Day 37-Quarantine-Social Isolation

There is a huge difference between social distancing and social isolation. I am involved with a group of blind people who often find themselves in the isolation category. What ever form of vision impairment they have it overwhelms them. Of course someone who is blind from birth is in a different category, but people who have aged into blindness have problems dealing with the isolation it brings. I often think about how I would react to living in the darkness all the time. I practice at bedtime when I shut the lights off and try to navigate around the house. I still have the advantage of sight and when my pupils open large looking for light even the darkness is navigable

.

I have on occasion been camping in the wild when there was no moon, and the darkness is total. That is scary dark. Even with very wide open eyes one can not see anything but stars. One night after going to bed I was awakened by owls hooting in the trees behind my house. I snuck downstairs and scanned the dark sky looking for anything, but it was so dark I couldn’t even distinguish the tree line from the sky. Only the hoot pointed me in the direction of the bird. I was convinced that I knew where this creature was but he suddenly became quiet. I stared at the trees in front of my windows and then I felt something, a presence. I swear the owl lifted off his branch and glided over me to another tree. I swore that my wide open eyes saw a darkness about six feet wide glide overhead. I’m sure the owl saw me in technicolor, but I needed radar to see him.

In a few minutes I will join a Zoom meeting of OASIS a support group for the visually impaired. Since COVID-19 began they had to quit meeting at the community center and took to Zoom. Even though they cannot see each other well they react to the voices, and the chatter between individuals. The mood change is instantaneous. Those whose sight is totally gone join by phone and those with partial sight join via computer, and turn on the cameras. We have a jolly good time kibitzing. What is really funny is to watch individuals snacking away or picking their nose, or what ever.

Kim, who runs the group is excellent at what she does and opens with a inspiration reading from her bible. then she will begin asking questions she has prepared like, “what part of being blind depresses you the most?” It takes a few minutes to get warmed up, but that one question provides an outpouring of loneliness. I don’t think Kim has ever gotten past two or three questions before it was time to end the session.

Twenty years ago, when I was prepping myself for retirement I began making lists of what I would do with my time. The lists generated some great new goals, Writing children’s stories was on of them. I told myself that after spending ten hours a day for forty years with people that being alone might require that I seek out people to socialize with. Here are some of the ideas I had and use to this day: go to the grocery store, you always see people in the stores, go to the library, my favorite because I have gotten to know the people who work there and often run into a friend. People need people to live with and to maintain their sanity. OASIS is such a group of people who are seeking like minded people to talk to and to share problems with. Thankfully, with today’s technology such as the telephone, texting, e-mails, Zoom, Skype etc. there are many ways to keep from becoming totally isolated. Even blogging is a form of socializing. I have blog friends who I reply to as often as I can, it makes me feel connected. So comment on the blog sites you visit and you may wind up becoming socially connected.

Day 33-Quarantine-Paranoia

During my walk yesterday an incident occurred which caused me to become paranoid. The trek was nearing one hour and I was just a couple of blocks from my home. I took a path that followed a power line. It is little traveled but very scenic. It passes a three acre lake that my back yard swamp (wetland) empties into. A father played with his young son. Their house backed up to the power line easement and thus they had a huge back yard. Dad was pitching and the son was batting. I heard the knock of the bat against the ball and watched the ball head toward me. It dropped about twenty feet in front of me and rolled to a stop in the tall, rough grass. Being a good citizen I trotted over to the ball and slung it back to the dad, as I did he shouted “we’ll pick them up at the same time.” They must have had a dozen balls to practice with. Then it occurred to me, what if the ball had the virus on it? From my perspective, I could have gotten the virus just by picking up that ball and throwing it. But, the dad was thinking that old guy just passed the virus to me. None of us knows if we have it, and we are all enemies of each other. It is a cruel, cruel thing when you have to distrust everyone that comes close to you to feel safe.

When I sleep I dream. My dream this morning concentrated on a real quarantine. Particularly from my point of view. How would I handle a true quarantine? A strict quarantine where I am not allowed to leave my house. I experienced a true quarantine when I was fifteen years old, but I was too sick to notice how restrictive it is. At my current age and health being locked in a house without any freedom to go outside is the same as prison. I don’t think I would deal with true quarantine very well. Yet, the chances of me having to live through a quarantine are pretty high. At this time if a person is tested and found to have COVID-19, but is asymptomatic, (meaning he has no fever, aches & pains, no drippy nose or cough), or if one has the bug, he is to go into quarantine for two weeks. I am not anxious to go into a strict quarantine, but I will if necessary. I’d rather play by the rules with Stay In Place to keep from picking up the bug.

Day 26-Quarantine-Happy Easter

I missed posting during the day and  now it is late at night so I will post something quickly. Watch this video to see where you fit.

 

Day 16- Quarantine-War Story on April Fool’s Day

In one of my previous posts I stated a lot of stats regarding the deaths that occurred during the various wars we fought. I was disappointed in myself for not going further to explain that the deaths occurred over longer time periods than we will experience with the COVID-19 war. For instance the 65 million worldwide deaths in WW II were over a six year period, and the US deaths were over a 4 year period. Korea was over three years, and Viet Nam was over 18-20 years. The point I’m trying to make is that the COVID-19 war is only two months old at this point and it has already registered a huge number of fatalities.

This enemy is different. We aren’t sending uniformed soldiers into battle against other uniformed soldiers. This war is more like the wars fought in the Middle East. None of the enemy have uniforms different from civilians, so it is hard to discern the enemy from the friendlies. COVID-19 doesn’t wear uniforms, it doesn’t matter if you are white, black, brown or yellow skinned you can be an enemy or its victim. Going further, COVID-19 doesn’t care if he recruits your mother, father, wife, husband, son, daughter, sister, brother, grandparent, neighbor, friend, or anyone he runs into. He sleeps waiting for you to meet him face to face. He can transfer his weapon simply by shaking your hand or sneezing.

I sense that there is still a lack of understanding by people in dense populations about the need for social distancing. Consequently, the fatalities in big cities is bound to be higher. Perhaps it would be easier to get our attention if there were bombs dropping or bullets flying as there would be in a conventional war. This is an unconventional war that we can analogize to make it sound conventional. Imagine that the virus is the bullet or the bomb.  See a handshake as a bullet headed your way, or a sneeze as an rocket propelled grenade coming right for you. How would you react to a situation if your mother pointed a gun at you and squeezed the trigger?

The death toll from COVID-19 will someday be compared to that of a nuclear bomb explosion over a big city, huge numbers in a very short time frame.

Please, please take this thing seriously and do your best to stay healthy while preventing you from becoming an enemy combatant.

I have received some very informative information about how to deal with COVID-19 and I am sharing it with you below.

-JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL

* The virus is not a living organism, but a protein molecule (DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipid (fat), which, when absorbed by the cells of the ocular, nasal or buccal mucosa, changes their genetic code. (mutation) and convert them into aggressor and multiplier cells.
* Since the virus is not a living organism but a protein molecule, it is not killed, but decays on its own. The disintegration time depends on the temperature, humidity and type of material where it lies.
* The virus is very fragile; the only thing that protects it is a thin outer layer of fat. That is why any soap or detergent is the best remedy, because the foam CUTS the FAT (that is why you have to rub so much: for 20 seconds or more, to make a lot of foam).
By dissolving the fat layer, the protein molecule disperses and breaks down on its own.
* HEAT melts fat; this is why it is so good to use water above 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit) for washing hands, clothes and everything. In addition, hot water makes more foam and that makes it even more useful.
* Alcohol or any mixture with alcohol over 65% DISSOLVES ANY FAT, especially the external lipid layer of the virus.
* Any mix with 1 part bleach and 5 parts water directly dissolves the protein, breaks it down from the inside.
* Oxygenated water helps long after soap, alcohol and chlorine, because peroxide dissolves the virus protein, but you have to use it pure and it hurts your skin.
* NO BACTERICIDE OR ANTIBIOTIC SERVES. The virus is not a living organism like bacteria; antibodies cannot kill what is not alive.
* NEVER shake used or unused clothing, sheets or cloth.
While it is glued to a porous surface, it is very inert and disintegrates only between
-3 hours (fabric and porous),
-4 hours (copper and wood)
-24 hours (cardboard),
-42 hours (metal) and
-72 hours (plastic).
But if you shake it or use a feather duster, the virus molecules float in the air for up to 3 hours, and can lodge in your nose.
* The virus molecules remain very stable in external cold, or artificial as air conditioners in houses and cars.
They also need moisture to stay stable, and especially darkness. Therefore, dehumidified, dry, warm and bright environments will degrade it faster.
* UV LIGHT on any object that may contain it breaks down the virus protein. For example, to disinfect and reuse a mask is perfect. Be careful, it also breaks down collagen (which is protein) in the skin.
* The virus CANNOT go through healthy skin.
* Vinegar is NOT useful because it does not break down the protective layer of fat.
* NO SPIRITS, NOR VODKA, serve. The strongest vodka is 40% alcohol, and you need 65%.
* LISTERINE IF IT SERVES! It is 65% alcohol.
* The more confined the space, the more concentration of the virus there can be. The more open or naturally ventilated, the less.
* You have to wash your hands before and after touching mucosa, food, locks, knobs, switches, remote control, cell phone, watches, computers, desks, TV, etc. And when using the bathroom.
* You have to HUMIDIFY HANDS DRY from so much washing them, because the molecules can hide in the micro cracks. The thicker the moisturizer, the better.
* Also keep your NAILS SHORT so that the virus does not hide there.
-JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

 Courtesy of Ken Goddard: Director, National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory. 

USEFUL INFORMATION ON VIRUSES

• a virus is not a living organism, but only a molecule of protein (DNA) covered by a protective layer of lipids (fats), that upon being absorbed by ocular, nasal and mouth mucosa cells changes the genetic code of the cells and converts them into aggressor and multiplier cells.

• Since the virus is not a living organism but rather a molecule of protein, it doesn’t die but rather disintegrates on its own. The length of time it takes to disintegrate depends on temperature, humidity and the type of material where is sits.

• The virus is very fragile, the only thing that protects it is a thin external layer of fat. That’s why any soap or detergent is the best remedy because suds break down grease/fats (that’s why you have to suds up for 20 seconds or more in order to make a lot of suds). Once the layer of fat is dissolved, the molecule of protein falls apart and disintegrates on its own.

• HEAT melts grease, that is why it is best to use water that is at least 25 degrees centigrade (you can do your math here or just use pretty warm water) to wash your hands, clothes, etc. Besides, hot water makes more suds and that is good.

• Alcohol or any mixture of alcohol at more than 65% will dissolve any grease/fats, especially the outer fat layer of the virus.

• Any mixture of 1 part clorox and 5 parts water dissolve directly the protein, which kills it from the inside. • Oxidized water can be used besides soap, alcohol, and clorox because peroxide dissolves the protein of the virus, but you have to use it alone and it damages the skin.

• NO BACTERIACIDE WORKS. Since the virus is not a living organism, you can’t kill anything that is not alive with antibiotics, except to rapidly disintegrate its structure with everything mentioned above.

• NEVER shake clothes you have worn (or not worn) nor sheets or anything made of cloth. As long as it is stuck to a porous surface, it is inert and will disintegrate in 3 hours (cloth and porous surfaces) 4 hours (copper which is naturally antiseptic and wood because it pulls away all of the humidity and it stays stuck and disintegrates), 24 hours (cardboard), 42 hours (metal) and 72 hours (plastic). Don’t dust or use a duster as the molecules of the virus will float in the air for up to 3 hours and can lodge in the nose.

• The molecules of the virus are very stable in outdoor cold, air conditioning in houses and cars. It needs humidity to be stable and also darkness. Therefore, in environments that are dehumidified, dry, and with a lot of light will disintegrate it more rapidly. • ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT on any object where it can land will disintegrate the protein of the virus. For example, it is perfect to disinfect and be able to reuse a mask. Careful as it also disintegrates the protein in the skin (collagen) and can cause big wrinkles and skin cancer. • No virus can go through healthy skin.

• Vinegar does not work because it doesn’t dissolve the protective layer of grease.

• NO FIREWATER OR VODKA work. The strongest vodka is 40% alcohol and you need at least 65%.

• LISTERINE DOES WORK! It is 65% alcohol.

• The more confined space the virus is in, the more concentrated it becomes. Open air and natural ventilation are the best.

• It is imperative to wash your hands before and after touching mucous areas, food, knobs, light switches, remote controls, cell phones, watches, computers, desks, TVs etc. And when after using the toilet.

• You need to use lotion on your dry hands, because the molecules can hide in tiny cracks. The thicker the cream, the better. Also keep your fingernails short! so the virus can’t hide in there either. 

 

Day 14- Quarantine-Is It Really Going To Be That Bad?

In guess the answer to the title question is it depends on what age group you are in. If you are in my class the answer is “it is terrible.”  I can  only wrap my head around the projected death figures by comparing what happened during the various wars we were fought. The war I remember the best is WW II. I was only 0-7 years old during that time, but the impression made on me was lasting. Most of what I remember were the sacrifices my parents experienced to keep us fed and safe. The impressions of casualty were made by people who lost loved ones. As a kid, I hated to see adults cry, and I saw too many who did. I also remember seeing families who hung stars in their windows indicating they had a dead soldier. In some neighborhoods it seemed like every house had at least one star hanging. There is no question war is hell. During WW II 480,000 US men were lost or declared missing in action. Even worse than that is the world wide figure of sixty-five million deaths. That is a whole lot of bodies to bury.

The doctors of disease are telling us the COVID-19 virus can leave us with a casualty rate similar to those of WW II. WW I was not much different. The US lost 116,000 men and more than half were to the Spanish flu. I shudder when I hear reporters sarcastically deridide an official because he/she referred to Covid-19 as an invisible enemy who is at war with the world.

What would be really cool is if we the people could use all the guns and ammo we own to blast this enemy out of existence. This enemy is smarter and sneakier than those we are familiar with. Muslims like to sneak up on their enemies with bombs strapped to their chest and push a button. This new enemy likes to sneak up on us with weapons that need an electron microscope to find. We don’t stand a chance until we have a bio-weapon to fight back with. In the meantime we have to hide and stay away from sources of infection. Since we don’t know who is carrying we need to stay away from everybody.

Today, I completed my spring clean up in the backyard garden. I uncovered a stone tablet that one of my wife Barb’s girlfriends gave me after Barb died. It has a short poem on it and at first I thought what a nice idea. Then I read it again, and thought that no christian would ever want this to happen. Here is what the stone reads:

If Tears Could Build a Stairway,

and Memories a Lane,

I’d Walk Right Up to Heaven

and Bring You Home Again.

Here is what I think it should say:

If Tears Could Build a Stairway,

and Memories a Lane,

I’d Walk Right Up to Heaven

and Be Home With You  Again.

Why would anyone want to go to heaven to bring a loved one back to this miserable planet? That is stinkin’ thinkin’.

That’s All Folks!

 

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.

 

Day 7-Self Imposed Quarantine-Alone

Last year I was hooked on a program called “Alone”. This reality show put ten people into a wild area and miles apart from each other. They were equipped with only a few tools of their choosing. The idea was to see who would last the longest living off the land without any contact from the outside world. Each contestant had an emergency radio which he could use to call for for help, or to tap out. Each, had cameras to film and record every move they made. It was interesting to watch the various outdoorsman from all walks of life and all parts of the country pit themselves against nature. Those who lasted the longest were clearly superior mentally. Most could fend for themselves by hunting trapping, fishing, eating plants etc. but those who dropped out early did so because of the games they played with themselves mentally. The winners clearly possessed superior mental strength in addition to their survival skills.

Our battle against the COVID-19 virus has put us all into a similar position as the contestants of Alone. The formula for beating the virus it to outlast it by avoiding any contact with people who might be carrying it. So here we are all alone in our homes lacking social contact, and people to talk to. There is one big difference however, between my self exile and those who contend on Alone. I have a telephone by which I can speak to family and friends, and also text message. I also have a computer on my desk that I can use as a phone using FaceTime and see who I am speaking to. The contenders on Alone have nothing of this sort. They must amuse themselves, and fend for themselves in a wild environment. My environment is far from wild. I have more creature comforts than billions of people in the world yet I still have moments during my exile that make me feel alone, lonely, sad, listless. These are all head games that my own brain is using on me. Yesterday, as I folded my freshly washed clothes I came across a white sock without the typical gold toe and heel that I normally wear. Immediately, my mind told me this was one of Peg’s socks, and a rush of sadness overwhelmed me. Why? Clearly it was a moment of grief which I have not felt for some time, but it took over and Peg was on my mind the remainder of the day and night. Today, I seem to be okay, but yesterday grief invaded my brain and slammed me into the wall.

It will be interesting to see how the people of America and the world will fare against this virus during a stay in place situation.

 

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