Day 19-Quarantine-Alone and Weary

While eating my KETO breakfast of cheese, bacon, a hard boiled egg and some green grapes from Chile I watched New York Governor Cuomo’s press conference on COVID-19. I was mildly surprised to hear him speak with intelligence for once. I have only heard him speak politically, and when he does that he speaks through his progressive ass.

He basically explained exactly what President Trump has been telling us about how it is necessary to understand the needs at each hospital and to direct resources to those in dire need and not to those that are merely asking. His explanation seemed to me to be much cleaner than that of Trump’s. Perhaps because he heard Trump’s explanation before. Cuomo’s problems are basically limited to those of New York City, and then the rest of the state. Trump’s problem covers all fifty states and every big city within them. Cuomo admitted that the problem is hard and not one he likes to be involved with.

While this is going on, I switched to a Sunday morning news panel and heard socialist panelists criticizing Trump’s handling of everything. “He lies all the time,” no, he changes the message based on new evidence. “He should have stopped traffic from China sooner.” Yes maybe he should have and you Mr/Ms reporter should have put your brain in gear sooner while learning to become a communist. It is no different on any other liberal news broadcast station, they are all spewing hate and negativity to convince the population that he is the wrong guy for the job, and anyone could do it better.

At the end, Cuomo spoke about the effect the Stay in Place policy is having on people. He rightly referred to it as Cabin Fever. Listing all the emotional and physical effects upon people who are being forced to live with their families full time. If this were a hundred years ago we wouldn’t have that problem because everyone in the family would be too busy working around the farm to keep things going, not playing video games or surfing the net for dumb stuff.

I never completed a course in statistics, but I learned enough about stats to know they are important. During Cuomo’s talk he explained a graph indicating that NY may’ve reached a peak of the deaths. The first question out of a reporter’s mouth was “can you predict when this will be over?” No, dummy, the next point may still be higher. Those who know a little bit about statistics may remember that the mathematicians will only call something a trend if there are seven points in a row that are all in the same direction. So even if Cuomo’s peak was at the pinnacle, no statistician would stick his neck out and make a prediction based on one point. The answer is we will know in a few days, seven to know for sure if this is a trend. If in two or  three days another point goes higher the answer is no we don’t know. What bothers me is the number of genius college educated people in this country who cannot understand the concept.

One thing I learned about data is that without statistics to interpret all you have are numbers. If you think you can predict the outcome of something based on one, two, or three numbers you are ill informed. I know from experience because I was  using a limited number testing process in my work and made wrong predictions daily. It wasn’t until I began to understand how statistics works did I have a Chinaman’s chance in hell to make progress in product development. When the light bulb finally went on above my head it occurred  to me that medical cures, drug efficacy, and medical procedures cannot be proven effective unless tested in sufficient numbers to be able to predict outcomes.

Politicians are not trained to understand the world of statistical proofs as an idea, nor is the American public. Therefore, when the reporter who barely knows how to wipe his ass asks a loaded question the politician deflects the response with a verbacious dialog intended to change the subject and confuse the question to end the discussion.

As far as cabin fever is concerned, I agree with Cuomo. We all suffer from it. While I folded my wash yesterday I began thinking about living alone. It is something I miss, but after being alone for ten months I am questioning whether I would ever be able to withstand living with someone again. I don’t mind visiting or visitors, but after the conversation is ended I want to go about my way again, alone. One day I miss being with a partner, and the next I cannot even think of it. Call it grief, call it being introverted, call it stupid, but the emotion exists as a real thing. Ask  yourself what you would do if the war was conventional and the enemy was shooting and dropping bombs? Would you risk going outside for a run, or a trip to the grocer? Most likely you would hunker down in the safest place you could find sit with your head between your knees, and your hands over your head and pray for it to end.

Day 18-Quarantine, or Stay In Place?

When I began this journey to chronicle my experience with COVID-19 I decided to title the essay as ‘Quarantine.” Webster defines quarantine like this:

“a state, period, or place of isolation in which people or animals that have arrived from elsewhere or been exposed to infectious or contagious disease are placed: many animals die in quarantine.”

Our President and Governor call it ‘Stay In Place.’

The difference as I see it is that in a quarantine a contagious person is kept in a place of isolation until such person is no longer contagious. While ‘Stay in Place’ means I get to remain where I live, and as long as I follow the guidelines as directed until such a time as the order is removed. Another difference is that under quarantine the individual is known to be infected, and can pass the disease to another. Under ‘Stay in Place’ it is unknown if I am infected, and I might pass it on if I am infected.

Under quarantine, there is no way in hell I would be allowed to walk my dog or go to the store for groceries. If you have been diagnosed positive it wouldn’t matter if you were an essential worker, you would not leave the quarantine area for anything.

Why are we under stay in place and not in quarantine? Probably because it would be impractical, if not impossible, to manage millions of people in quarantine. Picture it like being sent to prison. We don’t have the resources nor the infra-structure to house millions of sick people. So our leaders chose to invent ‘Stay In Place’ as a mitigation effort.

Today is Saturday and the are fewer people out for walks. Of course the temperature is in the thirties as compared to yesterday’s fifties. All of my friends are taking the stay in place order seriously and none want to come over and play, nor do they suggest I come to them. We do phone each other to learn how we are doing.

I don’t feel like cooking today so I’ll dip into my reserves of TV dinners and cook for all of five minutes in the micro-wave. I don’t even feel up to a salad today. Too much effort is required to assemble the ingredients and pour dressing.

Tonight, I will go onto a movie marathon. I am skipping Homeland today, because I have watched so much of it that I am dreaming in Homeland. Last night I found myself in a dream situation that required escape, and I was paralyzed. I couldn’t move any of my limbs and it freaked me out to the point of waking up struggling to whip the covers off. I was so wrapped up in the sheet that I was totally confined and unable to get our without a fight.

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, and it is the first time in my history that the churches are shut down. I am glad they are substituting video masses during Holy Week. I plan on attending them at my computer. I will also attend a Lions Board meeting by video conference, and also an Oasis meeting for the visually impaired by video conference. This should be interesting.

Getting groceries delivered is not working yet, and I don’t think it will. They need people to do the work but no one is looking for work at the moment. I vision two or three trucks arriving at my house one day with the groceries I ordered, and me shouting no, no, no. What would I you with those fresh vegetables and fruit all at the same time. Make stew and juice I suppose.

 

 

 

Day 13-Self Imposed Quarantine-On the Seventh Day God Rested

Today is Sunday. I have to remind myself of that. Last week I lost a day and celebrated Friday on Thursday. That means I didn’t eat meat at any meal before I realized my mistake, and then had to abstain again the next day. Not that fish is bad for me it is because I don’t have a stock pile of it my freezer. I have peanut butter, but my KETO diet keeps me from eating bread, and I love peanut butter sandwiches. Does that make sense?

After posting my rant about the stupidity of car companies offering to make medical devices I finally got underway filling the day with more productive activities. By then I developed enough courage to go outside and attack another flower bed clean up. I must have slept through some heavy rain because the leaves were soaking and the soil muddy. I wound up cleaning mud off my heavy shoes several times. I completed another one hour baby step toward a burgeoning upcoming floral season. I photographed the first blooms of spring to make my heart leap with joy. The next project was to strip naked in front of the washing machine to wash my muddy clothes.

After a quick shower and clean clothes I proceeded to cook a batch of KETO stroganoff. Actually, it is the same as regular stroganoff but without any flour as gravy thickener. When it was finished I thought the gravy a mite too runny, so I added some Xanthan gum to thicken it, and it worked. I didn’t have a zucchini to make zucchini noodles, so I decided KETO go to hell for this meal, and cooked up some wide egg noodles. I am not sorry I did that because the stroganoff was great! Today, I’ll have left overs, except I’ll substitute leftover cauliflower mash for the noodles and be totally KETO compliant.

After supper, I went to the TV and found a stupid movie called “Thirteen Going On Thirty”.  It starred Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffallo, since they were in it I thought it would be good. I endured it to the end. I’d give it about a half star. The plot grants a thirteen year old girl’s wish to be thirty. The overnight transition from a thirteen year old to a thirty year old was too much to believe.

There was still an hour and a half before my usual bedtime so I turned to watch episodes of my latest series “Homeland.”  Three episodes later and long after my bedtime I shut the TV off and forced myself to sleep. There is so much action in this series that my mind continues processing throughout the night. The sleep is not restful and I find  myself dragging in the morning. My dreams are all wild with people from the series running and shooting and plotting.  The Homeland series is several years old and there are over ninety episodes, and I have watched only thirteen. Either I slow down, watch in the daytime, or ration my watching to one episode per week. As tired as I was from the yard work, which usually makes me sleep like a baby, I woke up with my blanket bunched up and twisted in a roll. I was rockin’ and rollin’ all night long.

Day 8 of Quarantine-Best Advice Ever

This morning I received a message from one of my angel friends. It is a comprehensive explanation of COVID-19 signs and symptoms. Here it is in its entirety.

I didn’t check this with SNOPES because every point of it makes sense and will be good to heed regardless of its veracity.

 

Stanford Hospital Board Internal Message

 

 

The new Coronavirus may not show sign of infection for many days. How can one know if he/she is infected? By the time they have fever and/or cough and go to the hospital, the lung is usually 50% Fibrosis and it’s too late.

 

Taiwan experts provide a simple self-check that we can do every morning. Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds. If you complete it successfully without coughing, without discomfort, stiffness or tightness, etc., it proves there is no Fibrosis in the lungs, basically indicates no infection. In critical time, please self-check every morning in an environment with clean air.

 

Serious excellent advice by Japanese doctors treating COVID-19 cases: Everyone should ensure your mouth & throat are moist, never dry. Take a few sips of water every 15 minutes at least. Why? Even if the virus gets into your mouth, drinking water or other liquids will wash them down through your throat and into the stomach. Once there, your stomach acid will kill all the virus. If you don’t drink enough water more regularly, the virus can enter your windpipe and into the lungs. That’s very dangerous.

 

Please send and share this with family and friends. Take care everyone and may the world recover from this Coronavirus soon.

 

Important Announcement — Coronavirus

  1. If you have a runny nose and sputum, you have a common cold
  2. Coronavirus pneumonia is a dry cough with no runny nose.
  3. This new virus is not heat-resistant and will be killed by a temperature of just 78/80 degrees (F). It hates the Sun.
  4. If someone sneezes with it, it takes about 10 feet before it drops to the ground and is no longer airborne.
  5. If it drops on a metal surface it will live for at least 12 hours — so if you come into contact with any metal surface — wash your hands as soon as you can with a bacterial soap.
  6. On fabric it can survive for 6-12 hours. normal laundry detergent will kill it.
  7. Drinking warm water is effective for all viruses. Try not to drink liquids with ice.
  8. Wash your hands frequently as the virus can only live on your hands for 5-10 minutes, but — a lot can happen during that time — you can rub your eyes, pick your nose unwittingly and so on.
  9. You should also gargle as a prevention. A simple solution of salt in warm water will suffice.
  10. Can’t emphasize enough — drink plenty of water!

 

The Symptoms

  1. It will first infect the throat, so you’ll have a sore throat lasting 3/4 days
  2. The virus then blends into a nasal fluid that enters the trachea and then the lungs, causing pneumonia. This takes about 5/6 days further.
  3. With the pneumonia comes high fever and difficulty in breathing.
  4. The nasal congestion is not like the normal kind. You feel like you’re drowning. It’s imperative you then seek immediate attention.

 

Day 4 of Self Exile

Today, I slept until 9:00 a.m. That is highly unusual for me, but I’ll take it. My body must need the rest. I chopped scallions, three kinds of pepper, red, yellow, and green to sauté. Then added garlic to some beaten eggs for a scramble. I needed a little bit more so I added a dollop of cottage cheese to the plate. While eating I watched the horrible news about corona virus. That blended into the “Stump Trump Hour.” All the while I wondered if there were less than ten reporters in the room. Certainly they were not six feet apart, and certainly they do not have brains. The questions were repetitious, and boring. Don’t these people listen to the answers? Some of them impressed me as attempts to stump Trump into changing his first response. When experts tell you that a vaccine is twelve to eighteen months away why is it necessary to ask if the system is fast tracking the process? When the Vice President reports that 3M is making 30 million face masks a month why is it necessary to push the answer toward why St. John Doe Hospital in Podunk is out of face masks?

Industrial grade face mask

 

 

Respirators that the press believes we should have millions on hand at each hospital

The whole thing could have been over in fifteen minutes, instead the President patiently answered the questions. The strangest I thought was why are you calling this the Chinese virus , isn’t that being racist? Duhh, lady where is your brain? It came from China and who care is the virus is racist? It will still kill you the first chance it gets even if you call it the honey coated-critter from space. The brains really stopped functioning when Dr. Deborah Birx reported that there has been a large increase in cases reported since last week, but that it is due to the fact that the backlog of tests has been corrected, and now reported. Then, the brains really began smoking when she reported that there are more positives now that all the test kits everyone complained about not having two days ago are now available. The dumbest question goes to the reporter who asked what the President is going to do for those in prisons? Isn’t a prison the ultimate form of quarantine? All the wardens have to do is to shut off visitors and check prison workers for the virus, end of calamity.

President Trump threw a fast one at them by reporting that several cruise lines offered to let the government use some of their empty cruise liners as hospital ships or quarantine centers. I gave one reporter credit for changing the subject by asking what the President was doing to rescue some 300 Americans stranded in Peru. If it were me answering that one, I would have told her “nothing, they got there on their own they can get home on their own.” President Trump, however, was again very calm and politely explained that he most likely would have to use military to bring them out. The reporter heard military and must have envisioned a war with Peru, because Trump had to correct his statement by adding “military aircraft” to the statement.

Throughout the conference I kept asking myself why are these people expecting the Federal Government to perform miracles and to take care of their every need, face masks, respirators, drugs, etc? Everyone of us lives in a State within the Union called the United States of America. Each of our States is an independent government with departments identical to those of the feds. State responsibility is first and foremost before the federal government should step in. If your state is not getting things done, you should be harassing the governor not the president. The problem is that the states are all broke because they have too many retirees to send pension checks to and not enough money to spend on disasters.

The President’s daily Task Force report via press conference to the American people was very informative and calming. He does not convey any sense of panic on any of the subjects and did not have to defer any questions to later or to someone else, he knew the answers. Twice, he told a reporter he would not answer the question.

After the conference I donned my rain gear and went for a 45 minute walk in the rain. It is the first day of Spring, and it was refreshing but cold. It is also the feast of Saint Joseph, my namesake, so it is special to me.  I can’t wait for tomorrow.

Days 2 & 3 Of My Quarantine

As luck has it something strange always happens when you schedule a large home improvement project. Making breakfast was an adventure because all the cabinets  were sealed off with plastic sheeting. I wound up poking holes through the sheeting in front of cabinet doors and drawers to get stuff I needed. I was stuck in my home quarantined by the floor refinishers. After a breakfast eaten in my bedroom I descended into my shop to get away from the noise and dust.

I was in my shop grinding on a piece of padauk wood forming a rose while the Rumanian floor refinisher was grinding the floors above me. I was attired in  face mask, heavy apron, and shop-hat turned backwards to protect me from the dangers of padauk-dust when I heard someone shouting at me. It was Johnny, the Rumanian. He told me I had until 12:30 p.m. to vacate the house, it was 11:30. He had begun to apply the stain on the floor where the refrigerator and stove sit. He would finish the final sanding while that stain set.

I hustled to pack a bag to get out and headed for a hotel. Thankfully, I thought about it for a few minutes when they first told me I would have to vacate for a day. I picked the hotel where Peggy and I spent our first nite of wedded bliss together. It is six miles from our house. Last night was not even close to that night.

Checking in was not a problem because they had many vacancies. In fact, I think I was one of a dozen people who stayed. The hotel bar and cafe were both closed by government edict which left me to fend for myself. Usually, when I check into a new hotel room, the first thing I check is the condiment bar for goodies. They had one of those new Keurig coffee machines. I followed the instructions and pushed “BREW” the light went on and I proceeded to check out the bathroom. Nice shower and lots of towels, I liked it. I expected a fresh cup of coffee but got nothing. I tried three more times to make it happen, but nothing. I left the room to buy some lunch. On the way out I stopped at the desk to report the Keurig wasn’t working and that someone should come up and check it out and/or teach me how to use it.

It is election day and I wanted to vote for someone who would not win so I drove to the high school which is where I voted the last time. It was a ghost town. I went to the library which is within sight of my house. It was the wrong place, but the nice ladies there looked up my precinct and found the church. Afterwards, I moved to the super-market next to the church and bought a pre-made sub-sandwich and a couple cans of soup. It was enough for lunch and supper. Back in the room a maintenance guy showed up to look at the coffee maker. He also had trouble, but solved the problem by unplugging the unit and replugging it into the adjacent outlet. After breaking my KETO diet with the sub-sandwich I spent a few hours reading until it was time for the soup.

I fully intended to write this diary every day, but I experienced too much trouble getting onto Word Press on my lap top last night. Its been five years since I used the laptop for posting. In those years the world has gone slap-happy with the need for user names and passwords. I tried my best to find the right combination but failed. I could have written a post in Word and then posted it today on my Mac, but I chose to play Solitaire instead. I used up my battery, and my charger was on my desk at home, so I was stuck watching TV. I spent the evening watching a new episode of Life Below Zero about a totally new region of Alaska. I will watch the program religiously again.

Day three(today) my internal clock got me up at seven and I sat on the bed watching the traffic move by. Normally, there are hundreds of cars speeding through that section, but this morning it was relatively empty. I dressed and went to the lobby hoping to find some food, but first I decided to use the Keurig again. It took me three tries, but I finally mastered the combination of latch closing, water addition, and proper button pushing before the damn thing started to drip coffee. The morning food service was suspended as advertised, but the manager left baggies with an orange, cupcake, and a granola bar for departing residents. They also had a pot of coffee available. I picked up the USA Today and the Wall Street Journal for the room.

I spent reading and watching President Trump’s press conference on Covid-19. I thought he is doing everything right and he reacts with new action as new facts emerge. He doesn’t wait to cogitate with his advisors before acting because they discuss and brainstorm together and decide on the next course of action. He doesn’t need any more thought about what to do. He reminds me of the man I worked for. When he wanted a problem solved he called his experts and we discussed and brainstormed together. We never left the room without a plan. His only course afterwards was to follow up on our actions. Many times he was following up and looking for results before I arrived back at my office.

Another can of soup and a coffee later I cleaned my debris and packed my pajamas to leave. On the way home I stopped at the bank to deposit a check and then went to Mickey’s for a hot dog to go. Mickey’s is allowed to stay open because it is mainly a carry-out place. The bank doors were locked, and I had to use the drive through window. Traffic seemed normal for the day.

By the time I arrived home there was not sign of Johnny or his partner. My plan was to enter the house through the garage into the laundry room where I would sit on the ceramic tile floor and watch the varnish dry while I ate my hot dog. I touched the floor, it was dry and not sticky, so I took off my shoes and said, “what the heck” go for it.

I stepped on the beautiful newly refinished floor, and was able to negotiate the house. Everything is white with dust. I thought the plastic covering everything and blocking doors would keep things clean, but it didn’t so I spent an hour doing my most favorite housecleaning chore, dusting. I couldn’t sit anywhere looking at all the dusty surfaces. I stopped after I hit all the spots I would be looking at today, and this computer desk was one of the targets. I went for a haircut and now I am at this moment in time thinking what adventure I will undertake next while I sit in isolation waiting for the Covid-19 bug to come out of somewhere to attack me. It is raining and cold, so I will avoid my daily walk to nowhere which usually lifts my spirits. I will restart my KETO diet with my next meal. Darn that sub-sandwich, muffin, and hot dog and tasted good.

 

 

Day One Of My Corona Quarantine

Never in my lifetime has the government been so worried about a virus threat. Today, begins a shutdown of many public spaces. My Lions Club activities are shut down, the library is closed, all bars and restaurants are closed, only drive through windows will be open. For the first time in my life I missed a Sunday mass because the church was closed. Food suppliers will remain open. Hopefully, they will have stock to sell. I’m not sure about banks.

Back in the nineteen forties during World War Two we experienced shortages, and blackouts, but I don’t recall shutdowns of any sort. My parents were issued a ration booklet with coupons. The coupons were for food items, gasoline, etc. I know my Mom used them to barter food with friends. Dad did the same with his gasoline coupons. Back then we were fighting Germans and Japanese not an invisible microscopic virus. The Civil Air Patrol watched the skies for enemy airplanes and the Coast Guard patrolled our shores to ward off enemy ships. I remember when we traveled by car to see my grandfather in Michigan we raced PT boats along Lake Michigan shores. Every car trip involved fixing flat tires on the roadside because tires were not available and our car had some pretty bald tires. When we reached the bridge over the St. Joe river there was always a huge navy ship tied up there.

In the nineteen fifties we did have a serious virus attack, Polio was the enemy. It was headlines everyday in all the newspapers, and on radio news. Because we didn’t have TV’s we didn’t have 24 hr news programs spreading panic all about the world. The pictures of people in iron lungs were enough to get our attention. The government recommendation was to stay away from crowded beaches and from mosquitoes. It was August, and I just turned fifteen, I was invincible. That morning I played golf at Jackson Park GC with my buddies, in the afternoon I delivered groceries for a grocery store that was several miles from home. I rode my bicycle to get there. After work, I hung out with the neighborhood gang until ten. The following morning I couldn’t wake up, I had a headache that felt like my skull would blow up, my throat was on fire, and my neck was so stiff I couldn’t bend my head. Mom took my temperature and called our family doctor. He came by at five o’clock after his office hours. An ambulance arrived within two hours to haul my sorry ass to the Contagious Disease Hospital on 26th and California. That is where I existed until October. It wasn’t fun, and I am one lucky man because I recovered with a minimum of paralysis. I thank God for that everyday. The vaccine for polio came a couple of years after I recovered from it. I still think about all the kids I met along the way that didn’t make it. I laugh when reporters question medical authorities for how quickly will a vaccine be available. During polio the vaccine took years to develop. In fact it didn’t happen until the electron microscope was invented and researchers could finally see the virus. President Roosevelt started a private enterprise called the March of Dimes to raise money for research and help for victims. He did that because he had first hand experience with the disease having been paralyzed from the waist down from polio.

At this moment I have two workers in my house sanding my wood floors to refinish them I am sealed off, and by myself in self quarantine. This time I believe the warnings are valid and pertain to me. I am in the primary age group for this bug. I must do everything in my power to stay healthy and away from contagion, or face the music. At the end of February, a close friend of mine died. I went into shock when I learned of it. She got sick suddenly with a lung infection that took her out.  Her family swears it wasn’t Corona, but in my heart I believe it was.

Pray, pray, pray that we will stop this virus in its tracks.

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