20200229S Days 56-60: Arriving in what feels like a different universe

Crestone, CO: I’m at the Elephant Cloud Tea Shop in Crestone, Colorado – elevation 8000 feet. There’s a band on stage with a drummer, clarinet player, and piano player.  I feel like I have surfed to a different universe because this universe I’m experiencing feels much different than the one I was in five days ago. Some of the differences I notice are:

  1. The global stock market is not at such an inflated value;
  2. COVID-19 has verified community spread in the United States;
  3. The US now has a coronavirus czar, VP Pence;
  4. China is no longer a country with increasing confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths;
  5. I’m now in a different state, at a much higher elevation, and there is snow on the ground;
  6. A friend of mine is now living in my home – my home is now on the road;
  7. I don’t seem to blog daily in this universe – or maybe the surfing to get here disrupted that;
  8. My diet is more vegan – just drank hot chocolate with hemp milk;
  9. I don’t run any more;
  10. The who.int COVID-19 risk assessment is now VERY HIGH for Regional and Global Levels with over 16 countries having confirmed local transmission;
  11. COVID-19 response is now being politicized in the US;
  12. There are more new confirmed COVID-19 cases outside of China than inside of China;
  13. Coronavirus is now a topic of conversation in the US at the family dinner table and the local coffee shop, including the one I’m in now;
  14. The COVID-19 CFR is now closer to 4% than 2%;
  15. Medical experts in the US government must now get clearance from the executive branch (VP Pence) before discussing the COVID-19 pandemic;
  16. US President Trump holds white house press conferences much more often;
  17. The first death from COVID-19 has been confirmed in the US;
  18. Afghanistan’s Taliban and the US are no longer at war;
  19. Pope Francis has cancelled the last 3 days of events due to cold-like symptoms;
  20. All 16 COVID-19 patients in Vietnam have been discharged from the hospital and declared cured;
  21. The Shincheonji Church of Jesus, founded in 1984 by pastor Lee Man-hee and with  an estimated 240,000 followers worldwide, has been associated with the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea;
  22. scmp.com is reporting that The Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) in Hong Kong is associated with the Shincheonji Church of Jesus and it seems that this religious institution is being linked, with questionable evidence, with the novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan;
  23. South Korea is able to test 10000 people per day for COVID-19 while the US can seem to test only 1% of that number;
  24. Thousands of migrants are now allowed to leave Turkey for the EU;
  25. There are long lines outside of COSTCO – panic in the US is taking hold;
  26. Iran’s former envoy to the Vatican, Sayyed Hadi Khosroshahi, has died of COVID-19; and
  27. Travelers from South Korea and Italy into the US will be medically screened before boarding.

 

20200224M Day 55: Alphabet down 4.28% – I guess news travels fast ;)

Yesterday, I blogged that I was 20200223u Day 54: Surfing to a Universe where I work for Alphabet. Today, Alphabet stock is down 4.28% on my surfing move (Ha!).

Of course the financial news didn’t pick up on my surfing move and they blamed the drop of Alphabet on a 125nm diameter coronavirus. I mentioned a risking to stocks 30 days ago in 2020 Day 25: Wuhan Coronavirus in the Year of the Rat:

I’m feeling now a universe where the stock market is negatively affected by the Wuhan coronavirus.

The feeling I remember having then was more negative than the drop in prices today. which was the worst day in two years. I’m currently invested in a superposition of two universes – one where I’m fully invested in the market and one where I’m fully out of the market.

20200223u Day 54: Surfing to a Universe where I work for Alphabet

It’s been almost a couple of years since I’ve worked for a large tech company. The changing of the seasons on our planet play a role in universe surfing because of the regular cycle that has been going on for the over four billion years that the Earth has been in existence. In the northern hemisphere, Spring will be coming soon and will bring renewal. The winter seasonal flu/corona virus infections will wane, sunshine and rain will come, and the flowers will bloom again.

I can feel myself working in a nearby universe. Yesterday, I walked through UT campus and up to the building I would be working in if I were in the universe I mentioned in 20200211T Day 42: Surfing to a Universe where I analyze viral genomes. The door was locked and I didn’t have a key card to get in. There were lots of kids outside to learn about science:

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Near the universe where I’m researching viral genomes at UT, I am surrounded by other universes where I’m working on something else. In support of surfing to a universe where I’m researching viral genomes, surfing toward universe where I work on anything at all will help move me in that direction (given that I’m currently surrounded by many universes where I’m not working on anything).

So, in addition to my viral genome research universe surfing, I’m going to surf toward a universe where I work for Alphabet.

Now back to my current universe where I’m dancing to DJ Hamid in my kitchen while my parallel self is dancing at ecstatic dance.

 

20200221F Day 52: Insurance for All Plan with Social Security Savings

Today I cancelled my dental coverage because they denied a claim for a $125 tooth filling because it occurred during the 6-month waiting period. When I called to find out about the denial, I also learned that there is a 12-month waiting period for any major work, such as root canals. The only thing the insurance pays for immediately is preventative stuff like clean-and-check.

I also decided to check on the medical insurance I purchased in a rush after finding out my COBRA coverage renewal was declined. It has a $5K in-network and $10K out-network deductible and then pays 80% (in) and 60% (out) of medical costs. My max out-of-pocket, including deductible is $7K (in) and $26K (out). The price for father and son is around $850/month, or about $10K/yr. So, my in-network annual cost for medical is $10K-$17K and if I need to go out-of-network, then the max cost is $36K.  I believe if anything major happens and I get too expensive, they can decline to renew my policy at some point.

With this same insurance, my antiviral generic drug was full price at $101 (because I haven’t met my drug deductible yet and for some reason I get to pay full list price until I do meet it). I didn’t use my insurance and instead downloaded free GoodRX app to instantly get over 50% off and pay “only” $46.  Why do I need to go through GoodRX and how does GoodRX make money here?

I no longer have vision “insurance” since COBRA ended. I’m surprised that vision “insurance” isn’t included with Amazon Prime by now.

I may give Sidecar another look. It has a model where patients shop around for the best “cash” price for medical coverage and then get reimbursed at a rate of approximately 80% of the “cash” price in the neighborhood.  It’s possible to even get reimbursed for more than the “cash” price if you find a cash price cheaper than 80% of the going rate for your neighborhood.  For places like hospitals and ER, Sidecar has a negotiator to help you negotiate down any bills that come in above the regular cash price for the area.

Bernie is pushing a Medicare-for-All plan:

  • Create a Medicare for All, single-payer, national health insurance program to provide everyone in America with comprehensive health care coverage, free at the point of service.
  • No networks, no premiums, no deductibles, no copays, no surprise bills.
  • Medicare coverage will be expanded and improved to include: include dental, hearing, vision, and home- and community-based long-term care, in-patient and out-patient services, mental health and substance abuse treatment, reproductive and maternity care, prescription drugs, and more.
  • Stop the pharmaceutical industry from ripping off the American people by making sure that no one in America pays over $200 a year for the medicine they need by capping what Americans pay for prescription drugs under Medicare for All.

I have often wondered about combining Life and Health insurance with a combined product that would provide a variable amount of life insurance (more when you need it more, such as when you have a family). I also now see the problems with IRAs – it’s too easy for people to get their money out and so it’s not there during retirement. With this in mind, I see a universe where in addition to a plan like Bernie’s, we have:

  1. Increased funding available to universities and private companies to create new drugs. Funding would include filing patents and individual inventors and universities would get recognition. The government funding organization would be the owner of the patent and receive any royalties, although these would likely be waived for domestic drug maker partners. Patent royalties would be paid by foreign companies and used to reduce costs of otherwise developed drugs.
  2. Social Security is upgraded to Social Security Savings, which gives everyone a cash balance of everything they have contributed plus earnings from a combination of U.S. Treasury Bond interest and gains from investments in an index fund of public companies weighted by how much total salary they pay to American workers.
  3. Healthy people who don’t use a lot of medical care will have additional money added to their Social Security Savings account. The amount will be determined like a co-op, where extra funds not paid out for medical expenses are paid out to everyone – more to those with less health care expenses.
  4. Unhealthy food is taxed at a rate to pay for twice the expected medical costs associated with that food being eaten. Check prices for soda and chocolate in Norway to see an example.
  5. Liability insurance, such as home and auto, no longer covers medical since these are covered by universal medical coverage. One can still be liable for pain, suffering, and lost wages.
  6. Included with Social Security Savings, is a variable payment life insurance policy that pays out variable multiples of your SSS cash balance based upon your age, family, dependents.

 

20200217M Day 48: 3rd and 4th days of Influenza A in Austin

On the 3rd day of my partner’s flu-like symptoms, she started feeling better and we took a walk along Town Lake. Since she had tested negative for the flu three days ago, we both  were engaged in a bit of wishful thinking that her flu symptoms were only symptoms of a bad cold.

On the 4th day of my partner’s flu-like symptoms (I’m writing this blog a day late on Tues – not surfing to the future), she started feeling much worse and I also noticed a knot in the back of my throat similar to the symptom she felt the day before she got sick. We went to a different urgent care and they tested us both for Strep and Flu. I tested negative for both and my partner tested positive for Influenza A.

At this second urgent care, I noticed different behavior by the check-in nurse. Once my partner began describing her symptoms, the check-in nurse causally opened a drawer to get a mask to put on. My partner was already wearing a mask. Three days ago, the sign seemed to imply masks were only for possible coronavirus patients.

The doc said that Influenza A could have been contagious a day before symptoms showed up until now and likely not so contagious anymore. He said the incubation period was 1-2 days and so I may have dodged the Influenza A bullet when I was in close contact her before she showed symptoms.

Her symptoms now include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.  According to https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/symptoms.html, these are the same symptoms for COVID-19 and may also appear as soon as two days after exposure.  Currently, recent travel to China seems to be the only additional screening question to determine if someone has a COVID-19 infection or not. As universes where COVID-19 is a pandemic continue to surround our universe, this “recent travel to China” question will become less and less useful. Her other symptoms are weakness, tiredness, headache, and extreme bone/muscle aches. I believe these are also present with many cases of COVID-19.

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I just took dose 1 of Oseltamivir Phosphate 75mg (Tamiflu) as a preventative to help me attract universes where I don’t have Influenza A replicating in my body. The toast (and banana not shown) will hopefully make the medicine go down easier and avoid the nausea side effect that is most often mentioned in reviews of this drug. Within five minutes of taking it, I felt a bit anxious with my head feeling kinda tingly.

I was uncertain about taking Tamiflu (generic). This paper, and encouragement from my partner to avoid Influenza A at all costs, gave me the feeling that it was the decision I felt most comfortable taking.

 

20200215S Day 46: Traditions in the Multiverse

I just got back from my cousin’s wedding. While not in a church, it was otherwise a traditional Christian marriage, with many of the rituals often included. I hypothesize that traditions and rituals serve as strong attractors of universes in which those same traditions and rituals are practiced. Therefore by having a marriage ceremony filled with rituals that have been followed for centuries, it’s likely that in nearby universes a very similar marriage ceremony is taking place. Contrast this with the couple who doesn’t have a ceremony and instead spontaneously decides one day to get married at the court house without any ritual. I hypothesize that this non-ritualistic marriage will be surrounded by much fewer nearby universes in which the couple is married, and therefore it is more likely that the couple will find themselves in a universe where they are not married.

20200212W Day 43: Universes Colliding as Coronavirus Daily Cases Increase 10x

This post is delayed a day. Yesterday I flew to Austin from Santa Cruz. It reminded me of the trips I would make back and forth six years ago. I remembered how I would often feel in a different universe when I was in one place versus the other. This trip has given me a similar feeling. I’m now in a universe where reported worldwide Coronavirus daily cases are up 10x over the day before. Chinese authorities announced they were changing the way in which they determine whether someone is infected by the novel coronavirus. Now, instead of needed to be tested, the doctor can make a determination themselves based on a diagnosis.

In this new universe, instead of the daily cases in China going down, it is now uncertain whether they are going down or going up due to having only one day of reporting using the new method.

20200211T Day 42: Surfing to a Universe where I analyze viral genomes

As an experiment, I’m going to try surfing to a universe where I analyze viral genomes. I had an early interest in the novel coronavirus outbreak over a month ago.  I felt myself moving close to universes where there was a coronavirus pandemic in 2020 Day 17: Wuhan Coronavirus infections in Thailand and Japan in which I wrote:

This morning I thought it would be interesting to use this blog as a way to experiment with quantum feeling parallel worlds. My hypothesis is that parallel worlds can be sensed, and that the feeling of sensing a parallel world is correlated with the feeling of a synchronicity, and furthermore that the synchronicity is related to an event that ties the parallel worlds together. For example, eight days ago I sensed a parallel world in which the Wuhan Coronavirus was a bigger event than it was in this world.

There’s not currently a pandemic in the strictest sense of the word, with the only country experiencing an outbreak thus far being China (ignoring the Diamond Princess cruise ship that recently had a doubling of cases to 135). The novel coronavirus has been provisionally named 2019-nCoV. A new name, SARS-CoV-2, has been proposed by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 has been named by the WHO as COVID-19.

In the universes where I analyze viral genomes, I am almost certainly analyzing SARS-CoV-2. I’m curious where this universe surfing will lead …

20200208S Day 39: Using Full Moon Nights to Wormhole to Far Away Universes

I started writing daily blog posts on this wordpress blog at the beginning of the year 2020. I imagine that in many nearby parallel universes, I also started writing daily blog posts on this date as it is customary to have new year’s resolutions to mark the beginning of the Julian calendar. However, there are many other calendars in use across the world. It’s possible for me to surf to universes where the Julian calendar is not the chosen calendar of the West, or even universes where it doesn’t exist.

Imagine a world in which the moon phases and the seasons mark the passing of time. This world is know to be in our past and is also almost certainly in our possible futures. On the night of a full moon, it is possible to communicate with your parallel self across all the universes in which your parallel self is communicating back. While this is a somewhat arbitrary time to choose to communicate, it’s more likely than not that it would be a special time to communicate. Full moon ceremonies and gatherings are popular in the classical universe we experience and it takes only a small leap of faith to know that full moon nights are a sacred time across the multiverse.

So, I plan to use the remainder of the night before I sleep to meditate and attempt to communicate with my parallel self. I also plan to imagine a new habit I want to start for the next moon cycle – specifically a habit that I might have in a far, far away universe where there is no Julian calendar to guide me.

20200206h Day 37: NPR Interview with David Quammen Notes Mapped to the Multiverse

Some points to consider from the NPR interview on the novel coronavirus with science write David Quammen from a couple days ago:

  1. 2019-nCoV case fatality rate of (currently) 2% is in the range that should be taken seriously.
  2. The limited number of masks should be reserved for those who are sick and health care workers. They are not that effective in protecting healthy people.
  3. The chances are there – how big we don’t know – that a pandemic will one day infect and kill a large percentage of the world population.

Of these points, all involve probabilities. Nearby universes surround us with slight changes in probability. Farther away universes have larger changes in probability. So, a nearby universe would be one where the 2019-nCoV case fatality rate is 3% instead of 2% and a farther away one would be where it is 20% instead of 2%. The effectiveness of people wearing masks can also be similar or different in near and far universes, respectively. And the chance a pandemic will one day infect and kill a large percentage of the world population can also be used to order universes along a continuum. Each of these three measures can be thought of as a different dimension in the parallel universe space. As an example, considering only these three measures, one could visualize a 3-D space of universes by assigning number 1 to the X-axis, number 2 to the Y-axis, and number 3 to the Z-axis.