Sunday, April 5, 2020

Being tracked by your smartphone

For those who follow Raconteur Report, Orange County, Ca is right at the mean for counties with stay-at-home orders with travel reduced by 84% of before-Covid-19. Oakland County, home of the Shekel shows a 100% reduction! Wayne County, home of Detroit shows 99% reduction. Eaton Count shows 98% reduction. Source

I am not sure why turning off your smartphone before driving around reduces the spread of Covid-19, but I am always willing to do my part.

On a more serious note, during World War II authorities rationed gasoline. The United States had vast amounts of gasoline, plenty to run both the war effort and to consume domestically. What the US did not have was enough rubber.

Authorities concluded that it was easier, and would have a quicker impact, if they rationed gasoline than if they stopped making domestic tires. The thinking was that consumers made decisions about buying gasoline twice a week but squeezed 6-to-12 months out of a set of tires.

By rationing gasoline, they could bend consumers' behaviors in three days instead of nine months.

And so it is with Stay-at-Home orders. What really matters is how many different people you come within I-can-smell-your-fart range of. And how many different people THEY came into contact with.

What will stop the pandemic is when carriers give the disease to fewer than one person. Right now the experts are guessing the typical Covid-19 carrier  is sharing it with between 2 and 3 victims.

Travel distance is an imperfect proxy for the number of susceptible people a carrier will come into contact with. However, if average travel distances were reduced to 50%-to-33% of before Covid-19 distances, then the Covid-19 virus will likely drop back to "smolder" status. If it drops below 33% then if travel distance is a reasonable proxy for human-human contact, then Covid-19 whould spiral into almost nothing.

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