Sunday, March 15, 2020


Up Date:

Faced with mounting coronavirus infections, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday issued sweeping new restrictions in California, calling for home isolation of everyone in the state over age 65, the high-risk population group.

A surreal world we’re living in now, or that’s how it feels to me.   The world as I have known it all my life keeps being shaken, turned upside down, slammed around a bit.   As if the bizarre past four years haven’t been weird enough with our nation’s government, plus the weather and environmental changes we’ve experienced, now viral microbes have launched one of their own in an attempt to dominate humankind once again – remember SARS, or the Hong Kong flu in recent years? 

This Coronavirus is a viral microbe sweeping the world, referred to as COVID 19.  Much is still unknown about this virus believed to live from hours to days depending on the surface, but scientists are still determining those timelines.  We humans come to know these microbes when we feel ill, then seek a cure and our doctors remind us antibiotics cannot be prescribed because they are ineffective.  

These viral microbes each require their own unique medication to prevent their taking control of our bodies.  Unfortunately, those medications can only be created after each new virus emerges with scientists racing against time to develop the unknown solutions capable of stemming their assault.   Microbiology Society reports:

“Viruses are the smallest of all the microbes.  They are said to be so small that 500 million rhinoviruses (which cause the common cold) could fit on to the head of a pin.  They are unique because they are only alive and able to multiply inside the cells of other living things.” 
New images of the novel coronavirus have been released by The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the U.S. NIAID produced the images by scanning and transmission electron microscope. Previously, researchers from the University of Hong Kong posted a thin-section of electron micrographs of the coronavirus.

Disgracefully our nation has been quite unprepared to combat this virus.  Few people in our country have had tests available to determine if they have the virus,  quite unlike nations in much of the rest of the world including Europe, Korea.   Our government seems to have had more of a reactive posture rather than a preventative stance despite the forewarning of what occurred in China long before anyone in the U.S. was identified with the virus.   Science and medical experts’ information about this infection -- more deadly than the flu and more contagious -- has generally been disregarded by this Administration with the serious potential effects on American citizens minimized.  

This current Administration has been more concerned with managing the dissemination of information about the virus, that has included falsehoods, misleading data or none at all, and lots of our President’s flourishing blarney talk, often contrary to known facts.  Only now has our President appeared to give credence to the serious potential the coronavirus has for our population and even himself, much less the people he encounters.  He has, at least, finally had a test which revealed he presently does not have the virus and none of the symptoms. 
We can thank a few government spokespeople who have reported many of the Coronavirus facts for keeping us accurately informed, contrary to our President’s ballyhoo and outright lies.  What’s disgraceful or worse is that virtually so many others in his administration have not had the courage to speak the truth even as some of them have self-identified as having been exposed to the virus.  Fortunately, responsible members of our press are continuing to report to us the truth of our Coronavirus situation.

I recently learned the first death from the coronavirus in Los Angeles County that I kept hearing talked about on the news has occurred much closer than I had known – at my local hospital, one where I once provided therapy services, in a city adjacent to my own.   National news had been reporting for several days about a 60 year-old woman who was first treated for cardiac arrest, then died, only later to be identified as the first person in Los Angeles County confirmed to have died from the Coronavirus.   

Updated information in my cities current Claremont Courier weekly newspaper has revealed more specifics.   She had been visiting in another nearby town where she received emergency treatment prior to being transported to the hospital.  Her husband followed, where he then
“....disclosed the patient’s travel history and additional symptoms, and the patient was immediately placed in isolation".  Shortly afterward she died.  Earlier news reports mentioned she had traveled extensively around the world, spending considerable time in Korea before coming to visit California. 

Finally, our President has announced more actions to stop the spread of the Coronavirus in a recent rare White House press conference, rather than in his typical Twitters.   He was joined by private business leaders who described their commitment to combatting this virus with increased activity to develop and make available Coronavirus tests.  As more tests become available, reportedly this will be done in a variety of settings, including at an expanding number of drive-thru sites.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Los Angeles International Airport have recently seized fake Coronavirus test kits shipped from the United Kingdom.  There are always those willing to try to capitalize on the misfortunes of others.   Illegal price gouging on products in short supply during this time has necessitated law enforcement emphasizing a 10% increase in price is the maximum legally allowed which will be aggressively enforced as some attempt to exploit vulnerable others.

Schools shutting down, sports being cancelled, major concerts cancelled, NYC Broadway shows closed, people being told not to gather in large groups to describe only a few ways in which our lives are being altered.   Meanwhile, people have begun clearing the shelves of almost every product imaginable in many of our grocery stores lest they not be available in the future. 

We have L.A. area restaurants closing, others using unique ways to keep customers feeling comfortable and safe to eat there.   Tables are arranged so patrons of different parties will be seated 6 feet from each other.   Another establishment’s waiters wear gloves they replace with new gloves for each table they touch in serving.   One restaurant requires each patron to have their temperature taken before being allowed to eat there.  If a person refuses, then they simply are refused entrance.  There’s talk now of some food sellers providing carry-out or drive through service only.   

Social distancing is an interesting concept we’re advised to follow.  No more shaking hands,  hugging, and bussing one another on even one or both cheeks in the continental style.   We are advised to stay 6 feet distance from others.   An alternate means of greeting one another is what we need to adopt, but no consistent behavior has yet been adopted by everyone.   Some choose to touch feet.  Others touch elbows.  Both of these violate the 6 feet distance admonition.

Personally, I like the idea of merely tipping my head, much as has always been the custom in some other cultures.  I don’t want to get into a bowing or curtseying regimen either.   What are your ideas or preferences as a safe and acceptable way to greet others?


  1. There's a lot of criticism of our government as well for not taking tough preventative measures much earlier. New Zealand took tough action right from the start and they still have only six confirmed cases. The UK used to be known for its general administrative competence; now the bumbling amateurs have taken over.

    1. Pretty ironic, isn’t it, when the UK and USA once could pride ourselves in being at the forefront in many crisis situations. Do we attribute this to those that have been in charge of our governments?

  2. You summed it up nicely. We really are in surreal times aren't we? Measures we must take, what is not being done by our leaders, and standard entertainment being cancelled.
    I can only hope our meager, delayed measures will be enough.

    1. Let’s hope we can avoid our health care system being flooded all at once with patients since we’ve been told this would be beyond challenging.

  3. I am trying to locate that quote I found ten years ago when we were experiencing the swine flu pandemic, namely that a government can react in two ways to a pandemic, either by protecting the economy or by protecting its people, not both.
    The swine flu was nothing compared to this, mainly because it was an influenca strain, not a SARS virus.

    1. Interesting quote I hadn’t heard before. Likely Trump chose protecting the financial systemI but I vote for protecting the people.

  4. It was important to protect both the economy and the people. There is no real way to do either right now and it's around the world with countries that have health care for all, like Italy, still being hit hard because this is new. I read that we will all get it eventually but the goal is to spread it out to be able to deal with it when it gets to the point of needing medical care.

    I feel for the workers who are losing income and many didn't have that much margin to lose a paycheck. I also feel for those on pensions where the stock market is being tanked so that some hedge fund guys can make a fortune as happened in the Great Depression with some coming out of it millionaires while others lost everything.

    I wish we were in less a blame game time but that's the way of the world right now. We don't work together. We look for it to be someone else's fault. Sad times and fear never makes it better and yet who isn't a little afraid given what's out there and we don't know what to expect.

    1. Expecting someone to take responsibility for actions, lack of actions, their unacceptable behavior is quite different from blaming someone.

  5. In Ohio the governor has taken swift action and closed all restaurants and bars. Schools are closed, and he has intimated that they are likely closed now until next fall. As well, he has warned that daycares will be next. He has had a parade of medical and science professional and experts in his office for counsel; he has also read up on the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic as well as other germane subjects. I didn't vote for this man (a republican), but I'm impressed with his leadership and action.

    We all know who could take a lesson.

    1. Glad to hear Ohio Gov taking responsible action. Yes, we do know who needs to admit he’s not as perfect as he wants all to believe and has been making some tragic misjudgments adversely affecting the people in this country and around the world.

  6. FWIW I haven’t had internet connection for most of the past week and only now was able to get service to correct the problem.