Coronavirus: Amazon limits employee travel, Google bans travel to Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea; Facebook cancels event

Originally published at:

Google employee in Switzerland has confirmed case of coronavirus

Chris Matthews told me that this viral invasion is gonna be just like General Sherman’s slash-and-burn march across Georgia.

(Thank goodness Savannah will be spared!)


Trump is a germaphobe. Wondering if he’s going to hole up somewhere for the duration. One of his hotels, full of world travelers, might not be the safest destination. Wonder if he’s doing rallies.


Rally tonight in SC.


I respectfully disagree. Taking reasonable precautions can slow the progress of the epidemic down and buy us time to investigate possible treatments, learn more about the disease and how it spreads, produce needed medical supplies, and help protect medical personnel.


Say what now?

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I respectfully agree with your disagreement and have deleted my post.

You’re right. I was just feeling defeatist and was being glib. Hopefully time will help.


The Game Developers Conference was also “postponed” because all the major sponsors pulled out due to virus fears. That’s a huge event that I don’t believe has ever been canceled before.


Last week my company banned travel to/from several regional offices, and requires special approval for other travel. And for the last 2 weeks we’ve been telling all our employees in China to work from home and have closed our offices.

Even so, I am fairly confident that COVID-19 is loose in the Bay Area. And in another week we may see cases linked to the botched evacuation and quarantine.

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Yes, there’s a reason why new “community contagion” cases are showing up on the Pacific Coast. From the NYT article about the corona whistleblower:

Staff members from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Children and Families were sent to Travis Air Force Base and March Air Reserve Base in late January and early February and were ordered to enter quarantined areas, including a hangar where coronavirus evacuees were being received, the complaint said. They were not provided safety-protocol training until five days into their assignment, said the whistle-blower, who is described as a senior leader at the health agency.

Without proper training or equipment, some of the exposed staff members moved freely around and off the bases, with at least one person staying in a nearby hotel and leaving California on a commercial flight.


Speaking of huge events, Hajj starts in July, and there is a real possibility of it being cancelled. Saudi Arabia has already banned many foreigners from visiting Mecca and Medina.


Already happened / happening. Done deal my friend. I will say, the Chinese response bought some time for the world to react, which it squandered of course. And we counted on the oceans to protect us, which also bought some more time. Which we squandered. And now, well, Il Douche is obsessed with the stock market and blaming this situation on the democrats. What can I say, we are hosed.


Savannah, Dec 22 1864

To his Excellency, President Lincoln

I [write?] to present you as Christmas gift the City of Savannah with one hundred fifty heavy guns and plenty of ammunition and also about twenty-five thousand bales of cotton."

  • WT Sherman

By g’g’grandfather was there.


Cancelling this would be a sensible idea- not only is the hajj one of the larger mass population movements that the world sees (that list is toped by Lunar new year, as we unfortunately saw earlier this year). It’s also uniquely international in its reach, and connects people to some of the most vulnerable to disease outbreaks. As I said a while ago, before coronavirus emerged:

In addition, it’s also a political risk, as a key factor in the perceived legitimacy of the Saudi monarchy is their ability to be a “good custodian of the two holy sanctuaries”. If the Saudi authorities cannot keep pilgrims to Mecca and Medina safe and well, they will be seen as unfit to rule.


Interesting letter. I’m wondering why you posted it?


I was guessing in response to your comment about Savannah being spared? It is a very cool letter.

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Yeah, I got that much. Just thought there might be more to it than “Look at this cool letter.”

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No message intended beyond the Savannah reference. It’s just one of those civil war factoids I like to bring up when given any chance at all.


If I had a historical document that cool in my possession, esp related to family, I would do the same. Rock on!

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