September 17, 2020 It’s later than I think

Almost always, get to this time of night and go, “what? No it can’t be…but I still have to…” Tonight that would be make an entry in my plague journal.

So this will be short.

Again.

Yes, I’m padding it out, why do you ask?

Anyway, just one thought that came at the end of the day. I listen to a podcast by the marvelous Alan Alda. He talks to people about communication – as in, how the heck can we get back to talking to each other?

It’s an important question, especially now when the motto of most people is “You’re Wrong.” If you want to make it a real Latin motto: Vos Erras. Or at least Google says that’s what it is. I can’t remember my Latin classes from ‘lo those many years ago.

Mr. Alda’s guests tonight were very smart people who have reached the conclusion homo sapien managed to get to the top of the heap by being the friendliest of the hominids.

Seriously.

By meeting other groups, sharing information and making alliances, they survived when others died out. Or became part of us. We do have a lot of DNA from Neanderthals.

The message here is that it is in our basic nature to come together for survival. They feel we this is how we will get through the current mess.

I’m tired and don’t want to dig through it all to get the words right. Besides, I kinda like leaving it at that, we will get through this by being friendly, by accepting others and they will accept us. It’s a group thing, see: if just one person wins, we all lose.

Global total cases: 30,342,039. Cases today: 314,752

Global total deaths: 950,280. Deaths today: 5,579

Global recovered: 22,032,816

September 16, 2020 And around we go again

Yesterday was a lot words to plow through without learning much more than everybody already knows. Sorry. I get into pontificating and bloviating and flapping on without much thought.

Today’s will be much shorter. The province has extended the State of Emergency because of increasing case numbers. It’s happening more to younger people because, well, they’re the ones who are convinced they know better and feel there’s no threat to them. So they party because they will live forever.

With stroke like symptoms, lung damage and weakened hearts.

Live it up, kids.

Now that it’s starting to dig into the younger age groups perhaps we won’t seem so selfish in our old age, asking people to mask up and stand back. To maybe hold off on that big party for a few more months.

You know, forcing them to make all the big sacrifices just to keep the deadwood safe.

Sorry. The cranky pants cynic keeps breaking through. This is the big drawback to stream of consciousness composing.

Global Cases: 30,015,547 Cases today: 297,405

Global deaths: 944,497 Deaths today: 6,010

Global recovered: 21,769,039

At least no one made them wear surgical masks…

September 15, 2020 A science lesson

Everyone gets fidgety when you mention ‘Ebola’. It is an exceptionally unpleasant prospect, fer shure, but you have to actually come in direct contact with bodily fluids – not respiratory droplets – in order to be in danger of infection.

There is a term that measures the infectious potential of a pathogen. It is called R-nought and is written as R0. If a person who is in the infectious phase of an illness walks down the street or through a shopping mall, this number represents the potential number of people who will become infected.

Take measles, for example. It’s a prize winner on many levels. Highly infectious – actually one of the most contagious wee beasties – one person can infect up to 18 people. This gives measles an R0 factor of 12-18.

It is spread through respiratory particles, in the same way as SARS-CoV-2 and remains effective up to 2 hours after the infected person has left that space. The other piece of the infection puzzle in measles is a person will be infectious up to 10 days before symptoms erupt.

Let that sink in. 10 days of wandering through stores, schools, movie theatres, airports with no indication, like a fever or spots, there is anything amiss.

Spreading the joy.

SARS-CoV-2 ‘s R0 is currently running between 3.8-8.9. It is not easy to calculate the R0 for a pathogen that has basically just landed. Also it’s not a very handy metric, apparently, for public health purposes. What I like about it? Gives something with which to smack the “it’s just a flu” people upside the head.

The most well known example of an influenza epidemic, the Spanish flu has an R0 of 1.4-2.8. It brought WWI to an end. Seriously. Wiped out so many young men there was no one left to measure for new uniforms.

Well, that’s one theory anyway. The fact is it did result in well over 17 million fatalities. Which is more that WWI & WWII together.

Yeah, just a flu.

That is one reason why public health officials freaked out so much over SARS-CoV-2 and tried to screw it down quickly. And that was before there was evidence of asymptomatic spreaders and super spreaders out in the population. Like this critter needs our help getting around.

The R0 is deceptive, of course. It is the infectious rate and then there is the case fatality ratio. Which is pretty much what you might think it is. I’m still trying to work out the difference between that and the mortality rate. The short version is we won’t really know until it is over.

Most importantly, when you talk about this infection rate and quick spread, there’ll be some bright lights that pipe up with “Yeah, but its the fatalities that count.”

No. No they don’t. We don’t know what the long term effects are for the infected. There are neurological and cardiac affects surfacing. Serious affects. And they’re happening to 20-40 year olds. Not just us ‘olds’. And this virus has just got started. It’s adapting to us way faster than we are to it.

Oh, Ebola? The R0 for Ebola is 1.5-1.9. That’s less than most flu virus or colds. That’s the difference between a virus spread by contact and one by respiratory droplets. Like influenza, Covid or Measles.

Ebola wiped out entire villages because there was no proper medical facilities for containing and treating victims. People were nursing family members stricken with the disease and, of course, coming in contact with blood and saliva and other fluids all laden with the Ebola virus.

We’re more scared of Ebola than SARS-CoV-2 because victims of Covid slowly suffocate off in hospitals or at home in bed. Ebola got more press because of the old saying, “if it bleeds, it leads.”

Global total cases: 29,717,934 Cases today: 278,856

Global total deaths: 938,446 Deaths today: 6,000

Global recoveries: 21,531,203

September 14 When smoke gets in your eyes

And lungs and everywhere. Despite the Oregon and Washington wild fire smoke drifting across our borders it is getting colder out. Hubby keeps asking if we should have a fire in the fireplace. Nope, let’s not add to the air conditions, okay?

It doesn’t make monitoring for CoVid symptoms any easier. Does my chest hurt because of the virus or because of asthma aggravated by the air quality. I think I’ve banged on about this before but it is getting a bit sad not seeing the sun for awhile now.

It’s not raining yet, so the forest fires have no incentive to leave. Could be worse, we could be in California. The fires are killing people there. Directly and by heavy smoke exposure.

That’s being chalked up to the change in climate over the past few years. Another cheery subject.

Tired now. Probably from oxygen depravation.

Time to get supper started. This is really a minute by minute sort of journal today, isn’t it. Shall I talk about my dream last night? It was about living in a house that is being repaired mostly by having everything gutted and replaced.

Or painted. Because that makes it look like new which is just as good, right?

Total Global cases: 29,435,721 Cases today: 242,555

Global deaths total: 932,445 Deaths today: 4,375

Global recovered: 21,269,985

After the storm, the sun shines again.

September 13, 2020 – Sunday funday…hahahaha

Yes, that was just a touch of sarcasm.

The stress of this whole thing also comes in waves. Every sniffle or ache is examined and timed and rationalized. Did I stand up too fast or am I dizzy for another reason. THE only other reason for these things.

The forest fires in Washington add to the whole apocalyptic tenor of the present times. Not to mention make it just a bit harder for some of us to breathe properly. In fact it sort of hurts to breathe but is it the smoke or is it something else?

See, every little thing goes through this close-up inspection. The biggest side effect of the pandemic is ongoing inspection and questioning of everything inside and outside. It sucks the joy out of simple things and leaves an ominous rustle in every shadow.

The problem being the shadows are inside ourselves.

I’m tired and will have a chance to rest up tomorrow.

Global total cases: 29,175,454 Cases today: 243,969

Global deaths: 927,986 Deaths today: 3,905

Global recovered: 21,020,920

September 12, 2020 almost tomorrow just a little further west.

The day has gotten completely away on me. It was a day of being back to work – only 3 hours, I know but it’s the getting into the routine again that is so tiring. It means stopping and thinking things through that were automatic last year.

This year.

Spring.

Not really that long ago…Except now we’re solidly this side of autumn.

Plus the new procedures and all the physical changes made to the arena. Places walled off and doors that must stay locked when I’m not there. Places where I was all the time before.

The one good thing is there are far fewer people allowed on the ice right now. But they are close family groups who end up hanging around for extra time.

Everyone wants to watch the Zamboni. I just want to pack up the gear and go home. It will get easier each day. But right now I’m tired and it’s time for bed. It’s getting colder out too so that makes it a bit tougher.

No numbers tonight. Had enough to adjust to today without seeing how many people are never facing that challenge again.

September 11, 2020 When we were neighbours

Not going into the tragic events of the day back in 2001. It affected people around the world but, of course, most strongly in the USA. It is important to remember it for many reasons. To me it was a time we all came together to help a friend and a neighbour.

There’s a musical about a small town in Newfoundland that took 37 jets and put the passengers up where ever they could. They fed them and housed them and looked after them in every way they could.

Across Canada planes were diverted to our airports by the hundreds. Every inbound plane that had passed halfway came here. Gander got the glory because they got the musical but just a few miles away Halifax took in more planes and more people. And were just as hospitable in feeding and housing the bewildered, bereft passengers.

We saw planes here in Victoria. Everybody across the country went out of their way to help. We get a lot of tourists here but for that week, we made sure to greet and console any American tourist we saw.

Anyway, I’m saying that now to remind myself there was a time we were neighbours. We helped each other when needed.

Not for brownie points as has been recently suggested but because that is what people do for each other.

Especially neighbours.

Anyway, it is a time for cooperation. That is when we do our best work.

No numbers today.

September 10, 2020 Everybody is wound a bit tight

This is the first day of school in BC. Different provinces have different start dates but regardless of where, at this time, it is met with much more tension than relief.

I do feel a bit sorry for the wee ones starting out on the great scholastic adventure. Up until now all the tension was yours and parents were quietly reassuring. Don’t worry, sugar lump, you’ll be fine.

Now it’s the other way around. The little ones, by comparison are excited to move into the brave new world and the parents are up in the air as to what will happen next.

Should they be more worried about their children or about their older relatives who may be exposed to new sources of infection when the kids come to visit.

They want to to back to work, finally, and get a bit of a break from the kids. But that is a bad thing, right?

Not if you’ve done this before. In that case you know just how necessary it is to get time away from each other.

I don’t worry too much about the kids. Whatever is happening is, to them, normal. They don’t know any different. Sanitizing and washing hands and standing away from everyone.

I’m tired so I’m going to wrap this up now. I’ve gone back to working at the arena which is a good thing. It’s also getting used to a whole new procedure plus trying to remember the old one that is still spliced in there too.

Aside from one middle aged guy everyone has been pretty understanding about what’s going on. The douchie gent asked me a question and when I replied waved his hand in front of his face which wasn’t behind a mask.
“I can’t hear you, there’s something over your mouth”…

So I said I would louder and went to find Dan. As soon as there was a man, also wearing a mask, in the equation, this guy suddenly became ‘I just want to follow whatever the directions are. Don’t want to break the new rules.’

Got very tedious after awhile so I left the menfolk to their chitter chatter and went back to work.

Global total cases: 28,317,677 new cases today: 302,593

Global deaths total: 913,292 Deaths today: 5,992

Global recovered: 20,332,645

September 9, 2020 – I missed what?

September 6 was the 54th anniversary of Star Trek’s debut. I know! How could that have got passed this boomer? I mean, I know, all the yanks think it was September 8 but that was on NBC. We got it first up here.

It’s pure nostalgia, I know. It was the show of my early teens. A sci-fi nerd even then…This was the first series I can remember that didn’t disappoint me back then. Sure some of the episodes where pretty hokey looking back but Shatner didn’t over-act anywhere near as much as the comics like to make it sound. He’s a classically trained actor so his breath-control when speaking is different from what we’re used to in TV or even movie acting.

The shows themselves are actually pretty good in terms of plot structure for shows of that vintage. Progressive in terms of racial minorities in recurring roles with more lines than simple of the ‘dinner is served, sir’ or mowing the lawn in the background.

Don’t get me started on the misogyny of Lost In Space.

Anyway, there is an article in the Atlantic talking about how we need to look more in terms of long haul. The old war movie cliche of ‘it will all be over by Christmas…’ isn’t constructive.

In fact it’s downright harmful. That is why there are so many people saying this is all contrived or it’s actually over now so why are we still wearing masks?

That optimism plus magical thinking (remember Hydroxychloroquine?) only gives the Romulan wing of the Republicans more ammunition.

Even as the body count continues. But that’s all fake news, of course. The people who went to Sturgis (some 400,000 by rough estimate) seem to be the latest outbreak. In the thousands but, of course, that’s fake news too.

This virus is scary enough but the tribalized nature of the response is truly frightening… It is the kind of fear that grabs timid and/or reasoning people by the throat.

It scares me way more than any thought of becoming infected.

The various far right and fringe social media groups that are stoking these fires of division have so very much to answer for. As do the political groups in different countries who are utilizing that echo chamber to boost their numbers.

The body count continues as these groups play silly bugger with our lives.

Global total cases: 28,014,848 Cases today: 286,548

Global deaths: 907,304 Deaths today: 6,227

Total recovered: 20,091,745

September 8, 2020 Getting back in order

Just noticed while I thought I’ve been putting these up in date order, like a journal, right, that is not how they be listed. Sorry. Not that there is any kind of short term plot arc that will be forever messed up. It just looks kinda amateurish.

Sorry.

I am an amateur and this platform seems to post sometimes according to Greenwich prime meridian time, sometime according to my time. So, y’all know, time is relative. Fluid. Like Reality.

There are more places going back a step or making sure basic safety measures are being followed. The easy going nature has gone.

Despite what the optimistic idiots say about how this is all over and we don’t need to worry anymore.

Sorry.

And there is one set of vaccines going back to the drawing board after an ‘adverse’ reaction in a test subject.

On another front, it is apparently possible to test for the CoVid RNA in waste water. There are ACE-2 receptors in our gut so there will be virus there too. And what goes in our gut comes out in the end, so to speak.

Don’t know how that one will be used but it is possible it can be a general predictive tool for large populations. Then fine tune it with follow up personal testing on the ground.

And that’s my Tuesday after the long weekend round-up.

Oh, heard a way to test cloth masks – put on your mask, light a match and try to blow it out through the mask. If you can blow it out, throw it out. If you can’t move enough air to blow out the match, no virus is going out or in.

I’m going to try it tomorrow first thing before I go into the arena. Don’t know what else there will be for protective gear. Stand by for a report.

Global total cases: 27,726,898. Cases today: 245,845

Global deaths: 901,071 Deaths today: 4,475

Global recovered: 19,820,849