This week, I bought some Peeps. People aren’t really thinking about Easter. I think about it all the time. It’s actually hard right now not to think about a holiday that’s devoted to the hope of resurrection after a life cut brutally short by some corrupt individuals in power who chose to let a “unnecessary” guy die so they could cling to power.
I wanted to get eggs to paint, but all the eggs are always gone when I go to shop. It’s been hard on Gran. She loves her eggs for breakfast. And her egg dyeing and painting at Easter. Maybe next time, I tell her. But time is running out. And so… because no one is buying Easter candy, that made it the perfect time to jump into Peep Art.
Right now my friends and family members and I are all making peep-o-ramas to be unveiled online at Easter. I can’t wait! I’m going with a Samuel L Jackson theme. I’m going to peep him at a White House coronavirus task force presser.
I’m going to add a recording of Jackson saying “What this situation requires is a whole lot more of you shutting your motherfucker ass up.” ( from the iSamJackson app, which I have but was pulled from the app store for being, well, explicit). I think that’s appropriate.
It’s really tragic how some networks stream live the WH corona briefing every day. It’s like they don’t know it’s just a substitute for a campaign rally, which is why the POTUS flips out when anyone says anything remotely truthful — like the awesome PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor.
Do news shows not realise this isn’t news? That they just spill out a sea of WH lies, that the media doing this, broadcasting live these lies, are hurting the country, are literally giving out propaganda and misinformation that will get people killed?
Long ago, reporters went to briefings, then went back to their offices and fact checked what they were told, and then on the evening news, an anchor read just the true bits, with a picture of the WH behind him. I really wish that’s what legitimate news organization would start doing again.
The other night I got out the fancy Easter table cloth and gave it a good iron to set my diorama Master-peeps up on. I love ironing. It’s very meditative. Especially late at night. My significant other knows this. I got a sexy video last night of him ironing and dancing, semi clad, to Steam Heat.
I have to confess, it’s been a pretty good week on the whole. The Douglas Irises are in bloom, a lovely butter yellow color. Clouds of orange butterflies that are starting to migrate across the town, unimpeded now by the swirl of human traffic. Free to float on the breezes to their next flower.
On Monday, a neighbor had a bakery make a dozen cupcakes for each house on the street and had them delivered! Tuesday night, I found a bag of Meyer’s Lemons on the stoop. So Gran and I made our “fresh from the backyard tree” oranges into marmalade Wednesday and sent the mason jars around Thursday.
I wrote some encouraging notes, on real stationary and mailed them last weekend. And too, I wrote some love letters, that I spritzed with cologne and sent abroad. Today, after I’ve prepped all my Easter baskets (care packs), I’ll go the Post Office and mail them out.
This year, my “baskets” will include fruity soaps that would make even a Pig Finn smell delightful, elegant nail brushes made of wood and cactus bristles, face masks which I sewed, cloth and leather gloves, some bandannas, and hankies personally monogrammed by Gran.
If soap seems a strange gift, just know that smell is a great way to reconnect with people. Smell is one of the most powerful drivers of memory. Dial, reminds me of my grandfather who has passed. Neutrogenia, which reminds me of my mum. Dove is my Gran’s brand. Chandrika, which reminds me of Der – strangely exotic.
Primal Element’s Snowy, which is my go-to brand. But these day, I keep all these different soaps, a different one in every dish at every sink, in the house. And every time I wash my hands, which is frequently!, I use a different soap and the smell reminds me of someone dear. It’s like they’re right here with me. And I don’t think about Covid 19.
I need those little everyday encouragements. We all do. They keep us going when things get tough. They remind us we aren’t alone. That we are never alone. There is always a cloud of witnesses, if nothing else.
A friend this week sent me a video of the two year-old ginger cats she adopted — to console her King Cavalier. A few weeks back, before the descent into lockdown, the pooch’s St Bernard brother had died. He was bereft. He felt alone. Now, I see these fur balls happily bundled together and I’m reminded there is still a lot of good stuff happening in the world.
I’m very much a “knowledge helps you overcome fear and do great things” kind of person. This video by Chris Hadfield, the astronaut, was sent to me this week by a friend. It’s on that theme. I found it inspiring and helpful. (I might even take his class!) If you don’t know Chris, you’re not Canadian!
When things get a little much, I tend to think of vintner I know. He told me once, you don’t know what the year will bring, but you know you have to do certain things now in this season, for the one you know is coming. If you wait, it’ll be too late. Always pay attention to nature, and prepare for what you know is coming.
While I don’t watch the pressers, because there’s no relevant information there, I do read all the latest research on covid 19. That my way of paying attention, and knowing what nature’s got coming, so I can prepare.
For instance, I found out this Tuesday, from a paper by a physician, that 97% people put on ventilators in China died. And in other countries, the range of people still dying, despite being on ventilators, is… well it’s high. So, you could be on a ventilator for days, or even weeks, and the likely outcome is still pretty high in favor of death.
When I hear people fighting over ventilators, I think, “Okay, I get it. But realistically, maybe 25% of people ventilated will make it.” That being true, I was glad My Medical Advanced Directive already said “no ventilators.” Yes, to a CPAP machine, but don’t drug me and ventilate me.
It’s a choice I made that I wouldn’t recommend other people make. In order to ventilate someone, you have to sedate them, generally with an opioid, and then keep them sedated, with an opioid. Opioids have no effect on me. Zero (ok, they constipate me, but that’s all). You can imagine what a nightmare the whole intubation and ventilation scenario would be like if you weren’t sedated.
Procedures I’ve had in the past were all done with local anesthetic, deep mediation, and self-hypnosis. There was even one operation that featured the sawing of a bone in my leg for half an hour. Not a sound you forget. My being awake, reading a magazine, totally freaked the surgical team out. But, you do what you gotta do.
This week I also realised, Covid 19 will likely be back in the fall. A study out of China showed that transmission reduced in a hospital when the hospital windows were opened. Another study showed that the virus gets stuck in ventilation systems. So if you have people who are inside a lot… together… in a closed building with a shared ventilation system…..
When summer comes, people go outside more. Things like flu get better. It’s not the warm climate. It’s the fresh air. When fall comes and they all go back inside, back to their shared ventilation systems and it’s back where we started. One person, one person that doesn’t even know he or she is sick, … and it’s in the air system.
It’s scary to think about but, if you know (or make an educated guess), you can gear up. And people need to gear up. Currently in the US there’s 260K confirmed cases. But there’s 6K deaths. The death rate (low end estimate) is 1%. That means there’s about 340K additional cases walking around the US, actively spreading covid 19 right now, they just haven’t been confirmed by testing or maybe are asymptomatic spreaders.
Think about that for a moment. That’s why shelter in place is such an important thing.
To be honest, I think about 3 million people could die in the US. Which is why this week I reviewed and upped my life insurance substantially. I want to make sure if I kick it, all my bills are paid and I get a decent burial.
Being in a pandemic, I kind of had to tweak my funeral plans. I decided to go with a nice mass, a quick cremation, and then having my significant other, post C-19 lockdown, take me to (an undisclosed destination) and scatter my ashes. But I’m less concerned with my bells and smells, than my love ones.
People aren’t thinking about it now, but there’s a crippling amount of medical debt headed toward families of those who become very sick, need hospitalization and survive as well as those who become very sick, need hospitalization and die.
This isn’t Europe with national health. You won’t walk out of hospital and go on with your life. Day after day on a US hospital’s ICU ward? That’s big bucks. If that stay turns into weeks? And if you don’t have life insurance to pay up when you die, those bills land on your family. If you live? You walk out with crushing debt and into an trashed economy where you may not find a job for a year.
People aren’t saying it, yet, but millions of unemployed people are going to be drowning in medical debt really soon. In my estimation, those medical bills will start arriving in mailboxes in New York in August, maybe sooner. With other places to follow in short order.
And just after those August medical bills hit? Probably a lot of medical bankruptcies in September. And with people having been out of work so long, October will see a raft of home foreclosures. And then in November, health insurance rate increase letters will show up and 2021 rates will be way, way up. By December, we could be drowning in Covid 19 cases again.
If I were the POTUS, I’d be pretty hair-on-fire (although how could you tell with him) scared right now. Not just for all those reasons above, but for sheer reasons of shrinking one’s own base and losing the election that way. Who gets hit hardest by Covid 19?
- Men die of this way more than women, and they tend to vote GOP.
- People in places with no expanded medicaid health care SO GOP majority/governed states, who tend to vote GOP.
- People in rural places, who don’t have good healthcare infrastructure because capitalism doesn’t see those few lives as “worthwhile,” who tend to vote GOP.
- Older people, who tend to have underlying conditions, who tend to vote GOP.
- People who reject science and don’t therefore take active measures. So, Evangelical Christians and lesser educated people, who tend to vote GOP.
See a pattern? I don’t think the GOP or the POTUS does.
I can’t think of a more efficient way to literally kill the GOP voters you’re relying on to re-elect you than to deny the obvious lethality of a disease, that you can see happening in other countries, that you can see targets your base, and instead of preparing to fight it with every federal superpower you’ve got, you instead a) call it a hoax, b) engage in magical thinking and hope it goes away, and then c) stall any type of assistance once it arrives until such time as you (your family, friends, and cronies) can find all the various ways to profit off it.
I’m sure the POTUS/GOP thinking is Covid 19 will kill off people the POTUS and the GOP don’t like (ie, people of color, poor people, people in nursing homes on social security, who don’t vote and are a “drain,” democrats in cities). But that isn’t what will happen. All those people are tough. They were born knowing they had to look out for themselves. They’re scrappy and proactive.
And the blue states? They are all taking things in hand. Polls have show, over and over, a vast majority Democratic voters across the country know the risks of Covid 19 and act appropriately. GOP voters don’t even think it’s more than a bad cold and …. well….
I’ve heard people say they’re are counting on the politically country coming together, but I’ve seen the RNC’s mailer, from the FLOTUS, supposedly. I’ve also seen the POTUS’s MAGA committee letter dated April 2020. These things were sent out last week. Coming together? Nope, not on their agenda. If you haven’t seen these mailers, you should really take a look. (Particularly the crazy “pledges” which I imagine they stack daily in front of the POTUS to try to boost his ego.)
I hope the Congress does something, but then again, Rand Paul wandering around with Covid 19 is a classic example of the GOP mentality. Realistically, I think a number of GOP senators and house members will die of Covid 19. It will be suicide, death by their own doing. I’m not sure how those deaths will impact governance or pandemic response going forward. Probably for the better, I’m sorry to say.
I hear the coming together thing from the media, a lot. They need to do their homework. Parties aren’t coming together. And for God’s sake, even if you don’t believe in God: Please, please, please, stop saying every news cycle there’s still time to turn it around. There isn’t. It’s way too late. It’s like telling a woman with baby crowning there’s still time to vacation on St Croix. No, I’m sorry, there isn’t.
If you want a comparison to where we actually are, as a nation, now, look no further than the movie 127 Hours? Remember Aron Lee Ralston? The young hiker who had to cut his own arm off, with a pen knife and no anesthetic, to save his life? That’s where we are.
States have to save themselves, their economies, their people. There’s no help coming from the federal level.
When your government’s leader(ship) so badly bungles things that the entire country ends up economically devastated and millions people are expected to die because of it, and then your government’s leader(ship) still does nothing helpful? Then your government leader(ship) is really Idi Amin, busily committing genocide.
And Idi isn’t going to help you. Ever.
Maybe you can’t let go of the idea of the federal government as it was, just a few years ago. I understand. Maybe you cling to the memory of what the US federal government used to be like. I understand.
We were the country run by a government that always was first to send aid, scientific help, food….the moment a disaster hit. And maybe you remember that in the past our federal government always kept our national house in order. So when something like Ebola turned up on our shores? “Oh hell, yeah. We’re the US of A. We got this.” (Sorry, Sam Jackson’s voice is in my head now.)
That isn’t us. That isn’t now.
The federal government flat-lined from the neck up in 2016 as far as being a responsive national body dedicated to government of, by and for the people. So, It’s up to the states now. To the people living in those states. And I have every confidence that many states and many people living in them will rally and save themselves.
While in Washington, DC, the POTUS and the VEEP….