A brief gallivant about the marketplace of ideas.

Month: February, 2020

Reference : COVID-19

References related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and the disease coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that it causes.


The CDC defines an influenza pandemic as “a global outbreak” caused by viruses that “are able to infect people easily and spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way” [1].

  1. [1] “Pandemic influenza” (CDC).
  2. COVID-19 situation summary” (CDC).
  3. What we know about the coronavirus, from symptoms to who is at risk” by Betsy McKay (The Wall Street Journal, 2020-02-26; updated frequently).
  4. Tracking COVID-19” (YouTube, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2020-03-02).
  5. Report of the WHO-China joint mission on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)” (World Health Organization).
  6. Coronavirus” (World Health Organization).
  7. Worldometer : COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak” (Worldometer).
  8. What do antibody tests for SARS-CoV-2 tell us about immunity?” by Katarina Zimmer (The Scientist, 2020-04-15).

Daily Health Recommendations

The CDC [2] and WHO [3] recommends the following daily health precautions:

  • Frequently wash hands.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • If you are feeling unwell, stay home and call a doctor.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes, either into your elbow or with a tissue.
  1. [2] “Share facts” (CDC).
  2. [3] “WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19” (WHO, 2020-02-28).
  3. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public” (World Health Organization).
  4. Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)” (World Health Organization).

Situation Dashboards

  1. COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak” (Worldometer).
  2. Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation” (WHO).
  3. Coronavirus COVID-19 global cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE” (Johns Hopkins).

Financial Impact

  1. The coronavirus is a serious concern but the stock market’s selloff is not” by Howard Gold (MarketWatch, 2020-02-25). “This is certainly a public health emergency — the coronavirus so far has claimed 2,700 lives and infected more than 80,000; more are likely to be afflicted. This is also a full-blown stock market panic, and for investors, a buying opportunity. The epidemic eventually will run its course and world economies, especially the U.S., will resume their decent growth trajectory. So will the U.S. stock market.”
  2. If the coronavirus isn’t contained, a severe global recession is almost certain” by Rex Nutting (MarketWatch, 2020-02-25). This article presents little to no numbers or justification for its (sensational) claims. “In the longer run, of course, a pandemic could have more far-reaching effects, including a smaller and less productive workforce and even a reordering of globalization.” “The more recent pandemics weren’t nearly as widespread or deadly as this one seems to be. People who don’t appear to be sick can transmit the virus, making efforts to contain its spread magnitudes more difficult.”
  3. Warren Buffet says ‘don’t buy or sell’ on the headlines as coronavirus puts stocks under pressure” by Callum Keown (MarketWatch, 2020-02-25). “However, Warren Buffett told investors not to buy or sell stocks, which he referred to as businesses, based on the day’s headlines. ‘The real question is: “Has the 10-year or 20-year outlook for American businesses changed in the last 24 or 48 hours?”‘ the billionaire investor said on CNBC.”
  4. Why the market suddenly got so worried about coronavirus” by Myles Udland (Yahoo Finance, 2020-02-25). “Economists at Goldman Sachs, for instance, this weekend published their latest views on how supply chains could be impacted by the coronavirus. The firm wrote in part that, ‘According to our analysts, no covered US firm has reported any reduction in production in the US due to supply chain disruptions thus far, and the majority of companies in many sectors have enough inventory to continue production as normal for the remainder of the quarter.'”
  5. Here are the worst possible scenarios for corporate America amid the coronavirus” by Brian Sozzi (Yahoo Finance, 2020-02-25). “‘The bottom line is that investors should gauge companies based on their working capital position and not necessarily their earnings profile. There are deflationary and inflationary forces at work simultaneously,’ reminds the Jefferies team.”
  6. How to tell when markets finally reach a bottom” by Jim Bianco (Bloomberg, 2020-02-27). “The way to tell whether the discounting has been fully reached is when the market stops reacting negatively to every bad headline, which has yet to happen. But once it happens, the market can truly bottom and begin to recover when some of the expected negative events fail to materialize, even though it may rally in the face of other ‘bad’ news it already discounted.”
  7. Here’s when you should buy stocks again” by Jonas Elmerraji (The Street, 2020-02-27). A mostly historical analysis, with clear graphs. “Looking back to 1933, the S&P 500 (and its precursors) have seen 57 four-day selloffs as bad as or worse than the one we’re seeing now. And once again they tend to look a lot more like buying opportunities than precursors to market crashes.” “In other words, it makes sense to wait for buying pressure to establish itself again before diving into stocks. But more important, these are asymmetric outcomes. Good years are vastly more frequent and bigger than bad years. That makes betting on upside a lucrative move, on balance…We’re in a ‘heads I win, tails I don’t lose that much’ scenario — at least as of right now.”

    Toward the end of the article, Elmerraji presents a technical analysis of the S&P 500 that suggests monitoring intermediate and primary uptrends around 2950 and 2800. “Simply put, an optimal buying opportunity comes on a bounce off either of those.”

  8. Money talks podcast : covid-19 spreads” (The Economist, 2020-02-25). My take-aways :
    • 70-90% Chinese businesses back open, but many operating at 50% capacity
    • China : immediate and drastic approach ; other countries : probably slower, less restrictive — will this work?
    • Supply chain disruptions for at least another month or two, probably into Q2
    • Chain effect from last couple months of “China offline”
    • A lot more uncertainty about how serious it is and how global it will become
    • Government somewhat constrained in economic response : monetary stimulus won’t fix supply shortfalls ; interest rates, extending loans may help
    • “Don’t want to have the economic shortfall turn into a financial crisis”
    • What stops such an outbreak? The start of summer, the start of “properly warm weather”
    • Extreme short-term interruptions ; no long-term change in fundamentals
  9. Coronavirus has ravaged the stock market and the extreme selling may just be starting” by Brian Sozzi (Yahoo Finance, 2020-02-26). “Several sources on the Street have also told me the extreme selling this week…has been fueled mostly by hedge fund selling.” “Up to this point, said long-term minded institutions have stayed upbeat on the markets on the view the coronavirus impact would be isolated to the first quarter. Perhaps some negatives in the second quarter, but by the back half of the year it would be in the rearview mirror. Definitely no 2020 impact, in their view.”
  10. 2 biotech stocks winning the coronavirus race” by Mark Prvulovic (The Motley Fool, 2020-03-01). Gilead Sciences (GILD) and Moderna (MRNA).
  11. Tim Cook and Apple bet everything on China. Then coronavirus hit.” by Tripp Mickle & Yoko Kubota (The Wall Street Journal, 2020-03-03).
  12. How to think about the plummeting stock market” by Joe Pinsker (The Atlantic, 2020-02-28). “What investors think the public is thinking is therefore crucial. Whether the costs of the outbreak turn out to be historically large or not, there is a risk that investors’ worries will snowball during this period of uncertainty, leading them to panic-sell and exacerbate any financial damage. ‘If in the next 20 years [the economy is] only going to be disrupted for three months, that suggests a very small impact on the market,’ says Robert J. Shiller, a Nobel Prize–winning economist and the author of ‘Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events’. But the situation could be much worse, and when investors think in ‘grandiose terms,’ Shiller told me, that could ‘trigger other worrying.'”
  13. The new coronavirus could have a lasting impact on global supply chains” (The Economist, 2020-02-15).
  14. Wall Street gets worried about the coronavirus” by Ruchir Sharma (NY Times, 2020-02-25).


  1. Report of the WHO-China joint mission on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)” (WHO, 2020-02-28).
  2. Coronavirus” (WHO).
  3. Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)” (WHO).
  4. Disease modelers gaze into their computers to see the future of covid-19, and it isn’t good” by Sharon Begley (Stat News, 2020-02-14).
  5. Is COVID-19 the dreaded ‘disease X’ World Health Organization experts predicted years ago?” (Japan Times, 2020-02-23).
  6. Could the US contain a coronavirus outbreak?” by Megan Molteni (Wired, 2020-02-25).
  7. The virus is coming” (The Economist, 2020-02-27).
  8. Health authorities are now expecting COVID-19 to spread in the US” by Issam Ahmed (Science Alert, 2020-02-25).
  9. WHO chief on coronavirus: Global markets ‘should calm down and try to see the reality’” by Natasha Turak (CNBC, 2020-03-01).
  10. Dow Jones futures fall amid wild swings as COVID-19 cases rise, U.S. fears grow in coronavirus stock market correction” by Ed Carson (Investor’s Business Daily, 2020-03-02).
  11. Coronavirus update: Global spread hits ‘uncharted territory’ as volatile markets rebound; US death total jumps” by Anjalee Khemlani (Yahoo Finance, 2020-03-02).
  12. Coronavirus may have spread undetected for weeks in Washington state, which reported first two deaths in U.S.” by Joel Achenbach, Katie Mettler, Lena H. Sun, & Ben Guarino (The Washington Post, 2020-03-01).
  13. Risk for transportation of 2019 novel coronavirus disease from Wuhan to other cities in China” by Zhanwei Du et al. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020-02-13).
  14. So how bad is coronavirus in U.S.? We don’t know yet” by Alvin Powell (The Harvard Gazette, 2020-03-03). “The U.S. government has announced a dramatic expansion of testing, but Lipsitch said it would likely take weeks to put in place. ‘[The pace of testing’s] still low, and it will take weeks until we have anything like adequate testing capacity,’ said Lipsitch, professor epidemiology and head of the [Harvard Chan] School’s Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics.”
  15. Coronavirus screening may miss two-thirds of infected travelers entering U.S.” by Alvin Powell (The Harvard Gazette, 2020-03-04). “Lipsitch said epidemiology indicates that the sooner ‘social distancing’ steps are taken the better. But he also said that decision is appropriately made by governmental leaders who can balance more than just the science, including such factors as economic impact, effects on children’s education, and implications for societal essentials like food production. There is also the chance that if steps are taken too early, people may be unwilling to adhere to the limits, absent a clear emergency.”
  16. Yes, it is worse than the flu: busting the coronavirus myths” by Hannah Devlin (The Guardian, 2020-02-29).
  17. Experts predict that covid-19 will spread more widely” (The Economist, 2020-02-22).
  18. H1N1 was the last pandemic. Here’s why COVID-19 isn’t yet in that category” by Richard Harris (NPR, 2020-02-24).
  19. Coronavirus updates: CDC announces ‘4 new presumptive cases’ in the U.S.” by Bill Chappell (NPR, 2020-02-28).
  20. Timeline: Swine flu” (Nature, 2009-2010). A chronology of the H1N1 outbreak (2009-2010).
  21. Could the US contain a coronavirus outbreak” by Megan Molteni (Wired, 2020-02-25).
  22. Health authorities are now expected COVID-19 to spread in the US” by Issam Ahmed (Science Alert, 2020-02-25). (No) surprise.


Chinese research labs

  1. An unsubstantiated theory suggests the coronavirus accidentally leaked from a Chinese lab — here are the facts” by Aylin Woodward (Business Insider, 2020-04-15).
  2. Evidence that coronavirus originated at Chinese lab is ‘inconclusive’, top general says” by Lara Seligman (Politico, 2020-04-14).

Reference : Gospels for Lent

A roughly chronological reading of the four Biblical Gospels during Lent.

W.D Date Matt Mark Luke John
0.W 26 Feb 1,2
0.R 27 Feb 1,2
0.F 28 Feb 1
0.S 29 Feb 3 1 3
0.N 01 Mar 4 4
1.M 02 Mar 5 2
1.T 03 Mar 3,4
1.W 04 Mar 5,6
1.R 05 Mar 7
1.F 06 Mar 8 2
1.S 07 Mar 5
1.N 08 Mar 12 3 6
2.M 09 Mar 11 7
2.T 10 Mar 13 4 8
2.W 11 Mar 5
2.R 12 Mar 9,10
2.F 13 Mar 14 6
2.S 14 Mar 9 6
2.N 15 Mar 15 7
3.M 16 Mar 16 8
3.T 17 Mar 17 9
3.W 18 Mar 18
3.R 19 Mar 10,11
3.F 20 Mar 7,8
3.S 21 Mar 9,10
3.N 22 Mar 12,13
4.M 23 Mar 14,15
4.T 24 Mar 16,17
4.W 25 Mar 11
4.R 26 Mar 19,20
4.F 27 Mar 10 18
4.S 28 Mar 21 11
4.N 29 Mar 19 12
5.M 30 Mar 22,23
5.T 31 Mar 24,25
5.W 01 Apr 12,13
5.R 02 Apr 20,21
5.F 03 Apr 14,15
5.S 04 Apr 16,17
5.N 05 Apr 27 15
6.M 06 Apr 23
6.T 07 Apr 18,19
6.W 08 Apr 28 16
6.R 19 Apr 24 20
6.F 10 Apr 21
6.S 11 Apr
6.N 12 Apr


Read : 2020-02-28

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The ‘dating market’ is getting worse” by Ashley Fetters & Kaitlyn Tiffany (The Atlantic, 2020-02-25).
  2. As Emmanuel Macron’s impact grows, so does French disdain” by Adam Nossiter (The NY Times, 2020-02-25).
  3. America’s nightmare : Bernie Sanders, nominee” (The Economist, 2020-02-27).
  4. The Bible in chronological order” (MythBank).

Read : 2020-02-24

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Why ‘truth’ beats facts” by Brett Milano (The Harvard Gazette, 2020-02-21). A discussion titled “Does truth have a future?” at the Harvard Kennedy School with Gwyneth Williams and Michael Sandel.
  2. Bernie Sanders is making a big mistake” by David Leonhardt (NY Times, 2020-02-23). A (fearful?) homage to “[t]he art of peeling off voters”.
  3. We’re teaching history wrong” by Rebecca Onion (Slate, 2018-09-18). An interview with Sam Wineburg. “A good history teacher takes away your innocence about information.”

Read : 2020-02-16

Today’s selection of articles (lots of cybersecurity):

  1. EV battle: Rivian, Tesla, Lucid and Nikola” by Michael Wenner (EquityZen, 2020-02-14).
  2. Technical report of the Bezos phone hack” by Bruce Schneier (Schneier on Security, 2020-01-24).
  3. Modern mass surveillance: Identify, correlate, discriminate” by Bruce Schneier (Schneier on Security, 2020-01-27).
  4. Security in 2020: Revisited” by Bruce Schneier (Schneier on Security, 2020-02-07). A retrospective on an article Schneier wrote 10 years ago. Modulo a self-critique about explaining his use of “decentralization”, Schneier is “happy with what I wrote ten years ago.”

Reference : Alexander Grothendieck and the 1988 Crafoord Prize

Related articles:

  1. Lettre d’Alexandre Grothendieck” (Le Monde, 1988-05-04).
  2. Letters from A. Grothendieck” (Mathematical Intelligencer, 1988).

Read : 2020-02-14

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The leadership of the ‘French Oscars’, the César awards, announces its resignation en masse” (France 24, 2020-02-13). “The academy has been subject to recent criticism denouncing the opacity of its management and controversy over director Roman Polanski, whose latest film leads nominations ahead of the 2020 awards.” Presumably, this criticism is related to Polanski’s rape of a 13-year-old in 1977. Polanski has been accused of other cases of sexual abuse.
  2. What Molly Huddle will eat before and during the Olympic Marathon Trials” by Molly Huddle (Runners World, 2020-02-13). Bonus: What she will eat after, too!

Read : 2020-02-13

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Scientists, stop thinking explaining science will fix things” by Tim Requarth (Slate, 2017-04-19). Not only do studies suggest the deficit model is wrong, but also scientists who approach science education from this paradigm may reveal inherent elitism: “If only they understood the science (as well as I do)…”
  2. Ancient ‘ghost’ DNA identified in living humans” by Sarah Sloat (Inverse, 2020-02-12). Researchers Arun Durvasula and Sriram Sankararaman conclude that certain human populations “derive 2 to 19% of their genetic ancestry from an archaic population” (original research article).
  3. It’s unreal just how awful ‘Real ID’ is” by Joe Mathews (Zocalo, 2020-02-11). The author claims the linked state databases would enhance government tracking and attract hackers. He also asserts that Real ID will create two tiers of citizens. His solution? Widespread popular defiance and state-level injunctions against their use.

Read : 2020-02-12

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. The nuclear family was a mistake” by David Brooks (The Atlantic, 2020-03). An extended look at extended family.
  2. How Japan has almost eradicated gun crime” by Harry Low (BBC News, 2017-01-06). Restricted availability, strict ownership conditions, and intentional de-escalation during tense encounters by law enforcement.
  3. ‘The intelligence coup of the century’” by Greg Miller (Washington Post, 2020-02-11). As Bruce Schneier corrects on his blog, “this isn’t really news…What is new is the formerly classified documents describing the details”.
  4. Cybersecurity tips for international travelers” (US Federal Communications Commission).
  5. Airbnb swings to a loss as costs climb ahead of IPO” by Jean Eaglesham, Maureen Farrell, & Kirsten Grind (Wall Street Journal, 2020-02-11).

Read : 2020-02-11

Today’s selection of articles:

  1. Pinterest: Limited reasons for enthusiasm” by Gary Alexander (Seeking Alpha, 2020-02-11).