may 26 – may 28

may 26

Coronavirus complaint: Our local parks have a rule that nobody shall engage in any activity involving a ball. The thinking is that it encourages a pick-up game which has the potential to violate social distancing guidelines. Sheesh. These arbitrary, well-intentioned-but-ill-considered rules drive me crazy. How about a family of six quarantining together? Can we kick a soccer ball around? Play catch? Nope. One of the thankless city workers in a bright yellow vest will kindly ask you to shut it down. That has to be the worst job – worse than a parking enforcement officer even. Just constantly stealing fun and zapping joy.

It makes no sense. How about posting signs about social distancing requirements and the limited number of people allowed to congregate? Then enforcing those rules? Eliminating balls is ridiculous. It’s one of the very few joys left for a million kids. We are dying a different kind of death over here.

The CDC now says that 50% of antibody test results may be wrong. Cool.

Author note: I cited the antibody test information from a KTLA posting because I interned at the television station in college. To this day, it was my most favorite job. ❤️

may 27

My 9-year old was asking how Halloween will work if the corona is still here. Hmm. I wonder? Masks over masks, I guess. Will people feel safe taking candy from a virus vector’s house? Or opening their door to potential little infectors? Inspired by some safety-conscious shoppers at the grocery store, he said he wants to be “an overprotective coronavirus person” this year. And he requested blue gloves and a blue mask. Please.

I saw an article today that will almost certainly be widely spread among conservative, Trump-loving conspiracy theorists, buuuuut, it did raise a few reasonable points. The author yammers on about how we all over-reacted with our lockdown strategy based on some British guy’s bogus and scary modeling – as if that is the only data we worked from. But toward the end, he talks about alternative strategies that might have been more effective.

Now, nobody had a crystal ball, hindsight is 20/20, yada yada. I get that.

Taking a minute to do some risk assessment and implementing stringent mitigation measures in the beginning was prudent. In fact, that would’ve been the right approach way back on December 31 when our very own Seattle Flu Study hero recognized this mysterious virus could already be among us – and worked to get ahead of it despite constant push-back from the federal government.

But here we are FIVE MONTHS IN. Reevaluating our tactics is perfectly appropriate. One-third of all Covid deaths in the U.S. were nursing home residents or workers and 80% of all deaths were people over age 65 – which is apparently a statistic in line with any other disease. Unfortunately, aging just increases your risk of dying generally.

I’m just thinking out loud, but what if instead of a mass lockdown, we had a nursing home lockdown and provided accommodations (as needed) for medically compromised people? What if stimulus money went directly to those who were unable to work because they themselves were at high risk (for age or some underlying condition) or somebody with whom they are in close contact was vulnerable to disease? Like, that would be the Paycheck Protection Program application candidate instead of well, almost everyone.

Maybe a lot of businesses could have stayed open with proper safety modifications. And those who needed to stay home and stay safe would have been taken care of by the government – because the government is supposed to take care its people. Maybe the young, vital whipper snappers could help us develop herd immunity.

Anyway, there is no shame in changing course. It just feels too late.

may 28

Attempted a “birthday party” for my 15-year old. Four chairs in the front yard, spaced 6 feet apart. It was epic, obvs.

Twitter recently added banners to help identify Covid-19 misinformation, but expanded these warning messages to identify other content which might confuse or mislead people. Yesterday, they added such banners to some Trump tweets containing inaccurate information (aka lies) about mail-in voting. Of course, there is outrage from his supporters that Twitter would offer a very tiny suggestion (in the form of innocuous blue text, see below) that information you’re consuming is not factual. It’s just an FYI. Do with it what you will. They did not censor him.

Relatedly, I came across this warning today, issued by the World Health Organization to combat the incessant lies, disinformation, and incompetence spouted by our president. I cannot believe enough people in this country thought him fit to lead. It would be hilarious if the consequences weren’t so grave.

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