Ok. Let us do some simple arithmetic.
According to Wiki (why not?) the current US population is 326.7 M. That actually seems reasonable to me. Or, I can use WorldoMeter which says 331M. Ok, that many people is not reasonable. it is way too many people for me to deal with. Admittedly, it is not China or India. But still – it is a lot of people.
Now let us move on to an agency which has really lost reputation in the last four year – the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) home base in Atlanta Georgia. They are looking at vaccine distribution. COVID-19 in case you had any question. I found the following which I am not going to paraphrase – just quote for you –
The overlap is significant in the four priority groups put forward by CDC. The CDC staff estimated that about 21 million people would fall into the healthcare personnel category, which includes hospital staff, pharmacists, and those working in long-term care facilities. There are about 87 million people in the essential workers groups. More than 100 million adults in the United States, such as those with diabetes and cancers, fall into the high-risk medical conditions group. Another 53 million people are aged 65 and older.
Now, think about it. I can do those numbers in my head, but still. If you agree with those numbers, you are saying that 261M of the 326M are in the priority groups (only adults are in the priority groups). If you look at the population pyramid of the US, you will note that there are at least 80M who are aged 19 or below. Kind of scary that – less than 1/4 of the US are children/adolescents. The percentages for children in Australia and Germany are about the same, the UK slightly higher.
Which means that children (unless you are one, or have some close to you) are not particularly relevant to discussions being held.
And I think we need to really stop, and think about these decisions in terms of society and the future. Given the priorities above – 3/4 of the US population is essentially in a Cat 1 -risk. Seriously? Perhaps (and yes, I would have to wait) we should first eliminate everyone in the first round of immunizations who can shelter in place. No, it isn’t fun. But I can do it, I can afford to do it. And someone else might not be able to. We need to include high risk children (and their parents) if we want to reduce risk, suffering, and burden on the health care system. We need to not include those who are not in direct contact with others (admin staff isn’t, cleaning staff is).
I agree with Canada – children in school are critical. They are our future. Better that I, and those like me, be bored for another six months in favor of getting children and teachers back into the classroom.
But flinging around large numbers like those put out by the CDC, even with a caveat of “there is overlap” is irresponsible. It doesn’t educate, it doesn’t give anyone a sense that there are adults in charge. All it does is set up for “more excuses…”
off soap box.
let us take a break and look at fowl.
Please follow this link to New Zealand Birds – Vote.
Yes, even if you are not in New Zealand you can vote. While you are at it, learn a little about their native bird species.
It is much more interesting than watching paint dry, vacuuming up cat hair, or watching vote counting….
The US is still a democracy – it is time to let the process run its course.
That means obeying all the laws, all the court order, and letting people do their jobs.
The post office is required by law to deliver ballots to be counted. This is not an choice on the part of left leaning, right leaning, or bored/tired/ill personnel. Legally, letters, once they getting a box must get picked up, sorted, delivered. There are standards, time limits. Managers are normally held accountable. This week should be no different.
Those ballots are equally important, and probably even more so, in local, regional, and state elections. Neither of the main parties should be able to interfere with the Post Office – perhaps all the ballots could be for third party candidates? Or my daughter’s cat? None of that matters.
Counting in each state is determined by that state’s laws and overseen by the election officials. I don’t gs inet an opinion. I don’t get to chose if my or my neighbor’s ballot is accepted – except by whether or not an individual ballot meets my particular state’s requirements.
Unlike when I have voted in past elections (Florida if anyone cares between the early 1980-2016), my vote gets counted. Florida, in the past, sometimes counted absentee ballots and sometimes didn’t. Let me explain: if you were voting by absentee and were out of country, you could vote at the state level, but not in local elections. As a result, the mail-in ballots were held till the physical count was in. If the number of absentee ballots (usually 32K give or take) was greater than the difference between the candidates, those ballots were counted. If not, why bother since those votes were not going to change the election. Or so the thinking went.
Now, with the number of mail in ballots exceeding in person voting – obviously all the ballots need to be counted. And each state has it’s own laws. There are those states which count as received (results are not released until the polls close). There are those who don’t count until after the polls close. There are states that go by the post mark date. Others by the received date. It is not uniform. It doesn’t matter if you, I, or someone who lives in DC likes it, agrees with it, or throws a temper tantrum. It is time to respect the law. The political parties don’t decide, the news outlets don’t decide, and most certainly the candidates themselves don’t decide. We, as voters, decide and that decision doesn’t occur until all our votes are counted.
Perhaps the time is now right to have a national standard. We are no longer in the 1700s when it could take weeks for ballots to arrive. At the same time, we have grown as a country and grown up. You don’t have to be a white male landowner to be entitled to vote. You didn’t use to have to prove citizenship if you were one of those white males. (In many places you still don’t as long as you “sound right.”)
So what we all need to do is sit back, relax, take a swallow of our favorite beverage, be it coffee, tea, hot chocolate, water, or something with a significant kick and demonstrate to the rest of the world that we are adults and can execute calmly, safely, and objectively the election process. The process that we have been standing first in line and pointing fingers in other countries when we don’t think that they have been fair.
Perhaps cleaning up our own house is in order.
Vote. Exercise your rights. Retain your ability to honestly be able to complain about the results, the laws, the politicians, the results. If you don’t play, you are still going to pay. It doesn’t matter if you vote by mail, by dropping off your ballot, by going into a poling location early, by showing up today. Vote. Be part of the solution. It does make a difference. Not voting negates the blood, sweat, and tears of women and men for decades who have fought for the right to have their voices heard, their votes counted.
There are too many people in the US who seem to feel that the presidential election is the only thing that matters. Not so – in reality, your state, county and local officials will have a major impact on your lives. They control local public services, oversee the police and fire departments, regulate the schools. All of those issues along with a myriad of others impact you, taxes, and your wallet.
California, this year, joined several other states in providing physical drop off/mail in ballots to all registered voters, Everyone in this household received their ballot, filled it out, All ballots were dropped off prior to today. Alameda County, California has a population of 1.7 million people, There are 66 drop off points (plus the Oakland Coliseum which was set up for massive in person voting as well as a drop off site). Harris County, Texas, population 4 Million + apparently believes that one (1) drop off location is enough. Hello?
Misinformation has been higher this year than any other. As one of those military members who voted by absentee ballot for decades, I thoroughly resent the implication of wide spread voter fraud. Stationed in Germany in the early 1980s along with 300,000+ other service members + families, it was just assumed that it was our right to vote. That our home states respected our right to vote. That our votes could be mailed in, that they would be counted. As the traditionally largest population of out of country voters, the states of Texas, North Carolina, Kentucky, Washington, Tennessee, Florida, California where the largest military bases were located welcomed our votes.
What is different now? One of my former lieutenants, who voted by absentee for years faced the challenge of being questioned when he retired and returned home. It took his birth certificate, his passport, his military ID to be allowed to register. Why? His skin is not white, he speaks with an accent. Apparently NY state doesn’t recognize Louisiana/Cajun as part of the US.
So, for those of you who are US – vote. Make your voice heard. No matter who you support remember that dignity and respect are the basis off all major faiths. Let us be civilized, not savages. We don’t eat our young, we don’t abandon our elderly.
And for the non-US reading this, thank you. Educate yourself on your own countries issues and exercise your voice when the next opportunity arrises.
I don’t think that Keith was expecting the number of boxes and toys which I off loaded. He was thinking small, circular sock knitting machine. I have one of those but it is still buried somewhere in the garage. Instead, I happily gifted the two larger knitting machines complete with stand, a spool rack, a warping mill, several rigid heddle looks, and a bag of weaving toys.
Unfortunately, looking at my garage, the absence of these items hardly makes a dent….
Otherwise, I had a lovely afternoon. There is a lovely coffee shop with in walking distance followed by stitching, listening to an audiobook and and sipping my latte.
The sun is setting earlier and I do not enjoy driving in the dark. Not in the dark, not up and down hills (mountains?), nor around curves. We will not speak of the fact that more than 50% of the vehicles sharing the road with me had twelve wheels or more. They sail down hills before gradually slowing as they grind their way up the next. Their head lights provide an unwanted glare in my rear view mirrors. The few other cars dart past, between the trucks sometimes managing a speed only marginally faster than required for overtaking.
This kind of excitement and stress do not bring me joy. I really, really no longer enjoy driving at night and have decided that I will not blow this particular popsicle stand prior to decent light in the morning.
In case you are wondering, I am currently headed to Portland. There is a knitting friend there who is also a weaver. He is a brother to a much longer known friend, indie.dyer and yarn shop owner in the San Juans. I have “toys” that have been occupying space in my life, our garage prior to our most recent move to Germany if that gives you an idea on the age. I am never going to use them again. Selling them is just too much of a pain. So why not give them to an engineer? Neither he nor his son have a clue as to what fills the back of our VW Golf. But I was reassured that there was plenty of space in his great room.
We shall see….
Before I even go down the trail of why this new plan of the US White House is immoral, obscene, and not even remotely ethical – let us talk about herds.
Herds are groups of bovine or related species. There is absolutely no question in the herd that all are not equal, not all members have equal chance at survival, that there is limited ability to protect the most vulnerable members of the herd. It is Darwin at the finest. The weakest members can and are left behind. They are brought down by predators while the rest of the herd escapes. A balance of nature – so to speak. If a member of a wild herd gets a serious infection – it dies. A newly born member of the herd, if physically “defective” dies. The elderly members, especially those past reproductive age, who can’t keep up with the herd – die.
As humans – we like to pretend that we are not herd animals. We care for our young, long past the point in most societies where children born with defects are left outside for the elements. We have antibiotics and treat all those infections that we can. We don’t routinely discard members of society who are past childbearing age so that there is enough food for those who are perpetuating the species (not going down this rabbit hole at the present – as there are way too may locations in the world where grandparents are raising their grandchildren). We pride ourselves on care and respect for our elderly, elders, and aged.
Or, I thought we did. That we were not a herd.
So why would we pretend that it is perfectly all right for us to say that “let the disease spread while those who are vulnerable are protected”?
Is this idea finding root now because one person has survived his episode of COVID-19 with a level of medical support that is not available to the vast majority of the US -especially those of us who live in areas where the hospital infrastructure is old, crumbling, inadequate, and lacks even remotely current ventilation standards?
Is it because the vast majority of deaths thus far have been in aged care facilities, nursing homes, residential homes, poor neighborhoods, essential workers of color? Do those in certain places assume that their whiteness, their economic status, their privilege will protect them? Their families.
Is it because it is easy to assume that SARS-COV2 is a one and done? How easy is it to ignore the reality of long-haul COVID and the thousands upon thousands who will be living with the consequences for years.
Does someone, somewhere think that we can identify who is vulnerable? That we have enough trained personnel to staff our hospitals and care facilities to take care of that 60% of the population getting infected that it will take?
Are we willing to accept that – with our current best medical care available to all – that the death rate is about 4%? That, my friends, translates to 12 MILLION people dying in the US. Our current US death count is just past 220,000. Look around you – that means that 1/25 of those you know would be sacrificed to herd immunity. Does your family – including partners, parents, off-spring, siblings – number 25? Who are you willing to let die for the cause? How about your friends, colleagues? How about you? Are you willing to die to promote herd immunity?
This disease is real. It is deadly. All those scientist who signed the Barrington? All I can think of is that they don’t view themselves at risk. That they are sure they can protect themselves. I can play with numbers. But as a physician – those numbers have human faces; dreams, families, futures. Do I, sitting behind a computer and playing with numbers have a right to say – you get to die so that others can have a “normal” life?
The long term consequences of this disease are ugly in human life, in disability, in economic cost. No one who survives an intensive care unit stay ever returns to full normalcy. The idea that political leaders could advocate sacrificing a portion of the US population to death so that they don’t have to wear a mask is ludicrous.
Excuse me – but I think we have been here before in history. When a particular movement decided that cleaning house would be advantageous to themselves, their beliefs, and their economy. The result?
We call it the Holocaust.
And now? Will we go down the same path using a disease rather than ovens?
Think about it.
not that this needs to be sent out to everyone –
but Baba Yaga is finished.
Pattern from Witchy Stitcher. 14ct Fiddler’s Cloth. Threads converted to Sulky.
Yes, I know that I am whining. And that the inconvenience of dealing with a new phone is a first world problem. I get all that. What I also get is that I have the financial and intellectual ability to deal with the royal PTIA involved.
The last time I made a phone switch, the backup worked flawlessly. This time? Not so much. All the new improvements in the software mean that every last flipping location wants me to sign in. Again. I don’t know about you – but passwords are not me. Yes, I have most of them buried in m browser software, but spending the time is driving me nuts.
I will survive – even if someone very unkindly mentioned that old Badger meme yesterday which means I now have an ear worm singing badger, badger, badger … mushroom, snake. Yes, that was 2003 with multiple updates since them. Go google. Or listen to Tom Smith’s version…. to be found on Bandcamp…Me? I think I am going to spend the rest of the evening blowing up things on computer games….
But there was that time when first – I lost my phone down a waterfall in Iceland. It wasn’t that I planned on doing that -it was that it slipped out of my pocket while I was taking pictures. I got the pictures – but my phone, in the case with all sorts of important ID and the rest, was permanently lost. If it hadn’t been for the kindness of a fellow traveler (you know who you are) the rest of that trip would have really sucked.
So, after going through the pain of a phone replacement on return to home, I was fine till the replacement disappeared between one moment and the next while in a hotel in Kathmandu. At this point, I was kind of numb to the idea of losing things – wasn’t using my phone for internet or calls or…. in fact, come to think about it – I am not sure why I had it with me. So that was replacement #2.
The third was when I realized that the replacement phone that my dear husband picked up for me had 16gig of storage. Being someone who has been known to read books, listen to audiobooks and otherwise entertain myself – dropping from 128 -> 16 didn’t work.
Today I took the plunge and replaced my phone. For the last year, I have had serious battery issues. Having to recharge one’s phone every 3-4 hours isn’t great. In fact, it becomes a matter of always traveling with an external charger/solo charger. Not fun in the least but necessary. The new phone took a bite out of my wallet, but I had budgeted for it.
The Apple store is being careful and restricting the number of people inside. The other new policy is to not leave customers unattended for long. That means that my lovely sales person got to hang out and talk to me while we set up my new phone including updating the operating system and starting the backup to load all the information from my previous phone.
Which left having to reset passwords on all my email accounts when I got home since I didn’t remember them all. I don’t think most of us know all our passwords – depending on either a software program or other computer mechanism for tracking them. I just checked. my phone is charged, a new case ordered, email downloaded and it is back to stitching….
I stitched, George got some work accomplished. We took out the trash. One of those kind of weekends. Then there were the Tampa Bay Rays who slid past the Yankees. That was a positive. The Minnesota Vikings who, as a result of really stupid coaching, lost their game on Sunday.
There was minimal organizing and cleaning other wise –
I have a lot of Zoom on the schedule for this coming week, along with a run to the Apple store since I need to replace my phone. I have had it for a number of years (replacement for the one that went down the waterfall in Iceland – or perhaps the one that was stolen in Nepal). In any case, the battery lasts 3-4 hours which is enough to drive any reasonable person totally and completely nuts. George has conference calls most of the week as well.
Bleh – it feels like ground hog’s day…. *the movie.
It was a lovely day – completely free of TV ads. The great thing about watching baseball was seeing the action – the downside was having to watch the same ad over and over and over again. For whatever reason, I seem to be able to tune them out when listening to the radio more easily than when watching.
Baseball games? The ads are fast food, cars, insurance, with occasional detours into mortgage companies. We will NOT talk about Ronan.
Unless. of course, the game involves the Yankees. The total focus of the advertising change. Instead of pickup trucks, it is convertibles and high end SUVs (why do you even need a car in NYC?) Obviously, there will be investment brokers and high end vacations. (Note, the fanciest the As get are Toyotas, Ford pick-ups, and the local casino “resort”).
Ah, well – it was time to watch the Oakland Roots – and hear from the community instead.
and on the stitching front –
This battle often rages fiercely with each side putting forth arguments and claims about the validity of their stance.
All of which is pretty silly when you really think of it. Other than when dealing with digital – very little in life is binary. Certainly, most crafting is not binary. It is more than “I do this or I don’t do this,” Why? Because there are stages of doing. One can collect the materials needed and just have a stash (the fancy name for a hoard). Or, supplies can be put together ready to be made into something or another. In cross-stitch it is often referred to as kitting up a project.
From there you can move on to starting things. One thing, several things, a dozen things. If you are a serial starter – obviously your pleasure comes from starting something new and when that particular project gets to be difficult/repetitive/boring you just move on to something else.
Then there is the discussion which centers around those who have dozens of projects and those who are monogamous and finish each project before stating the next.
I because seriously tired of listening to the arguments. I am a progress person. It isn’t quite loving the process for me, it is seeing that I am accomplishing something. The product? Meh, it may sit without final finishing for months. What I have also noticed is that having too many things underway starts to make me nuts. It means that no progress is made, or the progress is so glacially slow that it hardly counts. I actually like having things organized, but I hate keeping notes.
These two projects are excellent –
The first being Stitchonomy’s Halloween 2020 and the second pattern is from Tiny Modernist – Halloween Calendar. I am happily stitching a square on each every day. Nice, bite size piece, each complete in its own and not overwhelming.
However – there is also
Pattern by WitchyStitcher that I am attempting to put in at least two thread lengths a day. The great thing about this one is that, altho there might be seven or so colors, it is really almost all black which provides large solid areas to stitch.
and the fourth and final project for today was Halloween Sampler (also by Tiny Modernist) –
yes – progress is being made
Well, it was a good effort – at least through the first of the wild card playoffs – the As managed to squeak by the Chicago White Sox. Then, down two games in the second series, they managed to pull it off yesterday. Not so today. They tried, at least some of them did, and some of the time. It just didn’t click – with the final score being 11-6. Ah, maybe next year?
Meanwhile, I can completely ignore baseball from here to February. Or perhaps later – it all depends. Basketball (Women’s) is also over. I am not for football (American).
So I can go back to my audio books – and stitching….
is being shed on me.
Ok, I decided to not get too far into the puns. Just to relate that I purchased (thank you Amazon) a new small lamp to sit next to my chair in the living room.
Oh, of course it was on sale. But it has several important features – like a long cord, two outlets and 4 USB plugs besides having a lovely and bright light which I can direct toward my computer, reading, or stitching.
Otherwise, it has been a Webinar day – starting at 0600 which is too early for any reasonable human being (but corresponds to a reasonable time for the speakers in the Philippines and South Africa). I guess I should just be glad that I am not living in Hawaii…
Tomorrow will be more of the same. The great thing about virtual meetings? Among others of course, is that I can listen, learn, and stitch or knit at the same time. Multi-tasking!
Speaking of which –
Since the start of the SARS-COV2 Pandemic, the regular Medicine Grand Rounds have been co-opted by COVID-19 epidemiology, research, medications, treatments, and the like. Thursdays at noon saw hundreds of us linked in by Zoom to hear the latest which was not always the greatest or good news.
UCSF stands for University of California – San Francisco and is comprised of a hospital system, dental, research, and the affiliated professional schools. Where I did my undergraduate and medical education – University of Minnesota – everything was more or less located on the same campus. As a result, there was a lot of cross-course work between basic sciences, public health, and the medical/dental/nursing schools. Not so here in the Bay Area where much of the basic science graduated programs and the School of Public Health are at UCBerkeley (aka CAL) across the bay and about an hour + by public transportation.
Prior to the pandemic, there was little participation from my side of the Bay in UCSF weekly educational activities – the travel time just made it prohibitive. Now? Zoom, my friends, ZOOM.
Anyway – the usual Tues Grand Rounds were preempted today by a discussion of current status of COVID-19 as it relates to certain events of this past week and weekend. It was a moderated, good, free wheeling discussion of actions, testing, current treatments, and how you manage all of those.
The link is here
If, for any reason you happen to think that wandering around (at least anywhere there is ongoing transmission) without a mask – you might want to watch and see a discussion of what happens when people blatantly disregard common sense and medical recommendations.
(FYI – the rounds are posted on YouTube that evening if you are interested in a bit of pandemic history as it developed in the US).
In more fun stuff – stitching progress –
There wasn’t much accomplished today – a bit of stitching, a bit of watching the As manage to blow their first game of the American League Division playoffs. George and I are trying to decide if they are going to lose three games in a row or will manage to win one game in there before losing the fourth (this is a best of five series).
But anyway –
progress on the Tiny Modernist Halloween Calendar – where in I stitched the Day 5 little monster, along with the outline of his square and a start on part of the header outline.
My plan is to keep up with the square for each day along with working on the frame and title so that the whole thing is complete by the end of the month. Each of the day squares is 32×32
The other calendar sampler is by Stitchonomy – and same as far as stitching one a day – 18×18 squares so these are a lot quicker. Today’s item is an eyeball.
And, as is I didn’t have enough else – managed a few more stitches on Baba Yaga – from the WitchyStitcher
take from the Russian Fairy Tales where the witch travels in a house with chicken legs…
In Jan 2019, on my way back from Sweden, I purchased a lovely reindeer hide which has been cushioning one of the dining room chairs for the last several months when it hasn’t been keeping me warm and comfortable while stitching.
Unfortunately, Miriam’s cat likes to “pluck” things with fur/hair. He has gone after one of my sheepskins a couple of times. The most recent of which was last night when I woke to find a cat on my bed attempting to divest me of said sheepskin. He was alternating between trying to dig under the covers and hooking his claws into the edge. I am not sure where he was taking it – but it was a significant effort on his part. I found one tuft on the floor in the hall – so I guess he won one of the rounds.
George informed me this morning that the cat had been busy while we were gone. This is the heap of hair he managed to pull out of the hide between Thursday afternoon and this morning.
Shall we just leave it with – I am NOT pleased.
He is permanently banned from our bedroom and I will be adding the back room to the list. Since it is the room in which he can look out at the windows at trees, birds, and squirrels – he loses more than I.
There is no baseball today. I don’t appreciate American Football – all I can think of is the risk of long term head injuries.
So it is back to my cross-stitch. This is a lovely time of year – Halloween all over
Thank you all for the birthday wishes. Since I am not a small child, I really don’t have any excuses for my whining.
But, since this was another one of “those years” – perhaps the whole year disaster is my fault? It is as logical as just about anything else I have hear recently on the news….
Anyway – we headed back to Berkeley this morning. The drive could have been worse. There are HOV lanes a good portion of the way, the number of trucks on a Saturday is less than on a week day. And. as the weather report out of Fresno stated – warm, hazy, and smoky air with poor quality. No interest in stopping anywhere along the line.
We made it home. Miriam’s cat was delighted to see me. Making sure that I understood that my first job coming in the door was to provide him treats. And my job now, at the end of the evening is to provide a napping location.
Suck. Period. Full Stop.
Trust me on this – I have decades of experience upon which to base my opinion.
For those who are wondering what I am nattering on about – I am referring to those birthdays which end in the number “0.” The fact that it also corresponds to the ending of the year in which we are currently living has more to do with the year in which I was born than anything else.
Got it? 40, 50, 60, 70 ….
Let me give you an example. In 1990 I was at Ft Drum, pregnant and with a toddler in tow. George and Shana were in DC. I did not particularly celebrate that year.
In 2000 I was stationed in Munich. The family loved it – I didn’t. That was the year that George gave me the pasta pot that he always wanted for my birthday.
in 2010 I was in Afghanistan.
This year – that wonderful 2020 – we have SARS-COV2 – that wonderful (gag) virus which has killed off more than 212,000 in the US alone in spite of the fact that there are people who still think that the virus is a hoax.
Part of the reason that I am whining has to do with trivial things – like having planned my birthday as a sea day, cruising between Japan and Singapore. Obviously that didn’t happened.
But I am healthy and planning on remaining that way. I am financially stable, glad that I can contribute to my local businesses and the Alameda Food Bank.
Ah, well. I truly appreciate all the birthday greetings from everyone. Perhaps I will just push this birthday celebration off till next year.