Bits & Bytes

2020_03 30 imagine

IOW: Imagine Judgment Day.

2020_03 30 trump

VIRUS UPDATE: Below are my highlights from the March 29 task force presser, plus tidbits from other news sources that are linked below.

Number One: We are NOT re-opening the country any time soon. My doctor will be delighted; when we spoke on Friday, he was genuinely upset that Trump might re-open too soon. The “15 Days to Slow the Spread” ends on March 30. However, we now know much more.

  1. The tremendous response of the huge majority of Americans to the call for social distancing and self-quarantine has saved countless lives.
  2. As of March 29, we have 138,631 confirmed cases with 2,414 deaths in the U.S.
  3. The experts expect the peak of American deaths will come in the next two weeks.

Therefore, “15 Days” is now going to be at least “45 Days.” We are being asked to continue with social distancing and self-quarantine at least through April 30th. They think that, with all of us continuing to work together, we should be in good shape by June 1.

What would’ve happened if we did nothing?” said Trump. “Two point two million deaths.” If we keep up with our social distancing and self-quarantining, we hope to hold the death count down to between 100,000 and 200,000.

2020_03 30 real superheroes

Outstanding news! The FDA has approved a rapid-response, point-of-care COVID-19 test that gives a positive or negative result in 15 minutes or less. They’re planning to produce 50,000/week, which will greatly improve every aspect of this fight.

Hoo-Ah! The Army Corps of Engineers has built a 2,900 bed hospital at the Javits Center in less than four days! Now they’re moving to other locations to help.

Two treatments are being tried: 1,100 patients in NYC are getting hydroxychloroquine & azithromycin and some of the more seriously ill patients are receiving transfusions of antibody-rich plasma from recovered patients. Early results are promising.

2020_03 30 buttons masks

Millions of new masks are being delivered, but the demand has increased to a staggering degree. Obviously, a big part of the increase is due to the need for everybody, not just surgical staff, to wear them as well as to change them between patients. As I mentioned, I had a doctor’s appointment on Friday. Usually, I’m the only one in that busy office (3 doctors, plus a lab) wearing a mask which I routinely wear every time I leave the house to protect myself from flu and fragrance. On Friday, every single staff member – medical, office, you name it – was wearing a mask, plus there was a pile of them in the foyer for in-coming patients to don.

Some masks can be sterilized as many as 20 times; the feds are working on getting the process approved.

The military and private shipping companies like UPS and FedEx are teaming up to move the enormous quantities of supplies to the front line medical people caring for patients. There was a lot of praise from the private sector representatives at the presser for how smoothly the government/private collaboration is going.

Two of our nation’s largest health insurance companies – Humana and Signa – are waiving co-pays and deductibles on COVID-19 treatments.

A number of COVID-19 vaccines are going through the approval process; however, between the time needed to test safety and efficacy, then to manufacture large quantities, there is no hope of a vaccine before next year.

2020_03 30 florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has set up checkpoints along his state’s border to intercept civilians fleeing viral hot spots in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Louisiana.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti predicts that LA will reach New York City levels in about a week.

California used to have a pandemic emergency plan that included three mobile 200-bed hospitals with ICU units and surgical suites, 50 million N95 respirators, 2,400 portable ventilators, and kits to set up 21,000 additional patient beds wherever they were needed. The system was implemented by a Republican, then dismantled by a Democrat. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger set it up in 2006; Gov. Jerry Brown decided it was stupid in 2011, sarcastically remarking it was silly since no epidemic ever happened.

2020_03 30 hockey

Hockey equipment maker Bauer has transitioned from making helmets and protective gear to making $3 face shields they are selling at cost. Health-care workers still need a face mask to cover mouth and nose, but the face shields protect them from body fluids getting in their eyes.

MLB jersey maker Fanatics has transitioned from making uniforms to making desperately-needed masks.

Under the Trump Administration’s guidance, the Department of Homeland Security has declared firearms manufacturers and retailers “essential businesses,” possibly driving a spike through the heart of various state and local “emergency powers” declarations that had classified gun stores to be “non-essential” during the current Coronavirus panic, and had ordered them closed.

To ascertain how fatal a virus is, we need an accurate picture of how many people have it (the denominator) and how many have died as a result (the numerator), we have neither, but the data is improving and with it some substantial shifts away from the original model, which predicted far more deaths as a result of the Wuhan virus than we are seeing. The brand new rapid-response test will help improve the accuracy of the denominator.

The world is up to 151 nations infected. The number of cases in the U.S. is artificially higher than many other nations, simply because we are doing more testing. My doctor mentioned that issue at our local level. I live on the border of Tompkins and Cortland counties. The number of confirmed cases in Tompkins is 7 times higher than Cortland, but it’s a false comparison, because Cortland just hasn’t done as much testing.

2020_03 30 pork

SCUMBAGS: One of the slabs of Democrat Pork that Nancy Pelosi larded up the virus aid bill with was $25 million for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

Hours after the aid bill was signed, the Kennedy Center notified all 96 members of the National Symphony Orchestra that their April 3 paycheck would be their last until the center could reopen.

They also learned that if the center doesn’t reopen by the end of May, they will lose their healthcare benefits as well.

The president of the American Federation of Musicians’ D.C. Branch said, “This decision, from an organization with an endowment of nearly $100 million, is not only outrageous, … it is also blatantly illegal under the parties’ collective bargaining agreement.”

Vote Republican in November!

2020_03 30 Biden finger

BIDEN: Two years ago, when the pro-abortion Democrats were trying to destroy Brett Kavanaugh with ridiculous accusations of sexual abuse, Joe Biden said that society had an obligation to believe the women.

For a woman to come forward in the glaring lights of focus, nationally, you’ve got to start off with the presumption that at least the essence of what she’s talking about is real, whether or not she forgets facts, whether or not it’s been made worse or better over time.”

Don’t hold your breath waiting on him to presume that the accusation that has been made against him will be treated with anything other than contempt.

2020_03 30 American Gothic virus edition
2020_03 30 TP toon


Filed under Loose Pollen

2 responses to “Bits & Bytes

  1. American Gothic Horror – I laughed out loud.

    Milady and I broke quarantine yesterday evening. Or as we used to call it, went into town to run errands.

    We had some garbage to dump. This did not involve contact with anyone.

    We picked up the mail from the post office. Door handle was worrisome, but no human contact required.

    We stopped by the ATM, and, delicately and with trepidation, pushed buttons. But again, no human contact.

    Our missions accomplished, we went mad, crazed with cabin fever, desperate for real, human contact (other than each other). We went to Braum’s.

    Dining area was closed, but everything else was normal. The crew behind the counter were doing such a booming business, we had to wait a while for service. The young fellow who took our order smiled a somewhat weary smile. Drive-up business is brisk, I take it?

    OH man, he said, I’m glad to be employed, but this is crazy.

    I told him I’m glad Braum’s was considered an essential business.

    Other than being frazzled from being busy, everyone seemed chipper enough. The checkout gal was jovial. When I went back and got some extra napkins, I joked to the fellow standing there ordering, Look out, we’re not six feet apart here. He laughed and said, You’re okay. In the parking lot later, I used the ice cream-as-essential joke again, and he said, “Well it is for me!

    Much nicer than the grumpy scattering of people we saw at the mostly-well-stocked grocery store on our last outing. I felt cheered by our Braum’s visit.

    Those $1 frozen yogurt waffle cones are pretty filling. The 50 cents’ worth I threw out the window on the drive home was not waste — it was just part of the Got Some Real Life Human Contact tax.


    • chrissythehyphenated

      Dearest has been helping us support our local restaurateurs by treating me to carry-out meals. I asked if he could afford it and he told me he’d gotten a check for $300 that he wasn’t expecting. It seems one of his numerous Contributions To Society actually comes with a tiny stipend!

      Tonight, I want to pow wow with him over dinner about how much money we can spare to donate to the local Kitchen Cupboard. They’re still operating and told us that money is best, because they can buy at less than market prices. We’re fine, but I am sure there are folks out there who fall through the cracks in the government’s aid efforts and are feeling pretty desperate.

      Liked by 1 person