My Update on COVID-19

With all the new knowledge of Covid-19 it is becoming more apparent that people don’t give a damn any more. Our Governor just announced that Illinois is not ready for Phase Four reopening. I agree. Last night after supper I was invited to meet a group of friends in town for a drink. I thought, why not? I’ll take my mask and have a beer with some friendly chatter. I’m tired of talking to myself even though I am the smartest person I know.

We were meeting at the bowling alley. Frankfort’s bowling alley is very old and has been in business non-stop since the forties. It is in a two story building which houses a number of shops. The bowling alley is on the second floor. Phase three rules state that restaurants and bars can open only if outside on patios with tables spaced apart and servers must were masks. The bowling alley has a small strip of property adjacent to the building which they fenced off and converted to a patio.  To make it nicer they installed a tent over the entire space.

When I arrived, the patio was crowded with people, none were masked. They congregated in groups around stand up tables, and were being served by an unmasked server; the owner behind a makeshift bar. It was an enjoyable evening seeing friends whom I haven’t seen in quite some time. I even managed to make a new friend who happens to live in my neighborhood on the next street over. That made me happy. What didn’t make  me happy was how congenial everyone was and handshaking like old times. That made me uneasy, and I couldn’t wait to get home to wash my hands. Granted, these people were ten-twenty years younger than me so they are not as affected by the virus. I’d like to think that I’m in great shape and have robust health enough to resist the virus or to beat it if I contract it. The statistics don’t say that. I should not take a Laissez-faire attitude about it all, I should maintain strict adherence to the Covid-19 protocols. I told myself that I must refuse new invitations to meet with my friends.

Will County, Illinois which is where I live is still reporting thirty-five cases of the virus daily with surges to over a hundred. That tells me the virus is still present and very close to me. Nationwide, the spread is concentrated in the southern states. They are stretching toward a peak. A month ago, my son in Texas reported to me that the virus was not very active, but now, the hospitals are nearing capacity and the number of deaths is increasing. This southern wave extends all across Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. When will it end, who knows? While it is stretching across one part of our country the northern states are beginning to allow people to travel and to enter the country from other places. No doubt, the virus will be like a ping pong ball going back and forth across the lines and probably changing forms as it does. The big news was that Disneyland in Florida reopened. They thrive on visitors from South America, and the virus is spreading like wildflower in Brazil; we shut down air traffic from Brazil.

In my younger days I would have dreamed up a plan to take my anger out on China. My plan would have been to drop a bomb with COVID-19 on Bejing and Shanghai. In my current state of mind, I have too much empathy for the common folk who live there. They wouldn’t deserve such treatment. So, I have to modify the plan to develop a bug that only evil government officials are affected by, but instead of that I will concentrate on developing a vaccine to take out COVID-19 and all forms of corona viruses. The only form of selective bug that I know of for taking out evil people is the bullet. It is better to think positively and to do what is least evil to mankind.

Farmer’s Market Covid Version

How does a person continue to write for a blog when his mind and heart are not in it any longer? After seventy some days without missing a single day of writing I became blocked. The past two days I spent as off days and enjoyed myself by walking and talking. I attended our newly opened Covid friendly farmer’s market and was pleased. The Village Father’s put some thought into it and I think they have succeeded in remaking it to close to where it was. The Frankfort Farmer’s Market had become the social event of the week. We had farmers from within a 110 mile radius selling fresh vegetables, fruit, flowers fresh baked bread, tacos, and what not. In addition there were booths selling slushies, lemonade, and other hand made drinks. My favorite was a Nun who drove in from Chicago with newly baked French pastries and breads. She and her fellow nuns are from France in Chicago on a mission living in a a converted old warehouse and doing charitable work among the indigents of the city. Another favorite is a lady who bakes pies. My favorite is her apple, cherry, or blueberry pies. She sends her husband to the market with a minivan loaded with pies. His instructions are not to return until the pies are all sold. He never takes any home and he leaves early.

Since the bouncer at the gate controlled the flow of people coming into the market area it was never crowded and lines at the booths were all very short. The line outside the market however, was very long. That is because the people were all spacing themselves six feet apart. The line never stopped. There were always people leaving to allow new people in.

On a normal Sunday, the market wraps around a building we call the Grainery. The booths are stacked next to each other closely to allow the most vendors into the least amount of space. In the Covid scheme the market was split into two areas, i.e. two parking lots across the street from each other. The second section was controlled the same way as the first, the bouncer lets you in and keeps the flow moving.

All in all, the market was the highlight of my day. I walked three and a half miles, and wound up carrying my slushie home before I could drink any of it.

Ugh

It must be the barometric pressure that is affecting me again today. My sorry butt has been dragging behind me since getting out of bed this morning. The sky is grey, it is threatening to rain, but it isn’t raining, but it did drizzle a bit. Whatever it is, by noon I was asleep on the couch pretending to read. One would think I got out of bed by six in the morning, but it wasn’t until 8:30 that it finally happened. Three and a half hours later I’m sleeping like I had shoveled a truck load of coal yesterday.

Funk Depression

Actually, last evening I spent a lovely hour on the phone with a young lady from our Lions club. She had just given notice that she and her son were leaving the club, and I had to know why. I found out more than I needed to know to answer my question. It wasn’t because of our failing as a club. Her son just turned twenty-four, and is having acute medical problems which was caused by his birth. He was born three months early and had a very rough time making it into this life. The medical effect was to put him on a drug that would take its toll on his kidneys at a later time in life. It is now that time. That puts him at great risk with the virus too. His choice was to accept life over a service club that puts him at risk of death with every activity he helps. We need direct contact with people in order to serve them. In fact, as Past President of the club I am going wild trying to find a way that we can serve without direct contact.

Because this is a pandemic, every Lions club in the world is affected the same way. What do we do? How do we do it? Those are the questions we wrestle with. Do we wait until the world is rock solid secure that COVID-19 will not affect us anymore? That might be twenty years from now.

Many clubs are having virtual fund raising activities. One in particular struck me as being novel, i.e. a virtual Five K run. No, you don’t imagine running five kilometers, you actually run the distance and report your time to the race officials online. They match your time against all the participants and award the prize to the fastest runner. It isn’t just the same as having a hundred runners show up at one place, register, and who then take off with the gun and fifteen minutes later show up again sweaty and pooped. It just isn’t the same, but people might just take the bait because it is different. The trick is to have a worthy cause to be raising money for.

This year, I will serve as our Club Service Chair which means I will have to stimulate people to find projects to work on. Most times we wait for the projects to come to us, but that leaves huge gaps between service. With lots of members who join to “give back” we need to offer them many opportunities to fulfill their needs. It will be my game to root out the opportunities. COVID has ruined several of our popular events in the Village. To date the Blue Grass Festival is cancelled, the Art on the Green is cancelled, Thursday night car shows are cancelled, and on and on. All of these events have deferred til next year. But, what if next year COVID-19 is still here in force? Do we go back into hiding, or do we begin taking chances with catching the damn bug and fighting back? My guess is that we will not hunker down again, but will fight it off.

Watching the country burn during this rash of riots caused by one man’s brutality against another’s will no doubt cause a spike in COVID. None of the rioters have paid much attention to social distancing, and wearing masks. At this moment I would not want to be in President Trump’s position. He upset the country by closing down and making us all hurt, and now he has to wave a big stick at us to end rioting.

To me the biggest joke is the organizers who really thought they could get away with storming the White House, and are now shouting that Trump is violating their civil rights. If I were president I would have had the entire riot force shot, and their bodies piled on the lawn in front of the White House while I would have stood on the pile brandishing my AK 47 in one hand and the American Flag in the other. That is only one of the many reasons I am not a politician.

Odds and Ends

I may not look like I lost weight, but I did. It has been eight weeks since my last haircut, and I looked shaggy. My hair was long enough to have a true Donald Trump wave. After three days of failed phone calls, my barber shop finally picked up and I made a reservation to get sheared.

Before
After

The appointment was for mid-day which gave me a few hours in the morning to attack a new project in the garden.. I transplanted a perennial called Brunnera which flowers blue in the spring time. The rest of the season it has beautifully variegated foliage. It loves shade and was covered by two large perennials that over shadow it. Even I who planted it and knew where it was in the garden had trouble locating it for the dig.

Brunnera

The backside of my house is in shade most of the day so I thought what a great place for this plant. That is where it is right now, in the shade but fully visible to all. I foresee a few more sister plants to make a larger spread of the flowers.

A second project was to locate an overgrown downspout drain in the lawn and to unplug it. It took a little probing in the lawn to strike the plastic pipe, Once found, I dug out the grass that had overgrown it. The thing was completely covered with grass roots and one could be standing on it and not know it. Next came a long hose to reach the downspout and to rush water into the underground drain. It took a few minutes but water finally began gushing out of the drain onto the lawn. Success. One down and six to go. These plugged drains are the cause of my gutters over flooding water. I might as well not have gutters the way these work.

Today is the day I spend with my friends at the Stray Bar. The bar opened over the weekend but it is limited to serving outside on their patio where the tables must be six feet apart, and no groups larger than ten are permitted. After knocking down a few at the Stray I go home to attend a Zoom meeting with my Lions Club Board of directors. Evidently churches and clubs are not considered important enough to allow meetings to occur normally.

Rumors of expected riots within Frankfort are just that, rumors. No such activity has occurred yet. Our town is too little to be significant in the scheme of things. I do know that we have lots of neighbors who are black. They live with us peaceably and are just as upset about the riots as we whites are. I venture to estimate that there are blacks living in every neighborhood within our town. They move here to get their kids into good schools and away from gangs.

Our Chief of Police published a letter stating how terrible he thought the George Floyd killing was, and he assured us that the men on the Frankfort force were trained to arrest people in a civilized manner. I hope he is correct, and that he hasn’t hired that one bad apple that spoils the bunch

The one positive benefit of the Floyd George incident has been the news switched from talking non-stop about COVID-19 to street riots and his death. So far, no-one has complained about not hearing news on COVID. Frankly, I am one who has lost interest in the virus, and my attitude has switched to “if I get it, I get it.” I’ll deal with it if and when it hits me. Of course when I catch it, news about the virus will become the main issue.

Day 73-SIP-It’s Over

It’ll be different writing a post everyday without the thematic SIP status. Yesterday our town of Frankfort, IL officially opened the businesses in town thus ending the Stay in Place order. As I rode my two wheeled convertible through the town on the bike path I saw Kansas street blocked with concrete barriers we often see in front of US embassies around the world. The Village fathers agreed to donate the street to the resident restaurants, three of them, a place to serve meals. It was cool to see the colorful umbrellas dotting the streetscape. There were actually people there too, even though it was still the middle of the day. Our residents are hungry for food and socialization. The servers wore masks.


A quick check of the verified Covid infections in our county is down again and hopefully diminishing to zero. The bike path was very crowded with bikers, strollers, and walkers. Everyone seems happy, but were still cautiously hugging the edges of the path to maintain distancing. How easily we were trained, and no one dangled a piece of cheese in front of us to get us to behave that way. I guess the prospect of death is more effective than cheese.

The temperature today is a bit chilly compared to the week gone by. It will keep me in the house until the sun warms things up to the seventies at least. I have my eye on a patch of wild strawberries that is invading my yard. I am paying for last summer’s neglect. I proudly bragged to my friends last year that I didn’t pull a single weed and thus the garden reverted to what it does best, it grew. The trouble with letting it go is that what grew best were what I call native perennials, sometimes referred to as weeds. June is rumored the peak growing season in our horticultural zone 5, and it is proving the rumor. I can see things that look ugly growing taller as I walk by them. The amount of work required to neaten things up is exponential as the sun shines longer each day. As long as I am looking at things in this manner the funk will not invade my psyche like it did yesterday. Thank you Lord for getting me through yesterday.

Later this afternoon we will watch the second attempt to launch our astronauts into space. The weather last Wednesday was not correct for a safe launch so it was scrubbed. The prediction at this moment is a fifty percent chance of the rocket firing for the same reason, i.e. conditions are not optimum.

What makes this space launch special is that it is being done by a private company and not the government. When NASA launched, the success rate was very high and we, the population. actually got bored with the missions. Now that SpaceX is doing the deed, we again think it is exciting. Probably because we like fireworks and the idea of watching a billion dollar rocket blow up is thrilling. Space flight development is no different than ordinary flight development during the age of the Wright brothers. The simple difference is that building a kite is much simpler than building a control-fired bullet the size of the Empire State building. Although, at the time Orville and Wilbur Wright took as much care in proceeding as does SpaceX. Another difference is that Orville and Wilbur kept things quiet. I think because they didn’t want to excite authorities to their amusements on the beach and cause them to be sent to the looney bin for endangering the sea life along the Atlantic shores. In today’s scene the lunacy is trusting a for profit company to be in charge. How do we know that each part of the assembly was made to rigid specifications by certified US vendors, and not by a Chinese vendor who cuts corners, uses materials that are less than pure, and certifies to doing things right, and is the lowest bidder?

While all this goes on America burns. I am sure the latest uprising is fueled by politics, but executed by blacks who like to jump at any opportunity to destroy and kill whitey. I watched the video of the Minneapolis policeman with his foot on the neck of a man who was being apprehended. It appeared to me that the guy was down and in hand cuffs he didn’t need to be restrained by a jackboot between his head and shoulders. It was extreme to say the least. What incites the blacks is when their idea of justice is not practiced, They would have wanted the policeman who was responsible for that treatment to be immediately apprehended, tried, found guilty and executed in the street within a few minutes of the event. Anything short of that is cause for riots, looting, burning and killing all across the country. What is even sadder is that we have police who take out their frustrations on victims with brutality. When the victim is black, the brutality factor seems to escalate by several factors of ten. I will never volunteer to be a policeman. The job gets worse and worse. These guys are expected to be psychologists and warriors who can determine in split seconds the difference between someone who is resisting arrest legitimately, or someone who is resisting with the intent to kill you, and escape to kill someone else too.

Minneapolis Riots, May 29, 2020

Though we have been conditioned in a mere seventy-two days to become docile COVID prisoners our attempts for the last one hundred and fifty-five years to treat blacks like humans has failed. Will it ever happen? I don’t know, but I believe we have a better chance of developing a vaccine for COVID-19 before we find a way to live with blacks.

A Sign of Distress
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