Bay Area. I have no idea if it will be interesting or important, but it seems like it might be good to have a record. If nothing else, it is something to do while Ashanti and I are trapped in our apartment here in Oakland.

Ashanti's company required all employees to work from home yesterday (a new experience for her). I work at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which has been advising telework for several days already. We got the news that the Bay Area was under a Shelter-in-Place order during my group's first online-only weekly meeting, and I spent the rest of the day shopping for some last minute supplies.

Camille's qualifying exam was held today from her living room, which she passed unanimously (of course). Since we can't go out to celebrate, we are going to have an happy hour on Zoom tomorrow.

I started reading up on Reverse Transcription Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification, which is being used as the basis for a real time test for COVID-19 that can be performed at home, under development by New England Biolabs the Wuhan Institute of Virology. I had an interesting conversation with Emily Tung and Andrey Kislyuk about how the preprint, and Emily estimated that the reagents and primers would cost about $1000, though obtaining and handling a sample from a patient with the virus to serve as a positive control would be reckless. On the other hand, there seems to be a fairly high likelihood that one or all of us will become infected at some point. If there is still not a home-based test available, I suppose there are worse ways to spend two or three weeks in isolation!

Around five o'clock, I was feeling pretty lousy from sitting around the house all day, and convinced Ashanti to go for a walk around Lake Merritt with me. About half of the people we saw were running or jogging (normally it's closer to one in five), so I think it's hard to say if our neighbors are practicing social distancing or not. We kept our distance and didn't interact with anyone, but it was nice to see other people. Maybe the city could mark out some picnic spots with appropriate separation so people can at least see each other?

I called mum to see how she's doing. Los Angeles is not doing shelter-in-place yet, though they probably should be. She was the only student at her dojo today.

We came home and did one of Ashanti's 20 minute exercise videos, which was deeply unpleasant but effective. Ashanti made dinner, I cleaned up, and we watched the St. Patrick's Day episode of Bob's Burgers. It was pretty great.


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