Day 50-SIP-What Are the Chances?

Joe & Peggy are seen riding along the river bed in Joe’s garden about twelve feet from the waterfall.

See Peggy and Joe at the upper part of the picture? They are to the right of the white bucket. Now toss the sedum over your shoulder toward the patio. Did it land on the handle bars? If so you win today’s exercise.

Now do it again. What are the odds of landing a second clump of sedum right on top of the first one. I quit trying since I was way ahead. This is my lucky day. If I weren’t in Stay in Place, I’d go and buy a lotto ticket.

I do not gamble except for an occasional lotto ticket or a raffle chance. I stick to knowing the odds of winning and decide I am ahead if I don’t even try. Right now I am feeling the same way about the virus. What are my chances of getting it? With 7.8 billion people in the world I say my chances are one in 7.8 billion. Now, I am not a statistician by any means and I know I am grossly over simplifying my point. Calculating the odds of something happening involves some calculations which I am not prepared to do. I use a kind of common sensical approach. If I limit myself to the USA population my odds are one in 331 Million, and if I limit myself to the State of Illinois my odds are one in 13.1 million. Now I narrow things down to my county in Illinois and my odds are 1 in 69,017. When I use the Stay In Place model my chances are zero. So much for the argument to stay in place.

All these BS odds are meaningless today, because I tossed a clump of sedum over my shoulder and had it land in the hands of Joe & Peggy twice.

That kind of luck puts a special meaning into that little figurine and what it represents. I am forever going to keep it even if I end up in a nursing home. Peg bought that for me and now after we caught two boquets of plant life while riding through the garden together it represents our life together. Perhaps it is a sign from her that she is watching over me even though she is not with me anymore. Whatever, I need to believe something magical in order to save my life from boring solitude.

Take my hint and find something to believe in.

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.

Argue With All the Facts

My Flag Flies Everyday

Dear Senator Durbin;

I tried to call your Washington office today but the call volume was too high and the system shut me out. Therefore, I write this e-mail.

I listened to your argument today during the Health Care Summit. I have to admit that you are very eloquent in your speaking ability. Your argument about the cost savings related to Tort Reform however, is flawed. I am sure the statistics you quoted on the amount of money awarded and the savings are correct. I do not refute you on that point. I do, however want to argue that you have left out the invisible cost of defensive medicine that the medical profession practices every day, in every office and every hospital in the country. Medical staffs are loaded with highly paid people whose sole function it is to document everything a doctor does, prescribes, and orders. Hospitals are loaded with staff sitting at terminals documenting everything that occurs with a patient. Why? They document in order to defend themselves against a possible lawsuit.  None of this documentation comes cheap.

I do not argue that a doctor who operates on me and removes my right arm instead of my left should be punished and the patient compensated. I do argue that I should not have to be tested four times a year when, statistically, once would be enough.  As for documentation needed for payment, why should I have to pay a premium for a failure on the part of government run Medicare and Medicaid’s inability to maintain a fraud free system?

It is my opinion that the hidden cost of Tort reform is a thousand times greater than the actual awards granted for real mistakes.   

Do not support the Health Care Reform Bill for the following reasons:

  1. The cost of one trillion dollars will bankrupt the country. The accounting trick you are proposing to collect money for six years and to offer services for four years is bogus. If a bank wanted to collect your mortgage payment for six years before it let you into the new house you just bought, you would be writing a law to prevent them from doing it. Why be a hypocrite on this matter to sell me the idea. It is morally wrong.  I expect better from you. Do not support this bill.
  2.      I am positive that the Supreme Court will find the requirement that I purchase insurance by law is unconstitutional.  Why do you insist on supporting legislation that is so obviously flawed? Do not support this bill
  3. Say no, to a government takeover of the Health Care system. Why do you support a system that will give mediocre care to everyone in the country after openly admitting that we currently have the best system in the world? I also wish I could believe what I heard about this bill, giving me the same plan as the one you and Congress enjoy. What a dolt you must think I am. In addition, I did not hear anything in the discussion today that explained why federal funding for abortion is a basic right. Are you kidding me? Abortion is murder. If I came into your office and shot you dead, I would be arrested prosecuted and sentenced.  Yet the bill insists that it is the basic right of a grammar school girl to have the federal government (me) pay for the murder of her unborn child. I would sooner pay for the prosecution of the abortionist. Do not support this bill.

 Respectfully yours,

 Grumpa Joe

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