The Pain of Optimism During a Pandemic

The pain of optimism during a pandemic can clearly be felt by those who were optimistic enough to believe that self-sacrifice during the pandemic would result in a summer free of the COVID-19 Virus in Switzerland.

We went from a moving average over seven days of one thousand one hundred and twelve new cases on the 25th of May to a moving average over seven days of 17 in early June.


The moving average so far, in July, is of ninety new cases per 7 days. That might not seem like much compared to other countries but it means that masks have become obligatory and that I feel the need to disinfect and wash my hands constantly once more. It also means that car sharing and group activities are ill-advised once again. (no pun intended).

In June I really believed that by July we would have a normal summer with zero new infections per day. When the Swiss government saw the leap in the number of new cases as a result of the 21st of June shift in phase it should have rolled back to the previous phase, and made sure to have two to three weeks of near zero infections.

An increase in the number of cases within six days of Switzerland shifting to the latest phase.

The failure to do so means that I see no reason to put summer tires on a car that will not be driven to the mountains for group activities that are no longer possible. The two-meter rule is impossible to obey in a car, and doing group activities where you stand two meters from people defeats the entire purpose of doing group activities.

Christmas Cancelled

After the cancellation of summer sports and group activities for single people imagine if it lasted long enough to scupper Thanksgiving and Christmas. Imagine if the people, who are least dependent on society being open were the next ones to lose an important season in their calendar. I would find this justice poetic.

The R Number


When I write blog posts I often do some research, to see whether what I feel is backed up by facts and evidence. In so doing I come across interesting graphs and articles. I find the graph above interesting because it shows that the reproductive rate (R number) went positive on the 25th of May.


According to the graph above Switzerland has the most virulent strain.

Justified Self-Isolation

The more you study the data, the more you see that self-isolation is justified. If Switzerland has one of the highest R numbers then this means that it is one of the places where it makes most sense to self-isolate because it is one of the places where you will most easily catch the virus.

Justified Solitude

I write a lot about solitude because it’s an integral part of my life. If you read books, watch films or television series relationships are always the topic of choice. This means that if you have any questions about living with people you just turn on the TV and find the framework you want to experiment with. Will it be the Big Bang framework, the Friends Framework, the Frasier Framework, or other.

For solitude you need to write your own code and programming language. You need to choose what is important to you, and what you want to achieve. Yesterday when studying Ruby I accidentally tried to run RB files in IRB and it took a while before I understood my mistake. Eventually I exited IRB and started running them through RUBY and the code worked once again.

I mention this because during the Pandemic I have enjoyed learning PHP, MySQL, CSS, Ruby, Ruby on Rails and more. It has replaced the Wednesday trip to the indoor climbing gym and the weekend hikes and Via Ferratas in the mountains. In June we would have expected that by July we’d have gone back to being social, but as conditions are not ideal more is to be gained from experimenting with new knowledge.

Relational Databases

One key skill, during this pandemic would be to learn how relational databases work, and how they can be implemented and used. Every bar, cafe, restaurant and night club needs to track who was where, when, and with whom, so that if a case of COVID-19 is detected, that all those that are at risk may be informed.

You would have one table for customers, a second for the day they visited and possibly a third to specify whether it was breakfast, lunch, dinner, or evening. With primary, and foreign keys. The data would follow ‘single-to-many’ relationships. The code could be written so that after two weeks the data is erased.

In theory an instance of the SwissCovid contact tracing app could be written and run in shops so that it gathers the same data as the app on our phones, and thus provide an automatic means by which to track people.

Swarm, Facebook Check in, and Google Latitude

These three apps track who was where, when, and with whom. If they were still fashionable, then contact tracing during this pandemic would have been simplified and there would have been no reason for every country to write a new app for every country, or trade region.

And now to go back to studying.

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