Mixed messages

It’s getting tougher to square the bullshit out there with the facts on the ground, and I’ll say it’s because of a lack of leadership at the federal level, exemplified by nightly, error-laden press conferences, punctuated by moments of genuine buffoonery.

But that’s just me. There are those who say otherwise.

So now, I suppose, is the time to pick your sides. Who are you gonna believe?

The Reopen NC folks, or the Roy Cooper?

Trump, or the US governors?

Steven Mnuchin, or Steven Mnuchin?

Here’s something confusing: Guilford County allowed its stay-at-home order to expire today, saying that the county is covered by the state’s executive orders, which are basically the same.

But how many people only heard the first part of that sentence?

Meanwhile, good luck getting some strawberries around here.

Some news

  • The PPP — the SBA’s Payment Protection Program — is out of money. The forgivable loan designed to keep the consumer economy flowing started out at $10 grand, then dropped to $1,000 per employee and then went up in smoke. The initial price tag was $350 billion — raise your hand if you got some! — and the Treasury Department is angling for more (see link on previous Mnuchin joke).
  • The spring installment of the High Point International Home Furniture Market has been officially canceled, instead of postponed. It is one of the Top 2 events in the state in terms of economic impact, the other one being the fall installment of the High Point International Home Furniture Market — a combined $6.73 billion in 2019.

The numbers

  • Forsyth County adds just one more case, topping off at 124.
  • Guilford weighs in with a total of 160 cases today. That’s an addition of nine new cases.
  • Yesterday’s statewide case total has been corrected to 253, and we’ve got 173 new ones today, according to the N&O.
  • At least 77 people have recovered from COVID-19 in NC. As this page attests, not every county keeps that number (opinion: Every county should keep that number).
  • There’s a lot of talk about testing, particularly in NC, so let’s look at those numbers.
    • NC DHHS says we’ve conducted 70,917 tests thus far. The Forsyth County site verifies that we’re processing maybe 3,000 tests a day.
    • There are 10.49 million people in the state.
    • At this rate, it will take nine years to test everybody.

A diversion

Maybe we won’t have to way the full nine years. In this episode of “Superintelligence” from 2016, astrophysicist Neill deGrasse Tyson interviews futurist Ray Kurzweil about the concept of the Singularity — the point when our technological innovations will accrue to a point where a kind of “intelligence explosion” will happen. Kurzweil puts a date on it: It will happen by 2029.

Program notes

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