short, every expert says it’s a natural virus. Nasty, but natural.

Friday 27 March 2020

'This study shows that the drastic control measures implemented in China substantially mitigated the spread of COVID-19’ | Science, 25 March 2020

If we’re wondering: do drastic control measures halt the spread of the virus, the answer is... YES, they do.
That’s according to a study published in ScienceThe effect of human mobility and control measures on the Covid-19 epidemic by dozens of doctors and scientists from Harvard, Oxford, Sorbonne, China. etc.
(Though travel restrictions appear to have limited effect...)
Then there’s the issue of the cost of those measures.  About which Science says:

Covid-19 virus update, 27 March

My spreadsheet from figures at Worldometer
Big jump in new cases, 63,642, though that may be because I accessed the figures a few hours later than usual. We’ll know tomorrow, if I get them at the usual time of 00:15 GMT.

Some (potentially) good news:

(1) Two professors of medicine at Stanford Medical School say the death rates may be much lower than we currently estimate (eg, as above, 4.53%, or WHO: 3.5%). The reason is, they suggest that the actual infection rate is likely much higher than we estimate. That’s good news, because if the infection rate (as opposed to just those who have tested positive) is higher it means the rates of hospitalisation and death are lower. Perhaps orders of magnitude (times 10) lower.

(3) An Oxford University study suggests half the UK population may have contracted the disease and already got  over it, perhaps without even knowing. That, again, would be good news by indicating a much lower death rate (Financial Times, $).  PDF of the study.
There are sceptics (Live Science).

(3)  The  UK government has lowered the risk level of the virus — it is no longer considered a High Consequence Infectious Disease — and indicated that it has enough ICU beds to handle the outbreak,(New Scientist).

(4) Imperial College London epidemiologist Neil Ferguson revised downward the projected number of deaths in the UK to 20,000. Down from half a million earlier projection (!). That’s hugely consequential given that the higher figure was used as justification for the UK lockdown. (Parliamentlve.tv).
All this means that a constant balancing and rebalancing is needed,

Thursday 26 March 2020

Top Shots: Brighton pier sunset dog

Brighton West Pier, 24 March. From here

Stanford Medical School professors question the death rate of Covid-19

In the Stanford University Institute of International Studies, a report that two Stanford Medical School professors question the data on likely Covid-19 death rates.
Stanford Health Policy's Eran Bendavid and Jay Bhattacharya write in this Wall Street Journal editorial that current estimates about the COVID-19 fatality rate may be too high by orders of magnitude."If it’s true that the novel coronavirus would kill millions without shelter-in-place orders and quarantines, then the extraordinary measures being carried out in cities and states around the country are surely justified. But there’s little evidence to confirm that premise—and projections of the death toll could plausibly be orders of magnitude too high."Fear of Covid-19 is based on its high estimated case fatality rate — 2% to 4% of people with confirmed Covid-19 have died, according to the World Health Organization and others. So if 100 million Americans ultimately get the disease, 2 million to 4 million could die. We believe that estimate is deeply flawed. The true fatality rate is the portion of those infected who die, not the deaths from identified positive cases.""The latter rate is misleading because of selection bias in testing. The degree of bias is uncertainbecause available data are limited. But it could make the difference between an epidemic that kills 20,000 and one that kills 2 million. If the number of actual infections is much larger than the number of cases—orders of magnitude larger—then the true fatality rate is much lower as well. That’s not only plausible but likely based on what we know so far."
There’s a link to the editorial here, or else here is a pdf of the editorial. So much, health and public policy, lives and economies, depends on this, that it’s terribly important to get the data right. We currently don’t know enough of the relevant data: specifically, what the infection rates are.

A tail of one dog: eight years between these photos

27 May 2012.
The wood is for the boat we built

This morning.
Wood gone. Basil still there

‘Hong Kong police seize HK$14 million worth of cannabis during raid on indoor marijuana farm in village’ | SCMP

The world is moving quickly to decriminalise cannabis for medical and recreational use. Except… Hong Kong! Where we waste valuable police resources arresting small-time growers on Lantau. ('Cannabis worth HK$14m seized in Lantau raid' 26 March).
Surely the police have better things to do.  Like chasing down quarantine cheaters, maybe?
What a sick joke. It would be funny if it weren't a criminal mis-use of resources. 
To our government: get with the times!

Peter Forsythe
Discovery Bay 

Covid-19 virus update, 26 March

 My spreadsheet from figures at Worldometer
Detailed timeline 
Spain deaths surpassed China. So now it’s Italy #1, Spain #2, China #3
The one Trillion rescue package passed US Congress which gave a boost to markets. They’re still down 30% on just a month ago. 
The various global rescue packages are giving some hope that companies will survive and keep people employed,  yet economic and employment damage is still severe and will remain so. 
Prince Charles tested positive yesterday and is in lockdown in Scotland. He was shown in recent weeks mixing and mingling and shaking hands all over the place. That’s something that has to go — shaking hands and especially the kiss-kiss hug-hug. And I won’t mind that.
Joe Biden does a livestream from his house, which goes disastrously wrong. I’ve never seen so many thumbs down...

On Masks and masking: I rode my bike around the park, my daily ride.  Plenty of people out and about, parents, kids, helpers, dogs everywhere. I decided to take a mask with me to go to the Wellcome Supermarket to get some limes, for the tandoori chicken I was cooking.
In the park people were keeping their distance. And I did, from the couple I met, not “bumped into” just chatted at a distance, unmasked. In Wellcome, I popped it on and just as well. 100%, literally, I counted, every single person had a mask on. And there’s bottles of had sanitisers at the check out. This is in Hong Kong’s DNA, since SARS in 2003.

Half the world’s population is under lockdown (CNA)

Wednesday 25 March 2020

“The Joy of Fish”, A Daoist ding dong

A painting by Qi Baishi. Catfish 儵魚, Shu Yu, 
literally “prosperous” fish

Not the “joy of fish” in the sense that we humans enjoy fish, as in eating them. But the joy that fish themselves experience, at least according to the ancient Chinese philosopher, Zhuangzi. 
It’s a famous anecdote in the canon of Daoism (or “Taoism”) a philosophy which searches for meaning (道, Dao = the Way) vs its more famous counterpart Confucianism which deals with social matters. Usually “The Joy of Fish”, sometimes translated as “The Happiness of Fish”.
The sages Zhuangzi (369 BC to 289 BC) and Huizi were wandering along the banks of the Hao river, in modern day Anhui province. They had this exchange:


Zhuāngzi yǔ huì zǐ yóu yú háo liáng zhī shàng. 
Zhuāng zǐ yuē:`Shū yú chūyóu cóngróng, shì yú lè yě.
Huì zǐ yuē:`Zi fēi yú, ān zhī yú zhī lè?'
Zhuāng zǐ yuē:`Zi fēi wǒ, ān zhī wǒ bùzhī yú zhī lè?'
Huì zǐ yuē:`Wǒ fēi zi, gù bùzhī zi yǐ; zǐ gù fēi yú yě, zǐ zhī bùzhī yú zhī lè quán yǐ.'
Zhuāng zǐ yuē:`Qǐng xún qí běn. Zǐ yuē “rǔ ān zhī yú lè” yún zhě, jì yǐ zhī wú zhīzhī ér wèn wǒ, wǒ zhīzhī háo shàng yě.

English: (My translation):
Zhuangzi and Huizi were strolling by a bridge on the River Hao.
Zhuangzi said: "See how calmly the fish swim about, enjoying themselves."
Huizi replied: "You’re not a fish. How do you know they’re enjoying themselves?"
Zhuangzi said: "Well, you’re not me, how can you possibly know that I don’t know what makes fish happy?
Huizi said: "If I, not being you, can't know what you know, it follows that you, not being a fish, can’t know what they know. Q.E.D.!"
Zhuangzi said: “Hang on. Let’s step back a bit. What you asked me was 'How do you know what makes fish happy?' From the very terms of your question, you obviously know whether or not I know what gives fish joy, which I know here on the banks of the Hao."
I studied this piece for my classical Chinese class at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, in 1977. Heres the page of my text book and that’s my bit of calligraphy and marginalia: I was taking notes in classical Chinese... that’s my humblebrag (or not so humble...).  It's not too bad! Jing assumed it'd been done by a Chinese classmate or even my teacher. Anyway, was much fun and I’ve enjoyed doing Chinese calligraphy contemplating "The Joy of Fish" ever since. I’m not sure I fully get it, it strikes me that there’s a bit of slight of hand in the last riposte of Zhuangzi’s, but maybe that’s the point. How do we know what we know?

The Fish儵魚, Shu Yu, in this exchange is usually translated as “catfish”, but sometimes as “minnows”, though I don’t know why. It doesn’t much matter what sort of fish they are, I guess, save to note that “fish" in Chinese is itself auspicious, because Yú (魚), “fish”, is a homonym with Yú (余) or “abundance". And the catfish is doubly so, because it’s a Shu (儵) fish, “prosperous”, so it has prosperity in abundance. That said, it’s not much admired by fisherfolk, being bony and thin of meat.
ADDED: I came across a translation, from 1910, by the German philosopher Martin Buber.
ADDED: another translation, by Watson 


Covid-19 virus update, 25 March

My spreadsheet from figures at Worldometer
Detailed Timeline 
Italy numbers jump again and Wuhan has covert coronavirus cases
“On ‘The cure is worse than the disease’” ~ the other side of my post.
Ethics of triage: looming ICU bed crisis. (The New Yorker)
Podcast. The Lockdown. How Long? (The Editors)
War of words timeline
Australia sets up Covid-19 Commission. ScoMo presser. (CNA). Says Australia is doing more testing than any other country. 5x UK and 25x US, more than Korea. (CNA).
World Markets up an all-time record! (CNBC)
Hong Kong booze ban.
While HK expats cop a well-deserved hammmerimg
Crazy kids returning to HK and having “quarantine parties
Related: quarantine breakers
Hong Kong students’ anti-China racism
Global ‘Battle of Narratives’. Blogpost by EU’s top diplomat (Josep Borrell, since you asked). Accuses China of “generosity politics”. Ugh.

OT: plant-based meat company enters China. Backed by Bit lGates, Jack Ma and Jeff Bezos: Nature’s Flyte

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Bike ride via our local football pitch

Border Collie, kid lining up soccer ball, kid ready to throw
American football. DB school pitch just now. Maskless…

'Hong Kong Expats Point Fingers Over Who’s Spreading Coronavirus’ ~ Bloomberg News

Most of recent spike due to returnees/close contact
And now we have Discovery Bay in the news. Mind you, it’s not clear from that Bloomberg article that there is a spike right here in DB, just that it’s an issue and one that our family has been concerned about for some time, specifically because of the returnees from Europe. There are heaps of Europeans in DB, many many Italians and French, because of the fashion and clothing industry in China. 
We now know personally of our actual first person with the virus in DB, adult male, just returned from Italy.
Clip from the article:
The spike has exploded new tensions among the city’s expatriates. Bankers, lawyers, pilots and business people are now trading blame, blasting quarantine-breakers on Facebook and threatening to report their neighbors to the police.
It’s also given new ammunition to local Hong Kongers irritated by the lax mask-wearing standards of foreign residents, with several newspapers running front page articles criticizing bare-faced expatriates and displaced college students hanging out in bars despite calls for social distancing.
In Discovery Bay -- a tight-knit community favored by air crew [Me: and elderly retirees] for its proximity to the airport, larger apartments and ocean vistas -- a local restaurant run by a U.K. transplant posted a stern message on its Facebook page.
“Warning to anyone returning from Europe. DB is a small community, everyone knows you, so if you are meant to be in isolation, do not come to Hemingway’s,” the management wrote. “If we see you, we will send out CCTV footage to the authorities. You have been warned.
Hemingway’s is now closed

Musical interlude and a break from coronavirus

Last night, wide-angle on iPhone. Tap to enlarge.
Listening to Elgar’s Symphony number 1 on vinyl 

a Christmas present from John
Newly refurbished sound system finally comes alive!
We bought this high-end system back in 2002…. Wow, nearly two decades ago.*
The thinking was: buy quality for, well… quality. And longevity. And so it’s proven. But time worked its entropy. Bits of it stopped working. One expert suggested scrapping and starting afresh. But I decided to refurbish. That’s worked out more satisfying. We’ve brought an old friend back to life. 
The Jadis Amplifier, made in France, uses old-fashioned tubes, for a “richer sound”. It had stopped working on one channel. Amazingly, the very same shop where we bought it 18 years ago is still operating — we couriered it over and they fixed it, with new French tubes. That took six weeks. 
Then the Dali Euphonia Speakers, made in Denmark. The tweeters had broken for reasons not clear even to Freddy, the owner of Hi Fi Gear who came to look at them. He imported replacement Dali tweeters and installed them for me. As well as new high-end cables. That took twelve weeks.
And that was the core of the system — Amplifier and Speakers — renovated. Then, a couple of new items, both from Freddy:
A new Dual Turntable, made in Germany. And a new Cambridge CD playermade in the UK.
So now, after a little effort and modest expenditure, we’re back to having a top end hi-fi system and the pleasure of listening to the hiss, the snap, crackle and pop of real records!
Of which I still have examples from early sixties: Them, Them Again, The Animals, Sgt Peppers (2 of, for some reason), Electric Ladyland, Bluesbreakers
And thanks fo Freddy for the excellent service, coming all the way out here, as he did, three times to make it all happen.
Time flies like an arrow
Fruit flies like a banana
Sometimes attributed to Groucho Marx

Top Shots … Liverpool dog

 Nice header, Fido! Liverpool v Atletico Madrid, Anfield, England
March 11, from here

Covid-19 virus update, 24 March

Result of spike in imported cases
My spreadsheet from figures at Worldometer 
Wow, 11.3% spike in new cases… again most in Europe and United States. Italy over 6,000 deaths, nearly double those in China. Though daily new cases have dropped two days in a row.
09:55 HKT: and Carrie Lam is giving her weekly presser. I must say, she’s doing better with this crisis than she did with the protests. She seems to be in her element here, being the process oriented bureaucrat. She’s talking about our border policies. And that we’ve closed border to all visitors. Something that just a fortnight ago was unthinkable. The unthinkable is a daily occurrence these crisis-hit days. She’s also talking about closing all bars.
It’s got to be a balance between lives and the economy. (Says I). At some time the cure is worse than the disease.
Now talking about the fact that some people have escaped quarantine orders. They are being chased down and will be arrested. We don’t have enough quarantine centres because of Democrat-led Nimby-ism last month.
Still, as we’ve thought for a while now. Hong Kong is the safest place to be.  Especially our cordon sanitaire of Discovery Bay.

Glimpses of hope in Italy, while Italian doctor says ‘strange pneumonia’ found in Italy in November
I’d noticed yesterday…Trump stops calling it ‘China virus’ praises cooperation. Example: cooperating to supply testing kits 
Boris imposes Britain lockdown. Total worldwide stay-at-homes now 1.5 billion
Finally! Olympics postponed
Asian-Americans are stocking up on guns
US officials overruled expert advice in crucial early stages of the outbreak
China economy will post worst quarter ever.  Boeing closes factories. BUT Japan and HK markets up 4-6%.  (Bloomberg TV)
Opinion: give credit where it’s due. Thoughtful article by Brian YS Wong 

Monday 23 March 2020

Top Shots … Blue Lagoon

Bathers enjoy the warm volcanic hot springs of the 
Blue Lagoon in Grindavik, Iceland, March 6, 2020. Here
The above are for March 11.  And here they are for March 18

‘How to help during coronavirus’

Some of the measures are kind of corny, but the Great Big Story site has some quirky vids.
Oh, and one thing NOT to do: an instagram of you and your celebrity mates wobbly-singing “Imagine”, as Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot did the other day and copped mass ridicule on Twitter!

Covid-19 virus update, 23 March

My spreadsheet from figures at Worldometer 
First reduction in daily increase for a week, 28,309.  Though I’m just hearing of record new deaths in the UK. And how the virus exploded in Italy (YouTube)
Is this good news or bad news? What’s a disease if it doesn’t show symptoms?
The sub-head says “experts dispute scale and significance of he issue”
Click to enlarge
Strange pneumonia’ in Italy well before reported in Wuhan. /Snip:
“This means that the virus was circulating, at least in [the northern region of] Lombardy and before we were aware of this outbreak occurring in China.” ~ Dr Giuseppe Remuzzi, director of Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan.  [link]
There are indications hydrochloroquine is effective treatment (CNN). New York May run out of medical supplies in two weeks. (CNN). While China is getting back to normal (CNN)
How supply chains will reconfigure
Some commenters call China’s eating of wild animals “Uncivilised”. When Anthony Bourdain ate weird animals it was fun and brave and edgy. When France eats frogs it’s haute cuisine. They eat horses, don’t they? The Post’s Wee Kek Koon takes a look at animals on the world menu
Europe, US, approve Chinese test kits
UK spread accelerating as Singapore bans tourists
Chinese diplomats increasingly combative