Predicting the Future

Michael Levitt, a Nobel laureate and Stanford biophysicist, recently formulated the hypothesis that increase rate of new cases is the most reliable indicator of Coronavirus propagation. By tracking the moment when the increase rate slowed down and projecting the number of deaths and recoveries from that moment on, he predicted that the total number of Coronavirus in China would end up around 80,000, with about 3,250 deaths. This forecast turned out to be remarkably accurate: As of March 16, China had counted a total of 80,298 cases and 3,245 deaths.

Yesterday the number of new cases of Coronavirus in Italy was higher than the day before and this came after two days of decreasing trend.

I had a phone call with a co-worker living in Bangalore, India. Last weekend, the government called Indians for a social distancing test: the population was asked to stay at home. According to my co-worker, few people respected the guidelines and authorities decided to lock down the whole country: borders are closed, people cannot move from one state to another, all bars and restaurants are closed, as well as all shops. Only available option for grocery shopping is home delivery, but the delays are huge.

My Italian food importer informed me by email today that they are facing difficulties because of COVID-19 issues. All goods coming from Italy have to transit through an intermediate location before being shipped to Singapore and for this reason, the price of Burrata and Mozzarella will spike. Luckily I inquired  about the availability of Grana Padano, that does not need to be shipped weekly and can be stored locally for a few months. Grana is still available, I ordered three kilos that should allow me to survive the crisis 😉


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