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Fragile Bird

Covid-19 #38: As the Worm Turns

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For history's sake, here is the entry in my journal from March 14th, 2020.  It's long, so skip it.  But it show masks indeed were already a part of our lives here in NYC.  Thank you for your patience all this time!  :love:

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     . . . . A relaxed, youngish woman, back against the Greek Bakery's window, knees up, feet perched upon the bench in front the one on which she's comfortably seated, coffee at her side, wearing a breathing mask, reading The New Yorker, enjoying this warm, sunny day.

I wanted to take her photo but that would have invaded her privacy.  Asking permission would have broken the picture.

~~~~~~~~~

     . . . . Growing up as a farm girl, raised in a community for whom memories of the Great Depression plus the annual reality of winter were their organizing forces, my last four weeks primarily have focused on preparation for breaks in the supply chain, isolation, quarantine, being sick at home.  This began even before  . . . . postponed.

Watching the news from China and Italy made it clear covid-19 would arrive here, was probably already here, but we had no idea when the 'leadership' would even bother to take notice.

Fortunately our state and city were noticing and attempting to take action even by the start of the new year.  9/11 and Hurricane Sandy taught us all something. But in Washington?  We all knew they'd do nothing, blame it on others, and when they had to do something, they'd make it worse. And even worse than that, even if forced to, they wouldn't know what to do or how to do it, and then they'd lie some more.  So ....

The first supplies I bought were over the counter remedies such as Nyquil, aspirin, Riccola Drops, tissues, toilet paper, paper towels, dish detergent, chlorine bleach, lysol and chlorine hand wipes, mouthwash, toothpaste (some of which I had already, since I try to stay ahead on these items).  But even by then, due to the flu season being so bad here this year, there was no hand sanitizer.  Then came the rice, couscous, pasta, lentils, beans, tea and so on -- which again I always have on hand anyway, but never in a quantity that could hopefully get us through 3 weeks to 2 months (if it goes beyond 2 -3 months -- well! who knows?). 

We have a lot of coffee beans -- like we have a lot of rum -- because of Cuba --people there are always giving us gifts of coffee and rum. 

Over the following days, my usual daily shopping included something extra for storage every day, beyond the necessary for making dinner, having breakfast, doing laundry, cleaning.

We made new wills and had them notarized.

Now that the mass prep buying is in effect, we could concentrate on the more perishable, but still with a good shelf life, foods like yams, potatoes, butternut, acorn and spaghetti squashes to use now.  I am making spinach soup today, for instance.

Some I'll freeze, some I'll give out right now to two male friends and neighbors who have no idea of what to do, some I'll give to some of the people in my building who haven't had either the good fortune and privilege to do anything like this, and at this moment, can't do anything either, because all these things are missing from the shelves now.  They all have freezers, so this is going to be what I'm doing. Making soups and legume dishes for friends and neighbors. Nobody's doing a run on fresh baby spinach, packages of carrots, yams and potatoes! At least at the moment.

Other snapshots from Thursday (a particularly black day, particularly in NYC, due to the markets) and yesterday: elderly gentlemen, depressed and defeated, staring hopelessly at the fairly depleted shelves in our wonderful local  supermarket, having not a clue as to what they should be doing.  One reached out finally, and dropped two rolls of toilet paper in his basket.  My heart broke.  These are men -- like some of our friends, who live alone, have never done meal planning or preparation in their lives, who now that they're alone eat in little restaurants or fast food, or -- I don't know. Heartbreaking that we care so little for all of us sharing our communities

Then there are these gougers, weeping for their lost investments as state and other regs against gouging kick in. For them, we shall not squeeze a tear (though, perhaps? squeezing the trigger would indeed be appropriate?:

Now, while millions of people across the country search in vain for hand sanitizer to protect themselves from the spread of the coronavirus, Mr. Colvin is sitting on 17,700 bottles of the stuff with little idea where to sell them.

“It’s been a huge amount of whiplash,” he said. “From being in a situation where what I’ve got coming and going could potentially put my family in a really good place financially to ‘What the heck am I going to do with all of this?"

They don't know what to do with these supplies, even as local hospitals and other medical facilities are without masks, sanitizer and these other essential supplies.

In Cuba, the men in the supermarket wouldn't be left alone and neglected to try and figure out at to do without the experience or means to do so. In Cuba hoarding would not be tolerated by either government or community.

In fact, now that two Italians  have brought the virus there, Cuba's mobilizing for it:

Nevertheless I am again, so privileged because I live where I do.

Number 1) I am not facing this alone.

Number 2) The population is generally young and prosperous, i.e. healthy. 

Number 3)  City and state have a certain amount of preparedness for emergencies -- we've all been through 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, for starters, seen what was not done at all, before or after, in the aftermath of Katrina and more lately, Maria and Puerto Rico. So we have a lot of people in government and privately, who have already been thinking on these lines. But like everywhere else, our public health systems have been shut down, reduced, over and over and over, due to the thugs in D.C. cutting budgets, and destroying anything that could help the enormous population of homeless, mentally and physically challenged.

But here the churches are mobilizing -- not for services, but for watching out for each other, looking in on elderly neighbors, providing them with food.

Even our own landlords have been proactive, hiring already two weeks ago extra help to regularly disinfect and deep clean the public spaces such as laundry room, central staircase and railings, floors and doors, mail and delivery spaces. They sent email update with pertinent phone numbers to each tenant outlining what to do if one feels in need of help. One of  the young men in our building volunteered to shop for the two elderly tenants who have compromised immune systems due to cancer -- thankfully, they are both in remission. 

Here, learning distance teaching is in effect. NYU is in spring break so there's time to learn to use Zoom, hopefully (a real pita, but hey). We are working out protocols to live together 24/7 in this tiny space in harmony, including taking long walks separately.  And fortunately, having self taught video-audio tools, there is the Cuban music documentary to work on.

As I begin and end: even though I have the 9/11 dry rasping cough that afflicts so many down here, and there are allergies, and have a bad back, am in some ways in the high risk category -- still I am truly privileged, unlike way too many others.

 

Needless to day, that spirit of cooperation and safety first didn't last.  And Cuba, well, Cuba -- finally too much even for them to survive, the combo of the pandemic and what the shoggoth did to them, and Biden didn't rescind.

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Miami Airport now has two dogs who can detect covid-19 (people give them their masks to sniff) with the accuracy of over 97 and 99 %, respectively. I shouldn't be surprised, we know dogs can sniff diabetes and many other serious illnesses, but it's still awesome.

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20 hours ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I suppose, but I would think that would be negligible unless you think there is deliberate fudging of the numbers, early on the criticism of a somewhat conspiratorial nature was that deaths attributable to COVID-19 were being overreported. After all every death, in countries like the USA, has to be recorded and a cause of death included in the death certificate. In countries where death reporting and recording is less consistent there may be sufficient under-reporting to move the IFR by a few points, but not, I would think, in countries with a well organised births, deaths and marriages bureaucracy.

Excess mortality (which happened a lot during the 1st wave) shows that covid deaths have been widely underestimated. It's not cheating, it's just that plenty of people died without being tested, and a lot of elderly died in nursing homes without being officially considered covid deaths. You can usually add 50% to Western deaths figures. Figures from 2nd wave on are a bit more accurate.

And yes, it is covid deaths, the bulk of them. We have data on murders, violence, accidents and the like and it was mostly significantly lower than usual, due to lockdowns. And we weren't seeing horror stories of people who couldn't get ICU bed after accident, last year, unlike what we begin to see now in Southern US, mostly because there was more ICU staff at the time and because people were freaking out and unofficially doing triage before sending people to ICUs.

 

1 hour ago, Mindwalker said:

Miami Airport now has two dogs who can detect covid-19 (people give them their masks to sniff) with the accuracy of over 97 and 99 %, respectively. I shouldn't be surprised, we know dogs can sniff diabetes and many other serious illnesses, but it's still awesome.

What would be even more awesome would be to use that on a wide scale - be it for covid or other illnesses. I don't expect this to happen, obviously, it would require brain and forward-thinking from our leaders.

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So Covid Passports for large events and nightclubs will now not be happening in England. Which is great news, it was a nonsensical idea and its good that it won't be introduced.  Of course it doesn't mean they won't ever be introduced, the messaging on this the last few weeks has been awful, going back and forth over it, no clear message at all. We'll also have to see what happens when the inevitable rise of flu cases crop up in Winter. 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-58535258

Scotland however almost certainly will be introducing them, for a number of reasons. Firstly because their cases and hospitalisations shot up massively, where Englands cases dropped, rose a little again, and then have started to drop again. Secondly, because Sturgeon & the SNP are basically authoritarians and this kinda fits. Thirdly, because most scottish policiy decisions are seemingly based on what England isn't doing.

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England will go up again, because schools are about to go back. Scotland numbers shot up, esp among the under 18s because they all went back to school with not a lot in the way of mitigations. England will see the same.

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8 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

England will go up again, because schools are about to go back. Scotland numbers shot up, esp among the under 18s because they all went back to school with not a lot in the way of mitigations. England will see the same.

Schools are already back. Most of the rises in cases in England were in the under 20 group

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42 minutes ago, Heartofice said:

Scotland however almost certainly will be introducing them, for a number of reasons. Firstly because their cases and hospitalisations shot up massively, where Englands cases dropped, rose a little again, and then have started to drop again. Secondly, because Sturgeon & the SNP are basically authoritarians and this kinda fits. Thirdly, because most scottish policiy decisions are seemingly based on what England isn't doing.

If the SNP had any sense, it'd have pursued a proper Covid Elimination strategy, thereby creating a de facto closed border with England. Basically, achieving its political goals along with public health.

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18 hours ago, Chataya de Fleury said:

I have to confess that I found the “Sex Romp New Zealand Hospital” headline intriguing and was very disappointed that it wasn’t an orgy.

”Sex Romp” totally sounds like an orgy.

Gave me flashbacks to my time spent in St Bartholomew's. Whilst recovering from a quadruple bypass, one of my fellow patients had a prostitute visit him - I mean, I assume she was a prostitute due to the general demeanour and attire, and the fact they spent at least a few hours fucking at the opposite end of the ward).

One of the worst nights of my life.

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I would have thought if you are well enough to have sex for a couple of hours in a single night you are probably well enough to be discharged and have the prostitute visit you at your own home. Any ongoing treatment can be undertaken as an outpatient.

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17 minutes ago, The Anti-Targ said:

I would have thought if you are well enough to have sex for a couple of hours in a single night you are probably well enough to be discharged and have the prostitute visit you at your own home. Any ongoing treatment can be undertaken as an outpatient.

I wouldn't have been so bad if I was able to sleep at all. Shortly after waking up from surgery, I developed hiccups. They would not go away. And with a split sternum, let me tell you, hiccups are zero fun.

Because I hadn't slept in two days, in a vain attempt to get rid of the hiccups, the doctors gave me ketamine. A lot of ketamine. That was the night the prostitute visited. I was off my tits on morphine, whilst simultaneously trapped down a k-hole, listening to these people screwing all night. 

It was like something out of Dante's freakin' Inferno. 

*shudders*

Edited by Spockydog

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9 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

I wouldn't have been so bad if I was able to sleep at all. Shortly after waking up from surgery, I developed hiccups. They would not go away. And with a split sternum, let me tell you, hiccups are zero fun.

Because I hadn't slept in two days, in a vain attempt to get rid of the hiccups, the doctors gave me ketamine. A lot of ketamine. That was the night the prostitute visited. I was off my tits on morphine, whilst simultaneously trapped down a k-hole, listening to these people screwing all night. 

It was like something out of Dante's freakin' Inferno. 

*shudders*

What a surreal experience, and that you were even conscious while on morphine and special K...are you sure it actually happened?

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1 hour ago, The Anti-Targ said:

What a surreal experience, and that you were even conscious while on morphine and special K...are you sure it actually happened?

I've used a lot of recreational pharmaceuticals over the years. I mean, A LOT.

(PRO TIP: Kids, if you're having a general anaesthetic, and you've been absolutely fucking caning it for years, whatever you do, do not hide this fact from your anaesthetist.)

Staying awake after ingesting lots of drugs has never been a problem for me. I definitely wasn't hallucinating. I know this because the bloke was actually bragging about it in the morning. 

Edited by Spockydog

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My daughter has now lost her sense of taste.  Still no cough or fever.  Puttering around without difficulty despite being masked.  

I am glad she was vaccinated even if it ia frustrating to have her suffering a break through infection.

Edited by Ser Scot A Ellison

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10 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

My daughter has now lost her sense of taste.  Still no cough or fever.  Puttering around without diffident despite being masked.  

I am glad she was vaccinated even if it ia frustrating to have her suffering a break through infection.

Hope she gets well soon, Scot. Wishing you and the rest of the family well. 

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11 minutes ago, Spockydog said:

Hope she gets well soon, Scot. Wishing you and the rest of the family well. 

Thank you.  My wife has been away with her mom.  Nana (wife’s mom) is staying at her cousins and Laura is going to stay isolated from the rest of us.

Fun times.

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48 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

My daughter has now lost her sense of taste.  Still no cough or fever.  Puttering around without diffident despite being masked.  

I am glad she was vaccinated even if it ia frustrating to have her suffering a break through infection.

Oh hell, what terrible news. Thank goodness she’s vaccinated! I hope she has a quick recovery, the loss of taste is temporary and is the worst symptom she suffers from.

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How did she acquire the breakthrough, do you think, Scot?  Was it at school?

In terms of mandating vaccination + proof of same for events of all kinds, and what this means: The Venice Film Festival did so.  Only three positive tests out of the over 14000 involved in the festival.  They had free testing stations set up everywhere.  I think, too, masks were expected in certain situations.

This is the difference between this sort of event, as with Lolapolooza, and o, say, Sturgis, with no vaccination and no masking and no testing just let 'er rip.

 

Edited by Zorral

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1 hour ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

My daughter has now lost her sense of taste.  Still no cough or fever.  Puttering around without diffident despite being masked.  

I am glad she was vaccinated even if it ia frustrating to have her suffering a break through infection.

I hope she feels better soon and doesn't get any more symptoms.

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20 minutes ago, Zorral said:

How did she acquire the breakthrough, do you think, Scot?  Was it at school?

In terms of mandating vaccination + proof of same for events of all kinds, and what this means: The Venice Film Festival did so.  Only three positive tests out of the over 14000 involved in the festival.  They had free testing stations set up everywhere.  I think, too, masks were expected in certain situations.

This is the difference between this sort of event, as with Lolapolooza, and o, say, Sturgis, with no vaccination and no masking and no testing just let 'er rip.

 

She was away at school.  She also works in a grocery store that doesn’t enforce mask requirements.  So, school or work…
 

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