Post #567: Taking a day of fast and abstinence

Posted on March 24, 2020

I’ve decided to take a day of fast and abstinence today.  If you step back from it, that’s a religious tradition that reminds you to behave yourself as you look forward to more joyous times ahead.

So, in that spirit, why not?  Couldn’t hurt, might help.

Why today?  By my calculation, today is the first day we could possibly see any hint of an inflection point in coronavirus cases in Virginia.  Up to this point, any hope for things to stabilize in the Commonwealth was 100% wishful thinking.  Bad news was baked in (Post #561).

And, to be clear, it’s still 99% wishful thinking.  But the remaining 1% is just facts and math, starting from the assumption that we got serious about social distancing somewhere around the time the Fairfax schools closed.  (That’s a little arbitrary, but this is a rough calculation.)  That date, plus a median six-day incubation period, plus a median four-day testing lag, would bring is to just about today.

If social distancing and other measures work, if the density of cases remains low enough to slow transmission among the stupid non-compliant, if the timing of disease and testing match that observed in China, and if Fortune smiles on us, then sometime between today and … ah … maybe the end of March … we ought to see the daily count of new cases decline here in the Commonwealth.  (Plus-or-minus a small secondary peak due to within-family-unit transmission of the disease, once transmission within public spaces has been brought under control.)

I’m not religious and I don’t pray.  But if you’re the praying type, right about now might be a good time.