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Maryland reopens—and quickly sees its largest COVID-19 spike

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Larry Hogan, governor of Maryland, wears a protective mask while talking to Ivanka Trump, senior adviser to US President Donald Trump, during a tour of the distribution center of Coastal Sunbelt Produce in Laurel, Maryland, US, on Friday, May 15, 2020.

Enlarge / Larry Hogan, governor of Maryland, wears a protective mask while talking to Ivanka Trump, senior adviser to US President Donald Trump, during a tour of the distribution center of Coastal Sunbelt Produce in Laurel, Maryland, US, on Friday, May 15, 2020. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

Maryland reported its highest number of new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday—just four days after the state began easing public health restrictions aimed at thwarting the spread of disease.

Though state officials note that an increase in testing and a backlog of test results may partly explain the spike, the case counts overall suggest that disease transmission had not declined in the lead-up to re-opening—and transmission could very easily increase as residents begin venturing into public spaces more frequently.

Maryland’s outcome may hold lessons for other states attempting their own reopening. As of today, May 20, all 50 states have begun easing restrictions at some level, according to The Washington Post.

In Maryland, officials reported 1,784 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. That figure surpasses the previous highest daily toll on May 1 of 1,730 new cases. Otherwise, the state’s other high daily tolls are around 1,200 new cases.

In the 24-hour period in which the spike was reported, the Old Line State also reported that 5,368 people had tested negative, according to NPR. That means that about 25 percent of tests from that time frame were positive for the disease.

Health experts generally consider a positive rate of 10 percent or less as a benchmark indicating that an area is performing enough testing and has a good handle on the state of an outbreak.

Despite the new cases and the fact that it is under a state of emergency, Maryland began reopening businesses last Friday. Retailers, churches, and hair salons were allowed to reopen at 50-percent capacity under a Safer at Home policy.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan made the decision given that hospitalizations and hospital bed occupancy were either stable or in decline, as NPR noted. He also said the state had the means to perform contact tracing for up to 1,000 cases per day—a figure that was significantly surpassed on Tuesday.

In total, Maryland has confirmed over 42,000 cases and over 2,000 deaths. Many of those are in a corridor stretching from Baltimore to Washington, DC. Montgomery County, Maryland, which borders Northwest DC, reported 533 of the state’s 1,784 new cases Tuesday, for instance.

The DC metro area in particular has had a hard time shaking the outbreak. Reuters reported Tuesday that a senior White House official said that the DC metro area—along with Chicago, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis—remains in an unexpected “plateau” of COVID-19 transmission.

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duerig
6 days ago
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They forgot Georgia's lesson that you should first manipulate the numbers before opening up so that you aren't blamed for all the extra deaths you are causing.

The worst thing about all the irregularities in reporting that we are hearing about is that it makes conspiracy theorists of all of us. The numbers are supposed to give us a concrete sense of how safe things are. But now we are back to just guessing. You can generate doubt by fudging numbers and creating a propaganda facade. You cannot generate confidence.
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Facebook won’t fix fake news — it needs the bot accounts

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It could kill them if it wanted to.
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duerig
15 days ago
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To a first approximation, everything you see on social media is a lie. The real people cultivate their own personal idealized selves. And the numerous bots aggressively spread misinformation. There is nothing of value there now. Perhaps the most pernicious thing about them is that so many otherwise smart people believe either that they have to read them to learn the pulse of the people or that they have to post hot takes in order to garner influence and exposure. But reading social media gives you the pulse of the bots instead. And posting to your million bot followers does not sway any actual human belief.
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*The Last Unicorn* Is a Work of Art

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The 1982 children's cartoon remains surprisingly adept at capturing the realities of loss and regret.
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duerig
16 days ago
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The best thing about it was how it showed a path to resolve and action in the face of loss and failure:

"I love whom I love."

"There are no happy endings, because nothing ends."
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White House downplays COVID-19 messaging to open business faster

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US President Donald Trump speaks about COVID-19 after signing a Proclamation in honor of National Nurses Day in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, May 6, 2020.

Enlarge / US President Donald Trump speaks about COVID-19 after signing a Proclamation in honor of National Nurses Day in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, May 6, 2020. (credit: Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images)

The lackluster federal response to the COVID-19 crisis has become even lighter on details in recent days, as the administration pushes hard on a message of "reopening" while leaving out any data or expertise that might conflict with that focus.

The White House has done everything possible to minimize messaging that might scare Americans into staying home and instead "relies on tightly controlling information" about the novel coronavirus disease, the Washington Post reports.

A source the Post described as a senior administration official told the paper that the task force addressing the crisis was already meeting less often before President Donald Trump said Wednesday its focus would be shifting away from emergency management and toward economic reopening. Public health warnings are scaring people, the source added, so the administration has been downplaying them.

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duerig
19 days ago
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I'm pretty sure I already saw this episode three months ago. We must be getting into the time of year where reruns start.

*sigh*
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The fact that many peer countries are struggling with COVID-19 roughly as much as the US suggests there's some naivety to claims such as "the US could greatly improve the situation with [my proposed solution]… IF ONLY WE HAD BETTER LEADERSHIP!!!".

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The fact that many peer countries are struggling with COVID-19 roughly as much as the US suggests there's some naivety to claims such as "the US could greatly improve the situation with [my proposed solution]… IF ONLY WE HAD BETTER LEADERSHIP!!!".




407 likes, 96 retweets
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duerig
26 days ago
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The fact that many peer countries are struggling with it means it is a genuine problem. The fact that shipments of PPE are being intercepted en route to disease hotspots to disappear into a black hole, or that medical professionals are needing to take time out to talk about why we shouldn't be drinking bleach is a problem created by our leadership.

All countries must go through difficult times and disasters. The difference between BETTER LEADERSHIP and a complete lack of leadership matters even if leadership can't wave a wand to make the problem go away.

Smart people don't need to make excuses for the feckless fools leading our country today. Certainly not to have today's controversial hot take.
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Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera — 12 MP Sensor and Interchangeable Lenses

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Les Pounder, writing for Tom’s Hardware:

The Raspberry Pi Camera Module is one of those add ons that we love to play with. Creating images and videos using a $35 Raspberry Pi in real time is still mind blowing for most. You can even use your Raspberry Pi as a PC webcam. But the two previous first-party camera modules have suffered with a fixed focus, albeit good quality, lens and fragile construction.

Enter the Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera, a new module that ups the image quality with a new 12-MP sensor and supports interchangeable lenses and tripod-mounting. The module is larger and, at $50 without any of the required lenses, quite a bit more expensive than prior models, but the increased resolution and flexibility make it a great choice for photography-intensive projects.

With so much of the computer industry moving away from hobbyist tinkering, Raspberry Pi is a delightful exception. I don’t know what I’d do with this but I want to do something.

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duerig
27 days ago
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I have lots of book scanner ideas. Pity it was sold out instantly. Hopefully I can get a couple some time in the next few months.

I keep hoping they will really jump in resolution. 20MP or higher cameras would be amazing.
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3 public comments
hansolosays
26 days ago
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Maybe its time to build that home photo booth...
Norfolk, Virginia
jepler
27 days ago
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"I don’t know what I’d do with this but I want to do something."
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
samuel
27 days ago
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My thesis uses a few dozen Raspberry PI cameras. I'm going to be showing it off in two weeks but if you want to take a peek it's at https://comfortmaps.com.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
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