The only bummer for us, Americans that is, about the date written as 4/20/2020, is that for the Europeans it’s 20/4/2020. It isn’t quite a palindrome, but it’s cool. Score 1 for European date format!
Yesterday’s sunset didn’t have the thunderheads dissipating in the distance, but it was still cool.
These sunset photos from the roof of the garage reminds me of being trapped after Hurricane Harvey almost three years ago now. Same garage roof. Same feeling, same reality, same sense of being trapped.
Meanwhile, in never never land, we continued to march towards some depressing milestones today.
Soon, more Americans will have died in the first six months of 2020 from the Coronavirus, over 40k American souls to date and counting, and we will soon surpass those who died in the Vietnam war (58k.)
We’re not there yet, but that’s the course we are on. And our leaders continue to seemingly not grasp the situation.
Yet Trump insisted after his trawl for personal credit: “It’s not about me. Nothing is about me.”
This came on the day when US deaths from the pandemic topped 40,000 and raced upwards, though Trump claimed he had saved a million lives through his leadership — despite taking several months to recognize the magnitude of the unfolding disaster.
For perspective, my Father fought in Vietnam. He served his country. He lost friends to combat and more were MIA.
I ask you, what will the Covid-19 memorial look like?
I’m stunned by this: “Lancet, the British medical journal, published an article in January, based on studying a small group of patients, which found that a third of people (infected with the coronavirus) had to be admitted to intensive care units.”
The reason that stuns me is it is from January and it is now March. We lost significant time in responding to an obvious issue of a lack of Ventilators and ICU beds are vastly insignificant for that level of infection.
That quote on Covid-19 is from today’s NEW York Times article March 20, 2020 titled “Behind the Virus Report That Jarred the U.S. and the U.K. to Action”
Statistics from the Imperial College of London predicts what an uncontrolled spread would mean. This data is from the WSJ article (this will NOT happen,this shows what COULD have happened without non-medical intervention.)
510,000 deaths in Britain
2.2 million deaths in the United States
I repeat – the ABOVE predictions will NOT happen because of non-medical intervention. It does represent what could have happened. And the final numbers, while less than the above, will be greater than they needed to be.
Back to the WSJ article:
The (now debunked) theory (ignoring coronavirus) is that this would build up so-called “herd immunity,” so that the public would be more resistant in the face of a second wave of infections next winter.
Dr. Ferguson has been candid that the report reached new conclusions because of the latest data from Italy, which has seen a spiraling rate of infections, swamping hospitals and forcing doctors to make agonizing decisions about who to treat.
My opinion: Let me translate the phrase “build up ‘herd immunity’” – because I went to Texas A&M with a BS in POLS and my wife is an Agricultural Science major as well. “Herd Immunity” basically means building up immunity, in the absence of a vaccine, “culling of the herd” or “survival of the fittest” or “the weak or those predisposed to the virus will die.” – Ed
“Based on our estimates and other teams’, there’s really no option but follow in China’s footsteps and suppress.”
My opinion: Let me interject here again. If the public had known that up to 1/3 of all patients with the coronavirus needed treatment in an ICU with ventilators, I’m going to guess we wouldn’t be where we are now. Back to the article. – Ed
…the burden on hospitals was clear as far back as the original outbreak in Wuhan, China. Lancet, the British medical journal, published an article in January, based on studying a small group of patients, which found that a third of people had to be admitted to intensive care units.
“I can’t help but feel angry that it has taken almost two months for politicians and even ‘experts’ to understand the scale of the danger from SARS-CoV-2,” said Richard Horton, the editor-in-chief of Lancet, on Twitter. “Those dangers were clear from the very beginning.”
My Opinion: My understanding from reading the above article, is that the Lancet feels their advice was ignored for two months and our leadership didn’t take it seriously, causing greater pain. I get that.
This is what your lungs look like with the Coronavirus (Covid-19)
Like all Global Citizens, I believe we are in an unprecedented time. I hope and pray the miracle of humanity can solve this pandemic as soon as possible.
In Houston the Coronavirus (COVID-19) response has been quite aggressive. And as the third largest metro area in the US, it should be. I get it. Mostly we are quarantined in place except for grocery store runs and emergency needs. (And we can walk the dog, but that’s about it.)
The paper section in the Walgreens across the street looks like this
This led to research on what we could do and turned up two interesting pieces of knowledge about the coronavirus.
A) How long is the coronavirus contagious or viable by surface. As in how long can it be there and still infect you?
plastic = 3 days
Stainless Steel = 3 days
Cardboard = 1 day
Copper = 4 hours
Airborne = 3 hours
They don’t mention wood, which maybe varies by paint, varnish, etc.
Copper is the winner. Cardboard three times better than stainless steel is bizarre as well.
Next up, if you can’t get a mask for when you do go out, how do other materials compare to a medical mask?
Clean vacuum cleaner bags were a close second to surgical masks, but in the end they conclude you can barely breath through them so use two cotton “tea towels.”
Thus began an insomnia driven test to try and create a coronavirus diy mask from a tea towel with no power tools. It started like this:
Then the build process using paper as my makeshift mold.
The Ghirardelli chocolate and wine are a tip of the hat to my friends in San Francisco on complete lockdown. Those aren’t technically necessary to make the DIY coronavirus mask, although they do help.
In the above photo the template is overlapping and kind of mushed into the real mask so I could get an idea of the shape of the masks. They are not circular because your face isn’t a flat circle either.
Then a whole bunch of adjustments and cuts happened at the fabric level during hand sewing. The SINGER iron stick is a temporary way to hold fabric together, but definitely not strong enough to be a permanent join. But it’ll hold it together long enough for you to stitch it up.
The straps on my version are the edges of the towel because I didn’t have any elastic bands that long, and if people in countries with limited supplies available, the straps seemed more realistic.
It’s hard to tell in the photo above but between the two layers there is a small wire bent to the approximate shape of the bridge of my nose just like the more flexible one that comes on the real masks.
And the final result
It looks amateurish, I look ridiculous, but it’s waaaaay better than taking the BARTT in SF and wondering if the person coughing is giving you an infection.
Update: I received some questions about what I used for the metal “nose bridge” so I’m adding further details.
For me (easier way below) I go by autozone at the end of a rainy day and pull the broken / discarded windshield wiper blades. If you rip them apart there are two thin, but very sturdy, pieces of metal attached to the rubber part. (they make great tension wrenches.) mine looks like this when sewn in place in between the two layers of the cotton kitchen towel.
Easier alternative: bend paperclips like this:
Pro tip: when I do a DIY project like this I usually hand sew them using dental floss. Yes “Dental Floss” because it’s always around and stronger than most threads.
Now we see fears and the reality of coronavirus hitting the markets hard.
I’ve said it before, so this is repetition, but worth repeating. Stock markets move on emotion much more than the fundamentals. Companies are overvalued because there are more people with more money in pensions and the money has to go somewhere.