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.

COVID-19 and us

Well, . . . because of the COVID-19 “pandemic” our governor wants all older people to stay at home. OK, but . . . we have to eat and don’t have several weeks of food stockpiled, as I didn’t go panic shopping last week(end). We have medical tests to take and appointments with several doctors over the next few weeks.

A dentist called and cancelled my wife’s appointment today saying they were closing, except for emergencies, for the next two weeks.

Between us we have more than a dozen prescriptions to pick up each month.

We’ve got TP and paper towels that I bought a week before the panic set in and plenty of cat litter and cat food.

So, I’m going to go grocery shopping, stop at the pharmacy (two that we use), put gas in the car, see the doctor and go for short drives when my wife gets her anxiety attacks. And, yes, I’ll stop at Starbucks for a white hot chocolate with whipped cream that she likes so much.

We had Chinese food delivered last night (Egg Roll King in HB) and finished most of it tonight.

Social distancing?

Being retired and with my wife being unable to walk, we don’t do much socializing but our TVs and my music run up a big electricity bill from Edison. So, “social distancing” won’t be much of a hardship for us.

But I do need to get gas for the car, go grocery shopping, stop at the pharmacy and see the doctors. I can’t just stay at home. That is, unless somebody wants to run all of the errands for me or bring stuph to our house.

Oh, yeah, the IRS hasn’t changed the date our income taxes are due. I have to go out Thursday and see the woman who does our taxes. Hopefully, the home care service has someone to stay with my wife during that time as I cannot leave her home alone for any extended period of time. I have a CT scan scheduled for tomorrow afternoon and have to bring her with me — we’ll probably take a drive after that and stop in for a white hot chocolate, some drugs at the pharmacy and a few groceries at Vons, TJs and/or Smart & Final. Also, Merry Maids is scheduled to come tomorrow.

Our library is closing down for the next month, so I’m out of luck for checking out books and I do not like reading them electronically, but . . . oh well.

Government

We have good doctors, health insurance and Medicare. That, along with good pensions, should ensure that we’ll get through the COVID-19 panic and pandemic with a minimum of problems. I’ll not lay odds on catching the virus as I don’t trust the numbers I see coming from the government. They seem too sparse and not based on any form of reality — just like the figures coming from China. Or, do you trust the numbers coming from China? Why?

The self-serving people who run our government, especially at the national level, are clearly incompetent to deal with this crisis and almost as incompetent in explaining their inability to deal with it. “Not my responsibility,” HA!

Teachers, give your kids a couple of weeks to deal with things. Two weeks of enforced boredom and having parents yelling at them (those who have parents who can stay home with them) ought to see them amenable to, at least, some online instruction.

So, there we are: a few disjointed thoughts on COVID-19. Stay healthy, my friends.

Dragons’ Roost — Part 6

Durnair heard a long, deep sigh escape Konna and turned to watch him. Though she knew she did not have the talent, she heard his thoughts, Fool. You have woken Asyra. She will not be happy with you.

Siir? Asyra? Could it be? Durnair shuddered as the hill behind the magician and his flames began to open, and the ground trembled as though it was come the end of the world.

An almost reptilian head, three, four, more meters in length, emerged from the crevice. The color of phosphorescent jade shedding brown soil as it rose; its emerald eyes ran with veins of gold. Needle-sharp teeth in what might have been the hint of a smile were of shiny pearl the length of a large man’s arm.

The head was followed by a sinuous neck, another ten or twenty meters in length. The dragon stretched, yawned and growled, roared and sent a brilliant green flame another hundred meters into the sky.

“Siir, you have come in answer to my summons. These are blasphemers. Kill them all. Obey my words and kill them all. Burn them to ashes and send them to hell,” commanded the magician.

“Blasphemers all, kill them, kill them,” screeched the priest.

The dragon continued to emerge from the hillside and her true size quickly became apparent. The body was easily more than twenty meters in length and the tail another thirty. Her wings unfurled, thirty meters to a side.

“Obey? Summons?” she questioned and laughed, deep and long. It was a laugh from the depths of the earth, a laugh both feminine and terrifying. “You disturbed my well-earned sleep magician. You disrupted my rest to do murder and satisfy your greed.

“I see your crimes and sentence you to death. I shall feed my hunger and cleanse your stain from the world.” Before the magician could run, she impaled him in her teeth. A short scream and squirt of blood, and he was gone.

The priest ran and Durnair shouted, “He’ll leave a bad taste in your mouth.”

The dragon laughed at the woman, roared and sent a searing lance of verdant flame that enveloped the would-be fugitive. The blaze quickly consumed him, but not rapidly enough to consume the stench of his passing.

She turned back to face the leading wagon and settled her green eyes upon Durnair. “Greetings, granddaughter of Aphasa. You bear the mark of the steppes and your family well. Good fortune to you, to your husband and your children.”

“Thank you, Mistress of Sky and Mountain,” returned Durnair. “Thank you for your help in our hour of need. We shall work to prove ourselves worthy of that aid and your good wishes.”

The dragon dipped her head and seemed to smile as she turned to gaze on Konna who smiled at her.

“It has been a long time husband. How fare you and our children?” asked the dragon softly as Fysal, Durnair and the others stared open-mouthed.

“I am well, Asyra. Our daughter has happily re-married after the accidental death of her first husband. She now has a son in addition to the daughter who has been adopted by her husband. Our son has a trade wagon of his own, a loving wife and strong son. He is happy.”

“Is it time, Konna?” she asked.

“Yes, my love. I believe it is,” he answered.

“Come then. I have rested enough, and I think there may still be some adventure to be found in this old world. Let us find it before it disappears.”

“At your word, my love,” Konna said. He dismounted from the horse and turned to his friends. “Fysal, Durnair, my horses, wagons and their contents are our gift to your children. Thank you and be well.”

“Be well, Konna,” they replied as he walked to Asyra.

Konna used her lowered right wing as a step up to her neck. Seeing that he was well seated, Asyra extended both of her wings and launched herself into the sky. Circling the caravan as she slowly gained altitude, Asyra gave them a tale to tell their grandchildren.

A minute later Konna rolled off, drawing gasps from those watching below. But as he spread his legs and arms, his body lengthened and his wings unfurled. They continued to circle as he grew in size. Those on the ground could not distinguish which was larger, nor tell green from black.

Eventually, Asyra and Konna reached a comfortable altitude and flew north, into the clouds and over the mountains. Into history, into legend and into myth–until the next time.

to be continued?