Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The New Reality - Surviving A Pandemic

Jenga - Getty Images 

This morning I awoke from my mild re-occurring bad dream. The one where I have skipped all my college classes for a whole semester and now must face the prospect of exams and telling my grand-parent why I flunked out of school. This is something I never did and wonder many mornings, why this dream?

This morning was different. Now awake, the nightmare we are facing seems much worse.  Pulling the cover back over my head was not going to help.  Segments of our economy are facing shutdown. Markets are reacting wildly, unable to stop the spiral down into territory unknown/unimaginable. Retail as we know it, likely will never return with mass store closings ensuing. 

Yes, a global pathogen. There is nothing new here - the Black Death was a devastating epidemic of the bubonic plague that struck Europe and Asia in the mid-1300s. Over a period of  five years, it would kill more than 20 million people in Europe – almost one-third of the continent’s population.  (history.com/topics/middle-ages/black-death) The indigenous peoples of the Americas were spared these plagues until Eurasian diseases such as influenza, pneumonic plagues, and smallpox devastated the Native Americans, who did not have immunity to them - global travel's first pandemic.   

Today we have vast scientific knowledge to understand pathogens but still lack the ability to do simple preventable measures. This past week one passenger who was sick flew from New York (JFK) to Palm Beach (PBI). What an incredible selfish act that unnecessarily exposed many. There is a lesson for all of us here. You cannot fix stupid. 

I do not subscribe to the panic that seems to be occurring. Yesterday I saw one woman leaving my Publix Market with three carts full. She pushed one full cart, her teen daughter pushed another and a Publix bagger pushed another. I was not sure on going in, if I would find anything left. 

The post-mortem on the next four weeks will likely turn up many faults. The nation’s inadequate coronavirus testing has meant that the true scope of the problem is still unknown. More importantly, a lack of leadership at the top. A reporter asked the president if he took responsibility for the failure of the government he leads to resolve this sooner. “No,” he replied, “I don’t take responsibility at all”.

Another reporter asked if he [Trump] took responsibility for dissolving the White House office charged with coordinating responses to pandemics. (Beth Cameron, its former director, has an op-ed explaining how damaging this move was.) Trump denied any responsibility for this decision, too. “You say me, I didn’t do it … I don’t know about that,” he huffed, calling the query a “nasty question,” and cutting off the reporter’s microphone.

Still on February 29 Trump was calling the Coronavirus the 'Democrats' 'new hoax'. Watch the video and understand that precious time was lost.


New York Magazine - Intelligencer:

Trump has been quick to take credit for the economy up to last week, but now our reality has changed.  Harry Truman once said, “The buck stops here.” It is the most hackneyed cliche about the presidency, and leadership in general. Trump has never had to follow this principle, in a career that ran from inheriting $400 million from his father through various bankruptcies. Trump instead follows the ethos of a different famous leader — Tony Soprano, who once said, “Shit runs down hill, money goes up.”
"Every state doing their own thing, different cities doing their own thing, it's confusing, it's chaos," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday night. "The federal government should come up, step in, and say this is what we're going to do..."

Never have we needed a strong leader more.  Anyone at this point that can be a strong leader, please step forward.  Our Jenga stack has not collapsed and it is not too late. I am personally in the demographic that could see the worst of the Covid-19's' effects. This is personal. 

In the absence of leadership, let us all do our part to get through. 


I plan to continue to write and will make personal comments as to my health status if changes occur.  Please comment and we can use this and other forums to break the tedium that will ensue. Stay healthy. Stay safe. Avoid large groups. Let us all ESCAPE this challenge healthy, smarter and stronger.



  1. no you cannot fix stupid and you do not have a strong leader but ordinary people can pick up the slack and stay calm and rational and practice distancing and isolation and quarantine (when mandated). As far as hoarding is concerned some are just too stupid and selfish for words. This too shall pass!

  2. Rhonda, DO go to the pharmacy and get the pneumonia shot particularly designed for persons over 65. Wife and I got ours last week--I hope the immunity factor 'kicks in' before anything else...
    The biggest worry is contracting pneumonia, secondary to the covid virus.

    1. Already got it back in November along with the over 65 Flu shot.

    The New American 'Grapes of Wrath'
    -- the vintage is almost ready to be 'choked down'. And choke we will.
    This whole 'world wide virus threat' has been warned of for several decades, yet, 'we dont believe YOUR science' or the 'cost was too high', as the budget needed reduction, to reduce the tax burden. Yet a trillion dollars got 'kicked back to billionaires' by Trump and his cronies.
    Now that the underpaid underclass is quarantined, and the public schools are closed, now there is nobody available to cook and serve your restaurant meals, or stock your grocery shelves, who is going to 'clean the toilets', so you can live 'the good life'?

    I am a retiree from a 'Fortune 30' size corporation. All the ailments you(Rhonda) discuss are direct result of this rampant fetish of micro-management.
    Where I worked, an hour was 'sliced and diced' in 100,000 'time measurement units', in the fervent hope there would more time available for toil at the end of the hour: - times 8 hours, times 5 days, ect... If 'we' could save a penny per 'unit', per hour, per worker, per day, at the end of the day, 'we' would have a whole NEW pile of cash, that would be conviently lost on the books, each and every day.
    Every time T-rump speaks, it is with the same mental computer: 'control MY costs', 'optimize MY personal benefit'--'stick the other guy with the tab'. BTW, YOU are the 'other guy'. Whatever financial benefit is derived, that benefit goes to 'the pigs at the top of the food chain.' The next task was to 'loose the money on the books'. Then cry 'poor'-- 'we need another tax break'.
    If you were astounded by the lack of 'virus test kits' because Trump would not allow them to be imported from the EU (someone on the inside going to benefit?), just wait until you and your insurance gets the bill for 'the virus test', complete with the 'new' American made virus test kits. Any guesses the cost?

  4. Unfortunately, we are faced with something that only the older generations have lived through. For those of us that are a wee bit over 59 (LOL), we lived through measles, mumps and assorted other diseases that have been all but eradicated if not controlled. Our parents made sure that we got our immunizations and taught us healthy practices like hygiene and eating right. But as I watch the younger generation gathering on the beaches and making statements that "if I get it so what, as long as I can keep partying". I think to myself, what will happen if they find out that it was because of their "I'm number one and I don't care" that their parents and grandparents might get sick and possibly die because they decided it was better to party than think about the ramifications of their actions.