Monday, 6 April 2020

pandemic day 20

April 6
Global cases = 1,286,000
USA = 337,000
Sacramento = 442E

NYC is supposed to apex this week, while other major American cities are on the rise. We are definitely as a nation nowhere close to out of the woods. Vaccine not in sight. Testing still very limited. Supply of ventilators dwindling. I went to the grocery store and wore a paper surgical mask. About a third of people shopping also wore masks. Finally I was able to find eggs and italian sausage. I talked to my dad and he says although the economy is facing a serious recession he doesn't expect another Great Depression. He's a finance professional so I took comfort in his words. It was comforting speaking with my brother and mom over the weekend. And my aunt last week. I worked on my novel over the weekend which was the best distraction, trying to stick to my routines. I may take a hiatus on this pandemic diary, as the first 20 days gives you a pretty good idea of what one slice of life was like living through it, if you happen to be reading this many years from now and curious to know. I wanted to capture what it felt like. We certainly have hard days ahead in this city, this state, this country, and all over the world. Yet we are 8 billion strong. The greater long term question is how long can the earth and her atmosphere sustain such a thriving species as ours? Some great minds are certain it won't be long. There is a fascinating global quest to relocate humanity on Mars. I would love to witness this in my lifetime.


Sunday, 5 April 2020

pandemic day 19

April 5
Global cases = 1,216,000
USA = 311,000
Sacramento = 390E

The decentralized approach our current administration has taken towards combating the covid19 has not been very effective. The proof is in the numbers. USA has over twice the reported cases of infections than any other country, and this statistic cannot be written off as justified by greater access to virus testing in our country, because our testing has been scarce and targeted only to those who have been most vulnerable and exposed. Trump has let the States battle it out with a wild west mentality for equipment on the global market. Other countries have complained that the orders they placed to pay on delivery for equipment shipped by air were pirated by cash payments directed by US operatives. Germany and France are among the countries in dire need of equipment making these seemingly outrageous claims. I would imagine they are not making it up! Because when everyone is watching a desperate and tearful New York governor Cuomo on prime time pleading for supplies, you can be damn sure no other state governor wants to be placed in a similar situation. The federal government is simply not in a position to help. Why? Because in the two months from when the administration was first alerted to the outbreak in Wuhan, China, those who advocated in daily briefings at the White House for funding to prepare for the high likelihood of an outbreak on American soil, were told to take a hike! And all they wanted was a few billion dollars early on, and then an order to force US Manufactures to produce the equipment needed. For two months our window to activate our finely tuned state of the art support systems to fight this deadly threat got smaller and smaller, until it fell on Trump's hands while he was leaning out the window looking at blue sky asking everybody: what threat? And even today there has been no direct national command to stay home. 8 US State governors still have not yet directed their constituents to do so. The wheels are certainly in motion and have been since I started this diary almost three weeks ago, but can they turn fast enough to save the cost of millions of lives? We do not yet know. I hope so. This could be a great lesson for the climate change deniers of the world. Look what happens when you wait too long before acting, your arguments seated in pride and nationalism. I love my country! I feel we have often led the way with thoughtful and compelling policy grounded in science and humanitarianism. The world has looked to us for answers. We have world-renowned creative thinkers and artists. In this case, the pandemic, I believe we let our allies and ourselves down. We have not been that grounding, protective force with leadership others can turn to. We have been unable to protect our own healthcare workers. The heroes of this dark time are our doctors and nurses and healthcare workers on the front lines. They are like soldiers without sufficient radar, without sufficient armor. Sparked by courage and a spirit, an ethos, to save lives. 

Saturday, 4 April 2020

pandemic day 18

April 4
Global cases = 1,134,000
USA = 278,000
Sacramento = 390

A foresee a future Hollywood blockbuster film produced by Clint Eastwood based on the life and times of former CO Captain Brett Crozier of Santa Rosa, CA, whose ship is now docked in Guam and whose sailors packed the interior deck and gave him a loving farewell (with zero regard for social distancing) as he walked off the USS Theodore Roosevelt for the final time. Overnight the man has become legendary for crying out for help as covid19 took hold. The Navy relieved him for having set aside protocol at an urgent time (simply demanding compassionate quick responsiveness and flexibility) when any other institution besides the military might have encouraged creative out of the box thinking. Well, not so fast. The White House and several State and regional response teams across the country could also be faulted for the same sort of rigidity. Wait a few months (when we dream this whole pandemic will blow over) and watch the antagonists fall in line in with the hero narrative of Captain Crozier. It will likely require millions of fatalities in our country alone to persuade the narrowest of minds and hearts. It begs the question: can anyone be to blame for being unable to think and feel and act creatively? Probably not. Blame is not a helpful enterprise. Education is a better angle. Education which then leads to informed popular voting which puts leaders, not losers, into elected positions to run the country the way it ought to be run.  

Friday, 3 April 2020

pandemic day 17

April 3
Global cases = 1,041,000
USA = 246,000
Sacramento = 361

I saw an image of NYC firefighters standing in the middle of the avenue applauding hospital staff. In five or six days they are expected to start running out of painkillers, PPEs (gowns, masks), sedatives, and ventilators. One nurse described going to work as 'sheep going in for the slaughter'. The governor is comparing covid19 to a 'slow-moving hurricane'. It's friday and I'm off work. I slept in and awoke to the beautiful sound of morning birds in springtime. The natural world outside is like nothing ever happened. It's my anchor. I took a walk to the seven eleven for a cup of coffee. Plexiglass now separates cashiers from customers. More and more people are wearing surgical masks. The city in the morning is quiet and far from the usual hustle and bustle of a morning commute. Over ten million Americans filed for unemployment in the last two weeks. Wimbledon and the Olympics are cancelled along with the entire sporting season. Kids are fetching chromebooks as school is out indefinitely. Church services are supposed to be accomplished online but several devilish pastors across the nation and in my hometown have been arrested for encouraging their congregations to continue to come on Sunday. The true idiots who somehow rose to power by accident are showing their true colors. Even our so-called leader of our nation ought to take a class in leadership. What ever happened to FDR and 'the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself?'


Thursday, 2 April 2020

pandemic diary 2020 day 16

April 2
Global cases = 952,000
USA = 216,000
Sacramento = 314E

the pandemic is ripping through the charts. approaching one million cases in the world which we all by now should know is many times higher due to scarcity of testing. i fear for the densely populated areas in the world, Tokyo, Paris, LA, the entire country of India. i find it unbelievable that 20 governors in this great union still have not heeded the warnings, and their citizens are freely mingling in restaurants, at church, work, in parks and recreation together. stop and listen already! florida (often late to lunch) finally demanded people stay home yesterday. there are a tremendous number of retired Americans in Florida, including my parents, in the age group at greatest risk to covid19. the governor of New York has been seen crying on air, his constituents dying, refrigerated freight trucks rolling in for use as morgues. his own brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, has contracted the virus. the death care industry is booming. the stock market is tumbling. museums have been closed indefinitely which created an opportunity for art thieves. they stole an 1889 self-portrait by Van Gogh when he was admitted into a psychiatric institution in France. the painting was titled: The Parsonage Garden at Nuenen in Spring 1884. i guess we are all going a little crazy now.

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

pandemic diary 2020 day 15

April 1
Global cases = 882,000
USA = 189,000
Sacramento = 224E


One way or another we will get through this. whenever I go outdoors I am comforted by the beauty of the sun, the sky, the signs of springtime, the birds and flowers have arrived! we will see the other side. i am very concerned about the economic fallout. my guy keeps thinking we should stay home from work but i disagree. we may get the damn covid19 even if we stay home, because u still gotta go to the grocery store, etc. i am an essential worker so they want me there and yes, practicing social distancing with colleagues and still able to get in a little fix of social contact is beneficial to my state of mind! its a gamble who gets this thing. the vast majority will be able to ride it out at home with mild symptoms. the 3% will unfortunately end up with their lives hanging in the balance. could be any of us of course. i need my damn job. i need to stay solvent as long as possible. the Great Depression after the stock market crash in 1929 and the banks failing, left people out of work and suffering poverty and starvation for years. nobody wants to believe it could happen in today's USA of economic prosperity but it could and very well may. so i'm hoping to follow the best medical advice, the CDC guidelines, and also protect my livelihood. okay, enough out of me. thank you my friends. may we stay hopeful and productive and may we survive!

Monday, 30 March 2020

book review

EileenEileen by Ottessa Moshfegh
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am excited to have found Ottessa and I very much respect her as a contemporary. She has a unique voice and her characters are so flawed and human, all of them. I found this story to be incredibly compelling out the gate! I was happy to be inside Eileen's head, as she has some wild imagination in her train wreck of a life. The characters around her were no less compelling, especially as she sized each one of them up. I will be reading more books by this author, the next being My Year of Rest and Relaxation. I'm currently reading this book in paperback, which is a pleasant change after so many e-books. Only problem is I have to use a headlamp after dark. Anyways, it's the kind of thing I could see Eileen doing. Wearing a headlamp while reading in the attic, and her dad coming up there to call her names and her wishing he would get struck in the head by a falling icicle. The only major disappointment of this story to me was the ending. I don't know exactly why I was disappointed. Something about the use of the narrator as an older woman looking back on her life didn't work for me. And just the outcome of the story didn't work for me. It wasn't really credible or natural an ending. Nevertheless, I was left feeling happy I picked the book up and for sure would recommend it to some people but not my parents. They don't like the stories I write, either. So that's a real compliment.


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