Sunday, February 16, 2020


In an earlier post I noted an American teacher, John McGory, originally from Westerville, Ohio (a community north of Columbus near where we bought our first house) who was living in Wuhan China had blogged about his experience living in the city where the Coronavirus emerged.   He had been unable to exit the city on the first evacuation flight.  He described with photos the vacant streets of Wuhan, possible issues getting food, his concern for free expression limitations in what he could safely write about the situation due to Chinese laws. 

John’s last blog post at American Speech Company the end of January revealed he was uncertain as to the circumstances of his future life there, if he would have to remain, what that might mean,  or if he would be able to leave.  I expected to follow any further posts he might write, but there were none. 

Finally, on February 4th I found McGory’s updated post on Amazon where his book is listed.  He describes the frantic experience when the second evacuation plane he had arranged to take was cancelled in a post titled:  “Humans not statistics”  as he prepared for another evacuation flight.

“Real information remains scarce while rumors explode.”  He noted:  “We have to get our own transportation to an airport 40 miles away in a city with numerous army-patrolled stops along the way.  The Chinese want to know everything about the drivers taking us to the airport.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they put them in isolation for two weeks.   I’m trying to keep a wait-and-see attitude about the flight tonight.  Hope and fear, both cruel imposters, are best avoided.”

John made his flight touching down in San Diego at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar on Wednesday, February 5th with 166 other passengers as reported in the Los Angeles Times.  We do know those passengers are quarantined to monitor for Coronavirus symptoms.  I have been unable to locate any more current reports about John McGory's status.

Monday, Feb. 17th Up Date:
John McGory continues to be free of the Coronavirsus when tested in San Diego he reported in an interview I heard on the radio this morning.  He happily looks forward to going to Ohio when he's cleared to leave Miramar Air Station.

Freezing weather in our Big Bear Mountains is reported to have likely delayed the Bald Eagles two eggs expected beginning to hatch with pipping from inside the shell from around Valentine’s Day until possibly today(Sun.)  or  coming weekdays.  The 5x4x3ft nest has been subjected to some high winds in the 120ft Jeffrey Pine Evergreen tree at the 7000 feet elevation – thought to be the highest known Bald Eagle nest.  

The eggs are on pip watch for signs of the eggs beginning to crack open which is a slow process of many hours once it starts.  I recall when we had regular and bantam chickens, ducks, that we weren't supposed to help them out of the egg shell.  If the baby bird doesn’t have the strength to continue pecking their shell open to emerge independently, they likely will not survive.  

If an egg has not been fertilized the parents may continue to sit on it, sometimes up to more than 2 months or until it begins to disintegrate.  Reportedly there is no reason to be concerned about these eggs until the 42nd day after they were laid which would be Wednesday the 19th if they haven’t begun to show pip signs.

Some nasty Ravens have periodically been unsuccessfully harassing the brooding parents to lure them from the nest in order to get to their eggs.  Whichever parental guard bird is off the nest is seen swooping about in the sky chasing the Ravens away. 

I hope people in the U.S. avoid being influenced by any Coronavirus alarmist false rumors.  There have been rumor problems deteriorating into a few racist discrimination incidents in Southern California, but efforts are ongoing to eliminate them.      

Social media sites are also reported to be a primary source of circulating false rumors, creating hysteria and conspiracy theories on all sorts of topics. Even in chat room sites those with moderators must screen out such sincere but uninformed comments as well as those of individuals who deliberately do so for effect.  Such responsible screening seems to be more than some sites will assume responsibility for doing.  

Unfortunately our very own President has been guilty of spreading untruths and conspiracy theories since before he was even a candidate for the office he now holds and has continued doing so.

Foreign infiltration on some of these sites has especially focused on our political and controversial social issues with bot comments created to inflame all points of view intended to incite us against each other.  If only we would not succumb to such efforts to undermine our democratic republic and would instead unify in peaceful tolerance of our differences. 

We might wonder if the benefits of social media outweigh the deficits due to those who abuse it. What do you think?


  1. I do hate this whipping up of racism due to the virus when more people every day are dying from regular flu. It's as if any excuse to whip another ethnicity is then normalized. We've seen it all before of course.

    I love the bald eagle monitoring and bird watching sites and my own bird watching from my window. It brings life to simpler terms. Which we all need.


  2. That was interesting about John McGory. I have wondered how those stuck in Wuhan were coping and just living daily life. So happy he has made it out.
    Will check out the eagles to see what is happening. Sad they are under attack.
    I avoid social media sites. Think they are a blight on our society.

  3. I have only my 'friend' list on Facebook to go by, but there has been virtually no talk about the virus and certainly nothing racial at all. There is, however, plenty of resentment against each side of the political divide since I have both liberal and conservative 'friends'. Some of it has been very bitter and angry-- more though from the left than the right as things stand currently. Because I am not on either side for my ideas, I manage to offend both if I give my opinion. I try to be wise enough not to say anything and just hide when I'd be tempted to get into trouble ;)

    1. Interesting — sounds like you have limited exposure on social media. I don’t interact on prominent social media sites, but occasionally lurk. Everything considered, most of the anger, bitterness and worse I’ve encountered there and elsewhere has come from those who call themselves conservative. I personally think popularly used name labels many try to group people into can be misleading, so resist using them. Often people are a little of each and some others. erroneously lump them into one name label or the other. I think interacting with people from all perspectives occurs with many people, including most of those I know.

    2. I do protect my list regarding who I add but I have about 1100 'friends.' I don't add extremely religious people and avoid anyone who has a lot of venom on their thread. Most of my list though are writers but they do have a wide variety of views from left to right.

  4. My social media experience is very one-sided except whenI comment on my liberal Congressman's FB page and it gets followed with conservative virtiol at the 5th grade level of speech. I ignore them and pray that this puppet who is our leader gets removed before facists take over the country. I did go watch the eagles last week. They are in such a bitter cold area!

    1. Might be wise if more people ignored such vitriol against such differing points of view since, given what we know, they may be deliberately written by foreign influencers or others to emotionally incite and divide readers.

    2. Like Joared, I wouldn't credit anything posted to social media. It has been too well documented that the bots can influence people much too easily.
      Cop car

  5. Glad John McGory finally made it back to the States after all the confusion and uncertainty.

    I think on balance social media has been harmful - the trolling and hate campaigns, the fake news, the echo chambers, the encouragement of things like anorexia, transgender, self-harm, suicide etc. I can't think of much on the positive side. There are plenty of other news sources, support groups, medical helplines etc. We don't need social media, especially if Facebook, Twitter etc do virtually nothing to control the toxic influences.

    1. I think social media is not the place people should be seeking news from for the reasons you describe.

  6. Glad to read that John McGory is, so far, free from the virus! Also glad to read that he was able to finally be evacuated.

    I think that like with many popular activities, a select few participants can often sour the experience for scores of others. I suppose our goal when using social media is to be discerning as possible regarding content and to use the least inflammatory language when posting as possible. -easier said than done, of course!

    1. I can appreciate that, but just seems for so many they’ve become gossip sites magnified muti-times over and worse with no moderation — and whose content so many believe and others, including foreign governments bent on destroying our freedoms exploits.

  7. Unfortunately we have a cruise coming up in spring that we signed up for. I’m worried that the racism you mentioned will cause us misery if they think we are Chinese. Sigh... It’s a scary world health wise and politically.

    1. Oh, I do hope you don’t experience any problems on your cruise. I have friends taking a large family cruise this summer and I hope some of their various national heritages member mixes don’t encounter issues either. Only four years ago I could never have imagined this could be the concern it is today.