COVID-19 and us — 3.26.20

Cardiologist

It’s a few minutes before 1:00 pm here in breezy, sunny SoCal. Yesterday’s video-conference with my cardiologist went fine. Although my ascending aortic aneurysm has slightly increased in size, it is not yet large enough to warrant surgery. So, an increase in my meds by half a tablet/day and another CT scan in six months. Oh, and keep checking my blood pressure and heart rate, which I do on my Omron.

Shopping

With Di’s caregiver looking after her I went shopping after the video-conference. First to Old World for some day old Farmers Bread and some of their fine liverwurst. I didn’t notice the sign and box as I entered and was admonished to don a pair of gloves while in the shopping. OK. I didn’t have to spend any of my money as I had three gift cards (spend $5 and get a $10 gift card) — it pays to check one’s email for offers like these.

Then it was off to the beach for lunch. The city parking lots were closed along with the pier and pier plaza but the beach was open.

The Beach

I stopped at TK’s for a Big Bargain Special (burger and fries). The chairs and tables were in storage and fix-up work was being done but they were still serving take-out food. I parked along PCH (parking sticker was still good at the meters) and walked across the parking lot at Tower 17 and ate on the sand wall.

There was a steady stream of walkers, joggers and bikers along the path but the numbers weren’t large — a half dozen people per minute, maybe. Within view of my seat there were three homeless tents and belongings, all on the city beach. To my pleasant surprise the restrooms were open as I needed to get rid of some of the morning’s coffee.

More Shopping

Went to Von’s and picked up Di’s meds and some of their bread that she favors. I was going to also do some shopping at TJ’s and Target, picking up a white hot chocolate for Di at the Starbucks in Target, but I’d been gone for a couple of hours and decided to get the hot chocolate at the Von’s Starbucks and stop at home before finishing my errands — good choice, at the Starbucks in Target was closed.

I went to Pet Supply to get cat treats and some food as our Chewy shipment was being delayed a few days.

Picked up some vitamins for Di at Target — they were still out of TP and Kleenex; I mean the shelves were completely empty.

Trader Joe’s was limiting amounts of some items and the number of people in the store at one time — I had to wait for about five minutes to be let in. Most things were available, although some were clearly in short supply. Bananas – check, cheese – check, milk – check, creamer – check and so on. Until the paper aisle. No TP, no paper towels and no Kleenex. Ah, well, I wasn’t out of any of those but Di uses a lot of Kleenex and we’re down to three unopened boxes.

Got home and shortly thereafter Di’s caregiver left.

Continued

Oh, our gardener came while I was gone, he usually comes on Thursday. I doubt he’s in an occupation considered “essential” but I’m glad he’s still working. I don’t believe he is any danger to us and I doubt he has enough saved to get through this situation without working.

Well, it’s about time for Di’s video-conference with her brother and sisters . . . Stay safe my friends.

COVID-19 and us — 3.24.20

As I type this COVID-19 cases number some 417,582 with 53,660 here in the US. Really, with some 7+ billion people in the world the numbers don’t seem large; when one considers the curve of new cases, both worldwide and in the US, it is frightening.

COVID-19 Graphics

http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/covid-19/maps-visuals

https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-51768274

The above links and others give graphic evidence as to the spread of the virus. Just use your search engine of choice (I like Duck Duck Go) and key in COVID-19 graphics.

Since my last post . . .

. . . not much has changed. Both medical and non-medical appointments have been re-scheduled for some time in April or left in limbo. My appointment with the cardiologist has become a video appointment. I’d added an hour to the time foe Di’s caregiver to be here on Wednesday so I could be at my appointment and a couple of hours later got a call from the cardiologist’s office. Would I be able to attend via phone or video (Zoom) on my computer? The scheduler was working from home. Video? Yeah, I could do that. So, tomorrow I’ll have a video medical appointment (my first) at somewhere near the same time the physical appointment had been scheduled.

I’m hoping two things. First, that, yes, I will not have to wait long and, second, that he’s already seen the CT scan’s results and that means I’m OK for the next few months. Fingers crossed.

Shopping

The supermarkets have quieted down. They are no longer crowded, at least at the times I go, and the shelves are mostly full. Paper products and cleaners seem to still be in short supply.

It looks like the idiots who panicked and have supplies of TP and wipes good for several years are out of money or space for storage. It should only take a week or two for suppliers to get shelves stocked again.

There is plenty of milk, fruit and salad fixings available.

Tomorrow, after the video meeting with the doctor, I’ll go shopping. Milk, salad, fruit, ice cream, frozen veggies, bread, cheese, creamer, potatoes, and kleenex are at the top of the list (and a roast chicken). I’ve got a Chewy order for the cats, including a new cat tree to replace the current torn up one, coming this week, hopefully.

A few days ago we drove along PCH into Long Beach (to get Di out of the house during one of her anxious periods) and parking lots of shopping centers were mostly empty. It reminded me of the days of my youth when stores were mostly closed on Sundays. The only lots with cars were those having grocery/drug type stores, restaurants set up for take-out and laundromats.

The beach

There didn’t seem to be too many people enjoying the beach, at least not as many as I usually see. There were few vehicles in the parking lots of the state and city beaches and the RV lots were mostly empty. The only place I saw a large number of people was Huntington Dog Beach and even there people didn’t seem to be in large groups . . . mostly.

There were too many people in the downtown/pier plaza/pier area for the city authorities and some of our self-appointed nannies so today the pier and pier plaza were closed and tomorrow the beach parking lots are going to be closed.

I’ve seen a lot of people out biking, walking, walking their dogs and families but not in large groups. Mostly, it’s singles, couples and parents with children and pets. Social distancing exercise.

For those of you who don’t believe in the efficacy of social distancing here is a graphic from the “Spanish Flu” of a century ago. It shows a comparison of the death rates of Philadelphia (which took few precautions) and St. Louis (which closed itself down). I believe the graphic is self-explanatory, but here’s the entire story:

https://qz.com/1816060/a-chart-of-the-1918-spanish-flu-shows-why-social-distancing-works/

Stay healthy my friends.

PS: I don’t know about you but I think the number of cases of this virus are way off. I’ve never really believed the stats coming from China — do you? and from the United States? We can’t even get enough tests, much less actually test people. Oh, Well . . . muddle through time . . .

COVID-19 and us — 3.19.20

Yesterday, got a call from the dermatologist’s office saying they’d have to re-schedule our Friday appointment to next month as they were closing the HB office for several weeks.

Today, got a call from Di’s psychologist saying no face-to-face meetings for the next few weeks and would Di like to Facetime or Skype – no, we’ll re-schedule after things clear up. Can’t say as I blame her, she and her husband are in our age group and he just turned 80.

Dentist also set back Di’s cleaning to late April.

Travel

Caregiver came to help Di today and I drove into Orange to drop off our taxes at our accountant’s office – she was home sick.

I drove back to HB to do some grocery shopping and a phone call from the accountant caught me in TJ’s parking lot – just wanted to confirm our personal and bank info hadn’t changed. TJ’s was still short but I got salads, milk and a few other things.

It began to rain and I drove to TK Burger to get a Big Bargain Special for lunch. Take-out only but open. Ate lunch in the car as it was raining at the Pier Plaza parking lot. And then put some gas in the car.

Refund

Got another call from the accountant, pulled to the side of the road, parked and answered the phone. Taxes were done and we’ll get back about four grand; she filed electronically and already received confirmation. Wrote her a check when I got home, but the mail had already been delivered and her check will go out tomorrow.

Continued to Smart and Final and picked up some ice cream, soup and a roast chicken — they also had milk but, like TJ’s limited quantities of milk and some other items.

Got home and Di and her caregiver were doing well. She had helped Di change some of her clothes and changed the bed after one of the cats threw up on it. She’d also started a laundry of the sheets and other items in the hamper.

All in all a pretty good day . . . all things considered.

 

COVID-19 and us — 3.17.20

COVID-19: Well, here we go again.

HOAG

This is my typical morning. The cats, Smoke and Mist, usually get me up before seven for breakfast. I feed them and then get the papers and fix some coffee. Either I make a fresh pot or zap what is left over from yesterday — at heart, I’m cheap and do not like to waste things.

I read the newspapers (gotta read the comics, at least) and drink my coffee, read my email and then wake Charlie. I help her to the bathroom and get her to her sunroom, fix her tea and get her morning pills.

Then it’s on the exercise bike for 110 minutes, reading and watching TV. Every twenty minutes, or so, I get up to check on Charlie and then back to work.

After the bike I see to Charlie’s needs, eat a banana and have another cup of coffee or two, breakfast/lunch and meds/vitamins. And did a wash.

Got a call from the accountant’s office confirming Thursday’s appointment and a couple of hours later another call which said that she was sick and could I just come in with my papers and she’d see me another time. OK. Guess what I’m doing tomorrow.

Charlie and I went to HOAG HB for my CT scan appointment at 1:45 pm and were greeted at the door by a young lady asking is we had an appointment or were ill: yes and no. I checked in and was out a half hour later. Some of the chairs in the waiting area were Xed with blue tape (social distancing).

Drive

We then drove to Seal Beach and stopped at the Starbucks/Vons for Charlie’s white hot chocolate. The store was quiet, unlike the panic of a few days ago. Some of the shelves were empty but things looked as though they were slowly returning to normal. The young man at Starbucks recognized me and asked if I wanted a white hot chocolate; we chatted a bit and Charlie was shortly and happily sipping her drink.

Returning to Huntington Beach we stopped at Vons pharmacy for a couple of her meds, and another white hot chocolate.

The “merry maids” were still cleaning when we returned and we stayed out of their way, shortly having a nice clean house.

Not bad for being in the middle of a pandemic. Tomorrow we’ll run our financials to Orange and do some grocery shopping on the way home — and, yes, probably get Charlie another white hot chocolate. Hopefully, TJs will be re-stocked.

Stay healthy my friends.

911 — Another Update

Well, I survived the week but the congestion did not disappear. I had an awful cough and saw my (new) doctor again Tuesday. He decided to double my Advair dosage — new dispenser, not use original one twice as often. The pharmacy didn’t have any in stock so I had to pick up the new one yesterday afternoon.

Don’t know if it worked quickly but my coughing is down and I was able to get some uninterrupted sleep last night. Also using Mucinex at his direction.

Got a nebulizer treatment during the Tuesday visit and again on Wednesday when I went in for my Medicare “Wellness” exam.

So, results: prostate is OK; lungs are clear and BP and heart rate are normal — but he’ll keep me on the BP meds for at least six months or so (high normal readings) and may give me another steroid series for inflammation if the new Advair isn’t working well enough by Friday afternoon. Also, blood tests and Cologuard . . .

And, . . . I need a cardiologist (yes, I’ve already scheduled an appointment). I have an aortic aneurysm (ascending). While in Emergency last week, I had both a chest X-ray and a CT scan, and it was discovered there. It’s big enough to be checked at least twice a year but not yet large enough to be operated on. No history of heart disease in my family.

And, both Di and I had our stitches taken out today from the skin surgery of two weeks ago. Di now wants (and we’ve scheduled) a complete skin exam as the mole that was removed was first spotted by her PCP. I have my basal cell removed at the end of the month.

–  –  –  –

Commentary: I’ve got our appointment calendar next to me and, if one discounts the two days I was in the hospital, we have a total of fifteen (15) visits to various doctors scheduled for the month. I don’t know that you have to be tough to grow old but it sure helps. I do know you need good insurance.

Stay healthy everyone and    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ClQcUyhoxTg

. . . and Smoke wants my lap, bye.