Time to Mitigate, Not Contain

“We have long needed a Plan B for the scenario where a big fraction of everyone gets exposed to Covid19, and for this plan I’ve explored variolation and other forms of deliberate exposure. To be ready, variolation just needs a small (~100) short (1-2mo.) trial to verify the quite likely (>75%) case that it works (cuts harm by 3-30x), but alas, while funding and volunteers can be found, med ethics panels have consistently disapproved. (Months later, they haven’t even allowed the widely praised human challenge trials for vaccines, some of which would include variolation trials.)

-Robin Hanson, “Time to Mitigate, Not Contain.” OvercomingBias.com. May 28, 2020

I’m thinking an intervention that involving volunteering to get COVID-19, when there are no effective treatments and with a fatality rate somewhere between 0.5-1% is going to be a hard sell. If herd immunity is at 60%, this means a death toll of almost 1 million in the United States, on the low end.

Shave and a Haircut

  • Merkur Classic (daily) / Merkur Progress (weekly), razor: ~$60
  • Tinkle Hair Cutter, a razor comb: ~$6
  • Personna Israeli Platinum Reds, Double Edge Razors, blades: 100 for ~$20

For over a decade, I’ve used a Merkur Classic Razor with Personna blades for shaving. It takes me a few years to use a 100 blades. Before, I used to use a Gillette Mach 3. But, I’d spend about $60 dollars a year using Gillette. With a Merkur, the cost of shaving goes down to less than $20.

With the pandemic and the closing of barber shops, I started using a Tinkle razor comb. It uses the same blades as a Merkur. Like the transition to Merkur, there is a bit of a learning curve. I learned the basics from this YouTube video:

But, if you have short hair and aren’t too particular, a razor comb does a decent job. Considering a haircut and tip can cost $25 and if you get one once a month, that’s a $300 annual expense. It more than paid for itself on the first cut, although it took me three days to get it looking the way I wanted. I probably will continue using it, even once the pandemic is over. Recommended.

The Gardner by Rudyard Kipling

“A month later, and just after Michael had written Helen that there was noting special doing and therefore no need to worry, a shell-splinter dropping out of a wet dawn killed him at once. The next shell uprooted and laid down over the body what had been the foundation of a barn wall, so neatly that none but an expert would have guessed that anything unpleasant had happened.”

-Rudyard Kipling, “The Gardner“.

Such a great little story.