182/52

Four days since I last posted but there’s good news to report. Kirsten does NOT have the Cvirus. She has bronchitis. She can go back to work on Wednesday. We thought Erik the younger’s mother in law had it; turns out she has a heart valve problem. That isn’t good, but it has to be better than having the Cvirus if you’re in your 80’s. Or even in your 70’s..present company included.

If you’re old enough to remember Chatty Cathy, you need to protect yourself from the Cvirus in a big way

Lee Ann, Ray and Jopie came over yesterday to hang out on the porch and just be convivial. We had a delightful time. I had one too many glasses of white wine, I suppose because my normal consumption is 1. Whew! I became a Chatty Cathy for sure. Nonetheless, later in the afternoon, John tore himself away from coding and joined the group. We all enjoyed each other’s company thoroughly.

The writing room is coming along. I expect it will be finished this week so I can move in and begin work on Chapter 1 of the Recombining. It looks nice, even unfinished. The color turned out great. I got new curtains and a cowhide rug to go in front of the blue wing chair. I’m using one of Colter’s creations as a table in front of the chair. Kiernan has already christened it with the Ipad mini. She approves. I’ll take a picture of it when it’s done.

Colter did the cleaning for me on my Ikea rug that was disgustingly filthy. Amazing what whirling brushes and a little effort will produce. I tried, but made a complete hash of it since I didn’t know I was supposed to pull a trigger under the handle. The only cleaner coming out was a thin spray of cleaner that made streaks on the rug. No bueno. Ah well, I know how to do it now. There are other rugs to be cleaned, but not ’til the writing room is done.

Empty Classrooms at all levels

My next webinar isn’t until Wednesday, so I have nothing to report on the infectious disease front. Also, there is nothing at all interesting going on with the price of oil or the stock market. I haven’t spent any of the stimulus money yet, and it appears I won’t have to set it aside for the kids, at least at this time since Robin is getting her unemployment and Kirsten doesn’t have Cvirus, and therefore won’t be out of work for a month. I see no value in trying to invest in stocks when earnings are so opaque. So I think I’ll just let it sit for now and may move it to a college fund later on. That is, if anyone goes to college any more. Apparently, with most schools shut down for the foreseeable future, even that is in jeopardy. Will we ever return to some semblance of normal? I’m sure we will, but not any time soon. In the interim, we should all continue to hunker down. I did go get a bunch of food today, since I haven’t done anything other than run in and get minimal supplies in the past six weeks.

My Oximeter Arrived Today – Only Took two months

Oh, I almost forgot: the first of my oximeters finally arrived today. My oxygen saturation is 95% and my heart is beating 67 BPM. Pretty good. My temperature is 98.1° F. No Cvirus here!

186/48

Okay, today I’m taking a break from complaining. I want to talk about a show on television that I think is the best thing around. Which show is that? The Good Fight on CBS All Access.

The Good Fight is the Best Thing on TV

The setting is a law firm in Chicago that starts out being an all African American company. Then a white female lawyer joins the firm after all her money gets wiped out by a Bernie Madoff wannabe in Season 1. Now we’re in Season 4, and it just keeps gettin’ better. Imagine that: a series whose subsequent seasons are as good if not better than the first. That is fairly unheard of.

John Larroquette as Dan Fielding on Night Court way back in the late 80’s

The show was created and is still steered by a couple called Robert & Michelle King and some other guy. It was originally a spinoff from The Good Wife, a show I never watched. Christine Baranski is the white female lawyer, and she is wonderful, but then again, isn’t she always? This season, the firm has sold out to a bigger, richer firm whose onsite rep is played by John Larroquette, who always just plays himself. Remember him all the way back in Night Court? He’s just a fatter, slower-witted version of Dan Fielding. But that doesn’t detract from the superb writing and clever plot turns. They even let Michael J. Fox play a creepy lawyer in the first set of episodes. I don’t know if he’ll be in all of them, because so far they’ve only shown 4 episodes. Yes, Virginia, this is not one you can binge watch. You have to wait until next week to see what happens next.

There he is: Lumbergh Stealing Milton’s Red Stapler

They did something really cute after Episode 3. Because of the Cvirus, the airing of Episode 4 was delayed by a couple weeks. So each character – from home – sang parts of You Are My Sunshine, by way of an apology for the delay. Now that’s just plain cool. The casting of even the minor characters is well done, so I suppose you could say the people that run the show are meticulous and really care about it. There’s only one thing I’m not crazy about. The guy who plays Baranski’s husband, Kurt, who used to be a cop, I think. Kurt is played by Gary Cole. I’m sorry, but I cannot see Gary Cole as anybody other than Lumbergh, no matter how hard I try. Cole will forever be Lumbergh, bless his heart. Yeah. And don’t you know: I have a red, Swingline Milton stapler. Really! OK, sometime soon I’ll take a picture and post it on here to prove I would not make that up. What a digression!

The interesting thing about it is in Episode 8 of Season 3, they were going to air an animated, satirical short about censorship based on Chinese concerns. Well, guess what happened? CBS censored their little animated movie, a move that almost made the Kings quit the show. Instead, they showed a placard reading CBS Has Censored This Content. It stayed up for about 81/2 seconds, where the animated sequence would have run. How’s that for making a statement? Gutsy.

The CIA did it? Right…

But you know, shying away from controversy now appears to be a thing of the past for some networks, most notably HBO. Chernobyl was a huge hit, and so angered Vlad the Impaler, he said Russia would make the true story of Chernobyl, the one where the CIA blew up the reactor. Just recently, HBO aired the series The Plot Against America, Phillip Roth’s revisionist history set in 1941 in the months before Pearl Harbor. In David Simon’s modified version, he makes it clear Lindbergh is assassinated by men working for FDR. Gutsy. On the accompanying podcast, Simon made his feelings clear that when democracy is threatened, one has to do whatever it takes to preserve it. I wonder if that’s what LBJ, Nixon and George Bush’s father thought when they had Kennedy assassinated? Most likely. All depends on whose ox is being gored, eh?

OK, this post is chock full of digressions, but at least I didn’t make you crazy about Cvirus or the price of oil. I’m gonna skip taking my temperature too. Ha!

187/47

Once again, I feel as though I’m living in a parallel universe. Why? Well, I’ll tell you why. Ready? This won’t be a rant, I promise, but it will be emphatic.

We got our money, but can’t spend it. So much for stimulus

First, the good news. We got our two $1,200 stimulus direct deposits today. Cousin in law Ray signed his paperwork for the PPP loan program to help keep his employees paid for the next four months. And Robin got notified that she qualified for the measly $275 unemployment compensation, starting in a couple days. That’s good. Now there’s the other side of that. First, we really can’t spend any of that $2,400 check until we’re sure both sets of kids get through this Cvirus thing without going broke. Robin is unemployed and Colter took a 10% pay cut from a not great salary to begin with. Kirsten may be out of work for a month with the Cvirus, and she won’t be paid for that time. It could take months for her to get the money back from unemployment. So it has to sit there until we get past all that.

The Most Clueless Man in America, Next to Potus covidious

Then there was Jerome Powell’s press conference today. It was nothing short of amazing. He patted himself on the back for stuff they’ve already done to keep markets flowing. Then, he basically said that’s all the Fed is going to do. Virtual questions from journalists made it clear there was a much higher expectation of assistance. Powell stuck to his guns and said the Fed has done enough, and Congress has the responsibility to handle things like unemployment. Yes, fiscal policy is critical, absolutely. But what was the point of a press conference to say the Fed won’t do anything else of substance? This absolutely reinforces the perception that the market is doing fine because all this money has to be parked somewhere that the Fed is handing out. But it’s being handed out, not to people who need it but rather to institutions who are now using those funds to invest in the stock market. But is that the Fed’s job? Hell, no. They have two mandates: to keep inflation in check and to DEAL WITH UNEMPLOYMENT. Clearly inflation is in check, but unemployment is at 22 million and will likely go up after tomorrow’s report from the Labor Department. The Fed has lowered interest rates to zero, and Chairman Powell seems to think that’s enough. It isn’t.

Tralfamadore Here I Come

Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, the governor of our fair state held a public talk where he explained about how great the state has done in combatting the Cvirus. He made it sound like some kind of competition between us and, say New York and New Jersey. It was surreal. He actually said Florida’s results would likely have been better if all those folks hadn’t come down here from New York and brought the virus with them. Then he talked all about testing, and how many sites there are, and how many tests have been done and by golly the department of health is contact tracing to beat the band. Oh brother. Kirsten went for a test today. She had to wait 90 minutes just to get swabbed. The results won’t be available for a week. If this is how it goes, then the state isn’t ready to open, which it will except for those damned blue counties Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. Oh my God. Scotty, beam me up. I need to go back to Tralfamadore. Remember Billy Pilgrim? Slaughterhouse Five? Oh..well, that was the planet Billy went to .. Tralfamadore…it figured prominently in Vonnegut’s writing…never mind.

So there you have it. Insanity prevails and we are stuck waiting for whatever other shoe is going to drop to go ahead and do so. Gee, that was an inartful sentence..but what the hell…I’ll go get another glass of wine.

My temperature this morning was 98.4° F. It seems to vary a full degree, but never reach 98.6° F. So I guess that means I’m ok. Maybe I’ll get tested, just to have something else to complain about in this blog. So there…

188/46

It’s getting to the point where I’m no fun anymore…Judy Blue Eyes by Stephen Stills. That is how I feel at the moment. Watching the news is infuriating; waiting to be free to move about the cabin is also becoming a trial. AND, to add to my worries, it appears that Kirsten has fallen ill with the virus. She is now at home beginning her two week recovery period. I bought her a pregnancy mattress so she can lie on her stomach to improve her breathing. From what I’ve read, that is a big step toward avoiding ER visits and the terrible potential of being put on a ventilator. OMG…don’t even mention that word in this context.

Burn it down, baby

I’m not sure it makes any sense to write a redemption series. Who will believe we can come together as a nation after the gross malfeasance/negligence of the government in dealing with this pandemic? No. Revolution is still in the air, and it’s getting closer to my door. In fact, I’m ready to break a few windows and roll a few cars over after setting them aflame. I don’t think I’ve felt this angry in a very long time. Damn those idiots in D.C. Damn those big companies taking money meant for small companies to survive via the Payment Protection Program. We are doomed because of greed and apathy.

Just to add a dash of cynicism to the mix, I watched Slow Burn on Epix, about Watergate. Wow. The show pointed out a few things I didn’t know, and reinforced my belief that the only reason Congress finally dealt with Nixon was that he kept giving them opportunities to do so. Craven, all of them. An example of the best of democracy in action? That’s a really terrifying thought. There was no real bipartisanship until the Republicans had no choice in the matter. Nixon had some kind of subconscious wish to be punished. And resigning the presidency certainly qualifies as punishment. Imagine if he’d stuck around until the end of his term. Goodness knows what might have happened.

New Zealand: a lovely, virus-free country

So does that mean we can expect Trump to just quietly accept his fate when his poll numbers keep going down? Somehow I doubt it. Dirty tricks? Highly likely. If we vote by mail, will the ballots mysteriously end up in the dumpster if they vote for the Democrats? I fear so. So what is the best course of action? Move to New Zealand. They managed to get rid of the virus and had just one death. But then again, that would likely be a one way trip. Nobody will want to get on a plane to come visit us there, thanks to the Cvirus. OK, somewhere closer to home…Cuba! Porqúe no?

That’s all I can say at the moment. My temperature is a whopping 97.4° F.

189/45

It would appear everybody is taking tentative steps to open. In a few days, some parks will open, which will make Erik happy. He goes just down the road to Riverbend Park to jog in the morning. Since it’s been closed, he’s had to park at the gas station up the road from the park and walk or jog in the adjacent area. Having the park open will be a blessing. It seemed like a bit of overkill that it was closed, but hey, it’s hard to figure out exceptions in a pandemic.

The New York Stock Exchange exists in a parallel universe from the one I occupy

The market was up today and the price of oil is down. Frankly, I find it baffling that the market continues to trend up and down in about equal quantities. There is no earnings data, and what little there is is terrible. Do investors really think these companies will bounce back immediately, or that the government bailout will be sufficient to ease them over this steep decline? If they do, they live in a parallel universe from the one I currently occupy. So it would appear in the era of algorithmic investing, the rules have changed. As such, I may never be interested in revisiting that area of investment. It’s a rigged game.

I find the notion of contact tracing fascinating, because it’s a fantasy. We are 38th in the world in testing per capita. That makes contact tracing virtually impossible, because by the time the person gets sick, all that data is lost. The only way it would work would be to identify someone at the onset of the illness, not when they’re in the throes of it. But we seem to live in a fantasy world these days. I’m hoping at some point we might revisit some semblance of reality.

Good Paint Well Purchased

We went to Home Depot today to buy two gallons of Sherwin Williams color Romance paint in Marquee brand (one coat: good stuff). Home Depot was very good about limiting distances between people. All the employees were wearing masks. The paint counter had been converted to one way in, and no waiting around to get the paint. You went away from the counter until 15 minutes had passed to come pick up the cans. Since nobody else was ordering paint, that worked out well. Son-in-law Colter is doing the painting in the writing room. He’s very meticulous, and I’m confident it’s going to look really good. I can’t wait to get back to SOME KIND OF ROUTINE when it comes to my writing. Right now it’s still kind of hit or miss, even though I was able to finish the outline for The Recombining. That name is starting to grow on me. It feels a little awkward; not exactly a word you’d use in normal conversation. But in my story, the country comes back together in a very different configuration than the 48 states that previously existed (I’ve cut Alaska and Hawaii loose). So a recombination is more accurate than a reunification, like east and west Germany or north and south Korea.

Distance from Wuhan to North Korea Isn’t Very Far

Speaking of North Korea, still no word about the boy king. At some point, he’ll either re-emerge..or he won’t. Are they buying time to figure out how to keep things calm? Here’s the story I make up. North Korea is right next to China. The distance from Wuhan to Pyongyang isn’t that great. The health care systems in North Korea are abysmal, except of course for the elites. So right now, they are likely having many cases of Cvirus. That means Kim is at least hunkering down, trying to wait it out. But does that feel right? It really doesn’t. The other possibility is that he was having a simple procedure, like a heart valve replacement, and something went terribly wrong. What feels right to me is that he’s in a coma. They don’t know if he will emerge or not. If he emerges from it, the medical staff that attended to him are toast. If he doesn’t, then who will run the country? I doubt they have any idea, particularly since with the Cvirus killing people, it’s a vulnerable time to not have a designated leader. So each day that goes buy is just designed to buy time while they figure this stuff out. An indication that he is, shall we say unavailable? They trot out some letter to some South African guy congratulating him on Freedom Day. Really? Very suspicious. We shall see.

That’s it for now. My temperature is 98.3° F. Take care and stay safe.

190/44

Where is the boy king? Not Barron Trump, silly: Kim Jong Un. The last time he went missing was in October 2014. I wrote a blog piece about it back then (gotta scroll way back to a Mash Up of the News to see that one). But maybe this time he really did expire from being too fat, smoking, and getting the Cvirus from the Chinese doctors that came to do a simple heart valve repair. Oops – sorry about that, North Korea. Guess the mask leaked, huh? Bigger question: if he is dead, who’s in charge? Lots of rumors about that..I doubt it’s the sister in that misogynistic country. Maybe it’s the half uncle. Anyway, he’s missing and the question is: what happens next to those nukes?

This one was from the last disappearance in October 2014. He didn’t get any slimmer since then

Moving right along to the rest of the news, Disinfectant man has decided to stop doing those time consuming, wasteful Cvirus briefings. The media never could get his message right anyway, so why bother? Oh, I don’t know, maybe because yesterday we had over 22,000 new cases of the virus, and over 55 thousand people are dead from it. But who needs info? Actually, it may be my cousin Linda gets her wish. She posted a request of him on Facebook: Shut up. So he did. Wow – who knew she had such authority?

The Sadr City, Baghdad Wall

I spoke with Meredith Green last night, my good friend Patricia Mary’s daughter. She’s on her way back to Baghdad to resume her work as an EMT/paramedic helping the folk there stay unwounded. What a great gal. She is the kind of person that, once you’ve met her, it’s like you’ve known her forever and that she’s a part of the family. I have her phone number now, and we can text. Ain’t that amazing? But gee, I could talk with Erik the Younger when he was in Baghdad, way back in 2008 and 2009. But I don’t recall if we could text or not..seems like that wasn’t possible. Anyway, I intend to stay in touch with her. I very much enjoy our conversations, as she’s very bright and obviously in a very interesting place.

Finally, this being Sunday and a rainy one at that, nobody’s done much of anything today. Oh, except John made a blog for Jopie, so she’s now stuck with Jopie’s Journal as a URL since he registered that as her domain name. She can always change it, but maybe, once she gets started, it won’t matter what it’s called. The key is to get started. I’ll have to let her know it exists.

Recombining the old states into a new nation

I intend to start working on the first book in the series I’m calling The Recombining. I need a hook to tie the chapter titles together. Last time it was from the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad gita. This time, since it’s about renewal and a new beginning, I think I’ll take lines from uniquely American texts like The Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, Common Sense, and MLK’s I Have a Dream Speech. I think that would be fitting, since the story is about reunification of these here United States, but not as individual states, but rather more like the European Union. Sound good? Yes, I thought you’d like it.

Take care and don’t stop following guidelines. My temperature today is 98.0° F.

191/43

Forty three days of self-isolation, with no end in sight. Tom Hanks in Castaway? No..with lack of exercise, I’m getting fluffier instead of skinnier. Sigh.

I spoke with my friend Nancy yesterday, who moved out to Washington state. She seems to be doing ok, but I’m not completely sure about that. I think she’s becoming more withdrawn and less willing to communicate, either verbally or in writing. I think she needs company, but obviously that isn’t an option at this time. We’ve talked about going out to see her…maybe in the fall if this we can get a grip on this thing.

Somebody please vote this man out of office?

Kirsten is only getting a bit over $400 back from her taxes. That is kinda crazy, because she hardly made any money last year. It appears the absolutely destitute don’t qualify for much help. The legacy of Republicanism. But with everything that woman went through in the past few years, I’m just grateful she’s alive, she’s working and because she has insurance, she can get the proper medical support to allow her to continue to thrive. That makes me believe the people in charge would like to throw away people like her they consider the dregs of society.

Oops – who pulled the plug?

Last year, that would have included my daughter Kirsten. I take great umbrage at that. I know her: she’s beautiful, smart and capable of great things. She just needed a little help to get there. Without her family, she’d be dead, and I think the folks in charge would say that was just fine. Damn them to hell…all of them, both Republicans and Democrats who colluded with this attitude in order to stay in office. May they all get a double dose of SARS-2 and die a horrible death on a ventilator that shuts down in a power outage because the hospital can’t afford to pay the electric bill. Now how’s that for an evocative scenario?

I have completely stopped watching the news – yes, even PBS. I don’t want to hear their filtered version of what is happening, because they are all fixated on trashing Trump and reporting on the horrors of our current reality. I am going to avoid information from journalists who benefit from negative news in this digital age. What does that mean? I’ll watch more webinars from credible sources. I promise to keep providing that information, both here and on Facebook.

I Want to Hear Ed Shearin!

Speaking of Kirsten, she reports there are a plethora of mole holes in the back yard of the house in Tallahassee, which is messing up the grass. Well, the grass is now just winter rye, which is going to die back anyway, and I suppose the moles are aerating the soil. But she doesn’t like them, so we looked for good ways to make them leave. Here are the leading candidates. First, dog poop, and since she has Xena the Wonder Dog, there is a ready supply of that. Placing poop at each end of a tunnel supposedly makes them go away. Same with coffee grounds and fish remains (not too crazy about that one. If the wind is blowing right, it could drive everybody nuts). Finally, there’s loud noise. Allegedly, you’re supposed to wrap an old transistor radio (do such things still exist?) in a plastic zip loc bag and put it at one end of the mole hole, Then you turn it up loud to some obnoxious sound. The author of the post I saw recommended Nickelback or Creed. Ha Ha. Anyway, that’s supposed to make them leave, and go next door. Now that would be an interesting experiment. Of course, the neighbors may not be fans of either band and shoot your transistor radio. Alternatively, the mole might come out and do the Caddy Shack dance. Either way, it’s worth a try.

This is the color I want to paint the writing room walls

Today the kids are coming over to start the paint job on Emily’s old room. It’s empty now; only a bit more work to finish cleaning out the closet. We’ll start caulking and painting the crown molding, then move on to that lovely salmon colored paint for the walls. I hope it doesn’t look like Pepto Bismol splashed on the walls. That was the appearance the last time I tried to use that color. We shall see. In the meantime, take care, stay away from coughers, wash your hands, and KBO.

My temperature is 98.0° F.

193/41

I’m getting to be a webinar junkie. Of course, what else do I have to do? Oh, yeah, I have a book to write, for which I completed the outline yesterday. Well, geez, I’ll get to it. In the meantime, webinars are cool, and educational. So there.

Meat Loaf in his Heavier Days

Today’s webinar was about oil and China. There were three speakers, and two of them were candid and informative. The third guy was stiff and used a canned presentation he’d obviously given before. He was also less than forthcoming in the Q&A. But oh well, two out of three ain’t bad (thank you, Meat Loaf).

I have to say there weren’t too many surprises in what they had to say. Because people are driving and flying less, demand has dropped by a full 33%. Cutting production by 10% still means an excess. The estimate is that 60% of storage is full, so there are only a couple weeks’ more capacity to stockpile. Storage is expensive, but so is shutting down wells, some of which may never come back online if they’re full of water. The bottom line is, producers have to cut back significantly for quite some time in order to make this work. The group agreed that with the price of oil so low, with indications of it staying low until at least the third quarter of 2021, green energy is taking a back seat. But does that really make sense? It would seem like now would be the time for the really big producers like Chevron and Aramco to make big investments in green energy as a hedge against these low prices for the gooey stuff. Wind and solar work as long as the wind blows and the sun shines. If both those things go away, we got bigger problems than the cost of energy. Ha ha.

It doesn’t say Make Saudi Arabia or Russia great, now does it?

My prediction is that political implications will lead to cheating amongst the partners. It always has in the past, and even though these guys disagree, it’s gonna be every nation for itself. Shale producers with their enormous debt are gonna wanna try to take market share away from OPEC, and with Trump in the White House, I’ve no doubt he’ll double cross his buddies Vlad the Impaler and MBS the murderer. After all, remember his slogan isn’t make the world great again, it’s a little closer to home. Be prepared to see an executive order significantly decreasing imports from elsewhere so local production will continue to supply what little demand exists in the US. If that ain’t enough to start at least a financial war, I don’t know what will.

My temperature is 97.9° F. Viva la webinarios!

194/40

I finished the outline for The Recombining .. that’s the tentative title I’ve given for the Redemption Series. The outline runs about 8 pages, and it looks like it will end up being six books. I’m pretty happy with how it worked out, as it certainly has a much happier ending than the last series. I’ll get started on Book 1 later this week.

The picture we’ve seen a hundred times in the past month

I was fortunate to listen in on a webinar put out by the Scripps Research folks here in Jupiter. The particular scientist that was featured is called Michael Farzan. He has experience working with HIV, Ebola and the SARS-1 viruses. He is calling the Cvirus SARS-2. He started by absolutely emphasizing that NOBODY should stop with the social distancing. But having said that, he believes that a treatment should be available soon, and then a vaccine in about 18 months. The treatment would involve the use of antibodies, either manufactured or available in the sera from survivors’ blood. He believes the lab generated antibodies would be safer, which seems obvious since you don’t know what else might be lurking in a donor’s sera.

Note the picture on the right..that red thing hanging down is the receptor binding domain

Farzan explained how the virus attaches itself to the cell, and once attached it penetrates with its RNA and then replicates quickly. The key to a successful treatment is to use antibodies to block the ability of the virus to latch on to the enzyme that is the way into the cell. That way you don’t have to mess with the cell itself, which is a drawback of the Remdesevir antiviral. He believes only a piece of the virus called the RBD, Receptor Binding Domain, needs to be blocked, as it sort of hangs down from the rest of the unit to attach to an enzyme called ACE2, angiotensin converting enzyme. ACE-1 is the enzyme that must be inhibited to lower blood pressure. This is ACE2, and acts as the mediator between the virus and the cell. An antibody called ACE-2Ig is most likely going to be the treatment for people like health care workers that are exposed to large doses of the virus. With some tweaking in the lab, this antibody could be made strong enough so that one dose would last for say three months for the person treating the sick. This would be a high priority until we ‘flatten the curve’ (how many times have you heard that phrase in the past three weeks?)

Humira and other biologics have a place in the treatment of Cvirus

Sadly, this therapy won’t be of much use to us old people or people whose immune system is compromised. For that you need to add what’s called an effector function, which simply is a way to stimulate the immune system to help get rid of the virus. There’s a place for biologs like Humira in this equation too. That was what that pulmonologist I wrote about was given when he had a bad case of the Cvirus. His fever went away immediately after he was given the biologic, Remdesevir and IL-6 to quiet his immune system.

All this work in such a short period of time. Nonetheless, Dr. Farzen estimated that it will take from 8 to eighteen months before even an effective treatment is available for us old folk to be safe. So in the meantime, get ready for a long siege of self isolation if you’re over 65. The death statistics certainly bear that out.

A guy in Canada vacuuming up bat poop. Notice the protective gear..he’s smart..somebody in China wasn’t

By the way, another interesting fact he mentioned. It wasn’t bat soup that started all this. It was bat poop. Dr. Farzen indicated a human in China came into contact with bat poop and that’s how the virus got started. Fun fact, huh?

Emily is still coming over every morning and doing her school work. I think just keeping track of what he’s about and focusing on each assignment has helped. I am hopeful it will get her through tenth grade, and get her used to virtual learning so she can take at least one Florida Virtual School class this summer. We shall see.

That’s it – tomorrow’s webinar is entitled Oil Goes Under – What Next? and it’s at 8 am. This is another Caixin webinar, which should be interesting. My temperature is 97.5° F.

Bye bye.

195/39

Em has been doing her online work here the last couple of days. She’s being very good about getting it done. We can only hope it will be sufficient to see her through tenth grade. If not, she will get used to coming here and doing online work for the summer Virtual School classes. We shall see.

Connect..but you can’t…connect..not funny

I listened in on a Politico session with a couple of their reporters this morning. It was a bit dull, but I got from it what I needed, when added to a Tampa Bay Times article about the unemployment situation. It is bleak. Before the ‘new and approved’ Connect system invented by Deloitte and paid for by Governor Rick aka Valdemort, unemployment claims were processed in a prompt and accurate fashion. After spending $77 million, the result was a system that didn’t work, even before the Cvirus. But so few people were unemployed, nobody noticed. Nobody noticed when the Internal Auditor, year after year, pointed out the many flaws in the ‘new and improved’ system.

If You Don’t Understand it, Just Ignore It

Now we’re here and the new governor, Desantis the Trump Groupie, says they’re working 24/7 to fix the problems. I find that impossible to believe. Nobody is coding at 3 am. They’ve also allocated another $100 million to throw at it. Will that fix it? Um, no. There was never even a flow chart developed for Connect that showed how all the pieces fit together. On a typical run, 600 error messages would be produced, and the staff had no idea how to address them. So they ignored them. Every year. Year after year. Ain’t this great? Good thing they got their $3400 from Nancy Pelosi. God bless her.

The supplementary checks for $600 that are supposed to come from the Federal government rely on the state system to approve the applicant. So far, 6% have made it through, and not all of those have gotten any of the $600. So I’d say Robin is in the same boat with her unemployment as oil producers are in with their output. Both systems are completely and catastrophically broken.

There’s a First Time for Everything

Yesterday, producers were paying buyers nearly $40 a barrel to take the gooey stuff off their hands, in the case of West Texas Intermediate. There’s no place left to store it. Allegedly, Trump is buying the oil for the strategic oil reserve. Great. Where’s he gonna put it? I doubt anyone asked that question. Today, it’s a little over a dollar. But the reality is, that’s for the May contract, which ends today. Who knows what the June contract will produce. Supposedly, those oil futures are up to about $15 a barrel. But I think an important psychological barrier has been breached. If buyers can be paid to take the stuff, how will they feel about paying for it? We shall see, starting tomorrow.

A good author and a great human being

Finally, a little about The Plot Against America and Facebook. David Simon wasn’t playing around in changing the ending of Roth’s book. I was never happy with the ending myself, because things went from totally bleak to fixed and wonderful in less than a chapter. I think Roth ran up against a deadline for submission before he really had time to think it through. According to the Podcast, Simon asked Roth about it, and Roth’s reply was that it was David’s problem now. And solve it he did. And he didn’t mince words about how he solved it, AND that he was tying the ending to current realities. In Simon’s version, Roosevelt’s henchmen used the new radar system to find Lindbergh’s plane and, at least it is implied, make it crash. No more Lindbergh. And who ends up the hero(ine) of the story? Anne Morrow Lindbergh, always a good person, even when stuck with creepy Charlie. Wow. David is clear we need to get rid of Trump. I concur. If I were the Potus covidius, I’d stay away from Air Force One until after the election. It could be dangerous. Better to be turned out of office than to be SAM’d. If only. Oops – there I go again..wait ’til the Googlebots get a glimpse of that! Goodbye, everybody. I’ll be up at Wakulla with Kirsten, trying to avoid getting Cvirus from the inmates. It’ll be worth it.

And Facebook: is it possible that we are beginning to find a little common ground? Tiny shoots have begun to appear. It takes a crisis of monumental proportion to bring us together. Cvirus is made to order.

That’s all..as Miranda Priestly would say. My temperature is 98.2° F. No oximeter yet..the vendor says give it another week. We can only hope.