Ramblings of a Tampa engineer
Traditional Icelandic House
Photo by Cassie Boca / Unsplash

This is now my 5th post (Day 7, Day 21) on this subject, but the world will never hear the end of it and my blog is no exception. Let's take a look at what has changed since day 21 of my isolation.


My trips to Publix have introduced a new change among this pandemic. First was the forced direction of aisles with large signs saying "wrong way" with the arrows directing which way traffic should go. An interesting change to stop folks constantly passing back n forth from going any direction down the aisles.

Sadly toilet paper is still no where to be found - counting down the days till a new problem appears, but in good news Publix opened a special hour early in morning and late at night for first responders and hospital staff.

Curfew Come, Curfew Go

April 13 - Curfew Starting Tonight

A surprise announcement on April 13th said a curfew was starting in Hillsborough (my county). It was quite a confusing announcement with some officials saying that "walking and jogging outside is not essential" therefore blocked between 9pm and 5am. However, the Twitter account of Tampa tweeted that it was allowed.

This is only lasted a few days until Thursday morning when the curfew was rescinded.

April 16 - Curfew Scrapped
“I believe we made the wrong decision at our last meeting,” said School Board chairwoman Melissa Snively.

So that was interesting to read about, but I believe our city was just trying to curb the abuse that continues. Parties being busted with over 100 people in attendance is just the beginning - people are ignoring the stay at home order so the city tried to step up the rules.

However, much like copyright and warnings on DVDs that can't be skipped - they only affect legitimate folks. Once illegal films are created that content is ripped out and never seen again. The folks continuing to host parties are not going to be stopped by some curfew until they are arrested.

Numb (Ft. Linkin Park)

While the song and video is about depression, I wanted to just draw the point about everyone is just becoming numb to this situation. While my whiteboard has just hit day 35 - that means I've been working at home (required) for 35 days.

News isn't worth watching with about two sides arguing consistently between more lock-downs and opening up America. I can't pretend to know what will work.

If you sit on the side of "herd immunity" - there is the understanding that through natural or vaccines you just ride out the infections quickly and at once. This would more than likely overwhelm the hospitals and result in loss of life for the at risk groups. I don't think this will work as we don't really have a vaccine or know a lot about COVID-19.

The flip side is just locking down a city (ala South Korea) and stopping contact for 21 days to recover from any cases. This is a tough battle, because once re-opening it just takes one affected person to restart the entire thing again (since no immunity). I heard an interesting thing that compared deaths from virus to deaths from unemployment. Will the deaths from everything shut down and fallout be more than the virus itself?

That is probably too tough to tell. We can peek at the CDC website for Swine Flu in the states and then take the numbers for USA.

  • Swine Flu - 12 months - 60 million cases - 12,469 deaths - 0.02% kill rate
  • COVID-19 - 90 days - 710,272 cases - 37,175 deaths - 5.23% kill rate

Which is just bleak and sad to read.

Money Please

This section is about the stimulus payments that have arrived since Day 21, basically money (up to $1200 I think) for every American who fit some criteria. I should have probably taken more business classes in school, because where does that money come from? That is nearly 2 trillion dollars which I can't even fathom as an amount.

Outside of individuals, the PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) started for businesses.

The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone.
Outcome thus far of PPP - April 16

This was an interesting, but sad graphic after reading what the Internet had to say. Basically the lender column was hidden to protect the banks, but you can see immediately from the numbers which company helped small vs large businesses.

Though, first come first serve shouldn't have a merit on the size of a business. That is until you read some first hand experiences about it online. The banks weren't fighting an easy battle either with this unverified snippet.

Throwaway, because I work for a bank doing PPP. First off, I want to say I feel for anyone struggling - I know from my exposure a lot of loans didn't get in. We had random people from all over the bank working nights and weekends trying to get these loans into the SBA. The news didn't do justice how much of a disaster this program was with the SBA. For example during training, the SBA app crashed 11 times while trying to enter one application - and this was after hours. We spent days on the phone trying to get someone to get us access to the SBA's API - no one could help us. In the end, a lot of loans didn't end up getting into the system.

I can't really speak to this, but for anyone dealing with this - it looks rough.

Nothing is Immune

The last section is for my own job which was not immune to this. A sad all-hands call as we learned the measures that had to be enacted to increase our survival. I still have a job for now, but I took a cut for the company to survive.

We need this thing to end before we start living the movie - Book of Eli. With that - I'll see you next week. The blog never sleeps.

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