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 17-Quarantine-Sad Scams and Love

I just completed reading a book titled ‘I Love You, Send Money.’ It involves online dating sites. Why would an eighty something be interested in dating sites? As crazy as it sounds I still long for companionship. Being locked up isn’t helping me one bit.

Recently, while on a soul searching session with myself I began to list all the things I missed the most since Peg left me. Most of them involved physical comfort like: sleeping in the same bed together, hugging, holding hands, kissing, cuddling, sex. A phrase came into mind ‘sexual grief.’ It sounded strange, but I googled it anyway. Bingo, the search yielded several hits under sexual bereavement. It is a very real emotion experienced by both men and women, but it is little talked about because of embarrassment. One cannot spend 20, 30, 40, 50 years with a partner sharing intimate relations and not miss it after God turns off the life switch and leaves a partner alone. The suddeness, and finality  of the change is too dramatic to not take notice. I have experienced this twice now, and I am here to tell you that sexual grief is a real thing. After Barb died my emotions went crazy, and never settled until I married Peg two years later. Peg and I were very happy together and now that she died the same damned emotion has kicked in. This time, however, I was waiting for it, and my body is also seventeen years older, so raging hormones with the intensity of a flame thrower have diminished to a flickering candle.

Getting back to ‘I Love You, Send Money,’ A few weeks ago, I experienced an online scam for which I fell hard. This time it was an email from a friend who purportedly was traveling and not able to buy a her niece a birthday present. She asked me to buy an iTunes gift card and to send her the pass key via email. This friend had lost a brother and a sister within a week of each other in different cities, and I thought she may be traveling between. I emailed back using the address in her message asking for how much she would like on the card. It sounded plausible so I took the bait and rushed out to buy a fifty dollar gift card without waiting for her reply. I scratched the coating off the passkey, took a picture and sent it via email. I called her and left a message as to what I did.

Hours later, she called me to tell me I had been scammed. How can that be, it was from your address? She hadn’t gotten my email. I looked at the original message I got and discovered that her address in the header was correct, but the address in the body was not exactly the same. He address was her name, but the scammer added an additional vowel at the end to make it different, and the service provider was different. Damn! I got fooled.  What can I do now? Gift cards are not returnable, so that was out. I asked my self, I wonder if this scammer has had time to redeem this card? I went to the iTunes store, logged in and found the section where you can enter gift card numbers. I did and iTunes accepted my card and I have a credit with them. I got lucky by outsmarting the perp, but it doesn’t change the embarrassment.

When I spotted this book I was searching of free e-books to read while my library is closed. The title tingled a nerve and told me to read it. The story is about people who are using online dating sites. These particular people are in their late forties/early fifties. One a widower, the other a divorced mom of two lookin’ for love. Supposedly they are both using the site for the first time. They begin messaging. The guy, I thought started talking about love a bit earlier than I would be in this situation. I wondered. The girl was very tentative at first but slowly opened up. They agreed to meet in Hawaii months later for their first date. The guy is an engineer who has a business helping railroads. To make along story short, his latest client is in Sri Lanka and while he is there he needs money to finish the job. His bank for some reason will not free up his funds so he asks his online friend  to help him out. He needs fifty thousand dollars, and she agrees to send it to him. I was right this was a scam. She never gets her money back, he never made it to Hawaii for their first date, and she goes bankrupt.

Between this corny online love story scam and the third season of Homeland I am ready for COVID-19 to die and go to hell.

In the meantime, I am experimenting with online grocery shopping and keep striking out. The grocers provide the service, but they can’t handle the volume of business. A third store has now put me on hold waiting for a delivery date.

Day 16- Quarantine-Random Thoughts

I wrote the last three posts in the morning. This one is coming in late afternoon. That means I have more personal stuff to write about. No matter, it is the same stuff today as it was for the past few days. I live in a pattern. Get up, clean up, make breakfast, eat breakfast, read email, work in my shop, take a walk, and pray. Come back, eat lunch, then read a book, then after my lap top battery runs down I watch some videos on the desk-top, and  finally I am writing. I could end it at this point, but there are some things on my mind that have to be explored.

I am still fascinated by the dumb questions people ask of President Trump at his daily press conference on the COVID-19 problem. I have concluded that most of them are asked in an attempt to trap him into contradicting himself  or changing his answer. I am amazed at the level of patience he has with the reporters. Here they are trying to trap him into a situation that they can take hm down, and he politely answers. He knows what they are doing but remains strong to avoid the traps.

One of the situations that particularly befuddles me is the one where they try to get him to say he should have shut the country down sooner so the number of corona deaths would be reduced. Any ass hole who has a brain could answer that for himself, but that same a-hole would not be able to write an accusing news bit to tear down the Commander in Chief.

Another thing that amazes me is the level of detail Trump has on all of the subjects that come up. He speaks with authority on all of them. He is also smart enough to know that some questions are best answered by experts. He then passes the question to one of the doctors or bureaucratic heads to spout details.

The President and the task force are not afraid to change predictions based on new data obtained since yesterday. Scientists love data, and the more they have the better they can prognosticate the spread of the disease.

I am also impressed by the level of leadership being shown by the Vice President and all the heads of departments on the team. It gives me confidence to know that VP Pence can take over for Trump if the time ever arrives.

Trump is always positive, and he hates negativity. He sees successful solutions to problems rather than failure. That is a positive thinking technique called ‘visioning’. It happens to be a technique I myself use in my life and it worked very well for me in my career.

Yesterday, Trump announced what is going on in the war against Mexican drug cartels, and with Iran’s mischief. That tells me he is capable of handling many problems simultaneously not by himself but by directing his heads of office and his generals to assess and report conditions, so he can brainstorm with them. Once he makes a decision to go, he lets them do the job, and they do.

Trump is often criticized for declaring bankruptcy often. Yet, data shows that a typical entrepreneur business man fails three to six times before he succeeds. He doesn’t see failure as a negative, only as a learning experience.

After supper, I continue to binge watch ‘Homeland’ a TV series. It is based on the CIA effort to thwart terrorist attacks toward America. If only 10% of this story is true, it scares the crap out of me that this kind of stuff goes on. Since it involves Muslim Extremists I am completely engrossed in the story. So much so, that I ma dreaming up conspiracy theories of my own that can explain some of what is going on today. For instance, what if, the corona virus was intentionally released by a sleeper cell as revenge for China moving millions of muslims into concentration camps to keep them away from the general population? Who knows, my theory can be as feasible as any other. The Wuhuan area is known for its biological lab industry. It wouldn’t take much for one person to sneak out a vial of the corona virus and disperse it within the population. They are not afraid of dying in these missions when they are brainwashed into believing it is for the glory Allah.

I’ve made my points, and its time make supper, and listen to some of the daily press conference.

Day 15-Quarantine-Assess How Lucky One Can Be

Today, I must make a giant decision relative to going to shop for needed groceries. I promised family that I would not leave my home. They offered to shop for me. Why should I put young people at risk for me? I am closer to end of life than I hope they are so it just makes sense to keep them out of harms way.  I will practice social distancing and avoid crowded spaces so my risk is reduced.

15-Online-Shopping-Statistics-Ftrd32.jpg

Yesterday I tried using a shop on line program using Wal Mart service. The program is easy to use and they offer just about their entire inventory of groceries. Where it fails is in the delivery part. I recognize that there are just so many people employed to run around the aisles with a customer shopping list to collect items for a specific customer. Then, there are also too few employees driving those orders to customers. I failed yesterday to get in the que, and this morning I tried earlier with the same result. I will try again in the middle of the night. Meanwhile I will scrape my coolers for available goodies to feed my fat ass. I’m sure I will survive.

Today’s agenda includes cooking, reading, killing grass near the pond, walking, shaping my rose project, and watching a series on TV. Oh, and avoiding coming in contact with COVID-19.

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 12-Quarantine-Respirators by GM?

This post will not be a reflection of my day, rather an opinion on President Trump’s latest effort to move the country through the COVID-19 virus. This morning I listened to a news bit about Trump’s direction to General Motors to make respirators by the thousands and in a hurry. GM offered to help the country, but is moving slowly so the president being a typical impatient CEO has taken over and is using the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to force them into action. My comment on that is “Good Luck Pres.”

At one time GM was the largest car maker in the world and they let the Japs take it away from them. If any company will work like government i.e. slow, sluggish, takes forever, gets lost in its own bureaucracy General Motors is it. One of their largest problems has been with dealing in downsizing in order to increase profit. They have not learned how to make more with less, and that is after thirty years of trying. One anchor around their corporate neck is the UAW union.

coronavirus_ventilators_032520getty

GM knows how to make cars, that is their business and that is what they can do best. How in the world will they be able to translate car manufacturing into respirators is a wish. Unfortunately, wishes don’t get things done. I give them credit for trying.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a disgruntled former GM employee. I started at GM in 1963 working for the Electromotive Division. At that time GM had over 90% of the world market share for diesel locomotives. What is their market share today? Who knows, but they lost the bulk of it to competitor’s because of two reasons; 1. They didn’t listen to their customers, and 2. They continued to kiss the ass of the UAW. GM finally gave up making locomotives in 2005 after converting the world from steam to diesel.

2020-gmc-yukon-mmp-1-1579200879

I can not picture the kind of respirator that GM will build. It will most likely have four wheels and great styling, and they will all look like a Chevy or Cadillac . . .  SUV’s.

Another problem is that GM produces cars from components made in countries around the world. They only assemble them in the US. An internet search reports that 55 percent of GM car parts are from the United States and Canada, 20 percent from Japan, 15 percent from China,…

Any car company would be better off starting a new factory in an available warehouse with all new CNC machines installed for making parts. They would also buy ready made high volume components like pumps from companies that make pumps for a living. Put a team of engineers on this project and challenge them to get the problem solved, and respirators made in record time. I wouldn’t use GM engineers, because their culture is not to do things fast. The guys at Ford would be better suited for this type of project.

In my day as Chief Engineer, I would have had a field day managing this kind of work, and could easily have respirators in production quickly. The only requirement being that we don’t have to design the device from scratch.

Companies that make equipment like respirators for hospitals.

  • Resmed (USA)
  • Weinmann (Germany)
  • Philips Healthcare (Netherlands)
  • Carefusion (USA)
  • GE Healthcare (USA)
  • Medtronic (USA)
  • Fisher & Paykel Healthcare (New Zealand)
  • Teijin Pharma (Japan)
  • MEKICS (South Korea)
  • Dräger Medical (Germany)
  • DeVilbiss (USA)
  • Apex Medical (Taiwan)
  • Air Liquide (France)
  • Hamilton Medical (Switzerland)
  • SLE Ltd (United Kingdom)
  • eVent Medical (USA)
  • Maquet (Germany)
  • Siare Engineering (Italy)

I don’t see General Motors on this list anywhere. I would use these companies to make respirators en masse, not GM.

Another thing, I would demand a realistic estimate of the quantity needed. There is at least one report I read that stated we need seven billion respirators. Really? That is one for every citizen on the planet Earth. That is panic reporting and stupid. Not all seven billion people on this planet are sick today. The panic sellers conclude that this pandemic has the potential for infecting the entire Earth. Even if that happened only a small percentage would need respirators. And if we all needed them who would be healthy enough to hook us up to them? Calm down folks, there comes a time when we have to let nature take it’s course.

People who worry about death from pandemics also worry that the population of the Earth is too large thus causing all kinds of pollution and global warming.  Wars reduce population too, so does terrorism, and humans love to kill each other. A good purge might be healthy for Earth.

My prediction is that we will get through this pandemic in good condition because the virus will disappear for reasons we don’t understand. That will give us some time to finish and proof the vaccines in process, and that will happen long before GM can tool up to make seven billion respirators.

 

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