Saturday, June 20, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 96: Trump's Super Spreader Show is a Denial of Science

Dear Diary,

Healthcare officials in Oklahoma have been pleading with the Trump campaign not to hold a rally of 19,000 people inside an arena...
in vain.

Didn't matter

The show had to go on. Trump will have his way and people will die because he needed a massive ego boost.

Trump's super-spreader vanity show is a complete denial of science. The world is watching, aghast that an American president is so stupid that he ignores the expert advise of the top healthcare officials in America. 

I'm reminded of lemmings walking off a cliff - except they're people signing their lives away with disclaimers that they won't sue Trump and his minions if they get COVID-19 or someone they love does from their exposure.

Trump is truly unhinged now. He no longer cares about anything other than his beloved rallies where's he's transported into an alternative universe full of people who love him no matter what an asshole he is.
The reality is the rally could have been held outside. 

At least it would have been safer than being inside a giant petri dish with screaming sociopaths standing shoulder-to-shoulder in shows of unity with Trump's stupidity.

Trump minions try to use a false equivalent by claiming it was okay for Black Lives Matters protestors to turn out in the thousands, but when Trump holds a rally for thousands it's wrong.

No one "gave" the protestors permission to gather. Many wore masks, and they all took place outside. Comparing a large event with thousands inside a building with face masks optional, is just stupid and disingenuous. 

But it's all his minions have. Trump's show is here today, along with the most deadly virus on the planet. 

The results of his ego-building reality show is going to be more outbreaks of COVID-19. Not just in Oklahoma, but in the states where Trump fans traveled from to see him.

What makes me sad is the innocent people who are going to come into contact with Trump attendees who'll be potentially spreading the deadly disease.

Future indoor gatherings should no longer be called rallies by the Trump team. A much more appropriate term would be Pandemic Parties! 
On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
The Bomber restaurant 
has called it quits after 73 years.
(This 1960s photo of the "Lacey Lady" B-17 Bomber. Oregonian file photo)
A piece of history is gone as the B-17 Bomber, a former gas station and restaurant closed up for good.
_______________

**And so it goes -
Oregon has seen 8 consecutive days of 100 cases or more (a 148 yesterday), and four new deaths (183 total).

**Where to go this summer -
The Peak Northwest podcast offered up some suggestions for outdoor activities this summer. Here's an updated list of what outdoor spaces have reopened.

**Back to Masks - Oregonians must wear a mask in public starting June 24th. That should be interesting. I see no way to enforce it. When Shirley and I go out we seldom see people walking around outside wearing masks, let alone inside. 

Quote for the Day; "How 'bout a shot of truth in that denial cocktail?" - Jennifer Salaiz

Friday, June 19, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 95: Who Are These People Attacking Healthcare Officials?

(Photo by Jeff Gritchen/Orange County Register- Dr. Nichole Quick unexpectedly resigned from her position as a health officer for Orange County after receiving threats in public.)
Dear Diary,

California healthcare officials are quitting their jobs at an alarming rate. That's real bad news for the general public in the middle of a pandemic.

What would make a professional with years of service suddenly quit their job? The answer is embarrassingly clear; crazed protestors who don't believe in wearing face masks or using vaccines to control viral outbreaks. 

During Trump's presidency he's managed to lure people away from science and reason, and converting them into believers of his outrageous conspiracies'. 


Some recent examples

**Orange County's chief health officer resigned after she received death threats for issuing a requirement that residents wear face masks in public. (Photo above)


So what did the county do afterward?

A few days later, after the resignation of the chief health officer the district supervisor said masks would be "strongly recommended" instead of required.

**A Contra Costa County public official was terrified by protestors who demonstrated outside her home and drew chalk arrows leading to her house. They wrote slogans in colored chalk like, "My Body, My Choice, Tyranny is Not the Answer, and "Your neighbor thinks he has the power." 

Police ended up posting a security detail outside the official's house after live stream protests got even more ugly.

**Santa Clara County reported that Public Health Officer Sara Cody, had been threatened. The local sheriff said he's investigating the case.

Being a public health official is no easy task anytime, but the kind of organized domestic terrorism being used to stop them from warning the public to be safe and wear face masks, is unprecedented. 

This is the kind of hate and ignorance the Trump regime has spawned.

There's no mystery on whose attacking science, facts, and common sense... they wear little red caps that say MAGA on them.
On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
Speaking of Face Masks

Gov. Kate Brown shared details about her plans to require most Oregonians to wear face coverings yesterday.

The requirement begins June 24th.

She also gave her reason for allowing the state's largest county to reopen even as coronavirus cases surge. Apparently her rational was Multnomah County didn't have rising hospitalizations for COVID-19 and so it was safe.

The problem with that excuse is Oregon Health Director Pat Allen admitted that wasn't true!

It doesn't sound like people will get arrested for not wearing masks, so I imagine most people will ignore the governor's "request." 

Businesses can refuse entry to people not wearing face coverings, according to Oregon Health Officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger.

I foresee problems enforcing that. I just read about a Trumpie getting kicked off a plane for refusing to wear a face mask despite the airline's requirement.

Quote for the Day; "The man of science has learned to believe in justification, not by faith, but by verification." - Thomas H. Huxley

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 94: 2020: The Year of Trump Tell-All Books

Dear Diary,

The indignities are coming soon.

Trump knows that between this month, July, and September, three books are being released about him that will turn his normally orange face red.

On June 23rd, former White House national security adviser John Bolton's long-awaited book on Trump will be available to the public. Trump's minions have been going through Bolton's book, "In the Room Where it Happened," since January.

In Trump's usual knee-jerk action - SUE, SUE, SUE, he's going after Bolton and the publisher. 

The legal fight over the release of the book, which is billed as an insider's rebuke of Trump's foreign policy, escalated Tuesday when the Trump administration went to court to try to claw back Bolton's earnings for the book and to potentially stop its publication.

Team Trump claims Bolton breached his NDA and was risking national security by exposing classified information.

The next Trump tell-all book is being released on July 28thand was written by his niece, Mary. I suspect this is the book that's going to fry Trump's grits!

"Too Much and Never Enough," is described by the publisher as a "revelatory, authoritarian portrait of Donald. J. Trump and the toxic family that made him."

In the book, Mary describes a nightmare of traumas, destructive relationships, and a tragic combination of neglect and abuse. She explains how specific events and general family patterns created the damaged man who currently occupies the White House.

The real bell-ringer in this book is Mary's admission that she was the source for the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the New York Times into Trumps taxes, published in October of 2018. She helped by supplying her grandfather' Fred Trump Sr's tax returns, along with other highly confidential family financial documentation.

The third book in the 2020 collection about Trump was written by Pulitzer Prize winning author, Bob Woodward, in a follow-up of from his first book on Trump titled Fear. It's scheduled for release on September 15th.

Fear provided front-row accounts from inside the Oval Office of feuds and clashes within the administration, as well as how senior administration officials and Trump's private lawyer tried to stop him from acting on what they viewed as his most dangerous impulses.

Woodward's new book is still untitled, with the description, "Bob Woodward's second work of nonfiction on the Trump Presidency." 


On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
Juneteenth Oregon announces plan to livestream celebration

Viewers can tune into the Jack London Revue at 1 p.m., June 20th, to watch Oregon's Juneteenth celebration livestreamed. The free celebration is produced by PDX Jazz.

Juneteenth annual celebrations started in 1972.

**Nothing to celebrate here - The state reported 278 new cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, a record high. Oregon also reported two new deaths bringing the grim total to 182.

Quote for the Day; "Moral contempt is a far greater indignity and insult that any kind of crime." - Friedrich Nietzche

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 93: Are We in the 'End Times?'

Dear Diary,

It may be just me, but I feel like we're all living in the "End Times." I'm not even the kind of guy that believes in every conspiracy that comes along. I'm a hardened journalist that believes in facts above all.

But...

If the "End Times" is about the collapse of civilizations then our current global pandemic sets the stage. Coupled with a worldwide economic breakdown, I think the argument can be made for these being historically shitty days that no one could have anticipated.

I look at what's happening in Korea, and between India and China as bad signs - even possible wars ahead. 

The North Korean government is suddenly gone hardcore against their southern neighbors - blowing up it's joint liaison office with South Korea. It was a dramatic and carefully planned display of rancor. For reasons unknown, Kim is in the background while his sister takes this recent aggressive stance.

Meanwhile...

The Indian army reported that 20 of its soldiers were killed in border clashes with Chinese troops Tuesday. Chinese causalities haven't been released according to news agencies in the area.

To put this in perspective, no shots have been fired on that border since 1975, with troops occasionally engaging in hand-to-hand scuffles and throwing rocks.

Reports are coming in that senior military officials from both sides were meeting to defuse the situation. The last thing the world needs right now is a nuclear war between India and China. If that happens, it's more ammunition for my doomsday hypothesis.

I'd rather be optimistic about what happening worldwide, but I've never been the "Pollyanna" type. I call things the way I see them. Always have. I also leave myself room to back- peddle if I'm wrong about something. I'd love to be wrong about the gloomy forecast I'm suggesting is possible.

Without a time machine, it looks like I'll have to wait and see what happens to humanity!


On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
Our coronavirus cases are still climbing with 184 news cases reported on Monday - the highest daily count in the state since the start of the pandemic.

The Oregon Health Authority says a portion of the increase is due to an outbreak in Union County in the rural northeastern part of the state, where 99 people tested positive for COVID-19.

No surprise to me that many of those cases are associated with the Lighthouse Pentecostal Church in Union County. Health experts have been warning churches for months about the need to wear face masks and social-distancing when they gather. This is just one of several churches that thought God wouldn't let the faithful get infected.

Quote for the Day; "If bad things happening is the litmus test for a soon-coming rapture, it's no wonder every generation for many years have believed they were the last generation. Bad things happen in every generation." -J.A. Hardgrave

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 92: Americans Tire of Waiting For a Vaccine

Dear Diary,

Overheard: Quarantine fatigue.

Observed in the media: Mass gatherings sans safety precautions in every state.

Fact: COVID-19 never left. It's busy killing people in the hundreds daily, and cases of the novel coronavirus are rapidly going up in 18 states during the last 10 days. 

No end in sight: With no vaccine available this pandemic is not just going to magically disappear no matter how much Trump wishes it will.
 In summary
The national reservoir of patience is exhausted. 

The choice of "being free" comes with the possibility of death.Covid-19 still stalks our streets and when people choose to go out, especially without face masks and social-distancing, they risk dying, or of infecting someone they know.

The country unofficially reopened too fast. Protests and cabin fever led the way out of the safety of partial quarantines, and rolled out the perfect conditions for super spreader events. 

There's no turning back. Not a politician in this land would dare to shut down the economy again. Especially in an election year.

Regardless of how many lives are lost to infections, socializing and going back to work weighs more towards making the final decision than one's health. We humans are imperfect beings.


On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
                      From the Oregon Historical Society exhibit, "Experience Oregon"
Seeing the topic of the day is about racism, I decided that a brief history of Oregon would be relevant.

Oregon's founders sought a "White Utopia," a strain of racism that lives on even as state celebrates its progressivism

Oregon became a state in 1859. Slavery, the issue that was tearing the nation apart, was banned in the new state. The leaders believed they had a better model on how to deal with the race problem; black people wouldn't be allowed in the state. Period.

Oregon consistently goes "blue" in presidential elections, and conservative commentators invoke the name of its largest city - Portland - as a shorthand for hyper-liberalism.
The fact is, Oregon is also one of the whitest states in the country by design. 

In 1921, the Portland telegram published a photograph (above) of Oregon Ku Klux Klan leaders outfitted in full regalia, including their hoods, posing with Portland officials during a meeting of "Law and Order."

Quote for the Day; "Fatigue makes fools of us all. It robs you of your skills and your judgement." - Harvey Mackey

Monday, June 15, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 91: Trump Circus Prepares for Upcoming Road Shows

Dear Diary,

Coming to states soon... the Trump Circus is hitting the road with it's first scheduled stop set for Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 20th.

In a nod to his white nationalistic supporters, Trump working with a select committee of racists, scheduled the rally in the month of the anniversary of the worst white-on-black massacres (300 people murdered and buried in a mass grave) in Tulsa, and American history.

In the weeks ahead the Trump Circus intends to hold large indoor shows with no face masks or social-distancing, in the swing states... which are showing increased signs of the coronavirus resurfacing.

Trump and his collection of classic clowns plan to hold the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida... which by the way is one of the states showing a Covid-19 surge.

Oh yeah! This date has significance too... for white nationalists. It's the 60th anniversary of a brutal KKK attack on Black activists known as "Ax Handle Saturday.

To make sure no one sues the circus, Trump's bigly 3 Ring Racist Galas require attendees to sign a waiver stating if they get the virus they won't hold anyone responsible. 

It's a risk many Trumplicans are willing to take to see such famous GOP clowns as, "Moscow" Mitch McConnell; Jared "Slum Lord" Kushner; Ivanka "Daddy's Girl" Trump; and Bill "Brown Nose" Barr.

The ringmaster is, of course, Trump himself, with his bright orange makeup and a squirrel on his head. 

He knows how to bring entertainment to new lows, much to the delight of his mostly undereducated followers. 

I suspect that future historians will record this period as the COVID Super Spreader tour to re-elect Trump, which also managed to thin his base out contributing to the historical landslide loss he suffered in November. 


On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
And they're off!
A "race" across the country, an event inspired by one man's journey 42 years ago, began in Downtown Medford last Thursday.

The virtual trip to Medford, Massachusetts was literally pulled off by Dave McGillivray in the summer of 1978. The Medford2Medford Run's goal is to finish the equivalent of the same route a 23-year old McGillivray did when he covered 3,452 miles in 80 days - an average of 40 miles a day!

Quote for the Day; "When asked what profession they least like, most people will give the obvious answer: clowns." - Brian South

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 90: Is Anyone Else Keeping a Diary During These Chaotic Days?

Dear Diary,

Pause.
I'm sipping my coffee and taking a hit off some chronic ganja before this morning's entry.

Focus.
How many people even keep diaries these days?
In particular, digital diaries?

Question.
Why keep a diary? There's so many other ways 2020 is being documented by the media and authors of every stripe.

Answer.
Because it's personal. We all look at the events around us with different perceptions. Mine is unique. All of us are unique in what we see in a given moment. 

Rules.
There are no rules in keeping a diary. I can ramble on about anything, as long as I do it on a daily basis and somehow mention current events. A date is required however.

Benefits.
Sharing my fears and personal feelings is cathartic. Writing in itself is cathartic. I feel like I have more control when I document facts and share them.

A book vs a digital Diary.
The biggest difference in writing an old-fashioned diary in a book is you can conceal it somewhere, and not worry about anyone seeing it,
in...
a digital diary it's open for all to inspect online at anytime.

How long?
The question I'm asking myself is how long do I want to keep this Pandemic Diary going? When a vaccine is found, that would probably be the logical place to end this diary. Meanwhile, I'll take it day by day...
On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
(photo by Sean Meagher/Oregonian)
This is going to be a familiar national story soon:
Portland protestors get COVID-19. 

Ethan Snyder is one of about a half dozen protestors who has caught the infection after a week of protests.

There's no way to know if there's more cases because authorities haven't been doing tracing, and not enough testing to tell just how many people caught the coronavirus from the protesting community in Portland.

The seven confirmed cases were from people who went to get tested on their own after fatigue, fevers, aches and body chills sent them to the emergency wards.
Only getting worse
The coronavirus stronghold on Oregon could persist at current record-setting case counts or potentially surge to 1,000 new infections a day before the fourth of July, according to state modeling released Friday.

Quote for the Day; "The need to document my insanity is an affliction I have not yet cured myself of..." -Lydia Lunch