Coronavirus update: Stay at home

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Now we know why government officials are not engaging in a more aggressive testing campaign. Besides the fact that there aren’t enough tests to go around. In an article posted Sunday (March 22, 2020), The Washington Post revealed that officials at the state and federal level have determined that the battle to contain the virus is lost. In other words, it is going to spread, no matter what. The effort now is to preserve the scarce resources for the health care workers at the front line, those working in hospitals caring for the ill.

The virus cannot be contained … after two months of Trump lying, calling it a hoax, trying to prop up the stock market rather than deal with the rapidly spreading COVID-19. This is where we’re at: PPE, Personal Protective Equipment is so hard to come by it has to be rationed out to those with the most need. According to Demetre Daskalakis, deputy Director of the NYC Division of Disease Control, anyone with a manageable fever and/or cough but are not in a high risk demographic, they should just assume they have COVID-19 and self-quarantine.

In place of testing just diagnose yourself … What?

We could have been testing 10k people per day in January, February for sure, but instead we had a president — and members of Congress — who were soft pedaling it, telling us not to worry — the president actually said, on February 24, “And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”

On that day the U.S. had 35 confirmed cases, with no deaths. Less than a month later — today (March 22, 2020) — we have 30,347, with 388 deaths. That isn’t due to just the spread of the disease, but also to more testing. As medical professionals have been telling us for the past month (or more), there are people who are asymptomatic walking around spreading it to other people.

So we have “Stay At Home” orders, and directions to stay six feet apart from others, no congregating in groups of more than six (or whatever your state declares), things we can do to mitigate the spread of the disease … because the experts tell us we can no longer contain the virus.

You see this at all the grocery stores: empty shelves and signs saying supplies are limited (John L. Smith)

It’s here and it’s going to run its course. People are going to die horrible deaths, drowning in the fluid their bodies are creating while trying to fight the infection.

I suffer from Congestive Heart Failure, have been for nine years, or at least that’s when it was diagnosed. I cough up phlegm all day. Not so much that it noticeably hampers my ability to breath, it’s just a nuisance and requires me to cough a lot. The point is, the thought of that filling up my lungs to such a degree I need a ventilator, or maybe in triage the medical personnel decide a ventilator would be of no use so I am left to die — that scares me.

Dying peacefully in my sleep sounds so much kinder, pleasant. Gasping for breath, struggling to breath and ultimately suffocating, that isn’t so pleasant. Just for the record: I’m not obsessing about dying, but it’s part of the coronavirus story for many people like me. It’s important we know the reality of what COVID-19 does to people who become seriously ill. This is why we need to stay at home, stop socializing.

So right now I don’t want to go places I usually go. Don’t want to hang at the beach, spend time cruising through store aisles, going to Costco even though a slice of pepperoni pizza sounds good right about now. They’re probably out of toilet paper anyway, but sometimes they have the right brand and style of boxers so …

Don’t need T.P. right now. Before everyone started hoarding we got a couple packages on a trip to Costco, you know the six 6-packs per packages. This morning my friend Terri brought over some peeps for me so I gave her three rolls of T.P. in exchange. We were both excited. I had peeps and she got toilet paper. No, I’m not trading toilet paper for anything. Terri is one of my very special friends.

Toilet paper and handi-wipes, the new currency. What would you pay, or trade for a couple rolls of toilet paper or some 60% alcohol wipes?

Even the cold cuts section is empty (John L. Smith)

Remember when, on February 25, Larry Kudlow, Trump’s economic advisor, went before the TV cameras and said, ““We have contained this. I won’t say airtight, but pretty close to airtight. We have done a good job in the United States.”

They knew, back then, just how bad it was and how bad it was going to get. Donald Trump and his administration were getting briefings from the CDC and the Defense Department telling them what was going to happen if Trump didn’t take appropriate action.

Now, COVID-19 cannot be contained, we don’t have enough equipment — masks, gowns and gloves, ventilators, etc. — to help everyone in need; medical personnel working with the sick are getting infected because they don’t have enough adequate equipment … and now I think about this: Governor Gavin Newsom expects 25.1 million Californians will get infected with the coronavirus, if we don’t take all the necessary — and stringent — steps to slow the spread of the disease. Let’s take the median between 1% and 3% and say 2% die from COVID-19 in California, that’s 500k dead.

Experts aren’t sure what percentage of people die, so they theorize between 1-3 percent. Who do you know is suffering from diabetes, long disease, heart disease — Congestive Heart Failure? How protected are they from being infected?

This is why you need to stay at home, practice safe socializing — forget safe sex — stay six feet apart, don’t hang out in big crowds, wash your hands a lot, thoroughly, cough into your sleeve or maybe a hanky. Maybe it’s a good idea to carry Kleenex of some kind.

Most importantly don’t assume you’re immune because you aren’t. None of us are immune. Because our president and his administration lied to us about this disease and didn’t prepare, not for testing or for treatment, we are behind the coronavirus curve. Just like Italy was and is. Currently, Italy has 59,138 confirmed cases and 5,476 dead.

The scary thought is that all of these stats about the U.S. and Italy and Europe, wherever, will be out-of-date in just a few hours. The next time you go to the store, or a park, the beach, a 12-step meeting (yes, those too), or your friend’s house for a “small getogther,” you could become the next COVID-19 carrier.

We can always stay in touch through social media.

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UPDATE: As of Monday morning, March 23, 2020 the United States has 35,418 confirmed cases with 473 deaths.

California has 1,486 confirmed cases and 27 deaths. Here’s a link to the California Department of Health coronavirus information.

How this is impacting our society is just mind-boggling. The businesses that have shut down, the people that are forced into unemployment, the homeless … The hit on the economy, so many people not working.

Now is not the time to hang out at the beach (Tim Forkes)

The president of the American Medical Association, Dr. Patrice Harris was on the news and said that to be absolutely sterile health care professionals will require 5 million mask per day. They shouldn’t be reusing masks, gloves gowns, etc. and what Trump said about desterilizing masks: It isn’t possible. It would damage the fabric of the masks and render them useless.

Dr. Jerome Adams, the Surgeon General of the United States was on NBC’s the Today show Monday morning and said, “I want America to understand — This week it’s going to get bad.” He added, with emphasis, “We really, really need everyone to stay at home.” After the president tweeted we should start getting back to normal soon, as in get people going back to work. We’re not supposed to touch our faces, but I just face palmed myself.

It’s way past time Trump invoked the Defense Production Act and put millions of people to work creating the equipment health care workers need for the coronavirus plus all the other needs, i.e. people that are having heart attacks, suffering from cancer, broken bones, extrapolate from there.

The National Guard has been mobilized to assist in California, New York and Washington. Are they getting Personal Protective Equipment?

And what the fuck are people doing congregating at the beaches here in California? Stay at home. It’s raining throughout Southern California. Maybe that will stop people from congregating for a while

Top photo by Tim Forkes