Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Things We're Missing

Anybody here missing things from before the apocalypse?

Yo GIFs | Tenor

The longer this stay-at-home order, protective quarantine, and probable violation of the constitution, continues, the longer the list of thing I miss grows.  

What's at the top of your list?  Is it going out to eat at restaurants?  Boy, I really miss that.  Not that we can't do takeout, but sitting down and sharing a meal in a restaurant with my wife is missed.  Takeout is pretty much just fast food these days anyway, and I'm at the point in my life where I need to eat a little healthier.  There are some decent places that aren't grease pits, but most of that food isn't conducive to picking up 20 minutes from home, driving back, then eating.  It doesn't hold the heat, and microwaving it tends to change the look, texture, etc.  Unfortunately, none of the restaurants nearby, other than the burger joint, are open for that good takeout.  There was a great Chinese takeout place not too far from us which we patronized a few times a year, but they've had to close permanently.  Rents don't pay themselves and landlords don't get leniency on mortgages from bankers, so the Coronavirus has claimed yet another victim.

And I'm really growing tired of my cooking.

Sports?  I mentioned that the last time I wrote.  I also miss walks.  Not that I don't walk now, in fact I actually walk more, but now it's the only thing going.  When all you have to get out of the house is a walk, it's not this little treat that my wife and I indulged in each late afternoon or evening.   We're tried to mix it up a little though, driving elsewhere to get a different view, so that's nice.  That's pretty much my only form of exercise- the walk.  I used to be semi-regular at the base gym, either playing racquetball with a co-worker, or doing some weights and 30-45 minutes on the elliptical.  That's out now.  Could I do some push ups and sit ups here?  I probably need to start.  This "new normal" isn't normal yet and it sucks.  

That meme might strike a funnier chord if one remembers the SNL skit with Chris Farley as an embarrassingly uncomfortable celebrity interviewer, but we took that awesome life for granted.  And having our freedoms curtailed isn't all that good.

Going to Church.  That's another thing I miss.  I miss my faith community, the Eucharist, and the routine that was in the ritual.  My actual faith hasn't gone anywhere, but my ability to practice that faith the way we Catholics are called, is very much missed.  Watching mass online just isn't the same.  If any Chanters know of some dynamic homilists and whose masses are online, let me know.

My current church.  Although I've been to mass in Tyler Texas, Phoenix Arizona, Palos Verdes CA, and others in San Diego.

I think we also may be losing our connection to our faith.  For many, the weekly in-person attendance of church services isn't something they believe in, or want to do as a personal or religious requirement.  But for others, it's like a piece of us is gone.  Within the Catholic Church, we were already going through a large exodus of the faithful following the continued sexual abuse crisis within the clergy.  I'm worried that this current viral crisis will cause an even further distancing, when we need to pray even more.  I know Jesus is no handi-wipe as a friend hilariously stated, and attending won't protect us, but we can't lose our faith at a time of crisis, when many people need faith even more.

So we can't eat out, exercise, or worship the way we used to.  As I said earlier, this new normal sucks. No, it's not as bad as getting sick and dying.  No, it's not comparable to what the greatest generation lived through, or other unchecked diseases that attacked some demographics, but by "sucks" I actually mean damn inconvenient.  I'm talking about things like the great depression, polio, or WWII sacrifices and rationing.  Are we dying because of our COVID-19 practices?  No, it's just the opposite.  We're trying to live.  But as we live, what else are we missing?

It's not just fun, food, and conveniences we're missing, I think we're also missing a little of the truth.  The two minute video below is good, but it makes me think we're looking to science and the government to be our new saviors.

I admit I'm a bit cynical.  We've had the environmentalists shoving climate change down our throats for years.  They parade out little girls from Scandinavia to shame us.  They ban our plastic straws and bags, but do nothing about the millions of other plastic packaging we consume daily.  They add taxes to pay for environmental causes, but siphon it off for other projects.  They slam the coal industry, but ignore the fact that their precious electric vehicles are powered by coal.  They demand we listen to science, but the science has been manipulated, politicized, and used to make us fear our way of life.  They expect us to change how we eat, change our culture, and destroy our economy, all done in order to bring out their green new deal.

I'm cynical because we've been lied to by an highly politicized media and a corrupt left for over 10 years.  They've been hiding the impact of liberal policies, refusing to investigate even blatantly wrong activities, much less the questionable ones.  There's been nobody minding the debt clock since before 9-11, with zero reporting on the impact of that or providing a way forward for fixing that.

I'm cynical because they won't give our President even the slightest benefit of the doubt when it comes to anything he says.  Did he come up with the use of hydroxychloroquine by himself?  No, some doctors, including Dr. Fauci briefed him on it.  That's the President's job isn't it?  To provide a small measure of hope to the country in times of crisis?  

With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph—so help us God. 
Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will say, "This was their finest hour."

The first quote was from FDR's "A Day Which Will Live In Infamy" speech after Pearl Harbor, and the second was obviously Winston Churchill after the Brits had their arses handed to them in France by the Germans.  The press hates Trump so much that the second he mentioned hydroxychloroquine, they did a deep dive to find a small non-peer reviewed, non randomized VA study of elderly hospitalized men that suggests it may not be effective. As far the American media is concerned, hydroxychloroquine might as well be cyanide.*  However, there are many reports of it working well as a treatment, for people in the media (told to stay silent), for Democrat politicians (censured), and for Hollywood Celebrities (ignored).  In fact, Australia is amassing a stockpile of 33,000,000 doses of this potential Covid-19 treatment based on the successes it has had.  But because Trump spoke of it, and the sham study I mentioned above, blue state governors are restricting its use, and testimony regarding its success is being censored by YouTube and Facebook as being dangerous.  It's almost as if they'd rather see Trump fail, than to have people get better.

Great video and a brief discussion here regarding the politicization of hydroxychloroquine.  Or watch just the video on youtube.

So I can't have this undying faith in our government and our institutions.  Nor can I for Doctors and Scientists, although Doctors are scientists.  And there's a reason what they do is called "practicing medicine."  Scientists had it wrong early on when it came to this virus.  Their models for the numbers of those sick or that would die were so incredibly wrong.  They also said masks were not needed and wouldn't help, but they've done a 180 on that.  Now we can be fined, shamed, or denied entry to most public places for not wearing a mask.  Were they wrong, or were they lying to us?  Where did they get those estimates anyway?

And I'm not sure what to believe on the stats we're being fed.  Look at the first one, found just by asking the non-governmental spy agency (aka, Google) how many have died from the virus:

If it's too blurry, so click the source
 It says that we've had nearly 70K fellow Americans die from the virus.  But have they?  Here's the actual stats.  They are blatantly inflating the figures by answering a question I didn't ask- How many people have died of flu-like symptoms?  That means all the flu deaths added to the COVID deaths.  The real number is 38,500.
CDC Source Data

I'm not discounting that it will be the scientists who will find a cure or a vaccine for the Coronavirus.  Nor am I understating the importance of our medical personnel to treat those who are sick, putting their own lives on the line while doing so.  But it's the anti-Trump politics that makes this apocalypse so much more painful.  The virus is bad, but we're not treating all the normal medical issues people have.  Mental health is going untreated as well.  We're keeping people from working, when there's no real safety net for them.  They are slowly receiving the small stimulus checks that are only a worth maybe a week in the spending life of most Americans, and using unemployment benefits that will run out in a week or two, if they haven't already.**  The virus is deadly, but we have the tools to protect ourselves, and I worry the civil disobedience will become less civil as people are facing the loss of homes, eviction, and empty bank accounts when they need food.

What else are we missing?  I don't want to sound all conspiratorial, but I do have a theory.  This next video is long, but really puts together a lot of points that sound completely plausible.  It's all good, worth your time, but the first 20 minutes are the most relevant to what I've written here and that concern me the most.   

So that's where those early estimates came from!  Does this virus deserve the response we've given it?  Well, it is deadly and highly contagious, but as of the other day, only four out of 1152 infected sailors on the USS Teddy Roosevelt have been hospitalized and the rest are asymptomatic.  Consider them a control group, that has proven that Covid-19 doesn't kill as indiscriminately as we're being told.  Our seniors and those with underlying issues are at risk, and that is tragic, but I'm not sure they should be allowed to be used by our government to dictate what the other 97% (or more?) of the population can or can't do.

Anyway, I hope you're healthy, safe, and secure.  We'll get through this, but how and when I really don't know.  Why are we reacting as we do?  I think it's because we don't know everything about this virus year and we're afraid.  A better FDR quote is this one:

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is...fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
When our Government is afraid, and both the media and half our country is playing politics, we're forced to live in fear, and inside our homes.  Here's to the life we once had.  

*H/T to my friend Doug for this point.

**During the last recession, many states pulled from fed funds to pay unemployment, but are required to pay that back within 2 years.  Many states haven't paid it off in time so employers get less fed tax credit.  The ones who haven't paid?  All of them are blue states.  CA is still paying, 11 years later.


  1. When people talk about believing science, what do they mean? Most would think it refers to the method of investigation of various phenomena by making observations, using the data from those observations to come up with a hypothesis to explain the phenomena, then collection more observational data to test the hypothesis. The final part is to evaluate the collected data in an objective non biased way to see how well the hypothesis explains the phenomena. But it ain't as easy as that, there are many opportunities along the way to introduce errors and biases. One of my favorite examples was the prostate cancer study that included women in the control group. As someone who was well educated in and practiced scientific and analytical methodologies for 50 years, what passes,for science and un-biased analysis in the public forum these days is highly suspect. Even peer reviewed scientific research often exhibits a SJW approach when setting up experimental procedures and drawing conclusions. Way too much science is political advocacy. So you are right to be cynical, Tuna. And bad science coupled with a lack of critical thinking and lust for power over others makes for terrible public policy. Glad to see the pushback by a fair number of citizens these days. Let's restore liberty and all get back to work!

    1. Good point- it's the politically driven scientists I can't stand, not so much the actual science. Wait, I was a Poli-Sci major. Does that mean I don't like myself? haha.

    2. I think you're good since I am not sure PolySci is really Science ! Heh ...

      Good post!

  2. When citizens fear their government that's tyranny, when the government fears it's citizens, that's freedom. Dang Tuna, this post hit it out of the park, TWO thumbs up!

    1. Just so everyone's clear, there was no one in the park when I hit it, and I wore my mask.

    2. We know you're a scofflaw, strutting around, getting within 6' of others (as many who were in the Navy do) and all maskless. You rebel, you.

    3. I was wearing a Lone Ranger mask. They didn't say what kind of mask.

  3. A number of chickens are coming home to roost in this event:
    1. Most of the media have no idea how to report on an event, they write editorials, i.e. opinion pieces.
    2. Most politicians are intellectually, morally, and ethically unfit to hold the offices we elected them to. Never let a crisis go to waste? Only insofar as it gets them re-elected, otherwise they don't care.
    3. Modeling. Pseudo-scientists (not the ones which practice as Tom notes above) have for years built their careers on getting grant money. Not for expanding the bounds of human knowledge, no, it's all about the Benjamins. If your data doesn't fit your hypotheses, you change your hypothesis, NOT THE DATA. Hello you so-called "climate scientists." Charlatans for the most part. Most things which people try to model are too damned complex to be modeled. Ever notice the numerous paths hurricane models produce every season? Most of the models get it wrong, even the ones that are correct are more happenstance than science.

    The boy who cried wolf has cried wolf one too many times. There's a reason that newspapers are dying, there's a reason why only idiots trust the big news networks, they are there to make money for their corporation, NOT to bring you the news.

    This crisis (whether it is real or one of our own making remains to be seen) has revealed a number of problems. We have a chance to fix a number of those problems come November. Will people remember the politicians who overreacted and revealed themselves as Adolf Hitler wannabes? The optimist in me hopes so, the pessimist realizes that again, most people will vote along straight party lines (it's the party of my grandparents!) without a thought or a care for the consequences.

    I hope events prove me wrong.

    Great post Tuna.

    1. Thanks. We will never learn though, and continue to vote for weak, corrupt, and ineffective incumbents.

    2. Right on the money, Sarge -

      "there's a reason why only idiots trust the big news networks, they are there to make money for their corporation, NOT to bring you the news." and who owns the news corporations? Big entertainment companies. And who owns or has huge influence over them? The freaking Chinese gubmint and CCP. We really ought to have Senate hearing on the influence of those entities on our media, entertainment and educational institutions - and no, this is not a racist thing (although the lefties will say it is), it is ideological thing and foreign influence thing).

    3. Tom, I concur, most wholeheartedly!

    4. Wow, great tie up of the whole media entertainment government-issue. The Chinese own our news.

    5. Sarge, ever seen the Great Big Book of Govt. Pork? Grant money is where a lot of that pork goes, for all sorts of BS. How much money goes into the scientific community for the 1 in a million shot at something valuable to the taxpayer? I'm not sure I want to know.

    6. I know that I don't want to see that.

  4. Good post, interesting read. Disagreed only on one point. Antivirals, low dose antivirals such as the one listed, are great for certain problems, such as viral and inflammation caused by certain viruses. It was proven in old studies, it also causes heart problems, why, no one knows. That part was never published. Those with undiagnosed with previous heart problems should avoid taking the drug, the possible outcome is death, not a nice outcome of side effect.
    Newspapers, only publish what they are allowed to follow. You really could handle the truth, not a party line. And remember, party line is not the only truth out there. Party line is my president is infallible, but your past president was Obama? Was he infallible, or wrongly advised?

    1. It's not like Hydroxychloroquine is being taken over-the-counter. Doctors are prescribing it and they have to keep all those factors in mind when they do so. True, that heart problem issue was never published, but that entire study was unpublished. It was still on the books, in work, etc. I don't blame patients wanting it, Doctors prescribing it, if people are dying. It's like a cancer patient receiving experimental drugs.

    2. If it's the difference of living with some heart damage for 15 years or dying right now, well, I'll deal with the heart issues. And the side effects usually show up from long-term, 2 weeks or more, of taking it. Many Corona-Wuhan patients have gotten a 24 hour dose and not needed anything else. And the heart issues tend to be within a certain group already suffering from co-morbities and genetic tendencies (like having 'A' type blood, for some reason Corona-Chan loves Type A blood.)

      Hydroxychloroquine isn't the only 'cure' with some rather potentially serious side effects. Like excessive blood transfusions from outside sources. Or organ transplants. Most cancer treatments. Really good, I mean the cutting edge, antibiotics, the ones where they track a whole host of little things like hearing, eyesight, sense of touch, hair loss, body smell, and yank you off of it as soon as any little issue shows up.

      Medicines are a gamble. Most medicines are like alcohol, safe in small amounts and when not abused. But some, like... Tylenol or Fentanyl, don't have much safety room between therapeutic dose and death dose. Hydroxycloroquine has a reasonably safe range of use.

  5. "Social Distancing" has quickly turned into "Social Isolation". I see it in my daily walks, where people consciously avoid each other like everyone they meet is a plague carrier. Eye contact has turned from friendly to suspicious, and a smile or hello when passing is gone. The parts of human contact that help bind and hold together broader communities of strangers (think people in the town park or along the neighborhood streets) have been blown away.

    It really strikes home when folks pull away their dogs. Social distance just isn't in a Golden Retrievers' vocabulary, and I miss giving out ear rubs and back scratches.


    1. Good point- it's like we're lepers. No, we're just the 99.9999999999999% of people who are healthy, but we're afraid you're not. Dogs, kids, and those that struggle with some mental health issues are having it the worst.

  6. These kinds of times do try men’s souls. They also reveal the heart, which we find to be very wicked at times. Thank God for the kind and gentle hearted, for now they hold things together. Here, on the beach, it seems that folks are still greeting one another. In restaurants there is a real sense of thankfulness when the tip exceeds the bill. Plus, in small ways, it’s fun for us, as well. (Assuming cheap restaurants, oof course)

    1. Are you on a coast with restaurants that are truly open?

  7. It's interesting, to me, that both the Media and the Democrats (as a party) didn't pay any attention to what was going on, until after the failure of impeachment. Then, when it looked like we'd just be sucking for a 14 day period, they (Media and DNC) jumped whole hog into the whole "Weesa gonna Die!" thing.

    Very curious. The NIH was reporting on a potentially bad flu from Communist China back in November and December. USAMRIID did the same. By mid-January there was enough info for the president to call for suspension of air traffic from ChiCom. And then we got into the post-impeachment (part 1, or was that part 2, as now the House Dems are openly working on Impeachment, The Next Chapter.)

    Even weirder about Corona-Chan is that it looks like it was firmly entrenched here, in the US of A, by late November or early December, which means that it was active and expanding in ChiCom by October to mid-November. Some actual media reports in the last week (from obscure media, not Lame Stream Media) are actually talking about this.

    Very curious.

    As to Hydroxycloroquine, funny that some Blue-State Governors 'banned' it, while stockpiling it for themselves and favored others. Hmmmm....

    Then there's the criminal malfeasance of New York, both governor and mayor, of forcing nursing homes to accept Covid-19 positive patients while denying said nursing homes the PPE to handle said patients. When you tie in the stated remarks by both governor and mayor that people over 75yoa are basically a drain on society, well, goshdarnedit, sounds just like what a democratic socialist would say, and then do. And so the elderly and ill were reaped in record numbers in New York City and Albany (but still way lower than in a normal seasonal flu.) I'm not going to mention a particular name in order to not invoke Godwin's Law, but the actions of the gov and mayor seem more in line with the leaders of the NSDAP during the mid to late 30's and early 40's. Ooops, I just invoked Godwin's Law...

    Yes, it is bad for certain people meeting certain parameters, just like any disease. But we killed this nation over basically a bad cold. Or was it about the cold at all? What possible reason could our fearless leaders and elite scientists (who, curiously, belong to the same political party, but nobody in media, who curiously belong to the exact same political party, is saying anything about the political connections....) have in tanking the American State, when it was doing as good or better than it ever had in the last 50 years?

    All they've (politicians, scientists, media) have managed to do is make the President look good, allow him to trim regulations even faster, and even anger the liberal leftists (as seen in the mass attempts to buy guns after the powers-that-be said they'd stop enforcing the laws for the safety of the criminals... whut? muh brain hurts now.)

  8. All there criticisms, corrupt actions, whining and complaining, all tend to actually do the opposite of what they're intending. They keep giving Trump the opportunity 2 do well, look very presidential, and show his true leadership in spite of what day I want to call it.

  9. My biggest loss is weekly visit at small indoor heated pool located at equally samll fitness club hidden in villa quarter of my city. Cortesy of my employer health-promoting policies I had free pass at something that would usually be quite costly visit for lowly checkout worker.
    I just love swimming, and the palce was quite often completely empty with me feeling like billionaire having place to myself.
    Add sauna and it was closest thing to tropical paradise for me in the chilly winter months...
    Now I dont even know if and when beaches will open...

    1. Gotta stay fit, unfortunately I'm just staying fat.

  10. We were hoping to head to Pismo Beach and the Central Coast on Memorial Day Weekend.... It has become a tradition for Sharon and I since we moved to California. Due to the uncertainty of the current administration in the Not So Golden State, we have accepted that that isn't going to happen. Mind you, the 412th Test Wing at Edwards AFB is on a two weeks on and two weeks of with two teams, Blue and Silver. I was out and about last week when I was in the off mode. I made two grocery runs and one photo wandering in the Indian Wells Valley to the north of Cal City. As an aside, I wonder if the bronchial infection/pneumonia that I had in early January was the China Virus. I spent about four and a half hours in the ER at Adventist Health Tehachapi Valley on the 6th of January. The ER Doc said it was a bronchial infection. I saw my doc in Tehachapi two days later and he said it was pneumonia. I had full blood work done at the hospital but I doubt that there was any awareness concerning the China Virus. I have had no symptoms of the Virus but I still wonder.


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