Saturday, April 11, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 27: NO! We're Not ALL in This Pandemic Together!

 Dear Diary, 

 I'm sick of hearing that phrase "Americans are all in this fight against COVID-19 together."

It's just not true. Especially when referring to unity in the fight against the coronvirus spread. Who gets priority screening testing? Who doesn't? The wealthy have had no problem getting tested first.

The daily Trump Task Farce is so full of misinformation that most news outlets have wised-up and decided not to run the two-hour presidential rally in it's entirety. 

Trump's lies have sown confusion throughout the government, and the country, in a time when we desperately need factual reporting.

Minorities are suffering the most - per capita - because they tend to live together in tighter space restrictions - such as mulitple families in one home. Poor communities filled with a dense population, have been helpless against the coronavirus spread.

States are bidding against each other to get needed medical supplies like ventilators. The bigger states have more bargaining power to win private bids, leaving states with lesser populations to seek other sources.

I reject the idea that Americans are in this pandemic together after witnessing the daily cluster fuck that's happening to our polarized society.

The wealthy have more options to successfully survive this murderous virus. That's a fact. The rest of America is suffering economically and physically.
On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**The good news - no new deaths reported yesterday.

**Everyone is on the "front line" if their job requires being out in public during this pandemic. I read about Oregon child welfare workers reporting cases of COVID-19, and that made me wonder about all of the rest of the public workers with lesser profiles than doctors and nurses who are risking their lives in order to do their daily jobs.

**On job security... there's some professions that are pandemic proof. Like plumbers. We required the services of a plumber yesterday. He required $100 per hour. We paid without complaint for his two-hour visit.

**Humor is the best medicine - it's really helpful that Shirley and I have a good sense of humor. Otherwise we would have been at each other's throats long ago during this stay-at- home phase in the country.
Our top 3 coronavirus parody picks are:
3) *Die, Die *Coronavirus
Quote for the day - "I don't trust anyone who doesn't laugh." - Maya Angelou 

Friday, April 10, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 26: Social Distancing, Melania Irony, and Masked Maroons!

Dear Diary,

I have nothing but high praise for those Americans who are actually obeying social distancing.

Healthcare experts say it's helping stop the spread of the coronavirus.

As for the rest of the other maroons who, for religious or other reasons, are ignoring requests not to gather in groups of 10 or more; there's going to be a special place in hell for them when they contact COVID-19 or infect someone else who dies from being in contact with them.

Pandemic Tidbits
**Journalists attending the coronavirus Task Farce briefings are now being tested for COVID-19. Apparently the WH got some of those 15-minute testing kits - probably with Jared Kushner's inside "pull."
**I hope the rumors I'm hearing are true about Joe Biden selecting Kamala Harris as his VP. She'd be a great pick!

**Once again irony slaps Melania Trump in the face as she is seen in a PSA asking everyone to wear face masks... 

when her husband doesn't, and, the vice president doesn't, and the rest of the rat pack in the West Wing doesn't...

**20-plus hotels in NYC have offered empty rooms for free to 1st responders or overflow patients. Not a word from Trump's flagship property -Trump Tower - about helping.

There's 7 more cities with Trump luxury hotels that are not offering any assistance during this pandemic. Thanks Mr. President... you piece of shit!

**The word from the UK is prime minister Boris Johnson is doing better today in his fight against the coronavirus. I  read somewhere that he was a tough guy, despite his obvious extra weight.

**Under Masked Maroon: I have a friend that was wearing a face mask in Costco when he suddenly had to sneeze...what did he do?
He pulled the mask aside, sneezed, then put it back in place!
Did I mention he's a "special friend?" Got you, Larry! I couldn't help myself!

**It's a mystery to me... why more men are dying from COVID-19; and why are more minorities dying from the deadly virus attacking our country?
On the Homefront - Medford Oregon
**We now have 44 people in the state who have died from the coronavirus - 1,300 known cases.

**1 in 8 workers have lost their job. One of my sons is among those unemployed who is still are trying to reach the state unemployment offices after 3 weeks of calling daily! It's insane. He got a confirmation letter weeks ago...then nothing. I've been reading about the same thing happening nationwide.

**Good information: Oregon now has an online triage tool for coronavirus symptoms.

**Conversations with animals: 
Do you speak to your pets? I do. 
As a matter of fact, I was having a conversation with Bob the cat this morning and he brought up some good points on happiness.

The first thing he emphasized was eating good food whenever he felt like it. As you can see he's no lightweight (25 pounds).

The last thing he brought up on the subject was having "a forever home." It made me sad to think of the many cats and dogs that didn't have one.

"Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness." - Steve Maraboli

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 25: Biden vs Trump and Wonderful Weather

Dear Diary,

Now that I know it's going to be Joe vs the Orange Blob in November, I can breath easy knowing the Democrats didn't stumble into a contested convention giving Trump an edge.

Speaking of the Democratic convention and thousands gathered in one building... there's no need for one now. Biden is in. It would basically just be a pep rally. 

All the Dems need to do is hold a virtual convention and they will automatically get the high ground against Trump whose made it clear the GOP is having a BIG one packed with his rabid base to honor him...regardless of the consequences!

Here's the optics: it's about public safety. The Dems respect the pandemic (hurray for science) while red cap wearing Trump minions flout social distancing. It get's worse if any of those eager Trumpies catch COVID-19 and die after Trump's bigly party.

**I read where UK's prime minister Boris Johnson is still in ICU after contacting COVID-19. This is the third day the UK's leader has been in there. If he dies, he'll be the first leader of a country to fall victim to the coronavirus.

**It's starting to feel like my own personal Groundhog Day every morning when I get up. So far, that's not such a bad thing.

On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**Nothing but beautiful sunshine today, and for the foreseeable future.

**Shirley and I puttered around in the backyard and soaked up those rays. We both treated our legs to shorts. No more long pants. Our legs looked white alabaster columns, but their pinkish now after a day's exposure.

**That's it for all Oregon schools... their staying closed for the rest of the academic year. I really feel sorry for high school seniors for so many reasons. They've been robbed.

**No new COVID-19 deaths reported overnight. Still stands at 39. Over 1,200 confirmed cases statewide.
Life during this pandemic is full of challenges. But we must take heart. The great Moliere once wrote, "The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it." 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 24: A Primary During a Pandemic, Stop Briefings, Iggy vs a Bee

Dear Diary,

Thanks to the conservative majority in the Supreme Court, Wisconsin voters were faced with a choice yesterday; obey the governors orders and stay at home (in essence forfeiting their right to vote), or get in ridiculously long lines to vote in-person and risk getting COVID-19.

No sugar-coating it... the Supreme Court has chosen a GOP agenda over the health of Wisconsin voters who risked getting COVID-19 to vote in-person. 

GOP ideology has successfully superseded public safety in another court power grab. One more blow to democracy.
**When is cable news going to quit covering Trump and his pathetic Task Farce? Can't they see he's using them like puppets for his daily campaign rallies? Actual news seldom comes out of them anymore. 

I realize people like to watch Trump entertain them by attacking reporters and facts freely and without inhibition, but this charade has gone too far. Too many lives are being lost because of it.

After weeks of disinformation, and partisan campaigning, it's about time cable news rooms everywhere re-evaluate their coverage of the buffoon. Let the mainstream news give a few soundbites (if merited) during the 5:00 o'clock news.
On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**The differences between northern and southern Oregon have been well documented by social scientists.

What I'm seeing is people in Portland who are ignoring social distancing rules despite the state mandate, and folks here in Medford in almost perfect compliance. The difference between north and south this time may be judged by lives lost.

**Speaking of lives lost, Oregon has had 34 deaths thus far, and 1181 known cases. Some healthcare experts are predicting the virus may peak in a couple of weeks, as long as a worst-case scenario doesn't happen.

**Pet talk - Our Iggy, Butters, was chasing bees yesterday and managed to catch one in his yap... much to his dismay! Little lumps sprang up almost immediately on his head!

Shirley went and got some Benadryl and gave him some.

It helped, but not before the right side of his little face was swollen and his lip drooped.

Amazing how fast it did work however. An hour later and he was fine. There's no doubt in my mind he didn't learn his lesson... I expect him to be chasing bees again today.
Another Pandemic day gone by.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 23: Trumplicans vs Science, B-Ball Wonder Woman, and Dog Grooming During the Coronavirus

Dear Diary,

Words fail to express my dismay at times during this deadly pandemic when all of America should be united.

Trump has been disagreeing with healthcare experts regularly during press briefings that are thinly disguised daily rallies for his re-election. I can't believe this is happening in America.

I'd like to be a fly on the wall someday in the distant future when historians talk about this momentous year - 2020 - these three things will stand out: 

1) Congress impeached Trump, but he was acquitted in a stacked Senate hearing.

2) When the deadliest pandemic in world history since 1918 hit America, Trump and his minions bungled the response costing thousands of unnecessary lives.

3) There was a presidential election in November. (Hopefully we'll have gotten a new president!)

On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
One of our neighbors told us about a mobile dog groomer a while back. We were still taking our dogs to a regular groomer when Oregon suddenly went to a stay-at-home posture because of the coronavirus.

Only essential businesses have been allowed to stay open around here. 

Pet grooming parlors, like human beauty parlors, have been shut down.

The groomer, Rebecca, pulled up in front of our house in her mobile grooming parlor, and went right to business. She took one dog at a time, expertly bathing them and trimming their claws.

The real kicker was her services didn't cost anymore than what we we're use to paying, and ….we didn't have to drive anywhere! Just proves good things can happen in bad times. We discovered a service that was available in the worst of times!
                                               ---                                            --
**Not so good news... Kaiser Westside Pharmacy had to shut down after seven employees tested positive for COVID-19.

**Latest mortality stats: 1,100 cases of coronavirus in the state. 29 deaths.

**Redux Spring... rainy days are supposedly behind us as the weather is warming up nicely. Forecast is sunny days ahead. Shirley and I are ready with our gardening gloves and numerous projects in the front and back yard.

**Shout out to this basketball marvel - Eugene, Oregon's Sabrina Ionescu (Oregon Ducks), who was named the Nation's Most Outstanding Player!

She won the Wooden Award again this year, making her only the sixth player to ever have won multiple Wooden Awards.

Ionescu also won her third Nancy Lieberman Award as Point Guard of the Year; she repeated as a Wade Trophy winner, and won her first Naismith Award.

But that's not all! Ionascu was named the AP and USBWA Player of the Year; Pack 12 Play of the Year; and is an unanimous All-American.

Just another manic pandemic day for the record.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 22: Coronavirus Hair Cuts, Scams, and Best-Sellers

Dear Diary,

There's no getting around it... there will always be people who prey on catastrophes like sharks in a school of fish. 

These subhuman pieces of shit profit in times of panic. As the death toll climbs from the deadly COVID-19 bug they're taking advantage of people's fears.
**I suspected there would be a renaissance of reading throughout the country with so many stay-at-homes. What people are reading is fascinating.

One unusual best-seller on Amazon is a 700 year-old Italian book called, "The Decameron" by Giovanni Boccaccio. I'm sure the book's attraction lies in it's storyline about people escaping the Black Plague.

Also up there on the list:

**Fire and Fury: Inside the White House

**Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

**A Wrinkle in Time

**Dog Man and Cat Kid #4

**The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life 
On 'Stay-at-Home' Haircuts and Make-Up
**I am one of the few lucky men in America who has a wife whose not a hairdresser by profession, but has perfected giving me a haircut after 46-years of experience.

Unlike two of my three sons, who are already bald, I still have a thick head of hair that's gracefully turning a dirty white. So cutting it takes expertise.

I wonder about women however, who have husbands that have never given them (or anyone else) a haircut? It reminds me of the first year of Shirley and I's marriage when she made the mistake of letting me "trim" her hair because we were short of cash.

Lesson learned in 2020. She has not approached me about cutting her hair, apparently content to let it grow long during these times of shuttered beauty salons.

The other item I wonder about is make-up. Are women going to stop wearing it at home since no one will be seeing them other than their husband or partner?

For men who have been living with "high maintenance" wives, the absence of makeup may be a jarring experience!
On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**I'm surprised to see that Jackson Country (where we live) has tested more people per capita for coronavirus than every state except New York, Washington, and Louisiana - three viral hotspots with thousands of patients. We're not even a hotspot in the state.

**Fur babies - (Left to right, Butters, Molly, and Tom) 

It's funny watching Tom hang out with the dogs more than he does with our other two cats.

It's entirely possible Tom thinks he's a dog - or they're cats!

**I love seeing the local Jigsaw puzzle themes featuring everything from Bigfoot to Marijuana Plants. Making a jigsaw puzzle can be a zen-like experience, especially when you're stuck inside and are tired of reading or watching TV.

Another day. Another reality. When will things return to normal? Or, will they? It's a not-so-brave world now.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 21: Science vs Religion on Palm Sunday

Dear Diary,

On this Palm Sunday, I wonder what Jesus would say about protecting ourselves during a deadly pandemic?

In particular, what would His advise be on attending church today? 

A) Ignore CDC warnings about gathering in large groups in order to prevent the spread of the invisible killer COVID-19.


B) Follow the advise of the CDC and worship from afar via telecommunications and other methods to protect yourselves and the rest of the community.

I'm going with B because I assume Jesus had common sense. There's no biblical quotations about going on suicide missions when they're not necessary to prove your faith.

Science vs Religion
During the late Middle Ages 1300-1500, scholars were making sophisticated observations about the world around them that conflicted with what the Catholic Church taught.

Scholastic philosophers sought to remove divine intervention from the process of explaining natural cause, rather than stating it must be the work of divine providence.

Many of these scholars and philosophers lost their lives when authorities became aware of their works. It took centuries before The Church quit killing scientists because they thought they were sorcerers.
The Role of Religion in America 
During these perilous times it's only natural people fall back on their faith to cope with the coronavirus. We are a country that celebrates freedom and human rights. That includes the right to worship as we see fit.

Right now, when governors across the nation are pleading with people to stay at home to help contain the spread of COVID-19, some churches are defying stay-at-home orders.

In the News: 
**At least 70 people infected with coronavirus linked to a single church in Sacramento, California 

**Pastor of Tampa Church that held two large Sunday services arrested, and jailed

**Some Pennsylvania churches resisting the need to close their doors to stop the coronavirus. In Pittsburgh, a pastor plans to organize an outdoor "Woodstock"-like service in protest of the stay at home orders.

**Megachurch pastors defy pandemic, insisting they have the right to worship.

Evangelic churches with a right-wing, Christian Nationalist political bent really want nothing more than to resist government orders to cease holding services during the novel coronavirus pandemic. The main drawback is that there's the possibility of killing off their congregations!
On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon

**Oregon Gov. Kate Brown sent New York 140 respirators to help out with the COVID-19 crisis there. To me, that indicates we are in pretty good shape in this state if we can share vital equipment like that. I hope I'm right.

**Today's lazy pet pic:
Tommy emerging from beneath a cover on our bed. 

This shot was taken during the day when he likes to sleep.

Come nightfall, he prowls the neighborhood and hangs out with the local cats chasing smaller animals and each other.

Looking at his sweet mug you wouldn't think he's a superb predator - but he is, often bringing us his trophies (that no longer move) to the back door.
It's a slate gray sky today that occasionally weeps and wets the streets. Looking out the window it's hard to believe that people are dying every three minutes in New York from the coronavirus.

Quote for today: "Anyone who thinks sitting in a church can make you a Christian must also think sitting in the garage can make you a car." - Garrison Keillor 

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...