50-ish Days Later

Here’s a short update on the pandemic situation, partly spurred by crude oil prices having reached zero this week and because we’re now a little over 50 days into it here.

I’m pretty much exhausted. “Regular” work plus a few overlapping deadlines plus whatever household chores I can manage and all the random stuff that comes with being permanently home means I can’t find the time to relax, let alone do something borderline creative.

Days are mostly the same. Mostly about work (I was up at 8AM on Easter Sunday for a conference with folk in the Middle East) and lack of time.

Our freezer died a few days ago, which put a lot of things into perspective since (besides rushing to save all the food) resurrecting it meant having a technician over, all of which entailed sanitizing everything with a rather large amount of chlorine (which is also in short supply).

There is news regarding the state of emergency here in Portugal being lifted sometime in early May, although to be honest I think we’re being overly optimistic, since case reporting has been erratic at best, and even applying a 7-day moving average the pandemic is still quite active in the northern part of the country, with confirmed cases progressing at roughly the same rate (the discontinuities are due to constant changes in reporting methods):

New confirmed cases in the Portuguese mainland, before and after applying a 7-day moving average

So I expect curfew of some sort to become a cyclic thing, and am planning accordingly. I understand people are fundamentally fed up with being home (something I can readily relate to having no garden, patio or anywhere else to go but a balcony), but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that loosening the restrictions isn’t going to do us any favors:

A chart from Expresso that shows a definite correlation between contagion and mobility as measured by circulation of mobile devices. The North of the country reigns supreme...

Meanwhile, the kids have sort of adapted to online schooling (even though teachers have regretfully picked Zoom as their go-to solution, which just goes to show how hard it is to get anyone to understand security), and online shopping seems to be converging to some sort of steady state (delivery slots are improving, food stocks are iffy but OK, hardware and electronics are all running out), so…

Let’s give it another month or so. Then I’m going to take a seriously long break.