Roy Tang

roytang.net

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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2020 August

  • Do any other countries have this scale of time-based "mass recoveries"

    Quoted ABSCBNNews's tweet:

    OVER 112,000 RECOVERIES. DOH logs additional 40,397 new recoveries, citing data reconciliation efforts and adjustment in classification under "OPLAN RECOVERY." As of August 16, PH has total 112,586 #COVID19 recoveries.

    Do any other countries have this scale of time-based "mass recoveries"
    Posted by under notes at #covid19

    Also on: twitter /

  • Covid19 2020-08-09

    Pandemic thoughts and updates, Aug 9 edition:

    • So, NCR got sent back into MECQ, a stronger quarantine lockdown. I haven't actually felt the difference, since I'm at home most of the time. We went out yesterday for a grocery run, and not much seemed different out there either, still a lot of cars and people out of doors. I don't actually remember what the last MECQ was like, but I kind of assumed things would be closer to how they were at the onset of the lockdowns in March, but this feels still mostly like the GCQ of past weeks. IDK if this 2-week MECQ stretch really serves any purpose except to show the government is trying something.
    • Watching mass via Facebook again today.
      • As of last night, we are at 126,885 cases (+4226 from the day before, +28653 from last week, huge jump week-on-week), 2,209 deaths (+41 from the day before, +170 from last week, thankfully not as big a jump as from last week), 67,117 recoveries (+287 from the day before, +1852 from last week, a predictably much smaller jump after last week's miraculous "mass recoveries"). We hit record high daily deaths again over the first few days of the MECQ. We seem to have settled at a much higher average daily rate since then. Luckily, the death rate hasn't gone up that much. We are now #1 in confirmed cases in SEA, overtaking Indonesia. The govt claims nothing to worry about, it's only because we are testing more, but our relatively large positivity rate (around 8.6% as of this writing) implies transmission is outpacing testing? Reference.
    • Worldwide, we are at around 19.8 cases (+1.8M from last week, slope holding steady for maybe 3 weeks now?) and almost 730k deaths. Caveat: these numbers are from Worldometer.
  • Covid19 2020-08-02

    Pandemic thoughts and updates, Aug 2 edition:

    • We ended July with around 90k active cases. Despite the threat of sending Metro Manila back to ECQ if we breached the 85k mark, the govt did not push through. Over the weekend, this led to a clamor from doctors and other frontliners to have a "time out" of 2 weeks for the NCR, a temporary quarantine, to give the healthcare system some breathing room. The knee-jerk response from the palace was to say it wasn't necessary, but they quickly flipped their flops and said the IATF would discuss it. Enraging people and doctors, a certain outspoken-on-social-media doctor tried to shame doctors for not being heroic enough, and a certain senator implied that we can't afford it so frontliners just need to work harder and be more passionate.
    • Watching mass via Facebook again today. Churches have actually been holding limited physical services, but in solidarity with the call for ECQ, they said they will temporarily suspend such services.
    • I went to get some Jollibee takeout last Thursday; apparently they are already allowing limited dine-in customers, that seems unwise, eh. Was anxious the entire time I was waiting for my takeout order.
    • As of last night, we are at 98232 cases (+4963 from the day before, +19820 from last week, huge jump week-on-week), 2039 deaths (+17 from the day before, +142 from last week, moderate jump), 65265 recoveries (+93 from the day before, +39513 (!) from last week, a miraculous jump). We hit record high daily deaths over the past few days, and the huge spike in recoveries is because the DOH decided to do a "mass recovery" of mild/asymptomatic cases that are already 14 days or older, supposedly in line with WHO guidelines. I can kind of see some logic behind this, but the communication was not handled very well. Reference.
    • Worldwide, we are at around 18M cases (+1.8M from last week) and almost 690k deaths. Caveat: these numbers are from Worldometer.

2020 July

  • Covid19 2020-07-26

    Pandemic thoughts and updates, July 26 edition:

    • Watching mass via Facebook again today. The nearby Church actually holds services, but last I heard it was only 10 people per mass, and need to call ahead of time. It doesn't seem likely we'll be going anytime soon.
    • grocery run yesterday, without incident
    • last Thursday I finally got a haircut my last one was around New Year's Day, so this was around six and a half months of hair cut off. I didn't go to a barbershop, this was a home service haircut, care of a lady who works at a neighboring salon, who actually came over to do some home care service for my mom.
    • As of last night, we are at 78412 cases (+2019 from the day before, +13108 from last week, slight acceleration week-on-week), 1897 deaths (+20 from the day before, +224 from last week, lower jump than last week), 25752 recoveries (+1278 from the day before, +3685 from last week, much less than last week's jump). The admin claims that if we breach 85k cases by end-July, Metro Manila may go back to NCQ. First, that seems likely to happen so we'll see. Second, it seems a bit unfair and illogical to make Metro Manila's quarantine status dependent on national case numbers, but whatever. Reference.
    • Worldwide, we are at 16.2M cases (+1.8M from last week, slight acceleration) and almost 650k deaths. The US retains a comfortable lead over second placer Brazil. Caveat: these numbers are from Worldometer.
  • Covid19 2020-07-19

    Pandemic thoughts and updates, July 19 edition:

    • only left the house once all week, to get cash from an ATM.
    • Watching mass via Facebook again today
    • A couple of weeks ago, someone I knew had someone in their household (a medical worker) test positive for the virus. Now everyone in their household is staying in separate rooms and eating separately while they wait to be tested. After a week and a half, out of 5 adults who need to be tested, only 2 have been tested and gotten their results (prioritized because they were seniors). How can we make decisions with this kind of lag on testing and getting results?
    • As of last night, we are at 65304 cases (+2357 from the day before, +11082 from last week, roughly same slope as last week), 1773 deaths (+113 from the day before, +401 from last week, this is a huge jump), 22067 recoveries (+321 from the day before, +8030 from last week, also a huge jump). Reference.
    • Worldwide, we are at 14.4M cases (+1.6M from last week) and around 605k deaths. Three countries have now broken 1M cases: USA, Brazil and India. Caveat: these numbers are from Worldometer.
  • Covid19 2020-07-12

    Pandemic thoughts and updates, July 12 edition:

    • haven't had a haircut since January. Been urged to go out and get one, but feels like an unnecessary risk. As a friend of mine said "Like, it's one thing to get sick because I picked up groceries or something. Would feel really dumb to be intubated because I wanted a haircut"
    • Did a grocery run yesterday. Not too crowded. Hopefully didn't get sick.
    • Watching mass via Facebook again today
    • As of last night, we are at 54222 cases (+1387 from the day before, +12392 from last week), 1372 deaths (+12 from the day before, +82 from last week), 14037 recoveries (+807 from the day before, +2584 from last week). Record high week for number of new cases. We broke past 2000 new daily cases this week, three times! One thing that still surprises me is how long recoveries take. Even though we only quarantine for 14 days if sick (in theory), many cases seem to be lasting a month or more. Like four weeks ago we only had 25k cases, but now we only have 14k recoveries, so there's 11k active cases that have had the virus for four weeks now? It may also be due to a lag in testing, reporting and verifying recoveries I guess. I wish someone would come out with an analysis of all the deaths/recoveries to break down how long their cases lasted. Reference.
    • Worldwide, we are at 12.8M cases (+1.5M from last week) and around 567k deaths. Rate of new cases accelerating worldwide as well. US and Brazil still a strong no. 1 and no. 2 respectively, India and Russia jostling for 3rd place. Caveat: these numbers are from Worldometer.
  • Covid19 2020-07-05

    Covid19 thoughts and updates, July 5 edition:

    • I did a small restaurant take-out run and mid-week mini-grocery run. Didn't stay out too long. Ugh, not enough walking though.
    • Watched mass via Facebook again today, after our internet came back. I've already deactivated Facebook, but Church pages are mostly public anyway.
    • As of last night, we are at 41830 cases (+1494 from the day before, +7027 from last week), 1290 deaths (+10 from the day before, +54 from last week), 11453 recoveries (+380 from the day before, +2023 from last week). New cases still accelerating week-on-week, apparently even faster this time. Our death rate remains low, so that's something. Is it because of the widespread mask usage? Reference.
    • The presidential spokesperson, on the eve of July, struck a celebratory tone because we "beat" the prediction of UP experts that there would be 40k cases by the first of July. A "target" we barely met, and probably still crossed anyway due to late reporting/verification. He has rightfully been turned into a meme. Later in the week, he proceeded to go to a resort park to swim with dolphins.
    • Worldwide, we are at 11.3M cases (+1.3M from last week) and around 533k deaths. Ten million! Brazil now a strong number 2, but still at only around half of US numbers. Caveat: these numbers are from Worldometer.

2020 June

  • Covid19 2020-06-28

    Covid19 thoughts and updates, June 28 edition:

    • Wew, it's almost July! It's unlikely that the Metro Manila GCQ gets further loosened though.
    • A lot of new cases recently have been reported in Cebu/Region VII. Some dumbass things coming out of their local officials too.
    • Haven't had a haircut for 6 months now. People keep asking me when I'm getting one, but it doesn't really seem essential?
    • Did a grocery run Saturday afternoon. Surprisingly, fewer people than I expected. Still unable to find Choc-Nut in the grocery.
    • We had internet service people coming in this week, and a friend working in UK said to give them masks to wear and I was like "That's ridiculous, of course they'll bring their own." Apparently the expectation is a lot different in the UK, unsurprisingly.
    • (That doesn't mean I wasn't worried about having the masked strangers from the outside in our home...)
    • Despite all of these precautions, I can't help but feel quite a bit of anxiety visiting these medical facilities.
    • Watched mass via Facebook again today, after our internet came back.
    • As of last night, we are at 34803 cases (+738 from the day before, +5403 from last week), 1236 deaths (+12 from the day before, +86 from last week), 9430 recoveries (+249 from the day before, +1780 from last week). New cases still accelerating week-on-week. I read somewhere that they're planning to tweak how they report recoveries, presumably to make it look like we have less active cases? Reference.
    • Worldwide, we are at 10,087,840 cases and around 501k deaths. Ten million! Once again roughly a million new cases during the week. USA still number one, but Brazil racing to catch up. Caveat: these numbers are from Worldometer.
  • Covid19 2020-06-21

    Covid19 thoughts and updates, June 21 edition:

    • The other day, a friend who doesn't keep up with the news much said that it feels like the pandemic is no longer an urgent thing, and I think that says a lot about the general atmosphere in these parts. This in spite of the fact that our case counts continue to go up, accelerating even.
    • The president's spokesman bravely says that at least we are doing better than the US; what standards, to be compared against the country with the worst response in the world. Maybe try comparing to New Zealand?
    • This past week I had to take my mom to the hospital and some clinics a couple more times. Again, nothing major, just regular tests and consults that had been pushed back due to quarantine. I wrote about our first hospital visit last week. The smaller clinic we went to for blood tests had less screenings at the entrance, but all the med techs were in full PPE. Their building also had these nice foot-powered alcohol/hand sanitizer dispensers, pretty neat.
    • Despite all of these precautions, I can't help but feel quite a bit of anxiety visiting these medical facilities.
    • Watched mass via Facebook again today.
    • GCQ in Metro Manila extended until Jun 30th. Probably the minimum right decision, but it also feels like we're just pushing back because we don't know what else to do (because no mass testing, poor data management etc)
    • As of last night, we are at 29400 cases (+943 from the day before, +4107 from last week), 1150 deaths (+20 from the day before, +76 from last week), 7650 recoveries (+272 from the day before, +1265 last week). Thankfully a lot more recoveries this week. Reference.
    • Worldwide, we are at almost 9 million cases and around 466,000 deaths. Looks like we aren't slowing down with roughly a million new active cases per week? Caveat: these numbers are from Worldometer.
  • Covid19 2020-06-14

    Covid19 thoughts and updates, June 14 edition:

    • Aside from doing another grocery run this weekend, I also accompanied my mom to the hospital last Saturday. Nothing major, just a consult that had been put off due to all of this. Before letting us into the hospital, there were the usual temperature checks, but they also had us fill up a form with name, address and contact details, I assume for contact tracing purposes. We waited for a couple of hours in the doctor's queue (my mom was only there to get a referral, which in itself only took like 5 minutes). The hospital was mostly empty, we didn't see any actual sick patients in most of the waiting areas I think. Seating was limited - they had blocked off the seat rows such that only 2 out of every 4 seats was usable. I was super anxious about touching anything, and probably used hand sanitizer at least 5 times during the visit. Their canteen was open, I only went in to get some water while waiting.
    • Watched mass via Facebook again today.
    • GCQ in Metro Manila was supposedly only up to the 15th. It's the 14th, and we still don't know what happens after that. In fact, I'm not even sure the IATF has already announced their recommendations. There are rumors going around that we may get sent back to ECQ. Some authorities are saying limited restaurant dine-in will be available this week. In spite of this, my mom already scheduled some tests at the hospital, a result of the referral consult I mentioned earlier.
    • As of last night, we are at 25293 cases (+607 from the day before, +4052 from last week), 1074 deaths (+22 from the day before, +80 from last week), 5706 recoveries (+252 from the day before, +1265 last week). Jumps slightly lower than last week, except for recoveries which are about the same, so that's good news. Let's see what happens next week. Reference.
    • Worldwide, we are at 7.8+ million cases and 432,000 deaths. Caveat: these numbers are from Worldometer.
  • Covid19 2020-06-07

    Covid19 thoughts and updates:

    • one week into ECQ. I went out for a walk outside the subdivision last Thursday, just to see what it was like. First time walking outside since I did a meds run for the folks in April. What I saw: lots of people and cars already in the streets, just like it was pre-virus. Of course this time, around 95% of people are masked. (Maybe 1 in 10 weren't wearing their masks correctly though.). I went into the nearby Jollibee to see what it was like. Not as many people inside, and the guard took my temp told me to stand aside before later motioning me to get into a particular queue. The queues are spaced (should have taken pictures), and there's tables in front of the cashiers to keep you from getting too close. Anyway, I think I'll still keep my walks limited to my subdivision; much too many people outside for my comfort.
    • Watched mass via Facebook again today.
    • As of last night, we are at 21340 cases (+714 from the day before, +7563 (!!!) from last week), 994 deaths (+7 from the day before, +131 (!!) from last week), 4441 recoveries (+111 from the day before, +1264 last week). "Last week" numbers slightly lower because it's only been 6 days since the last report. Basically an explosion in confirmed cases; over 50% jump from last week. Large jumps in deaths and recoveries too, thought not as alarmingly large as the cases. Regardless of the DoH's "tardy" / "fresh" massaging of the data, it looks bad, and the explosion in cases kind of aligns with the last days of the ECQ. I expect another spike in another two weeks. Reference.
    • Worldwide, we are almost at 7 million cases and 400,000 deaths. Caveat: these numbers are from Worldometer. The protests in the US and worldwide might speed up these numbers in a week or so, though hopefully the virus doesn't spread as easily in open air. (And at least many of the protesters this time are masked, as compared to the the ones protesting before about not being able to get haircuts).

2020 May

  • Covid19 2020-05-31

    Covid19 thoughts and updates:

    • Metro Manila is lower restrictions again and going into ECQ tomorrow, June the 1st. Only a two week MECQ transition period, and not really any time to evaluate what the effect that has had on the case numbers. This is reopening for the sake of the economy, without regard for the medical data. I'm still not going out. Public transportation will still be limited, so I kind of expect chaos Monday morning.
    • Speaking of medical data, the DOH has changed the way they report new cases, now dividing them into "fresh" and "tardy" cases. The tardy ones are the ones that were delayed by 4 or more days due to validation or some other reason. This seems like propaganda to make things seem not so bad, especially since there have been an explosion of cases in the past few days, probably as a result of lowering restrictions.
    • Watched mass via Facebook again today.
    • Went out for groceries this past Saturday. Had to do it on a weekend, since my dad drives the car to work on weekdays now and we need that for groceries. Surprisingly, a bunch of things that were always out of stock the past couple of months were available this time around.
    • Lazada is back to shipping non-essentials again, and I've already ordered a thing.
    • As of last night, we are at 13777 cases (+180 from the day before, +1264 from last week), 863 deaths (+6 from the day before, +39 from last week), 3177 recoveries (+85 from the day before, +542 last week). "Last week" numbers slightly lower because it's only been 6 days since the last report. Maybe I should be monitoring the active cases too? Apparently our active case count has never dropped, and the DOH backlog in confirming cases is only getting larger. Reference.
    • As of last night, we are at 18086 cases (+862 from the day before, +4309 from last week), 957 deaths (+7 from the day before, +94 from last week), 3909 recoveries (+101 from the day before, +732 last week). The case numbers are exploding in growth, presumably because the DOH is catching up to the backlog, but that's still super unsettling. Reference.
    • Worldwide, we are at 6.2 million cases and 372,000 deaths. Caveat: these numbers are from Worldometer.
  • Covid19 2020-05-24

    Covid19 thoughts and updates:

    • We are officially one week deep into Modified ECQ. It should be a couple of weeks before the cases start picking up again, but we are already seeing a lot of traffic and crowds and such.
    • Lazada is back to shipping non-essentials again, and I've already ordered a thing.
    • I feel compelled to share this post by a friend of mine dubbing a certain local "expert" as "Science Mocha".
    • My dad started going back to work last Wednesday. He says they have strict screenings and rules so that's good. They don't let anyone go out unless they're already going home for the day, so he has to bring baon.
    • We did a grocery run the day before he went back to work. Not sure if it was because we went earlier, but it felt like there were slightly fewer shoppers that time.
    • As of last night, we are at 13777 cases (+180 from the day before, +1264 from last week), 863 deaths (+6 from the day before, +39 from last week), 3177 recoveries (+85 from the day before, +542 last week). "Last week" numbers slightly lower because it's only been 6 days since the last report. Maybe I should be monitoring the active cases too? Apparently our active case count has never dropped, and the DOH backlog in confirming cases is only getting larger. Reference.
    • Worldwide, we are at 5.3 million cases and 340,000 deaths. Caveat: these numbers are from Worldometer.
  • Covid19 2020-05-17

    Covid19 thoughts and updates:

    • I heard mass again via the Quiapo church website
    • ECQ in Metro Manila officially ended last Friday, and we are now on the supposedly slightly-less-strict "Modified ECQ", where selected industries are now allowed to open, etc. But yesterday, the first day of MECQ, reports came in about traffic on the highways and lots of people flocking to the malls. I guess people got tired of being cooped up, which is not unexpected. The government messaging has not been very tight about the reopening, they should have made much clearer that despite the loosening of restrictions we should still take precautions and not go out unless absolutely essential. I guess it's an indicator that many people were not staying in because they wanted to avoid spreading the virus, but rather because they had nowhere to go. I jokingly told some friends that maybe we should require something like a P1000 entrance fee to the malls. This would be terribly elitist, but honestly I'm not sure I'd say no at this point. Fully expecting chaos tomorrow, the first Monday of MECQ. Nobody knows for sure what's going to happen, but I wouldn't be surprised if we get our second wave and possible tightened lockdown again in maybe a month?
    • The Philippines now has the highest COVID-19 fatality rate and lowest recovery rate in ASEAN
    • Stayed in the whole week, although I've started doing short walks just outside our house for around 30 mins, never leaving the subdivision. I'm doing it in the early mornings, when there are fewer people around. (There's very few people around during the day too!). A sort of prelude to getting back in the habit I guess?
    • As of today, we are at 12513 cases (+208 from yesterday, +1720 from last week), 824 deaths (+7 from yesterday, +105 from last week), 2635 recoveries (+74 from yesterday, +711 last week). Gain in active cases slightly higher from last week. Reference.
    • Worldwide, we are at 4.7 million cases and 313,000 deaths.
  • I mean, that's true in general of course. But it certainly seems much more true in these pandemic times. Before all of this waves hands arounds frantically, people had a general sense of routine and predictability about their daily lives. It varied person by person of course, but many people had regular things like a steady job that kept them occupied for most of the week, a school where their kids could go off to most days, maybe a favorite bar or restaurant they visit every week or so, church on Sundays, friends you saw every other weekend or so,

    read more (1207 words)

  • Covid19 2020-05-10

    Covid19 thoughts and updates:

    • Previously: COVID19 Diary
    • Since the government decided to shut down ABS CBN, me and my Tita heard Sunday mass today via GMA at 5:30am
    • I went out once this week for a grocery run. Should be enough to last us for 2 weeksish. The grocery actually seemed less chaotic than usual.
    • Early this morning (after the mass) I took a walk outside for the first time since the lockdown started. Previously I had only gone out for groceries and meds. Only for less than 30 mins, and only in our subdivision, walking up and down the street. It's good to be walking again, although this short and limited route is quite boring and full of neighbor's dogs barking at me, so I'm not too fond of it, but it's better to get the habit started again since I've been feeling the fatness piling on due to the quarantine and the lack of exercise.
    • Still no word on what happens to Metro Manila after the ECQ "ends" on the 15th. The mayors gave a bunch of options to the IATF that basically amounted to "whatever, we can't decide".
    • there's this great site showing the progress of different countries in battling the pandemic: End Coronavirus .org. While some of our leadership are claiming we have already flattened the curve, comparing our data to other countries shows we still clearly need improvement.
    • The government is already preparing guidelines for when we shift to GCQ like only 150 passengers per MRT train (good luck with that!) and so on. This implies that they are leaning towards shifting from ECQ to the more lenient GCQ already.
    • We really have no data to indicate that the pandemic is under control in NCR, so lifting the ECQ would probably be dangerous, if not outright foolish. That being said, another question is how much longer people can take being under ECQ at all.
    • Social distancing in some barangays in QC went out the window today, as it's the last day for distributing the social assistance funds to those in need. The QC government has had a lot of trouble distributing aid to their residents, which might be explained away by the sheer size of the city (and the fact that administrative support for a population does not scale linearly). I wonder what the statistics are re: number of government employees vs number of citizens per city in Metro Manila? In any case, large-scale logistics has never been the strong point of the Philippine government, at any level. This kind of chaos really holds us back as a society.
    • Word has it that there were a lot of cars outside today, presumably people buying food to celebrate Mother's Day? For us, we just held a zoom call with the grandkids as usual.
    • As of today, we are at 10793 cases (+184 from yesterday), 719 deaths (+15 from yesterday), 1924 recoveries (+82 from yesterday). We're still gaining more than 1,500 active cases a week, although a lot of those are now in the provinces. I'm not sure if there's a data source I can use that shows the trends for NCR only? Reference.
    • Worldwide, we are at 4 million cases and 280,000 deaths. A full 1/3rd of all worldwide cases and 2/7ths of all deaths are in the US, which is still raring to reopen for the sake of the economy. We might be watching a tragedy unfold slowly in real-time over there.

2020 March

  • COVID19 Diary

    This post will largely be about the effects of the COVID-19 virus on my country, the Philippines, including government and society's response, largely from a personal POV. It's actually a bit difficult to write about, but I figure it's something I would like to be able to look back on in the future, so let's give it a shot. The reason it's difficult to write about is that events are unfolding and changing rapidly, and a lot of things are still unclear. On top of that, there is anxiety to contend with, and all the news can make it difficult

    read more (11278 words)

  • 🔁 Repost from tonyocruz:

    It is easier and natural for tyrants to impose a lockdown and a curfew than to provide what's really needed:

    • free mass testing

    • more funds for public health

    • more public health workers

    • adequate facilities for patients

    #COVID19

    Posted by under notes at #covid19

    Also on: twitter /