Archive | March 2020

This is where I save you

This week I have to do 40 hrs at my “essential,” at home job. I’m kind of behind because of all the full time care-giving, updating my will with my lawyer over Zoom, creating my Medical Advanced Directive for my US doctor, making plans for if I became ill and/or died (my Covid-19 buddy cares for Gran till a family member arrives, and if my C-19 buddy gets ill and/or died, I adopt her cat and become her executor).

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Adoption centers are still open by appointment.

So, cut to the chase, early post this week and… I decided to talk about saving your own life and the lives of those around you. Because you can and, at this point, you really, really need to.

We, Californians, live with shelter in place orders every year. We grow up with them. We expect the fires to come. We know we might be trapped for days, or weeks. That our lives might be disrupted for months, or if a house burns, years. We know there will be financial pain at times.

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I find this way more scary.

If you live in the magnificent Midwest, I bet you understand because you grew up with blizzards. Or maybe if you were born in the sensuous South, and it was hurricanes. Or if you’re from the Great Plains, you probably have endured floods year after year.

To be honest, staying at home because of C19 is kind of a breeze. I can go get groceries. I can breathe the air outside. I don’t have to worry about the house burning down or fleeing for my life in the middle of the night. In many ways, C19 is not so bad because I’ve “trained” for so much worse. I’ll bet most of you have too.

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The thing about shelter in place orders is, they’re for what’s happening now. You don’t shelter in place when the bombers are launching from the coasts of France. Or when they are over the Channel and hopefully you’re Air Corps is fighting them. Or even on the coasts because you’ve got coastal bunkers with big guns.

You take shelter when you hear the planes over your city. And I get it. Most of you don’t hear planes. Because C19 is a silent killer. Much like the Angel of Passover, Covid 19 is wandering through the streets, and it attacks specific targets. People who are unwise. People who don’t heed the good advice they are given. People who are unaware. (Or people who, sadly, came into contact with such people.)

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The only kind of ass you can be.

And now the Angel is here and you see people are dying, maybe you know people who have died. So now, I give you this advice to save yourself and your community. Don’t be an ASS (an ASymptomatic Spreader), wear a mask.

If everyone wore a mask when they were out and about, that would cut down on transmission and that would mean the curve would flatten and the healthcare might actually be there for you when you need it. Also, you might not die.

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Origami, a calming art

Studies have shown, masks cut down transmission rates. When you are an Asymptomatic Super Spreader, unfortunately, you don’t even know you’re the problem. So you have to be proactive to save your community, and yourself.

Now, I know there’s a mask shortage. I’m not telling you to buy a mask, leave those for the medical professionals. But I’m going to share with you my secret: Indra’s Instant Origami No-Sew Mask. I invented this when I was a kid, going through fire after fire. All you need is

  • 1 paper towel sheet,
  • 1 Kleenex sheet,
  • 1 cotton bandanna, and
  • 2 straight or safety pins.

The following are Kid-Safe photos and this is how I teach kids to make them during fires, so they don’t get scared.

Place the folded bandanna with the point away from your chin. Fold it so the point is pointing toward your chin. Tie the two ends at the top of your head toward the back so it fits tight under your chin. Then pull it slowly up to just about eye level.

Don’t be afraid, you can see Mutti Bear is in there. Now fold the mask down to fit and pin. With Mutti Bear, she has a large proboscis. So folding the mask in, is a good choice. But for most people, you need to fold the mask out, and pin it. That’s most effective. Here’s how that looks, on Mutti Bear.

See the pin on the side? And the knot on the back of the head? On a person, your ears will be behind the pulled up ends /sides of the mask. It’ll look like you wrapped your head for a toothache.

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Now, to make your mask Covid-19 effective, or if you have bad asthma in a fire situation, you can add a filter. Studies of use of the paper towel and Kleenex masks used in Hong Kong by their university rated this method of PT & Kleenex 80-90% effective against Covid-19. So, almost as good as an N95.

This is how you add the filter to your bandanna. Take a piece of paper towel and fold it in half so you have two layers. Place it on the bandanna as shown. Then place a kleenex over it. Then fold the point.

When you get your mask tyed and pinned, you’ll have an excellent filter mask that will protect you and your community and reduce the load on your medical professionals. You can wash and iron the bandanna and then replace the “filter.”

So, there you have it. Indra’s Origami Mask. It’s an endlessly re-useable mask with a disposable filter. And it’s pretty too. Not scary for adults or kids. I’m sure you probably already have a lot of bandannas, paper towel, Kleenex, and pins in your home. So, do yourself and your community and your medical professionals a solid. Don’t be an ASS, wear a mask.

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Hand washing can be fun. It all depends on the soap.

And that, people, is how you save your own life.

Shout out to Mutti Bear for being my model. Sorry about the whole “stuck you with a pin” thing. You’re a trooper.

This entry was posted on March 26, 2020.

The Grapes of Math

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Night. See it now, untainted, while available.

My parents (from Nor Cal) decided in January to come up for an extended visit. Just a few weeks. A friend of theirs was moving house and in between places, so she was going to house sit for them — and store her POD in their driveway. Win-win. The math was favorable.

Then the coronavirus started in Wuhan, and the math began to change. It quickly became apparent, at least to us, the present US administration was not just botching the national response, but actively throwing wrenches in it (can you say, depraved indifference?).

At that point, my parents decided to visit for the full 6 months allowed by law. This changed the math again, for my Gran, in So Cal, who was vulnerable. She has a caregiver that helps her out, but without family right there? What really were Gran’s chances going to be?

Given the Italian situation, the math dictated Gran needed a single family member there to care and advocate for her if she got sick. Since I was young and fit, I squeezed that grape hard and volunteered.

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Happy first day of Spring!

I called old employers down south and found one that could use an extra person till May. I figured, that’d be long enough, maybe.  I asked to work at home, so I could be with my Gran, because of the virus. He thought I was nuts, that the virus was nothing. But I’m a powerhouse worker, and when left alone, I do twice the work of anyone else. So given the bargain aspect, he said ok.

As time went on, I found it frightening that I was the only one allowed to do work at home.  The nature of the work is dependent on a high degree of interaction with the public. It’s a bullpen style office, with multiple shifts on shared computers A lot of the workers are retirees over 65, who need the money to live.

The math said, all kinds of bad would happen in that scenario when the virus came.

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Sailing too close to the wind?

I love my boss. He’s an ex-Navy officer who enjoys sailing really close to the wind. We get on because I’m the “this is reality and you need these contingencies in place” person. He always ignores me, and then gets himself in trouble. But, like Jeremiah, I keep trying to get through to him. For his sake, and the people that work for him.

I felt compelled to repeatedly tell him things needed to change, externally and internally, if he wanted to protect his business, and his workers.  He always laughed. The other people in the office? They didn’t laugh at all. They saw reality too. But being the voice of reality made me the thorn in the lion’s paw. I was “disrupting the office, bad for morale.”

 

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By Leap Day, neither he, nor I, could take it anymore. I could see people at work were in danger. He just couldn’t. The turnaround for the project was way ahead of schedule. I said, “Great.” He said “Terrible. We need to slow it down.” I thought, “This is a gift. This could save the company (and the workers) if California shuts down.” But I didn’t say it.

The math said, time to go. So I quit that day. At that point, I didn’t know if it was safe even to touch the work I was handed from the office to do at home. There was no research at that point. And with my Gran at 90+, I wasn’t going to risk it. And that was that.

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So, I spent some time re-reading “How to Human” by Episcopal priest Alice Connor. I’ve been out walking in the dark quite nights, free of noise and light pollution, and when I can adding to the science data base on night sky light pollution.

I fed the birds (and the squirrels) and listened to the many more birds to be heard now that things have slowed down. I painted. I signed up for some online classes at edX.org. I got into online Lenten praying with the Irish Jesuits, and this year some hard-core fasting (which cuts down on going out to buy food, and has weight loss benefits!).

It was all good.

C2015 Quarantini

Shameless steal from my friends at Liquor Store Bear

Then a week later, I heard from a work friend (over age 70) that she had become sick – at the office — and kept working! She finally got so dizzy she had to be taken home by her spouse. She told me she tried to go back into the office after a few days at home, but felt so sick she had to leave again.

From what she described, I’m pretty sure she had (still has) Covid 19, although she didn’t get a test.

She decided it was just flu, really, really bad flu. She told me she was upset that she wasn’t allowed to work at home, that still no one was, even though by now the government was asking people to. I was thinking, “You’d be working while sick, and shedding virus on the work.”

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I’m not sick, just very, very sleepy.

She asked me: “Do you think they’d pay me the 3 days sick pay? You know, I don’t want to get fired.” This is the state of employment, health care, and being “retired” in the US.

There’s an unspoken tone at the company. If you use any type of benefit, UI, sick leave, anything, you’ll be fired and never rehired. It happened in the distant past — even though those resources are all legally the employee’s to use.  I said, “You’re legally entitled to use those hours, if you want to claim them.” And I left it at that.

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Some companies’ policy is “if you’re sick and use sick leave, you leave for good.”

This week on Monday, I went out to get dog food at a hole in the wall, local-owned shop. It was just me, the manager and the clerk. But the parking lot of 300+ space was full and people were cutting each other off and stealing spaces. I later saw there was a police cruiser with lights on at the Trader Joe’s. People were panic buying.

Tuesday, I texted my senior friend to check on her. She said she’s still had headaches and nausea, but she was self-quarantining. I applauded that. But her husband, who runs a busy appliance repair shop and has as mother dying of cancer, wasn’t also doing SQ. And, she told me she’s working from home, meaning she went to the office to get work and will be taking her work back there, all while supposedly SQ!

Uh, okay. (here’s how to SQ the right way.) This is how Americans behave. Because they have no healthcare, have no living wages, have no safety nets. All they have is a “hell bent on destroying people” federal government.

Wednesday I got a short email from my boss asking me to please take work home. By this time, I’d read an article on how long the virus can live on things.  It seemed safe, and with the economy cratering, best to build a nest egg while one can. So I said ok and went down the rabbit hole again.

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Kids art project: Easter Eggs.

I went to the company parking lot and made them load work into my trunk. I didn’t touch it. I stood 6′ away and talked to a couple other people. Then I went home and left the work to sit for 3 days, in my garage, in quarantine. I told them in future, put work for me in boxes, seal them and mark the date and time (pre-Q).

I wear a mask and glasses while working, even at home. I tend to touch my face a lot and this reminds me not to. I wipe down my computer and phone every night. Some people might find this overkill. I don’t. As my work friend’s case proves, people aren’t even taking even basic common sense precautions.

DO THE FIVE – STAY ALIVE
1

HANDS Wash them often

2

ELBOW Cough into it

3

FACE Don’t touch it

4

FEET Stay more than 3ft apart

5

FEEL sick? Stay home

I think this probably started because of the name. We call it Covid-19. We should call it SARS CoV 2. SARS CoV 2 is the virus. It causes Covid-19, the disease. Think HIV causes AIDS. Covid 19 causes pneumonia. You didn’t die of pneumonia, you died of the disease, Covid 19. And, if you died of Covid 19, that disease was caused by, surprise, the virus SARS Cov 2. I’m not sure why everyone is burying that lede.

If you called the virus what it really is, SARS 2.0, maybe people would stop acting like it’s the flu and no big deal? There should be PSA’s about all the stuff government wants you to do, even just basic things like not panic buying, or hand washing for kids, or how to SQ, or other steps you can take. The should be blasting across TV, radio, podcasts, social media…. but there aren’t any PSAs. None.

I think people here have basically just stripped a gear. A necessary gear. Fact check your behavior before you take action. You don’t need antibacterial hand sanitizer, you just need a basic bar of soap and water to wash. You can carry your own bar of soap if you want too. You don’t need wipes. You just need bleach and a dishcloth (that you can wash). You don’t even need Kleenex, just a handkerchief you can bag (and then wash).

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What do you think that thing in your pocket is for?

There is no food shortage, or water shortage.There’s enough toilet paper. There’s no shortage. The average family buys 100 rolls a year. Why do you think you need 250 rolls? And those flushable wipes? Not flushable. So unless you want $10K in septic tank or sewer line repairs, leave the wipes in the trash. Or better yet, leave them for people who have babies and need them.

Seek online psychological help if you start to panic buy. You’re buying because you need some sense of control and that’s the only thing you can control. I get it. But stop. Just buy what you need for a week. And try thanking your local store’s workers. Who maybe don’t get a living wage or healthcare.

Leave the N95 masks and googles for health care workers, who may have to save your life and who may have to reuse masks during the pandemic.  Maybe make your own masks instead. It’s easy to do. Volunteer to make masks for your local hospital and doctors. You can actually do that.

And try thanking the orderlies, cooks, laundry workers and other frontline medical facilities staff that, again, don’t get a living wage and may not have great healthcare. Only the doctors have health care and a living wage.

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Guns don’t kill viruses. People do.

You certainly don’t need to panic buy a gun. WTF, people? What are you teaching kids about life if you, the rational adult that’s suppose to calm and comfort them, are buying a gun in response to a disease that only requires social distance and hand washing? Holy Moses.

Focus on the reality and what you can do. I spend my time chatting with my significant other, now locked down with his parents in Europe, about next steps. We talk about how you can maybe make a basic ventilator out of an O2 concentrator and nebulizer.  And we talk about end of life stuff.

We talk about my Gran. There’s no point in taking her to a hospital. She’s old, they’ll let her die. And I understand that. She has a DNR on file too. So after doing research, and talking to my Gran, we decided if she gets sick, we’ll put her on oxygen, and crank up the heat and humidity in a makeshift tent.

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Somebody crank up the steam! I’m going in.

There’s a study that says the SARS virus hates warm air and  high humidity. If you go to a hospital, it’s cold and dry.  The ventilator you end up on, pumps warm humid air into your lungs. We keep the humidifier going in the house and keep the heat at a reasonably warm level.  But we have a plan in place if she (or I) gets sick. Stick head over a steam bath and add O2 and really heat the room.

It sounds pretty grim, but reality can be. And, always kind of has been. I’ve been reading the ancient book of Jeremiah. The other day, it was Jeremiah 16. It’s not what you’d call a happy chapter. It’s entitled the Day of Disaster. But it’s a chapter I’ve always wondered about.

In it, Jeremiah, who has had a thoroughly difficult life — preaching reality to people in power who daily denied reality — describes his nation as it will be in the near future as a result of all the denial. It will be a nation in the grips of huge calamity.

He speaks of deadly diseases ravaging the nation. To the point of there being no more weddings, no one to mourn at funerals.  It’s a world gone silent. Until recently, I couldn’t identify with the prophet, and this state of a nation he spoke of was not something I could imagine. Sadly, now, I know how he feels and what he means. So do many around the world.

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Selfie-ism. This is a problem.

I’m not a “this is God’s wrath” person. I read the Bible as a book of wisdom, not a book of rules. I see this historical prophet and this historical event as a lesson in  “what’s the best way to respond, as a loving rational human, when this kind of thing is going down.”

Sort of buried in the middle of the chapter 16 is a line that says, basically, I paraphrase:

“you’re deep in the weeds now because you, each of you, did what was in your own selfish, petty little hearts. You forgot about loving your fellow man, like I told you to do.”

Earlier Jeremiah (Chp. 7) stood in the temple and gave an elaborated version. He said, “If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly,  if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood” you’ll dodge the bullet.

Social justice was the required response to avert national disaster. But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. And for the lack of social justice, the nation fell. I see that message as really applicable right now.

When people lose the plot, lose their love for and faith in each other, things go south quickly. When Selfie-ism is writ large, nations face harsh realities. When governments go “me, me, me” instead of “we, we, we,” you hit the iceberg. The US now clearly a failed “me, me, me” administration.

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The current administration.

 

SIDEBAR:

As the Governor of California was on TV over the weekend, telling people what to do, the POTUS decided to “podium bomb” him and come on during Gov Newsom’s message because….

Well, I guess, the POTUS can’t have someone intelligent and giving rational information to people — getting air time and upstaging him. You ban groups of 50. I’m going ban groups of 10. Dick swinging of the most desperate and juvenile kind.

My Gran just changed the channel to the local news that continued to carry the Governor’s message. She changes the channel every time she sees or hears the POTUS. To be fair, I think that’s the most wise and rational move an American can make now.

It’s true, the current US administration flailing about and going under (even Sen McConnell is signalling this is a one-term administration by asking judges to retire early). But that doesn’t have to happen to you, to your community, to your state. You don’t have to flail or founder or go under. You can pull together. You can help each other. You can do the right things. You can be an agent of change.

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Agent of change, or provocateur?

Once upon a time the world went through yellow fever, cholera, typhoid, TB, and plague on a regular basis. It’s why New Orleans and Washington, DC, both swamps, were places you went in the winter but left by the summer. The 1938 movie Jezebel with Bette Davis is based on this theme, and the theme of “me, me, me.”

One of the reasons Asian nations come through these sorts of things better than Western nations is community spirit, caring about each other collectively. It’s “we, we, we.”  I think Christianity, properly done, in the past gave the West its resilient, can do, “we, we, we” community spirit.

Even today, in a diverse nation such as the US is today, all religions preach the oneness of humanity and selfless love or compassion. Moral ethical scientific people understand, there’s one Earth, and one people. This shouldn’t be news. Unfortunately there’s a lot of twisted theology out there too. And that’s got to be jettisoned.

 

My feeling is the US keeps getting schooled in the value of oneness, social justice, and compassion by reality (God, the Earth, your choice), but it doesn’t learn much. Like a sailing ship, a nation should be tacking, maybe right, maybe left, but always forward into the winds of progress.

America really should be out beyond Europe in terms of progress toward pro-humanity, pro-Earth governance and ways of living. It should be the ship out in front that the other ships of state aspire to emulate. Instead, our ship is being actively kedged backwards and onto the rocks.

If you doubt, read the 1939 book Grapes of Wrath. In many respects, the US is still in the 1930s. The few profit and seek to profit, even off of tragedy, while the many suffer and die. Depraved-heart murder is murder as a result of depraved indifference. It’s where the “stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts” Jeremiah mentioned naturally leads.

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We’re about to bail out the few, to the tune of a trillion dollars, but no mention of the many. No living wage, no single payer health care, no sick or parental leave for all. No protection for the ballot box or voters of color. No passing the ERA or upholding Roe. Nothing for the many. The current US administration wants us to stay in 1939.

The SARS 2.0 – Covid 19 pandemic is another chance for nations, for the US, to change, to tack the ship of state forward for the many. But the only way the many will get through this to create change, is if everyone does what’s best for the many, not the few, or the one. And then those many vote. Vote hard. And tack the ship forward.

If you keep turning the ship in a tight circle around the past, a past that wasn’t good even in the past, eventually you get a maelstrom and …..

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It doesn’t end well for you.

 

This entry was posted on March 20, 2020.

What to expect when your infecting

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Hey, remember when Corona was just a beer?

Today we’re going to be Corona positive. So, grab a beer and pull up a chair.

To start with, if you’re one of those “control freak, type-A” people, you might want to read this summary of a March 10 panel of experts at UCSF. Lots of interesting stuff. My main take aways were, if you haven’t had a flu vaccine shot yet, get one today. If you’re older and you haven’t had a pneumonia vaccine shot, get one today.

Covid-19 can lead to pneumonia, pneumonia to hospitalization, hospitalization to….well, if you’re older and there aren’t enough resources, your death. So, if you wan’t to ensure you have the best possible chance of life, and you’re over 55, get a pneumonia vaccine if you haven’t had one.

It’s spring. People kind of forget it’s still flu season and now on top of that it’s allergy season. You’re going to find a lot of people sneezing and coughing that don’t have C-19. If you’re practicing social distancing, wash your hands, and had you’re flu shots, you’ll be fine. If you want to be pro-social, carry a packet of kleenex and hand them out to people.

It’s important to understand that you still have control of your life, even if you feel like maybe things are spinning, or spiraling. For instance, you can write to your governor and demand that your state use the WHO covid-19 test that all the other nations use till the US CDC gets its act together.

In a scenario where you have to get a test to be diagnosed, and then have 2 more clear result tests to be considered “over it,” but you can’t even get a test…. you have a right to demand your state declare a public health emergency and reach out the WHO to get the tests that all other nations are using effectively.

You can get up every morning (or whenever you can) and exercise. There’s lots of apps, videos, tv progams, etc that will help you. The 7 minute workout. Sit and Be Fit. Power Yoga. Dance. Radio Exercises of Japan. Whatever you can do, get up and move. And unless you’re housebound, get out and walk in the park or nature. Look at the stars and the new flowers, listen to the birds.

Can’t  do any of that? Wave to a neighbor. Learn to meditate. Pray a rosary. Take some time to pursue a hobby. Knit a scarf, work on your car, play the piano, clean a room in your house, or all the rooms, and the garage. Gather together all the stuff you want to list on Let Go, or E bay. Do some things that have positive value to you and for you personally.

Remember there’s a world, you’re a part of it. Life goes on. And on that note, use your Skype, Zoom, Duo, Hangouts, Portal, whatever to reach out to people. Phone or videochat with at least 3 people each day. Reach out, see how people are, let them know how you are. Maybe do an online game together. Have a business team meeting, just 5 minutes, if you’re working from homes, just to touch base and check in. Keep that sense of normal.

Professor Alvin Lai (left), Dr Joe Fan and Dr Iris Li have invented an easy and cheap method for making home-made masks. Photo: Xiaomei Chen

Stylish, and keeping disease free while going about daily life.

If you’re out and about in a public place like a grocery store, and you’re caring for vulnerable people or maybe vulnerable yourself, maybe wear gloves and a mask. It’s not that big a deal. I know the current administration sort of pooh poohs all that, but look at all the nations successfully winning the war on C19. All those folks are wearing masks, everywhere, at a minimum.

Take the lessons from nations that have learned them the hard way. Do you really need to put your hand in the fire and get burned to know it’s hot? Isn’t it enough you see other people with burns telling you, this is how you avoid getting burned? Can’t find a mask or protective gear, you can make it. 

Remember there are other nations that have done everything right. It’s possible to actually lead a fairly normal life. I would point up Taiwan in particular. Despite being frozen out of WHO, they did everything they could to prepare and guess what, their cases are at 55. Their kids are still in school. They’re all wearing masks and sitting behind privacy blinds like you’d see at a voting both, but their lives are going on.

Pupils sitting behind partition boards to prevent infection of Covid-19.

Students in Taiwan.

I have to be honest here. I think it’s ridiculous we closed our schools and universities. The only thing that needed to happen was for those institutions to take proper precautions. Those were large groups of young healthy people. Leaving all those university students in-situ was the best option. Leaving kids in school, best option. Leaving people at work, best option.

Taiwan has 99% single payer health coverage, widely available testing, people wearing masks, people taking sanitizing seriously, people taking temperatures every time someone enters a school, a plane, a place of worship, a grocery store, a sports facility, a business. These are basic steps any nation can do. And if the US had done them, we wouldn’t have a crashing Dow and millions of kids at home.

That could all still be turned around, but I doubt it will be.

Boris Johnson, U.K. prime minister, center, speaks while Chris Whitty, U.K. chief medical officer, left, and Patrick Vallance, U.K. lead science adviser, listen during a coronavirus news conference inside number 10 Downing Street in London, U.K., on Thursday, March 12, 2020. Johnson said the true scale of the outbreak may be "much higher" than the 590 patients who have tested positive for the virus in the U.K. so far. Photographer: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA/Bloomberg

Bunglers in chief. 

The new strategy among bungler nations like the US and UK seems to be allowing everyone to be infected (the herd immunity theory) because the governing administrations are too incompetent to do the right things. So they claim they use this strategy, which means “we do nothing and allow hundreds of thousands (in the US, maybe 1.7 million) people to die.”

Not really a great strategy. Not a strategy at all. Like I said, bunglers. Don’t be one. Don’t be the victim of one. Do for yourself what other people in public health successful nations are doing. Learn about what those nations are doing from reliable sources. Limit your news to responsible outlets giving you science based facts.

Limit your news to maybe PBS Newshour, or BBC News America, and then a half hour of local news. World news can tell you what’s on the horizon, but the local area is what you need to deal with. If you have to use twitter, look to a source that cares about facts. Don’t consider twitter and facebook influencers fact based sources. Don’t consider TV evangelists hawking cures, fact based sources.

Try to boost the positive. Try listening to some podcasts or reading some articles or books that are going to actually help you with your life. The GGSC has a lot of good resources. I recommend the Greater Good Science Center’s  Science of Happiness podcasts. The recent episode is how to step away from anxiety.

 

If you do end up at home, try to keep up a routine. That especially includes your kids. They need to be online, in school. They need to get up just like usual and do whatever it is they do, get dressed, get in school online, do their homework, get their chores done, text their friends, practice their coding, or cello, or hand tutting.

This is the pro that taught Dr Strange to tut. He’s awesome. And speaking of strange, maybe binge watch some shows you’ve missed. Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist? The Sinner? The Unicorn? How about all the Marvel Comic Universe movies in order?

I have to admit, I watched the MCU stuff out of order. I think I got more out of it. I’m also thinking this is a lot how the Madness of the Multiverse must feel.

This is how you should watch them

  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  • Captain Marvel (2019)
  • Iron Man (2008)
  • Iron Man 2 (2010)
  • The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  • Thor (2011)
  • The Avengers (2012)
  • Iron Man 3 (2013)
  • Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2014)
  • Ant-Man (2015)
  • Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  • Doctor Strange (2016)
  • Black Panther (2018)
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  • Ant-Man and The Wasp (2018)
  • Black Widow (2020)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  • Spiderman: Far From Home (2 July 2019)

This is how I did watch them:

  • The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  • Iron Man (2008)
  • Iron Man 2 (2010)
  • Thor (2011)
  • Iron Man 3 (2013)
  • Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter Season 1 (2015- TV)
  • Marvel’s Agent Carter Season 2 (2016- TV)
  • Ant-Man (2015)
  • Doctor Strange (2016)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2014)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  • The Avengers (2012)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Frankly it wasn’t too hard to keep up. And I still haven’t seen several of the movies or really any of the tv, now Disney+ shows. The only reason I started watching the Avengers was because Thor: Ragnarok was funny. I only watched the Captain America stuff was because of how the Avengers: Endgame ended.

Endgame was  fine till the very end. At which point: Selfish Tony Stark does a selfless act and saves the world. But then, selfless Cap A does a selfish act, and that act splits the timeline into a vast Multiverse, kinda destroying everything after the moment he was supposed to crash his plane. Hence, I suppose, Dr Strange 2: The madness of the multiverse will be about tinkering with/fixing/further harming all that?

Image result for dr strange cape comic

Note he wears gloves, and the high collar cape is mask-like protection. Learn from a doctor.

But back to Covid-19.

  • Protect yourself. Wash your hands. Cough into a kleenex or your elbow/armpit/ cape collar (if you’re Dr Strange).
  • Protect others. Care for a vulnerable person? Double down on the protection. Feel sick? Self-isolate. See a sick person at your office? Send them home.
  • Protect your community. Be responsible for your actions. Hold other people responsible. If you see a store clerk coughing into their hands, report them to the store manager.
  • Stay engaged. Look for accurate, scientific information to help you make decisions. Make the most of enforced “at home” time.
  • Stay socially connected. For your sake and for others.
  • Stay positive. Positive people get sick less frequently and recover faster.

Covid 19 is likely to be around for a few months. It may then die down and come back in the fall. We really don’t know. A vaccine may be a year or so off. Accepting you have to change and making the changes you need to now, is going to help you do what you need to do to keep leading a happy full life.

Who knows, you might realise, working at home is better, you didn’t need to travel so much, and you’ve saved a lot of money. And maybe the global environment catches a break as CO2 emissions go down, nature that loves the the darkness of night gets back it’s nightlife for awhile, and things change permanently in a positive way for humanity.

People may come to understand they were doing a lot of stuff, they really didn’t need to do (or buy) at all. And there’s a relief in letting that go. People might also come to understand there’s a whole bunch of stuff they (and their nation) can and need to do, that will make life for everyone better in the future.

Yes, rational good government and world cooperation. Yes, science based planning and decisions. Yes, single payer health care.

This entry was posted on March 13, 2020.

Shopping in a time of Covid-19

The Yellow Jack. Get used to seeing it flown.

I see a lot of concern (and panic buying) around Covid-19. So, here’s some helpful tips.

If you need products and goods, try to order them online. Sounds weird, but you can spray a box delivered to your door, you can spray or clean the contents, and then bring them in to your home.

You can do this with food, pet food, almost anything. Even drug stores will deliver your meds rather than make you go in for them. Take advantage of those things. That’s better than going to a store, touching stuff a lot of people have touched and being around a lot of people who might be sick.

Avoid Wal-Mart and Target, Costco, etc . I get the grocery box stores have good prices. They don’t provide healthcare to their workers. They do everything they can to drive their workers in to poverty. If they don’t show up to work, they don’t have rent money. Those workers will show up sick. And I don’t blame them for that.

Image result for states with expanded medicaid

The dead people in Blue Washington were killed by a person from Orange NC.

If you live in a place with universal health care, probably less of an issue. If you live a place with expanded medicare, maybe less of an issue. But if you can, use chain stores, Ralph’s, Von’s, Kroger’s, etc. They have unions, unions have good healthcare. Pay the extra money, buy it at a chain store.

If you can’t find product at the chain store, try Lowe’s or Home Depot rather than a box grocery store. They carry a lot of the cleaning supplies you might need. They’re less frequented, so they tend to have a lot of stuff in stock. Also, not a place where a lot of young kids or the elderly go. So you reduce risk to yourself and to others.

Avoid any pub, restaurant, fast food, theater, movie house, sport stadium, any place that relies on minimum wage workers and/or provides no healthcare. Use that money to buy yourself some movie channels or Amazon Prime or new books, games, music (new, not used).

Image result for public phone box dr who

See the word Public? Walk away from the Doctor.

Avoid places that share things. Public toilets. Public Libraries. Public schools. Public transport. If it has the word public in it….give it a pass if you possibly can. It’s not always possible. I get it. So carry some wipes with you, or a little spritz bottle filled with a cleaning product and some paper towels.

If you have to buy fresh produce, buy fresh stuff that’s wrapped. Canned goods, frozen goods, dry packaged goods? They’re you’re friends. Don’t buy fruit or veg anyone might have handled, or sneezed on, or coughed on. Yes, you can and should wash all your produce. But a packaged good has at least a layer of protection bulk goods don’t.

Image result for bluk barrel goods

No. Heck no.

And speaking of bulk goods,  stay away from your loose in the barrel, scoop it yourself into a bag bulk goods. If it comes from a public barrel with a public scoop, avoid it. If it’s got a public pull to dispense handle, don’t touch it. Unless you want to start wearing old school 1950’s gloves everywhere. Which you could.

You could have driving gloves. You could wear cloth gloves in public spaces to touch things like doors and knobs and latches and stuff. Maybe a 50’s hat with a veil. I guess there’s something to be said for fashion as health care. Although I don’t think a hijab has helped stopped the spread in Iran. So there’s that.

Image result for 1950s model hat veil

Veil, gloves and an umbrella to shove people out of the way.

Cleaning supplies like bleach, hydrogen peroxide, white vinegar, or even high proof vodka can all be used used. You don’t need lysol. You can mix water and vinegar in a spray bottle and hit surfaces with it. You don’t need clorox wipes if you have the products to make them.

There’s no shortage of the materials, just the finished products. 1 bottle of rubbing alcohol + aloe vera gel = purell. Don’t get caught up in the finished product. Figure out what’s going to protect you. Make that. Use that.

Avoid travel, planes, trains, buses, subways, cruise ships. It’s not like they can sterilize these places. Not everyone can avoid this stuff, I get it. But be aware that a lot of things can be done remotely. Skype, Zoom, video chat. Do you really need to travel for pleasure? No. For work? Probably not. Get creative.

Image result for get creative

Blow someone’s mind with creative solutions!

Shopping malls? food Courts? Doctors offices? All avoidable unless you’re naked, slipping into a low blood sugar coma, or genuinely ill. Laundry can’t be done remotely, but you can run an empty load with suds and bleach to clean out public washer before you do your load, and you can line dry your clothes at home to avoid a public dryer.

Avoid rich people. Seriously. They’re the carriers. I’m sorry if that offends anyone. But they have money to travel. And they don’t think about being sick, because they have money and can afford healthcare.

Image result for cruise ship san francisco

So far, 45 sick. And they’re not even fully tested yet.

Consider the cruise ship sitting off SF right now with 3500 people on it. One guy got sick on a trip from SF to Mexico. Who knows how, maybe from the rich person that had that cabin on the trip before. That ship emptied and reboarded in SF to take people to HI. On the way to HI, 11 people got sick. By that time, the first guy who could afford a cruise, he was dead. Now 3500 are hostages.

The outbreak in Washington state started because a person had the money to fly from NC to WA state and visit someone in that nursing home. That North Carolinian, that could afford that flight, sealed the fate of those people in that Washington nursing home. So, if you know rich people that can afford to travel, avoid them.

Probably the biggest problem with Covid-19 is the corrupt (not incompetent) government response. And I get why in the US things are as they are. There’s a number of factors at play. Shutting down critical departments and stealing their budgets to build walls is a thing for the current administration. There had been talk of cutting social security. You don’t have to do that if you let a virus kill off  your “more expensive to maintain” elderly.

Corruption in the Senate, not new. Still news.

Then there’s the fact that 80% of people get the virus and recover. If you can avoid admitting that the 80% had Covid-19 by not testing them, and instead say “Oh it was flu. And those people, they died of flu. It was their fault for not getting the vaccine” Then it’s not your fault. You look like you took steps and your country had a tremendously low incident of Covid-19. I assume that’s part of what’s going on now.

And of course, we’ve got a president that was raised by a mom that dragged him to Norman Vincent Peale services. For people that don’t know, NVP was into positive thinking. If you had cancer, you just had to believe you didn’t. Until it went away. Uh, yeah, could happen. But in general, spontaneous remission is rare and not confined to just those who blinker themselves to reality.

Image result for norman vincent peale

It all started right here.

I love NVP. He has many good points to reflect upon. But positive thinking won’t stop Covid-19. If you’re afraid to hear anything negative, because it disrupts your positive thinking? Frankly, you should not be in charge of a country or a public health emergency response. I would hope you end up getting Covid-19. Because maybe you’ll wake up to reality, to real Christianity. If not, well, that’s on you.

I think we can all agree, if you suddenly found a big crack in your living room wall, you’d be concerned. You’d probably look around to try to figure out why there was a crack. Settling? Earthquake? Rot? Damp? Termites? God gave you a brain so you could figure it out.

You wouldn’t just ignore it, and pretend that if you believe it isn’t there, it will heal itself. That God will fix it. If you did, you’d end up dead because your house collapsed on you. And it would be your fault. And if other people were in the house, that’d be your fault too. If you don’t use the brain, time and money God gave you, that’s on you not God.

Image result for insects

If you don’t care for the least of these creatures….

About a year ago, scientists said 90% of our insects were in steep decline. And insects make the world go round. The government responses were….crickets. A few months ago, a billion animals and billions of trees and plants were lost, to wildfire in Australia. The government response was…a passing cloud of smoke.

Now 14 people have died of Covid-19 in the US and the government response is …. deny people have it, refuse to test widely for it, hide all results and throw 8 billion dollars at it — which will more than likely end up being executive emergency ordered away to build a wall.

All this has happened because people can’t face reality. Because NVP Christianity has so infected American thinking, that we have an administration that becomes completely unhinged in response to any real, concrete, scientific fact or news that falls outside the pale of it’s magical thinking box.

It’s not a surprise. Remember the over the top insanity over the fact of the pictures of the inauguration showing Obama’s crowd was huge compared to Trump’s?

Image result for inauguration photos

It’s reality. Accept it.

To be fair, a lot of people will ignore a metaphorical crack in the wall, even as their house collapses. They might stop and plaster over it. So as not to look at it. But they don’t want to anything about it. They don’t want to do the real work, pay the real cost, to really fix it. They figure, as the French king of old, “It’ll last my time at least.”

Sot they do nothing unless it 100% impacts them negatively. People in government, particularly rightward-oriented governments, refuse to acknowledge the emergency started when the insects, and the birds, and the plants, and the animals, and the ice caps, and the coral all started disappearing.

They knew what was going on and why, they just lied about it because they hoped it’d last their lifetime. They’d cling to power through their lies, and push the work off to the future. There’s massive denial, by governments and people, that humans are actually mammals, basic run of the road animals, and 100% dependent on nature to survive. A nature that’s being rapidly destroyed.

Covid- 19 isn’t actually the problem. It’s nature creating a cure for a problem. It’s nature saving itself. In the end, nature always win. The only question is, do you want to get on the winning side and save yourself? If you really want to live, you have to prioritize saving the planet that supports you a mere passing animal on it. And you have to vote for governments that will pay the price in effort, time and money to fix the crack.

Image result for crack in the earth

That’s one big crack.

 

 

This entry was posted on March 6, 2020.