In order to post while also making it possible for readers to ignore the pandemic while they are on this site.
Sunday, 29 March 2020
Over 135 thousand confirmed cases of covid19 in the United States—doubled in 5 days. And none of the short term rental organizations seem to have noticed that Clatsop County has disallowed all such rentals. Affluent people sneaking off to rural communities to hide from the virus is happening all over the country. Small, rural communities have limited resources and resent the influx.
Friday, 27 March 2020
UPDATE as of 1pm, 97,028 confirmed cases in the United States; 1475 dead; 816 recovered.
The U.S. has more confirmed cases of covid19 than anywhere in the world, 86,012 showing an increase of 31% since Wednesday and 1,301 deaths showing an increase nearly as large. Since yesterday. I suspect people would take this more seriously if we broke out in a rash or spots or streaming sores. Somehow a dry cough, even a fever does not sound so bad.
Eventually, everyone will be exposed. Everyone. With the best of care we might manage Germany’s death rate. With an overtaxed medical system we might suffer as Italy has. Will be see 0.5% or 10%? So far, about 1.5% of confirmed cases have ended in deathwith only the tiniest fraction (753 people) declared “recovered.”
For a while, the president was was making an ill-advised comparison of covid19 to flu.
- 5% to 20% — Percentage of the U.S. population that will get the flu, on average, each year.
- 200,000 — Average number of Americans hospitalized each year because of problems with the illness.
- 8,200 to 20,000 — Number of people who die each year from flu-related causes in the U.S.
- $10 billion+ — Average costs of hospitalizations and outpatient doctor visits related to the flu.
NOTE: The flu is far less contagious, has a much lower death rate, and we can vaccinate for flu.
At least half of Americans are vaccinated against flu, so double the first number and then double it again. The death rate must be multiplied by a factor of fourteen—flu kills about 0.1%, but covid10 is estimated to kill 1.4%. In a population the size of the United States, 1.4% is millions. That’s why we’re being careful, folks.
Thursday, 26 March 2020
We got up, dressed for our walk, and drove to Cannon Beach. John at the post office unloaded our packages onto the counter and I loaded them into a plastic trash bag, carried them to the car. Gary opened the back door for me, I dumped them behind the passenger seat and he squeezed Purell into my palm. Then I got into the car. Gary unloaded our recycling at the recycling center (no one was closer that fifty feet and he touched only our own cardboard and glass. At the grocery store, it was my turn again. I carried my bags in, found what I wanted (ww flour, eggs, milk, yogurt, sunflower oil, brown sugar, oranges, and juice). Same routine as the PO except groceries went into the back behind the driver’s seat. At home, I stripped naked and carried the milk into the fridge. All the new stuff (mail and food) will sit for 72 hours, mostly in the garaged car with only the milk in the house.
My neighbor warned about two vacation rentals still renting to tourists. She called CERT and VBRO, and I called the sheriff. Gary was not in favor, but “It BUGS me that adults and kids play ball on our narrow street so [our 70+ year old neighbor with recent heart surgery] has to wait for things to settle down so that he can get his walk done for the day. He has not complained but this has been my observation.”
The only reason the confirmed cases are only half a million cases is the lack of testing. The state of Oregon has identified fewer people than have died in New York City.
From Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center data: 22,295 dead world wide. U.S. confirmed cases have risen to 69,684 confirmed cases; 619 recovered; 1049 dead, and the man in the White House thinks we might have to allow that number to escalate because money matters more than people. . . . and yet his popularity has gone up?
Wednesday, 25 March 2020
A little satirical bite? Try Alexandra Petri’s satire in The Washington Post yesterday: “This is rude and selfish of you, to say that your life is worth more than someone’s money.” She regrets she has “but one grandparent to give for my country.”
“Here is your chance to serve! And there is still a place in the line for the people who did not ask to be volunteered — but you must help them! You can sacrifice them, too, by your decision, because this disease conveniently does not understand who is stepping up and who is not.
” Just as we do not make any attempt to regulate traffic so that people do not perish needlessly in car accidents, just as when buildings are aflame we do not keep people from congregating inside them, so, too, must we now rush back to normalcy, at an unthinkable cost, to no purpose whatsoever.
“We’ll have the country open by Easter! Think what more glorious fate there could possibly be than to die for nothing at all!”
From Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center data: 836,159 confirmed cased in the world; 111,847 recovered; 19,648 dead. After two months of lockdown (81,661 confirmed cases; 73,773 recovered; and 3,285 dead), China is beginning to reopen Hubei because new cases amount to 0% over the past two days. U.S. confirmed cases have risen to 55,238 confirmed cases; 354 recovered; 802 dead.
Stats for Oregon remain: 4559 tested in Oregon; 209 positive; 8 deaths.
For an excellent review of the functions and failures of philanthropy in addressing public needs, read this essay at Wired: “The Dangers of Relying on Philanthropists During Pandemics”.
Just for fun, I read an article on NPR about cooking during lockdown. The advice about spicing up dishes and substitutions was really helpful, but the recipes were not. Each one contained ingredients most people are guaranteed not to have on hand such as several fresh ears of corn. Where are the recipes that include only what is canned, frozen, dried, or at least in season?
Tuesday, 24 March 2020
4559 tested in Oregon as of 8am; 209 positive; 8 deaths.
NPR interviewed five of the worlds premier experts in economics. Surprise! None of them advises what our President plans to do. (Instead, see Denmark’s Minister of Employment below. They are investing in workers, supporting people not fire but on leave with 90% pay. Our economy runs on paychecks and spending, not merely Wall Street.)
Yesterday I baked a huckleberry cake from James Beard’s recipe.
From The Washington Post: “Health experts are screaming warnings. As Tom Inglesbe, the director of Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, powerfully argues, the failure to test has dramatically undercounted the true numbers of those infected. This, plus a looming exponential surge in cases, almost certainly means that, if we don’t continue major social distancing, our health system will soon be overwhelmed.”
As of 24 March 2020, my husband and I are healthy. I have not driven anywhere, nor been in contact with or within 20 feet on the beach of anyone for the past two weeks. Theoretically, I am fine and should be coronavirus-free.
Despite the county shutting down all short term rentals, there are tourists on the beach and cars parked in front of local rentals. Though many of the owners of these rentals claim to be “long-time residents,” they have never lived here, but in cities some distance away in Washington or Portland. Their attitude seems to be that laws only count if you are caught. The American way? The President if the United States considers scrapping social distancing because it’s hurting Wall Street. He is more worried about the economy than the health of me or my neighbors. I get that. We wouldn’t vote for him anyway.
In the mean time, Denmark is taking remarkable steps to ensure people stay home if they are not essential workers (health, food, utilities).
Derek Thompson of The Atlantic: In the U.S., we still don’t have an emergency relief deal. What’s your message to American lawmakers?
Peter Hummelgaard, the Employment Minister of Denmark: Do more—fast. Don’t wait. The main focus should be to bridge partisan divides and to make sure that the rescue package for the economy is a rescue for Main Street, not just for Wall Street. Preserve the income and jobs for ordinary working people, and also preserve small businesses. The jury is still out on our initiatives, but I’m confident in our approach.
As of 9:38am PDT, Tuesday, 24 March 2020, The Atlantic reports 46,481 diagnosed cases and 593 deaths of covid19 in the U.S., up 40% from Sunday (less than 48 hours). Six weeks ago there were 12 cases of covid19 in the U.S. The earlier and current figures are not accurate, of course, because we have tested a relatively tiny proportion of our citizens. Unless you are hospitalized or wealthy, it is unlikely that you will have access to a test.
By contrast, Denmark has 1,703 diagnosed cases and 32 deaths with a growth of 17% since Sunday. Below are old figures, old because they are a couple of weeks out of date. Note South Korea and the United States had their first diagnosed case at about the same time and that our President has asked for help from South Korea, a nation successfully fighting covid19 with 1% increase in identified cases since Sunday.
In the charts below, confirm that dates, the first is a couple of weeks old, the second from yesterday.
As of 24 March, there have been 3,649 coronavirus tests in Oregon, with 191 positives, and 5 deaths. Our numbers here have not moved much, but I will update.
I bake, usually from my own recipes. I make soup about once a week, always vegetable soup, and usually combining a legume with a grain to gain a complete protein, since we are vegetarian.
I also knit, weave, and stitch quilts. The weaving goes back to childhood when my step-grandmother, Genevieve encouraged me to weave. I took classes while in college and I have owned several looms. Just now, I am using a Schacht Baby Wolf gifted to me by a friend to weave wool, mostly Koigu from Canada.
We have two sons and three grandchildren and my husband and I walk most every morning on the beach. We gather trash and hunt for pebbles, shells, and sea glass.
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