Saturday, March 28, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 13: Pollyana Dreams, Tops Are In, Bottoms Are Out, and Dr. Fauci Doughnots

                                       The Sacramento Bee

Dear Diary,

I woke up today with a real Pollyanna scenario playing in my head like a musical from the 60s.

What if this terrible pandemic brings Americans closer together? What if we actually start treating each other, conservatives and liberals, with respect? 

By the time I finished my first cup of coffee and reality set in while watching the news, the thought of mutual respect among the reds and blues seemed too ridiculous to contemplate.
Moving on...
The days of the week no longer matter.

Today is Saturday, but it might as well be Tuesday. No such thing as work days with weekends to look forward too. On one hand it's kind of liberating. On the other hand, it's another example of the changes in our society because of the coronavirus restrictions.
Odds and ends...
**A pissed-off Trump has finally evoked the Defense Production Act; something he's been hesitant to do for weeks for political reasons.

**Despite the House passing a historically massive relief bill (2 trillion), the stock market plunged yesterday.

**Under signs of the time: Walmart is reporting a run on tops, but no bottoms. The reason why is teleworking. Video conferencing is the way many employers have had to go with their work force isolated at home.

*Hypocrite of the week: New Hampshire Republican Donald Bolduc went on a radio show and said he wouldn't ask people for money. But right beforehand, he sent out an email doing just that!

**Another sign of the times: New York Doughnut shop sells Dr. Fauci doughnuts.

This is how popular the only truth-teller on Trump's Coronavirus Task Farce is. 

*Still another sign of the times: A Missouri woman gave birth in a Walmart toilet paper isle yesterday. I can just hear the overhead sound system announcing the event, "Baby on Isle Seven!" 
On the Homefront, Medford, Oregon

**Alarming news... Oregon state and county health officials reported nearly 100 new coronavirus cases Friday, marking the largest increase of infections in a single day and bringing the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state to 414.

**I hope the state's Pollyanna assumption is true that if Oregonians stay at home, hospitals appear capable of handling the coronavirus burden.

Listening to stories around the country of overloaded hospitals and front line health care workers dying from lack of protection, has been harrowing.

**Pet talk. These two cuties keep us entertained. 

Mollie is the black pug, and Butters is our Iggy. They're both 7-years old. 

Mollie is a bully, and Butters is very passive. She considers two of our cats, Tommy and Bob, as her kitties, and hangs out with them. 

Our other cat, Oliver (who was born blind) is the king of the roost however. The others - including Mollie - give way to him constantly. Oliver is a loving cat as long as you don't startle him or he'll turn into Edward Sissorhands slashing out indiscriminately.

**Shirley and I have a daily routine that seems to be working out well. It's not easy for her because she is a social butterfly and chronic hugger. 

I suspect we'll have to make adjustments as the days turn to weeks. The hardest part is not knowing when our lives will be restored to normal... whatever that was before the pandemic.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 12: Recession Reality, Senate Passes Relief Bill, COVID-19 Cases Increasing

Dear Diary,
What has clearly emerged since I started this diary is an affirmation on how Trump supporters resist reality.

Not even a pandemic, killing Americans off in greater numbers every day, seems able to pierce the fog of stupidity and greed of Trump followers who want to open up the country and pretend this deadly virus will just magically go away. 

It's a defining moment in our history. 

Fact versus fiction in fighting the greatest challenge America has faced in over 100 years. It's basically up to the governors of each state to take the proper emergency measures with no leadership coming from Trump.

Sadly, there's several Republican governors in the south that agree with Trump, and are trying to ignite their economies by not closing most businesses at the risk of public safety.

The head of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, confirmed that we are in a recession now, and that it will continue until the coronavirus challenges have been solved.

Odd Observations

**Crazy things are happening. Some moron went into a Pennsylvania grocery store and walked through the produce and meat aisles purposely coughing on the food! She was arrested and is being tested for COVID-19.

**The upcoming election almost seems like it's on the back burner. Almost...

**Nurses and doctors wearing trash bags for protection because they ran out of the proper medical supplies.

**I've read numerous reports on how pollution has gone down over major industrial cities/countries across the planet. It's an odd way of improving global warming though carbon reduction.

On the Homefront - Medford Oregon

**Some Oregonians are swarming stores for home improvment projects, ignoring the stay-at home order. It's something that Shirley and have been guilty of...once.

Our excuse (and you knew I would find one) is that the store we went to, Lowe's, was open. "We came, we saw, and shopped!"

 The store was practicing social distancing, and had disinfection stations scattered around. Local authorties don't seem to mind this little reality. That could change if things get worse however.

**I can't help wondering if things will get worse here. Thus far, there have been 78 cases of coronavirus in Oregon since Feb. 28th (latest figures available). Over 266 cases reported statewide. And, 11 deaths.

**Sign of the times... gotta love it. Out-of-work strippers in this area are delivering food, the service is called Boober Eats! Forget it...I'm not even going there!

**Pet update. I'm thinking of running pics of our precious pets. They're always good for a laugh, and all of them are beyond cute! We have two dogs and three cats.

Attitude check 

As long as I don't spend too much time thinking about Trump and what he's doing to this country, I'm okay. Being homebound is no problem for me, as I normally lead a hermit-like existense. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 11: COVID-19 Deaths Double, Some Relief on the Way

Dear Diary,

The unknown breeds fear. 

When people don't know what to expect, they get nervous.

Right now, the nation is in limbo during a pandemic because the Congress is and the lack of leadership at the top.

Partisan hacks from both parties couldn't agree to pass a stimulus bill to bail out the country in its time of need again yesterday. Talk about pathetic!

The good news is the Senate passed the bill today and it's going to the house.

Observations and News Bits
**Governors across the nation say feds not taking their calls for help seriously. By any measure, Trump's Coronavirus Task Farce has been a dismal failure full of lies and exaggerations.

**There are at least 30,811 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the state of New York. Over half are from New York City. Gov. Cuomo has been a rock star fighting for the state, but I'm afraid things are going to get worse in the days and weeks ahead because of medical supply shortages and the need for more facilities for patients.

**Young people continue to ignore social distancing standards by gathering together outside and inside with coronavirus denial parties. Until they get it, seniors and people with predisposing conditions are going to get COVID-19 from these rebels.

On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**Spring showers today, and forecasted for the next week. That's okay, we need it.

**Our governor, Kate Brown, has joined other governors blaming the feds for shortages of protective equipment.

**Oregon is delaying tax filing until July 15th, matching the new federal deadline.

**Shirley and I have been keeping busy doing projects around the house. She is busy redoing our guest bathroom. Painting, new fixtures, etc., while I hammer away at a keyboard half the day! Seems like I have a lot to say.

**Our precious pets have been providing entertainment. Try to imagine a pug and an Iggy playing tag with three cats! It's a hoot watching the gang tear through the house like furry demons!

What a year! An impeachment and a pandemic in just the first three months. Better buckle up for a rough ride partner. We haven't seen anything yet.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day Ten: 'The Chosen One' Says He'll Resurrect the Economy On Easter, Healthcare Experts Are Stunned

                                          Dear Diary,

It was just a matter of time.

It looks like Trump is phasing out Dr. Fauci (the only non-political healthcare expert on his Coronavirus Task Farce). 

Word is he's jealous of all the attention Dr. Fauci has been getting. Coupled with his concern over the economy, Trump's biggest worry is getting re-elected.

Keeping Americans safe from the pandemic is a low priority item for the Narcissist in Charge. He wants to jumpstart the economy by sacrificing human lives.

In one of his daily displays of stupidity, Trump promised the economy would come back on Easter. Shades of the "Chosen One."

Dr. Fauci - as well as virtually every other medical professional in the country - has been explicit the current social distancing measures need to be kept in place beyond Easter.

He's even hinted the restrictions might even need tightening (in the next few weeks) in order to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. 

It's easy to see what's happening with Trump. He can't ignore reality right now, and it's pissing him off! 

My biggest concern is that Trump overrules the experts advise on social distancing to rev up the economy to the determent of every senior citizen and person with immunity problems in America.

What did this country do to deserve such a profoundly flawed human being?

Other Observations

**Netflix and YouTube are slowing down in Europe to keep the internet from breaking. I'm wondering when (or if) the USA will go the same way?

**A lot of people are ignoring social distancing throughout the country according to news reports. I attribute that to our stubborn independent streak that is more concerned with freedom of movement than safety.

**Jerry Falwell Jr., a political hack and President of Liberty University, proved that he's a Trump puppet once again.

He welcomed 1,100 students back from spring break, greeting many with handshakes, and joking about how they "pretty much had the run of the place to themselves."

This happened the same day Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced that all K-12 schools in the state would remain closed for the rest of the year. Northam, who is a doctor, said the closures were necessary to slow the spread of the virus.

On the Homefront in Medford, Oregon

**Nearly one out of 20 visits to an Oregon emergency department during the last week has involved a patient with COVID-19- like symptoms, according to data from the Oregon Health Authority. 

It's probably because of lack of testing that Oregon looks almost unaffected by the pandemic. We'll see in the weeks ahead.

**Our hot tub broke down. This was a cause of great concern for Shirley and I, because we often use it to relieve our arthritis symptoms.

The good news was it was still under guarantee (until May) and the new pump isn't costing us anything. Of course there's the very real possibility we won't get it for months with the currently strained supply lines.

Thus far, my spirits have been good. I'm optimistic things will get better... down the road.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day Nine: Hope for Stimulus Bill, COVID-19 Cases Increase Across Country

                                           Dear Diary,

The next time I hear a politician or journalist start a sentence out with this rhetorical device "Just to be clear" I'm throwing my slipper at the TV!

I'm growing impatient with the Democrats and Republicans in the Senate. They should have passed a bill and sent it to the House by now. Who knows what will happen when the bill does hit the House? Another partisan battle?

I'm concerned about the reports coming out of Hong Kong, once a model for treating the spread of COVID19, is having a deadly relapse for taking up containment too soon.

The stock market registered another ass-kicking yesterday after the stimulus bill failed to move through the Senate to the House. It opened today up with hopes of the stimulus bill passing.

Random Thoughts
**For every encouraging story about people coping with the pandemic there seems to be three stories about people whose lives are being destroyed.

**I get a headaches thinking about when, and if, this pandemic will go away.

**I wish that famous quote about fear - "The only thing to fear, is fear itself" would quite dancing through the corridors of my small brain like a pep rally.

**Clueless Moron Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is calling for people to go back to work and for old people just to take their chances!

On the Homefront, Medford, Oregon
**I'm really encouraged that the State of Oregon is being proactive during this pandemic. Hospital and private labs have been processing coronavirus tests since March 18th.

**Spring is unexpectedly on hold as we get much-needed rain in the Rogue Valley. The fact that I have an excuse not too weed the garden, is exhilarating. I'll use that time to finish reading "The Doomsday Machine" by Daniel Ellsberg.

**Gov. Kate Brown issued a "Stay at Home" order yesterday. A list of businesses that must close their doors has been issued. It's getting more real every day, but I still don't see signs of people panicking.

Temporary hospital beds are being set up at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem.

**There's no sugar coating what some experts are saying. Oregon - according to one business model projection - will see hospitals overwhelmed by mid-April!

Going forward, I'll be taking it day-by-day.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day Eight: Officials Say It's Going to be a Bad Week

Dear Diary,

It's hard watching the stories of front-line health workers get sick because they didn't have protection like masks, gowns, and gloves. (photo Getty Image)

It's jarring watching one state governor after another come out and plead for help from the federal government as coronavirus cases in their states expand daily.

It's apparent to all that the Trump administration is failing spectacularly when it comes to coordinating our healthcare crisis and instilling confidence with strong leadership.

Filed Under Disbelief
**As America flounders for badly needed medical supplies from respirators to masks, Trump sent North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un a letter offering to help his government with "anti-epidemic work!

**Congress still hasn't passed the big one trillion dollar relief bill yet! Both sides are playing politics with American's lives!

**Police in Arizona are searching for a man who stole 29 coronavirus test kits! One of many signs of people starting to panic across the country.

**Kentucky senator, and complete asshole, Rand Paul tested positive for COVID 19, making him the third member of Congress to do so.

**There's a plague of prophets predicting the coronavirus is a sign we're in the "end days."

**Watching coverage of the pandemic for too long is not a good idea. I've limited my daily news exposure in an effort to divert my thoughts to more pleasant things... like hobbies. Helps keep up the spirits.

**I've been getting an urge to run out and buy a pack of toilet paper at least once a day in spite of what Shirley and I have already stocked up on. In addition, I'm looking for toilet paper with Trump's face on it!

On the Homefront: Medford, Oregon
**The pain in my back is subsiding from my recent gardening adventures. I'm waiting one more day before tackling weeds again. When I do, I'm going to wear my back brace, which I neglected to do last time (SMH)!

**There's a constant concert going on inside our house these days. Shirley loves music, and although I'm hearing-impaired, I enjoy it too. Seeing her smile makes my day!

**Despite the fact that Medford is a retirement community on steroids, there has only been two confirmed cases of COVID 19 in Jackson County. 

Local authorities/hospitals are being proactive and have set up areas to test for the coronavirus. In addition, there are local PSA's on TV and the radio with links to informative websites.

Staying informed on what's happening in the community is important and comforting.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day Seven: It's Time to Stop Watching WH Briefings

Dear Diary,

I watched my last White House Briefing/Coronavirus Task Force farce yesterday.

The propaganda parade stops here.

The vaunted task force is confusing and cringeworthy. And Angry. Trump left early yesterday - leaving the Team to conduct the briefing - because the questions were pissing him off... again.

The only truth speaker, Dr. Fauci, has been doing his best to walk the fine line between the truth, and Trump's alternate reality. I've watched him cover his eyes in disbelief while Trump was ranting on about the Deep State Department to divert questions.


I'll continue to explore the many other news outlets in print and online to stay abreast of this pandemic. It's time to pull the plug on that production.

Random Observations
**I've easily accepted the local, state, and federal restrictions on travel and staying at home. Full disclosure: I have PTSD, and was already pretty much of a hermit despite Shirley's efforts to socialize me.

**Don't be surprised if NY Gov. Cuomo runs for president in 2024. He was trending on twitter #CuomoForPresident yesterday. No surprise. The guy has really been sounding like a capable leader, especially in a time of crisis.

**"The Gambler," aka Kenny Rogers, died yesterday. I enjoyed the movies he starred in that spun off from his iconic song.

On the Home Front - Medford, Oregon

**What great weather lately! Spring has officially sprung with yellow daffodils in our front yard.

**My back is screaming at me today because Shirley and I have been gardening - which involves pulling numerous weeds out of the tropical paradise in the front, and backyard.
I'm not use to the exercise. I'm probably going to whine the rest of the day.

**For the first time in a week, our local Costco ran out of toilet paper and disinfection products. Interestingly enough, our locally-owned and operated grocer store, the Thunderbird, has managed to maintain good supply lines, and every time we checked, they've had toilet paper.

**It must be the good ganja that I smoke. I've been calm ever since the pandemic was recognized in the United States. Staying. Stoned.

**My feeble brain is still having a hard time adjusting to the new reality - NO SPORTS! Especially basketball! The Lakers were on course to win a title with LaBron James, and Anthony Davis. There is no God!

**I have two grandsons that are supposed to graduate from high school this year. Can't help wondering what's going to happen now with all the schools shut down because of COVID 19? These new realities are brutal.

**I'm happy to report that our dogs and cats are thrilled now that Shirley, and I, are homebound. The dogs, in particular, have been expressing their joy by staying very close. Very close.
Final thought

Everything around us is changing. Norms have fallen like threshed wheat during the harvest. 

Humanity is fighting a common enemy. Like it or not, we're all in this pandemic together.

Can't we all just get along?

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...