Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Are you thinking what I am thinking?

7:55 am - Tuesday - March 25th - Wittmann, AZ - 50° F, 68% humidity, wind 5 mph out of the north by northeast......clear, blue skies today with a forecast high of 74° F.

For the first time in days I did nothing Monday, so I have nothing about which to write, but you know nothing ever stops me from writing, so here goes.  

TLE and I conducted a brief reconnoitering exercise around 8 am.....we made into Wittmann proper to check out the three local stores (Wells Country Store, Dollar General, and Family Dollar), and how they were doing in restocking their shelves.  Well Country Store was pretty well stocked except no paper goods, but doing well on all other food fronts.  Dollar General was also pretty well stocked, but once again their paper goods shelves were stripped bare.  Finally, Family Dollar was a little the worse for wear.....while there were items for purchases in most categories except for paper goods, the shelves were looking a little thin.  Dollar General gets a new shipment every Saturday, and Family Dollar every Wednesday, but their supplier is behind in deliveries, so it could be several days late.

TLE created a Walmart account Monday.  She ordered a number of things we need, put them in the virtual basket, and looked for an available time slot in which to take delivery at the Surprise Walmart.  We are scheduled for pickup between 1 and 2 pm Tuesday.  Since they do not fill your order until closer to the time you are taking delivery some of the items in the virtual basket could become unavailable between the time you ordered them, and the time they are delivered.  We shall see Tuesday how well this works.  The upside is if it works we can avoid going into the store to shop, and for the two of us at age 70, and me with several underlying risk factors, that is a big thing enabling us to protect ourselves from inadvertent exposure to the Chinese Virus.

World-wide we still see, as of Tuesday morning, fewer than 400,000 diagnosed cases of the COVID-19 virus, and fewer than 20,000 deaths.  In the United States we have 46,485 diagnosed cases, and fewer than 600 deaths.  25,000 of those diagnosed cases are in one state, and mostly in one city within that state.....NYC.  Take away NYC, and you begin to wonder what the big deal is, right?  The next closest states in total number of cases are California with around 2,200 cases, and Washington with some 2,100 cases.  I know some of you have been thinking the same thing.  Is this thing being over hyped?  The common flu has infected millions of people over the same period of time, with 100's of thousands of deaths world-wide.  We are being told daily how fast this COVID-19 virus spreads compared to the common flu, and the death rate is also much higher.   The last part seems to be true, but then others add that we only know about the cases where tests have been done, how about all those who have the virus, but haven't been tested, or were sick, didn't even realize it, and were never tested?  Well, if you add them in to the totals then the death rate comes way down.  Say for every one diagnosed case, there is one un-diagnosed case (conservative estimate), that means the death rate is cut in half immediately, and that makes it much closer to the common flu death rate.  The other thing is how fast COVID-19 spreads compared to the common flu......based on the numbers I am seeing every day it does not appear to be spreading all that fast, except in NYC, where I am sure the common flu numbers still far outstrip the COVID-19 numbers even as I write.  This novel virus has been active since either late November, or early December and so far the numbers are not there....thank God. Maybe the steps the USA has taken were timely, and have contributed to the so far muted impact of the COVID-19 virus, except in NYC.  All I am saying, is I think most of America, especially rural America appears to be safe at this time.  Maybe we do not need to take the same extreme measures of social distancing that is necessary in large, dense population centers.  Maybe business in most of the United States can return to normal, and start up again.....maybe....I don't know, but I am wondering about that.  Am I going to stop practicing social distancing right now....of course not.....I'm not stupid.  Am I going to evaluate the information I am receiving from a centralized source with a one size fits all mentality with a little more skepticism?  Yes, I am.  I think we should all be a little skeptical right now until we see more proof.  It is my prayer that all the bearded experts are mostly wrong, and life will return to normal soon.

Now, in Washington D.C. you have two political parties.....I used to say that one is dumb, and the other dangerous.....I'll leave which is which to your imagination.  That, however, has changed.....we now have "Dumb and Dumber" leading our country.  Today while our country, and economy are burning to the ground you see the political class arguing over things to put in the a 'stimulus bill' which have NOTHING, and I mean absolutely ZERO to do with our present situation.  Political animals are opportunists.  Their philosophy is to never let a good crisis go to waste.....every crisis is an opportunity to take away more liberty under the guise of making us safer....an opportunity to extend the reach of the Federal government, to intrude more into our lives.  All governments lean towards totalitarianism.  It is their nature.  Some are not subtle about it like the People's Republic of China, North Korea, or Cuba.  Others substitute the term socialism for communism, talk about equality, and safety, and are less conspicuous about their intentions, and then you have the USA where we value life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness more than equality....more than safety.  It is in our collective DNA.  

I hope you do not think this is a political post, because I am about as apolitical in my later years as one can get.  I do not trust either political party, and do not think either political party cares one wit about anyone outside the Beltway, nor do they have our best interests at heart, even today in the midst of this crisis.  They will take this opportunity to appear to care about us, and do things that make them look like they care, and make them look good, but do not be deceived.  Rely upon yourself, think for yourself, use your own common sense, and you will come out of this in good condition.  Thank you for your indulgence this morning, and for taking the time to stop by and read my daily missive.

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  1. Good post! Glad you are staying healthy! Doug and Michelle

    1. Thank you Doug....the same wish for you and Michelle!

  2. I get where you are coming from, but the question you have to ask yourself is - how many ventilators your close hospitals have? . . . once those are full then people start dying (providing there are more COVID-19 cases that require support). So while there are not many cases in rural areas yet, they are also the least equipped to keep the seriously affected alive. I agree that it feels overblown right now, but given what our infection rates look like compared to what Italy has gone through leaves me feeling like we will not feel quite so safe come this weekend . . . We are still early into the infection here - and with a geometric spread it takes a while to get started but then explodes . . . But time will tell what happens next . . .
    Stay healthy,

  3. No political comments. Just some data. I live in a central Texas county (950 square miles) of about 30,000, in it's biggest town, which is about 20,000. We are 70+ miles from any metropolitan area in any direction. A very undistinguished location (oops, that wasn't data, that was opinon). Last week, the county health department reported 2 positive test results, one in a female in her 60's with a recent history of international travel, the other a male in his 70's with Texas only travel. The two cases were unrelated. We can only wait and see where all this goes.

  4. We applaud you for your post today! Exactly what we're thinking and believe but you say it so much better! Common sense, which seems to have gone out of the country! Take care!

  5. I skipped a couple of paragraphs because I'm even more Apolitical as you are!
    I enjoyed the rest though. As travellers in quarantine, ordering and picking up from a Walmart or such, we still have to sign when they load it in the vehicle. We can't do that - yet, if we follow the common sense rules. LOL
    Stay well you two!