Coronavirus March 21
Posted on 03/21/2020 in misc
Like everybody else, the pandemic is "top of mind" 24 x 7 for me. I'm writing to help myself not internalize all of it. You can find other posts in the series at https://odonnellweb.com/pelican/tag/coronavirus.html
Weekends don't just hold the same appeal when you literally have nothing to do. The weekend did get off to a fun start at 2:30 AM when the downstairs smoke alarm sounded the low battery alarm. It turns out the smoke alarm system also comes with a creepy female voice that says, "The battery needs to be replaced" and "fire" and "carbon monoxide detected." I shut it up the only way I knew how, I unplugged it and pulled the battery. We have zero 9V batteries in the house so that meant I got to go out today and buy 5 batteries so I can replace them all. Does that qualify as doing something productive? While I was at Target I picked up a few things, including AV cables so I could connect the DVD player that has not been connected in years. The manufacture date on the back of my DVD player is 2003 and the batteries in the remote expired in 2011. I'm shocked that it even works, but it does. So I wasted away the afternoon watching Faith Rewarded and a Butch Walker solo acoustic show from The Variety Playhouse in Atlanta in 2003. So now that the DVD player is connected I have an entire library of classic 80s movies to re-watch. Expect comments on how well or how poorly some of those movies have aged in future updates.
Speaking of movies, we watched Harriet last night. We were entertained, and post movie research indicates that it is generally historically accurate. Hollywood is always going to make shit up to improve the entertainment factor of history, but they stuck to the facts for the overall story arc.
Somebody shared a long Medium post this morning into my Twitter feed that was written by a libertarian techie douche-bro who is proud of his Breitbart writing credits. The article was probably 2000+ worlds and dozens of graphs of cherry picked and just flat out mis-interpreted data trying to make the point that we are over reacting and we should return to life as usual so that his portfolio will recover. He didn't explicitly call out his portfolio but you know that is what he is worried about, because that is the only thing those assholes care about. All the electoral politics experts from January are now public health experts on the Internet. Before you read anything about the pandemic check the author. If it isn't coming from somebody that with actual expertise in the subject ignore it and think about blocking the idiot that shared it with you.
Along the same lines with being careful about believing anything you read online, dogs probably can not get Coronavirus and can't give it to you. Yes, they have found the virus in the Respiratory system of a couple of dogs in China. However, both dogs live with humans that have the virus, so it isn't a surprise that the dogs have the virus in their noses. That doesn't mean that the virus can reproduce in the dog's system, or that the dog can either get sick or shed the virus. I don't think we know for sure that dogs can't get the virus, but the over hyped news story yesterday doesn't mean that they can.
On that note, the social distancing we are doing now will pay off in two-three weeks to 2-3 months when we don't overwhelm the healthcare system. It's probably going to get much worse next week. That doesn't mean it's not working. That means we started taking this virus seriously way too late, because our country is run by a fucking moron who is only motivated by personal self-interest.
I'm seeing more language in the media referring this as a war. That is not an accident. The US Government has traditionally used war as a way to consolidate power. Every war in the history of the US has ended badly for the poor and less powerful. The Revolutionary War featured poor farmers dying to protect the interests of rich landowners that didn't want to pay taxes. The Civil War featured poor farmers dying to protect the interests of rich slaveholders. The Korean and Vietnam wars featured poor folks dying in Asia to protect capitalism's interests. Iraq featured poor folks dying to protect oil interests. The world wars may have been our only egalitarian wars, but I won't be surprised if a history major corrects that assumption. Somebody in the Trump administration is charged with looking for ways to exploit this for his personal gain. That team may even be larger than the team working on the pandemic. Expect all kinds of expansion of government power to be attempted in the coming months. None of it will have anything to do with protecting Americans.
The Puerto Rican pork roast I was slow cooking for dinner was a little too slow and not ready for dinner, so we fell back to corn dogs. I shredded the pork a couple of hours later and it was fabulous. So now I'm looking forward to dinner tomorrow and Monday. We spent the evening hanging out with Acoustic Onion- a Beatles and Beatles era cover band that a friend plays in, as they played a 2-hour set from a living room. They are doing it again next Saturday and that is your era of music you should check it out next week. It's not like you won't have the time :)