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COVID-19 and CHAZ

 

June 13 2020

I discuss COVID-19 growth in San Diego and Seattle’s “CHAZ” experiment to have an area downtown with no police. 396 words

==COVID-19: Update for 2020-06-13==

COVID-19’s doubling time in San Diego

Right now with the COVID-19 illness, we continue to not have exponential growth of cases here in San Diego country, as shown in this graph,1 but the protests appear to have had an effect.

Here, the higher the lines are, the better we are doing (the slower COVID-19 is spreading). The blue (darker) line is “if we maintain the growth we had on a given day (7-day average), how long would doubling take?” and the orange (lighter) line is “how many days ago did we have half the number of cases we had on this day?”.

As we can see, last week the blue line went down: Most likely, those George Floyd protests did increase COVID-19 growth. However, with the protests dying down the blue line is going up again.

Hair cut places are open again. School daycare is opening up again next week. We will see how that affects growth.

==There is a police free area in Seattle==

There is now, in the heart of downtown Seattle, an area with no police intervention being done. It’s called the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” or CHAZ.2 While the area has been police-free for a few days, the place seems fairly peaceful and free of violence.3

The right wing has been claiming there have been attempts to extort businesses in the police-free zone for money,4 but those claims appear to be false;5 we know that the right wing media has been manipulating evidence to make the area look worse than it actually is.6

I can tell you this much: This police-free zone is doing a lot better than Science Fiction authors predicted it would. Larry Niven’s classic 1972 story “Cloak of Anarchy” had things descend in to senseless violence within nine hours after police presence was removed.7 The movie “Class of 1999”, which predicted a police-free zone in Seattle back in 1990, also has overwhelming violence.8

If this area were to remain police-free, my guess is that would eventually end up like a third world country, with houses and businesses needing to be barricaded with high fences to protect themselves. When I lived in Mexico, each house was like a little fortress, with a high wall surrounding it, and doors to the outside that locked whenever you closed them. I am sure police will return to this CHAZ area long before that would happen.

==Footnotes==

  1. The COVID-19 data comes from The New York Times, over at https://github.com/nytimes/covid-19-data I process the data to get doubling time figures, both actual and predicted; that code can be seen at https://github.com/samboy/covid-19-html While facts can not be copyrighted, The New York Times claims copyright on their COVID-19 data.
  2. Free Food, Free Speech and Free of Police: Inside Seattle’s ‘Autonomous Zone’” by Mike Baker, published by The New York Times
  3. CHAZ, a ‘no Cop Co-op’: Here’s what Seattle's Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone looks like” by Ryan W. Miller, published by USA Today
  4. Seattle ‘autonomous zone’ has armed guards, local businesses being threatened with extortion, police say” by Vandana Rambaran, published by Fox News
  5. No Evidence of Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) Businesses Being Extorted” published by heavy.com
  6. Fox News removes manipulated images from coverage of Seattle protests” by Isaac Stanley-Becker published by The Washington Post
  7. Cloak of Anarchy” by Larry Niven. Originally published in the March 1972 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.
  8. “Class of 1999” movie review by Richard Harrington, published by Washington Post

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