Quarantine Day [n+1]

April 13th, 2020
2023 Amber Roman Headshot(1)
Amber Roman
Director of Strategic Communications

April 14, 2020

Before we get to the ed policy, the data indicate that California’s rate of COVID growth is relatively slow compared to other locations. The Mercury News says the number of cases doubled in a week, but New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has talked about case numbers doubling in the space of a few days in his state (That was several days ago…I gather things have slowed dramatically since then, which is welcome news!). I haven’t done a deep dive on that data, but signs suggest that the things we are doing in California are working! Also, seismologists have said that the Earth is vibrating a little less than usual with so many of us at home – I heard one newscaster compare the Earth’s vibrations to what we see on Christmas Day. So, pat yourselves on the back. But also, remember that flattening the curve has two impacts: (1) it reduces the height of the peak, which helps ensure case volume doesn’t overwhelm capacity at local hospitals; and (2) it pushes the peak outwards, which gives healthcare systems additional time to prepare and maybe get some more Personal Protective Equipment on hand before the peak…so the curse of doing this right is that we may have to do it a little longer. I really wish there was a way to beat this thing that still allowed us to see each other face to face.

Okay…now for what you came for:

I often like to joke with younger millennials (technically, I’m a millennial myself…but I’ve always better identified with the term “Xennial”) that the touch-screen computers in their pockets have the capacity for real-time two-way audio transmission. Well, according to the New York Times, we’ve been spending more time on the phone with each other. Sure, some of this is for work. I think this week we’ve all either written or read some version of, “I don’t think a Zoom is necessary, let’s just hop on the phone.” But if you’re feeling to urge to call your mom or your old friend from elementary school, you’re not alone. I’m one of those people making random calls this week. I highly recommend it.

These next few are not COVID-related, but they’re still depressing. Sorry…

One of my weird coping mechanisms when I get a little down is to look through images from the Hubble Space Telescope. Not really sure why, but I find it soothing. Well, Hubble sent back a doozy (see below) this week. At first glance, it’s a fairly ordinary galaxy. On closer inspection, we find something extraordinary – there are two spirals within this galaxy! Also, this thing is “powered by a supermassive black hole.” Pretty cool! They say the devil is in the details, but I find that’s often where the beauty is too.

Galaxy NGC 2273
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Greene

Until next time!

Vikash Reddy
Vikash Reddy, Senior Director of Policy Research