COVID-19 Log #1


And just like that, we went from "weird outbreak in China" to pandemic.

  • The first case was reported in Washington state.
  • At least 3,000 people in the United States are infected, with at least 68 deaths. Testing has been dangerously slow to ramp up, so those numbers are both likely higher.
  • As of writing, the CDC is recommending that for the next 8 weeks, people not gather at events of 50 or more.
  • Many companies are imposing mandatory work from home policies. My company is mandatory work from home for at least the next. We'll have to extend, though, as this is going to get much worse before it gets better. Our team in the software group is currently figuring out how to operate as a 100% remote team.
  • Stores across the country have seen empty shelves, as people panic-buy everything from toilet paper to peanut butter. I made a few large Amazon purchases before the panic hit, so I am in relatively good shape when it comes to staples. NYT is reporting that the food supply chain is strong, so I will likely go this week to see if I can get some more, like frozen vegetables, pizzas, cured meats, snacks, and milk.
  • Many conservatives have publicly expressed belief that the pandemic is either a hoax, or overblow, despite what has happened in Wuhan, Iran, and Italy.
  • There is a travel ban in effect for foreign nationals who have traveled in China, Iran, or the Schengen area. Beginning tomorrow (Marth 16), the United Kingdom and Ireland will also be included in the ban.
  • The Dow is down at least 18% YTD, with extreme volatility common.
  • Many conferences and trade shows have been cancelled. Meghan and I skipped the Every Time I Die concert we were planning on going to, for example.
  • The Fed cut the benchmark rate to nearly zero, and began a massive bond buyback program.