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Click for San Francisco, California Forecast

San Francisco, USA

 

Where Are We With Vaccination

San Francisco’s COVID vaccine effort continues at a brisk pace. Today, 56% of adults have already received at least one shot of vaccine. How much longer does it take to vaccinate 80% of adults? At the current pace of 12.6k vaccination per day, it will take 15 more days. April 26th is the earliest day where everyone who wants a vaccine will get a vaccine (assuming 20% of people decline). In practice, it will take more days because some vaccines are used for second shots. Nevertheless, it is tremendously encouraging to see the progress. This schedule is ahead of even the most optimistic prediction at the beginning of the roll out.

Vaccine Dashboard
Vaccine Dashboard

San Francisco’s COVID vaccine effort continues at a brisk pace. Today, 56% of adults have already received at least one shot of vaccine. How much longer does it take to vaccinate 80% of adults? At the current pace of 12.6k vaccination per day, it will take 15 more days. April 26th is the earliest day where everyone who wants a vaccine will get a vaccine (assuming 20% of people decline). In practice, it will take more days because some vaccines are used for second shots. Nevertheless, it is tremendously encouraging to see the progress. This schedule is ahead of even the most optimistic prediction at the beginning of the roll out.

Therefore I am rather puzzled by the persistent reservation from a skeptic group of people. Some health experts, the media, and many concerned citizens seem to be uncomfortable with the idea that the pandemic, at least locally, is finally receding. They are nervous that the business and social restrictions will be relaxed. They raise alarm for a possible fourth wave, the threat of variants, and outbreak brought on by reopening too soon. For some reason, they tend to dismiss the vaccine success that I celebrated. The health authorities and media are reluctant. They say we don’t have enough vaccines. They say we have a supply problem.

This is misleading and false. If everyone demands vaccines today, there are not enough. But this is not what people are asking for. They just want to get in line to receive a vaccine in a predictable time frame. As I have shown, it only takes 15 more days at the earliest to vaccinate everyone who wants a vaccine. There is no supply problem I am aware of. Why do health authorities keep making caution statements that are not warranted? Why don’t they acknowledge and celebrate the success? Newsom and London Breed understand that there is a robust supply. Therefore they keep pushing the eligibility time frame more and more ahead. Why do the health authorities not see this?

Ironically, the retreat of the pandemic intimidates some people. They are used to and feel safe to remain in the isolated cocoon. It feels scary to mingle with people again.

The justification is usually that the risk remains here and we must be cautious. It is true that the assessment of the risk is subjective, with some people tend to be optimistic and some people tend to be pessimistic. Nevertheless, any reasonable argument must be constrained by objective basis. We criticized the Trump administration for denying evidence and downplaying the pandemic. In a similar manner, we should question the alarmists who make unwarranted cautions. Too little action is bad. However, excessive amounts of action are also bad. The proper action should be proportional to the risk, not too little, not too much.

Today the pandemic has not yet come to a definitive end. But, as you can see in the vaccination progress, change is coming fast. The skeptics believe they are rightly being cautious. But if they do not adjust their assessment as the situations change, this belief will quickly descend into superstition.

2021.04.11 comments

 

We have a lot of vaccines

I find it frustrating that, when it comes to covering COVID-19 issues, the media and the community has largely remained gloomy. For example, this is an article headline

The steep dive in the Bay Area's coronavirus numbers has stopped. How worried should we be?

Thank you for keeping us feel worried.

California has announced they will remove vaccination eligibility requirements and open it up to all adults by April 16th. This is followed by the announcement of individual counties of advanced schedule to first open it up to 50s and above by April 1st. Contra Costa County race ahead to open to all by April 1st. The general availability of vaccines should be greeted as a victory. Yet the press keeps on publishing quotes that pour cold water on the good news

“Except we don’t have the vaccine,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, Santa Clara County’s vaccine officer.

Certainly they have vaccines. What it means is it can take several weeks to vaccinate everyone eligible. No problem. A reservation system is set up to manage the demand for this reason. I don’t think anyone demands to get vaccinated on day 1. A reservation system is expected and welcome. People are used to make reservations for routine diagnostics tests. To wait a week or two is entirely acceptable. All these gloomy predictions of vaccination sites overrun by a stampede of people is unwarranted and unnecessary discouraging.

Let’s say the demand of the 50-64 group is so high that appointments have stretched out to three weeks. This means there will be no opening by April 16th for general availability. Given this proven demand, the authority should adjust the schedule and push it out a week or two. Again, this is informed policy adjustment. It is not a reason for gloomy predictions. In fact, I find this encouraging if people treat vaccination with such high priority.

The fact is, the outlook of vaccine availability is very positive. This is the fundamental basis of opening up vaccination to everyone by April 16th. From January to March, San Francisco has already vaccinated 44% of adults. Out of the first three months, January was very slow. The supply was only picked up in March. If we can do so much in the first three months, the coming glut of supply is only going to accelerate this. I will even make another prediction. After May, anyone (in San Francisco) who wants a vaccine can get a vaccine. There will be no line anymore.

Running out of vaccines is not a concern at all. You will quickly find out from the experience of the accelerated schedule of Contra Costa county. The true worry is a substantial number of people either refuse it or treat it as a low priority. Instead of limiting people from getting vaccines, the priority of the health department will quickly shift to persuading these people to get vaccinated. Supply is the least of their concern.

2021.03.31 comments

 

Nomadland

Sometime ago I discovered Chloé Zhao’s Songs My Brothers Taught Me, the story of a Native American boy planning to leave his family and the reservation. I like the subtle connection and tension between his sister and him. Her films are great portraits of characters from the margin of the society, first Native Americans, then in Nomadland, the tribe of wanderer by choice. It surprised me to learn Chloé was not born American but came from China, for she has made such fine narration that even American filmmakers would have admired.

movie shot

While Songs My Brothers Taught Me was a fine independent movie, when Nomadland won the best picture of Golden Globe Award, I wonder if they have given her too much accolade. I was a little skeptical going into the theatre. Well, it was two hours well spent. The truth is, Nomadland is an excellent movie.

Frances McDormand plays Fern, a widow living out of her van, initially by necessity. But eventually, she was drawn into the tribe of a full time nomad who adopted this life as the true way of living. Chloé films feel very authentic. Here we have some fiercely independent people. They choose to live a lifestyle deviating from the stable and prosperous life desired by mainstream society. We are invited into their life to listen and to observe. While they survived on very little, the story was never patronizing. People support each other mutually. They are at once independent and communal.

The story is a lot more than day to day struggle of money and DIY vehicle repair. It was to live an unconventional life, to find your own way, and to contemplate the meaning of life.

Some scenes have caught my eye. First, the scene of people working inside Amazon’s massive distribution center. Amazon granted Chloé filming access. My guess it is because they recognize her talent and her style to depict situations non-judgmentally. The second interesting shot is a close up of a baby’s tender hand. It can make anybody’s heart melt.

Congratulations to Frances McDormand and Chloé Zhao for the great film and the well deserved recognition.

2021.03.28 comments

 

End of COVID outbreak

The COVID trend, in SF, California, and the US as a whole, is clearly heading down. In addition, vaccination is producing result. Vaccine production and vaccination rate is set to multiply in the coming weeks. My prediction is the COVID epidemic will recede definitively in just three months.

I will hold myself accountable for my prediction. At the beginning of June, I will evaluate the progress in the past three months, and if coronavirus indeed recedes definitively.

Ironically, people are not prepared for good news. We are trained to minimize risk by measures such as social distancing. It will take weeks and months to relax shutdown order and other restrictions. People’s minds might take even longer to change. The threat of COVID will remain in their consciousness despite it no longer being the case objectively.

2021.02.25 comments

 

Has Tech Destroyed Society

Has Tech Destroyed Society? Here is a very interesting story about a bet made 25 years ago covered by Steven Levy. The antagonist - techno-optimist Kevin Kelly and “anarchocommunalist” Kirkpatrick Sale. The prediction – the society would collapse. The date – 2020. The judge – William Patrick, a book publisher whom both have worked with. He is to decide based on the three agreed upon criteria - an economic disaster that would render the dollar worthless; a rebellion of the poor against the monied; and a significant number of environmental catastrophes.

25 years have passed and 2020 has arrived. Who won? The verdict turned out to be much less clear cut than expected. The wild ride of 2020 especially forced us to reexamine many of our viewpoints. Patrick declared Kelly the winner. But this is not really a vindication of the optimists. Of the three predictions, Patrick gave each side one and half points. The economy did not collapse; the environment was disastrous; the war between the poor and rich, a toss up. Kelly won because the rule needs all three to happen.

Let me inject my views. The society has not collapsed. Having lived through 2020 with wildfire raging around me and woke up to the apocalyptic orange sky day, it is justified to say it was catastrophic. But to qualify as civilization destroying climate change, there should be a significant pattern depart from the regular great flood or great earthquake that people have endured historically. The jury is still out for the long term environmental impact. Moreover, people have overlooked nature's resilience. There are many success stories of pollution getting cleaned up. Disturbed forests and wildlife, if left alone, are found to roar back in just decades. On the one side there are doom and gloom stories, and on the other side, hope and restoration. I am not convinced that the environment was irrecoverably ruined.

Is a class warfare being waged? Donald Trump’s far right movement has advanced much further than anyone would have imagined. What if he successfully overturned American’s election and declared himself president for life? This would be a nightmarish collapse of the democratic institution. However, is this a collapse of civilization as envisioned by Sale? Or is this just a different form of civilization, a fascist dictatorship? This is, for the adherents of the ideology, a preferred form of civilization.

A real collapse will be that people are afraid to get out of the house because bullets are flying. Food is hard to get, roads are blockaded, the power grid has fallen apart, the sick are left to die. As bad as things stand today, our civilization hasn’t decayed to this point. Praise the almighty god.

This is my big picture view. My faith in humanity has greatly shaken since the last few years. Yet I am not moving to the pessimist’s side still.

2021.01.31 comments

 

My 15 Minutes Of Fame

Today, January 14th 2021, I have received an email notifying me that a limit order I placed some weeks ago has partially filled. I have sold some employee Uber stock options at $60.03. I have made some money! Hurray!

Only 70% of the order was filled. The price has since slipped and did not recover by the time the market is closed. I have never had a limit order partially filled before, given my trade is a small fry in the big market. $60.03 was the day's high. Actually, it was the 52 week high. In fact, it was the historical high since the IPO nearly two years ago.

Yes, I have entered the sale price myself, sixty dollars, AND three cents. If market orders are arranged in a queue, my order would be the last in the queue. This seems unusual since Uber is a major company that trades in high volume. Is it possible that my order is the only order at $60.03? I don't know enough to say if this thinking is correct or not. But if it is true, then I hold the record of the highest sales price out of the entire world!

This is clearly just a random move. It does not mean I have any brilliance in stock trading. I have sold far more shares at bargain basement prices when Uber was deep in the COVID-19 slump that I did today. Or perhaps the stock will double again in a year, then I will punch myself for dumping them for only $60.

But for now, I held the record of trading Uber stock at the highest price of all time!

2021.01.14 comments

 

Bike Tail Light

There is an annoy trend in bike tail light. The vendors are making super bright LED tail light. The idea is the brighter the light, the easier it is for drivers to see, and the safer it is for the riders. But there is diminishing return to the brightness. It is no more safe when the light is bright enough to see one mile away, v.s. a moderately bright light that you can see from half a mile away. Instead, a very bright tail light causes big problem to the rider behind you. It is blindingly bright to follow other with these super bright light.

I have a new light that's somewhat bright. I decided to make some modification to similar frosted glass to make the light more defused and more comfortable to others. Here is the result

Tail light
Lights on (frosted on left)

Simply scratch the plastic surface with a file or rough rocks. Don't be gentle. This is how my light looks like after I scratched it.

Tail light
Lights off

From a distance, there seems little difference between the two lights.

Tail light
Lights from a distance (frosted on left)

I hope we stop buying these super bright tail lights. If you have one, consider scratching it to make it more comfortable to look at.

2020.12.09 comments

 

Biden Elected President

In front of the stage filled with blue light, an exuberant crowd cheering and anticipating the speech from Joe Biden. First came Kamala Harris. She was beaming with her smile, congratulating the people for acting and standing by democracy. She introduced president-elect Joe Biden. In his speech, Biden declares he will govern as an American president, the president for all. “We are not enemies. It is time to unite. It is time to heal.” There is to be hope and possibility for all Americans.

After being bombarded for four years with obnoxious rhetoric and rancor of Donald Trump, it is a breath of fresh air to hear this. Civility has come back. Respect has come back. Biden has struck a conciliatory note. This is all the qualities I can hope for from a respectable leader.

Yet behind this julibrant celebration, I ended with the thought that this blue lighted stage is just a mirage. Despite the choice as a president for all, the condition of unity is not there. Those people he reaches out to will not hear it. The world is a lot more ugly than we hope. The illness of society is so deep, despite the best intention, the president will be helpless to heal.

I do not set out to write a negative essay. I am an optimist. I believe we are to confront the world’s greatest problem with our ingenuity, perseverance and resilience. Those who strive to act with integrity and righteousness will ultimately prevail. Our human nature is fundamentally good.

2020 is a difficult year. My optimistic outlook is severely tested. COVID-19, the novel virus that we initially assume mainly afflicts Asia, has unleashed to the world with vengeance. Socialization is to be minimized. It has fundamentally shakened the purpose of the city. I saw the once bustling downtown reduced to a ghost town. Working with my colleges is reduced to watching a grid of videos. I feel a piece of me has died.

The president should have been a leader to combat the pandemic. Instead he sabotaged the effort to control it, often acted brazenly even with cruelty. When he was criticized for his early failure, he took it out on WHO and reneged on the US' contribution. Scientists ignored and were pressured to serve his agenda. The White House stubbornly acts against public health best practices. Their irresponsibility ultimately led to the virus outbreak in the White House that sickened the president himself. I watched this unfolding with anger.

September 9th, 2020 is a defining moment in my life. In the morning, I noticed it was unusually dark outside. It is as if the sun has overslept and gotten up late. California was already ravaged by wildfire for weeks. Major fire was burning all around, destroying properties and choking us with smoke. The state struggles to get them under control. Still the darkness is unsettling. Dense smoke from fires as far as Oregon has filled the sky, turning the day into an apocalyptic night. I was profoundly dispirited. Even the sun has forsaken us.

The stakes of the 2020 US presidential election are very high. I fought for a resounding repudiation of Trumpism. The alternative, the vindication and mandate for Donald Trump, is unthinkable. After an excruciating delay, Biden has prevailed and Trump is defeated. Hope is restored. But has Trumpism been repudiated? It was noted that Biden has won the election with a healthy margin and the highest number of votes, a total of 75 millions, ever won in history. But Donald Trump has broken a record too. He won 70 million votes. 7 more millions of people have voted for him than in 2016. Despite all the lies, all the chaos, all the disastrous handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, these people have decided to double down on Donald Trump.

I’m dumbfounded on how Trump supporters can reconcile Trump’s constant lying. They were not anything subtle. Some claims are so laughable like Mexico is to pay for a border wall. How does Trump have a cultist hold on his followers? Is moral and integrity not a concern to them anymore? Perhaps it was digital social media to blame? Any public criticism is to be dismissed as fake news. Trump followers are free to create their own version of reality that reflects their hero’s delusional view. Conspiracy theorists can easily find validation among themselves. They will no longer be constrained by reality.

In many ways, there is no longer a common ground in this country. Biden has made an honorable effort to unite the people. Sadly it will not be recognized. The political outlook is continued polarization and pure partisanship. There will be a lot of instability as the balance shifts between the two parties. It is hard to see how this country is capable to set and achieve long term goals anymore.

The far right fraction is not the only problem. The far left has its own agenda to transform the society to their own ideal. They are not even a reliable partner in a coalition to defeat Donald Trump. I am frustrated that they are more motivated to rally against the Democrats who are deemed not sufficiently progressive, than to rally against Donald Trump.

I saw a lot of bad omen in 2020. A new year, a new president, will not easily turn this around.

The next day after the sky turned orange, daylight did come out the next day. The sun has risen again. But I can no longer take this for granted.

2020.11.09 comments

 

Right Wing Media

This morning a newsletter from a right wing media landed in my inbox. Usually I don't waste time on them. But something caught my eyes today. Something about "Trump Responds to Junk Intel Report". I followed a link to read further. It was an interesting trip to the right wing media land. It should make quite a bit of interest to people interested in journalism and social media. The keywords you are going to see - complete BS complete joke ridiculous this nonsense. [more...]

2020.08.08 comments

 

Economy And Diseases

South China Morning Post is an excellent resource for international news coverage of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. They publish an up-to-date statistics of confirmed cases around the world. I have been following it for some time. [more...]

2020.03.19 comments

 

COVID-19 Has Arrived

For the most part, US was relatively removed from the coronavirus outbreak in China. Despite a small number of cases, most of them related to recent travel to China, officials assured people the risk of low epidemic here was low. When the case of Solano County patient was discovered, she has no history related to traveling and has been carry the disease undetected for days, it was a sign that our perceived immunity is over. Within two weeks, cases of virus inflections were reported all around Bay Area. Events, businesses and schools were scrambling with closures. Everything exploded. Now we are in full fledge pandemic. [more...]

2020.03.15 comments

 

The International Development of China

(Repost of my comment about the preface of The International Development of China by Yat-sen Sun as part of the course world of Creating Modern China on edX.) [more...]

2019.09.28 comments

 

Is it not a blessing

This afternoon I was laid off by Uber. After taking care of a few things, I went out for a walk. I wandered in Golden Gate Park and checked out shops on the 9th Ave. I walked into Green Apple bookstore to browse. A short book by Thich Nhat Hanh caught my attention. His writing is easy yet insightful. I found this story about "Good Luck or Bad Luck", a parable about fate is often not what it seems. A misfortune can well turn out to be a blessing. I was familiar with the original story 塞翁失馬,焉知非福, which has made it into a proverb in modern Chinese. How fitting it was to my apparent bad luck today. How lucky I would come across this when it was most relevant. I looked up the original story and shared it here. [more...]

2019.09.14 comments

 

Mock Suit Case Accident

Mock Suit Case Accident

2019.08.02 comments

 

Uber IPO

IPO Bell Ringing
IPO Bell Ringing

I was so excited to see Uber go public last Friday. On the NYSE podium were our CEO and longest serving executives. We were also joined by a few drivers and business partners. I felt quite sentimental of the moment. Many of us has gone through all the trials and tribulations for so long. Among the team is our CTO Thuan, whom through all these years have been the inspiration and driving force for the engineering team. Together we build the technology platform from the ragtag system that constantly fails into the much more stable and sophisticated platform we have today. [more...]

2019.05.13 comments

 

Transit News

This morning I have received three transit news update, one good news and two bad news. [more...]

2019.01.11 comments

 

Clear Sky

San Francisco Clear Sky
San Francisco Sky

The air was super clear on the New Year's day. From the mountain top, I saw Point Reyes, Farallon Islands, Mountain Diablo, San Jose. Everything was in clear view. [more...]

2019.01.01 comments

 

Skip Scooter

Last week, I have tested Scoot, Jump Bike and Muni. Today, I got a chance to try the other scooter provide Skip. Sign up was quick. You will need to enter your credit card number and let them take a picture of your driver license using the app. Skip's app is bare bone. The only function is to show you locations of nearest scooters and to unlock one in front of you by scanning the QR code. [more...]

2018.10.26 comments

 

Bike vs Scooter vs Bus

The electric scooter come back to San Francisco street this week. The two companies that's licensed are Scoot and Skip. Today I needed to make a shopping trip to SOMA. Scooters seemed ideal. I was excited to try them out. [more...]

2018.10.18 comments

 

No More Tempered Glass Screen Protector

I have finally removed the tempered glass screen protector from my phone. Shortly after I installed it, I noticed a fine crack appeared. I did not drop my phone. The touch surface remained smooth and there was no problem to use. But the crack looks unnerving. I wasn't sure if the crack is on the protector or on the screen beneath it. [more...]

2018.07.22 comments

 

past articles »

 

BBC News

 

Russia expels Czech diplomats over explosion row (18 Apr 2021)

 

Australia opens travel bubble with New Zealand (19 Apr 2021)

 

European Super League: Premier League's 'big six' agree to join new league (19 Apr 2021)

 

Russia will face 'consequences' if Navalny dies - US (18 Apr 2021)

 

Putin critic Navalny 'will not be allowed to die in prison' (18 Apr 2021)

 

Byron Bay: Calls for Netflix boycott over reality show plans (19 Apr 2021)

 

Mars helicopter first flight: Nasa to test Ingenuity (18 Apr 2021)

 

France kidnapping: Girl found with mother accused of ordering abduction (18 Apr 2021)

 

Table Mountain fire: Historic buildings destroyed in Cape Town (18 Apr 2021)

 

Helen McCrory was 'meteor in our life' says husband Damian Lewis (18 Apr 2021)

more »

 

SF Gate

 

It pays to search for top-quality auto shop (6 Feb 2021)

 

Fired Boeing CEO is now working with Bay Area tractor startup (14 Dec 2020)

 

PG&E bills to rise over per year on average to fund wildfire risk reduction (5 Dec 2020)

 

Nasdaq seeks more diversity on boards of companies listed on exchange (2 Dec 2020)

 

Elizabeth Holmes Prosecutors Say Texts Show Theranos Beset With Problems (24 Nov 2020)

 

Ship traffic, November 1 (30 Oct 2020)

more »


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