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    • Happy Thanksgiving
      Be happy and be well. Please be careful about Covid. Viral load matters for infection, spending hours in a house with people is a great way to get infected. Feel free to use comments to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts. I’m doing my annual fundraiser. If you like my writing and can afford to, […]
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I got that helpless feeling. Oh, wait, no I don’t. No 3

As if it’s not bad enough that Covid-19 is lurking on surfaces out there waiting to force itself up our noses into our respiratory tracts, we could run out of vegetables and fruits. Yeah, we import a lot from other countries as well as grow our own stuff. But what happens when the farmers and migrant pickers get sick? Packers and shippers? Expect to see shortages and higher prices.

I started watching prepper videos a couple of years ago. Maybe it was the whole idea of Trump that freaked me out a little bit in the back of my mind. I don’t take it as seriously as some of the people on youtube. I wish I had thought a little farther ahead. But it’s still not too late to put in a garden if you have room. Fortunately, I have room. I almost can’t believe it because I bought this house as a refuge. I don’t have a mortgage and I have a big yard. I had visions of these days. I kid you not. But I always thought it was a figment of my imagination. That’s what losing your career during the Great Recession does to your psyche.

Anyway, I have two raised beds and lots of room for more. Last year was a sucky year for gardening. The spring was cold, dark and rainy. This year is starting off better. Last night, I ordered some seeds. It looks like half of the US has already ordered them since most of the stuff I wanted at the most popular brand name seed store was sold out. Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives.

I’m planting radishes, Romain, buttercrunch lettuce, spinach, chard, bok Choi, eggplant, sugar snap peas, green beans, sweet peppers, poblano peppers and two kinds of tomatoes. Still searching for broccolini. Maybe some berries. And need to do herbs as well.

So, that’s another thing I can do to prevent myself from going crazy and getting my veg. If you plan to start a garden, order your seeds now. They will be back ordered and you don’t want to wait too long.

And here’s a video from my favorite preppers at Guildbrook Farm in North Carolina. Jaime, Jeremy, Marina and Ilaria aren’t kidding around with their garden.

The things I’ve learned…

1.) If you get sick enough to end up in the hospital, you may end up laying on your stomach (proning) to improve lung function. Here’s a helpful tutorial:

2.) Tristan da Cunha is a remote island in the south Atlantic. It’s so remote that no one goes there anymore. The cargo ship that used to make the trip to deliver supplies stopped doing it a couple of years ago. So you could go years without seeing anyone from the outside world. I suspect that people are able to get there from South Africa more often than has been reported but yeah, it’s lonely out there.

Nevertheless, google maps shows there is a fantastic restaurant scene on the island. Lots of kebab places, coffee shops and steakhouses. Who knew?

Also, no cases of Covid-19. So if the human race disappears, we can repopulate the earth with survivors from Tristan da Cunha, assuming they can get off the island.

A MAGA Vs Liberal metaphor

Saw this on Twitter this morning and realize that this reaction has been building since 2016 (this appears to be Italy but a woman in Hanover, PA spit in a grocery store last week):

The MAGA contingent has been spitting on everything we value since Trump took office. It wasn’t enough that they had to screw themselves, no, they had to ruin it for everyone else. That grocery store may well have to close because this guy’s spit might be a biohazard. They’re going to have to check the CCTV in the store to see how many other FOOD items he has contaminated.

And for what?? So this guy can own the libs? Fly in the face of reality and stick to his “hoax” fantasy? Get back at the liberals who are haters of Trump?

I’m surprised the grocery store employee stopped at a forcefully deployed dope slap. Believe me, there are people in that store who would be more than happy to take the terrorist out into the parking lot and work him over. Instead, the employee simply stopped him, like a passenger on flight 93 would have stopped a terrorist. He’s a hero.

Enough is enough, MAGA heads. You’ve proven your point that no one paid attention to you during the Obama years. Guess what, Obama didn’t pay attention to most people in his own party. We didn’t like it either. But we are not hellbound for destroying the country over it. Your resentment and anger is no less than ours. Seriously.

The difference is you guys see no sense of communality, responsibility, connectedness, or even United strength. It’s all got to be about YOUR anger and YOUR loss. You forget that many people pay federal taxes so that in an emergency like this one, we work for each other.

Our federal response has been beyond pathetic. It has been actually life threatening. It’s been happy talk and lying and aspirational and vindictive. It’s going to result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

Some people are ashamed of being American today. The rest of the world is experiencing both horror and schadenfreude (look it up) at the way we have handled this pandemic. We put men on the moon but can’t even get testing done right. Our industries and pharma R&D are dependent on offshore resources- for shareholder value. And we as shareholders are left holding the bag while the big shots in the market abandon us to our fates.

I am not ashamed to be an American. I am not responsible for putting in charge the least competent man on the planet to handle a crisis. I’m one of the good guys.

This country might be great again. But it’s going to take a good hard dope slap to a lot of you to stop killing the rest of us.

Flattening the Curve diagnostic tool.

Is PA flattening the curve?

How is PA doing? As a state, we get an A for social distancing and mitigation. (Can’t remember what site I saw that on) Is it working?

Let’s check the metrics from 1point3acres.

This is the graph of PA’s current cases (orange line) and our new cases (green line). The green line has leveled off and is now starting to bend down, meaning that we are finding fewer cases in the last couple of days.

It’s still early in the pandemic for all of the states so who knows how long this will hold. I just saw Fauci on State of the Nation on CNN (agghh!) and he said reopening the country will depend on flattening the curve the way PA is doing. The number of new cases has to not increase as much and the curve must bend down. But we must have a robust testing system in place before reopening so we can trace everyone who may be contagious. We are going to have to test almost everyone in PA. So, if you want to go back to work, you need to make sure your state government is testing as many people in your state as possible.

If the trend in PA holds, we will have helped the healthcare system by keeping the number of seriously ill patients low. We only have to keep it together for about another month.

Other states that are flattening the curve: California, Colorado, Washington, North Carolina. States that are not flattening the curve include Florida, Texas, Louisiana, Michigan. New York City and New Jersey are hotspots because of population density. It’s almost impossible to go anywhere in either location and maintain a safe distance from another person.

There will be a lot of people royally pissed off that nothing much happened if the flattening continues.

That’s the goal. It’s what liberals live for. 🙄


Iceland has kicked ass during this pandemic. It has allegedly tested everyone on the island. As a result, there is some interesting consensus reality challenging data out of Iceland that we all should be paying attention to.

For example, who is more likely to get Coronavirus. According to the data, it’s younger people:

The peak age group is 40-49. You might think it was older people because of the way many other nations are testing. That is, only the sickest get tested.

What this graph is telling me is partially what we’ve known all along. If you are older with an underlying health condition, you are more likely to become seriously ill. That’s what the red bars are saying.

But the virus is certainly not targeting old people. It’s in every population group. And since the most affected groups are younger, it’s probably just a matter of time or convergence of a series of unfortunate events (an expensive and exclusive healthcare system, poor political decisions, stupid vacationing decisions) before we see that reflected in the number of deaths in unlikely populations.

This is the thanks Michigan gets.

Trump is screwing Michigan. Hard.

He doesn’t like Governor Gretchen Whitmer, probably because Whitmer had the nerve to expect that the White House would operate in good faith to provide resources and supplies to fight coronavirus.

Instead, Trump can’t even say her name. He calls her “that woman”. It’s almost like he’s afraid of her and has to step on her neck. Is it possible that Whitmer is one of Biden’s VP choices and the pandemic gives Trump a perfect opportunity to discredit her? What are the chances that a sitting president would deliberately let people in Michigan die in order to score campaign points?

Who could imagine such a thing??

How about this Constitutional scholar who back in January predicted a very similar scenario:

This is what you get, Michiganders (wolverines?). You just had to be all drama queen about Hillary not kissing your asses in 2016 and now you have to kiss Trump’s ass to get the federal help you should expect as your birthright as Americans and deserve because you’re human beings.

BTW, maybe the governors of these states should have expected to get no federal help, in spite of the fact that we as taxpayers bought into the idea that our federal government would not be disabled by radical ideological extremists on the right. But it would have been only fair for Trump and the Republicans to state that up front while they were running for office or after they had taken office. It would have given the governors time to make alternate arrangements in case of a pandemic.

There are four states pooling their resources and working together through this crises: NY, NJ, CT and PA. It’s a shame that they have to form their own United States inside the United States.

Some on the right would say that’s our own personal and individual responsibilities. If that’s the case, why bother calling ourselves the United States in the first place?

And if Trump et al can force this independence on us during a pandemic, just imagine what they’re planning to do with social security if they’re re-elected.

Mercy and Comfort

We are so proud to send humanitarian aid to war zones. Who would have thought there would come a day when the country with the greatest need for humanitarian aid would be ours.

I grew up as a navy brat. My dad would sometimes take us on the ships, especially during the weeks he was in charge of the Chief’s mess. He made stellar omelets, stovies and steak and eggs (no he was not a cook. He was a nuclear reactor maintenance specialist. Who knew the guy could cook?)

Here are video tours of the USNS Mercy, the hospital ship that is being deployed along with her sister ship, the Comfort. The hospital ships remind me of my childhood experience with military medicine. Very sparse and utilitarian. Nothing flashy, no valet parking. I was surprised to see whimsical sea animal stickers on some of the windows. But luxury doesn’t necessarily mean better outcomes. The care my family got from military doctors was pretty damn good.

The videographer in this clip had to be a navy guy. There’s a lot of emphasis on shiny control panels and blinking lights. Navy ships are spare, everything is out in the open. Sailors slide down steel ladders on their elbows. They’re pretty cool places, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Both ships have CT scanners, surgical suites, a ton of beds and an ambulance boat. Here’s a video of the Comfort. Check it out.

And here is the Mercy:

I’m going to predict we’re going to get some iconic lifetime images of the hospital ship in NY harbor with the skyline and/or the Statue of Liberty in the background.

These are your federal tax dollars at work. This is what you pay for. Every American should expect mercy and comfort, regardless of where they are, whether in New York City or Michigan.

Some politicians need to lose their jobs

I’m talking about you Gov. DeSantis (R-Florida). Take a look at the cell phone trace from Spring Break:

Now, here’s something interesting. Austin, Texas is locates in Travis County. Austin canceled South by Southwest this year. Their Covid19 stats look like this:

And here’s the stats from New Orleans which did not cancel Mardi Gras:

Ah, but RD, you aren’t taking population into consideration. Yes, I am. New Orleans has roughly half as many people as Austin.

I’m not sure who made the call on what to close. But DeSantis takes the cake for leaving the beaches open for WEEKS and sending all those travelers back from whence they came all hungover and full of germs.

I got that helpless feeling. Oh, wait, no I don’t. No. 2

Hi guys. If you remember the last time I posted one of these Covid19 helplessnessless ideas, it was about supporting your local food bank or Feeding America. Everybody requires calories but can’t always get them easily or on a budget.

Here’s another idea from self taught seamstress and dressmaker extraordinaire, Angela Clayton. Check out her YouTube channel for experiments in historical and fantastical fashion.

Angela got that helpless feeling and then had an epiphany. She could make masks for healthcare providers who need them. These are not necessarily the N95 masks but they should provide a certain amount of protection for healthcare professionals performing more routine care while saving the heavy duty masks for the Covid19 frontline professionals.

I’m not handy with a sewing machine. I mean I have one and I can thread it and the bobbin but if anything goes screwy with the tension I’m SOL. I can never get it right.

In this video, Angela shows you how to make a mask and provides general information about mask specifications and where to find them. If you’re handy with a sewing machine you might want to consider making some too. Or just watch Angela because that’s also soothing in a weird way.