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Day 9 Update: Feel good numbers - sort of.

23 March 2020 -

Well, I'm sending a note as we're getting a few questions. So just a quick update from Barcelona.

Sun’s out and the weather is getting nice. Still a little chill in the morning, but in a few weeks it’ll be awesome. 

As for the global pandemic. It’s getting much more real for folks. There are still a few (unbelievable) that don’t get it. It’s our first weekend where the streets are sealed off so folks can’t head out of the city.

When we go out there are (in our neighborhood) 4 to 5 people out walking dogs or getting food. Here’s a photo of our usually busy street this morning, downtown Barcelona.

Four days ago we had about 13,000 infections. Today we have about 28,500. Currently in Spain the death rate is about one person dying of the virus every 3 minutes and 35 seconds [see correction note below]. Fourteen days ago we had 999 infections.

All non-essential businesses are shut effective this weekend. Contractors, public works, etc. Madrid shut it’s subway and Barcelona had its frequency way down

The 15 day lock-down is expected to be extended another 15 days - 11 April.

70 of Spain’s top scientists are asking for an immediate stopping of ALL activity for 21 days otherwise the health system will begin to fail this Wednesday.

I’ve discovered that global pandemics can be pretty darn distracting. Each of us find a way to understand and react to the situations around us. Make sure you are aware of this and give everyone their space to process things. Folks need time and information. Be kind. Be patient.

Those who know me will not be surprised that I gather data and build models. It helps me understand what’s going on and where we might end up in the future.

Some asked what my charts look like. It might help some understand the rate of growth. It's simple. Don't rely on this, please. I’m sharing this one model I have as it shows the growth rate and where things might be in a few communities coming up.

For those in the USA here's a much better model from Harvard, rather than from a guy sitting on a wood chair in Barcelona.

My big takeaway from the model is to help make decisions of “should I go out or not, to do whatever?” Food, banking, dog walking, etc. So if that's surprising question to you, you may want to really think about what's going on around you and take some action. I was not thinking about that question let alone the answer in February.

After building this, it was clear to me that action now is exponentially less risky than it will be tomorrow. Therefore act now, not tomorrow.

The other item is that it helped me model when we here in Barcelona should expect it very very difficult to get medical care. It’s a pretty darn practical thing to know during a pandemic. So I’ve added dates based on the information I have today. I’m certain I’m wrong on the date (plus everything else), but think about it and you get an idea or direction.

For all those small and medium business owners out there, if you have not yet or are hesitating. Cash cash cash. I would seriously consider not paying any bills. If you are still open, I would convert everything that I could to cash. Note refer to the “future area” of the model.

For those thinking about getting things delivered. That’s not working here now. It was 4 days ago. All grocery stores deliver in our area, none have any capacity to deliver. Note refer to the “future area” of the model.

So my project this week is to convert our bike into a stationary bike. Wendy looked for a cheap one online, all are sold out. Starting to look for a few DIY plans online.

So that’s it. If you have any questions let us know. The world is still a wonderful and nice place with fascinating and kind people. It’s just got this virus floating around in it right now. Remember to smile, it’s just a global pandemic, there’s only so much you can do.