Coronavirus Updates

Update 8/7/2020: Confirmed cases 19,319,011 with 718,765 fatalities. The US has 5,036,881 cases with 162,873 fatalities. US daily fatalities may have begun to decline again. The Univ. of Washington forecasts 300,000 US fatalities by December 1st. Washington state has 62,709 cases with 1,657 deaths. Benton Franklin Health District has 7,044 cases with 145 fatalities. The Prosser School District expressed concerns at their board meeting this week about low fall enrollment as parents choose other schooling options and over budget deficits. Yakima Health District has 10,742 cases with 203 fatalities. Brazil is nearing three million cases with over 98,000 fatalities. India has passed two million cases with 41,912 fatalities. South Korean study finds that asymptomatic Covid cases can carry as much of the virus as those with symptoms; transmission role undetermined. Iran reported case and fatality numbers found to be falsely reported; Iran government records show 451,024 cases with nearly 42,000 fatalities as opposed the health ministry’s publicly reported 278,827 cases with 14,405 fatalities. Cases are surging in Spain, leading to a lockdown in the northwestern parts of Castile and Leon.

Update 7/29/2020: Confirmed cases 17,300,759 with 672,366 fatalities. The US has 4,590,809 cases with 154,364 fatalities. Florida added 9,956 new cases and a record 252 deaths yesterday. Arizona also set a record for daily deaths. Daily new cases in the US may be tapering off as re-openings were rolled back, but daily deaths are still increasing as expected from the lag between new cases being identified and the deaths therefrom. Former Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and former Presidential candidate Herman Cain passed away from COVID complications today. Italy recorded its largest new daily cases since early June. Hong Kong also set a new record for daily cases. Melbourne, Australia set a new daily record almost 40% higher than its previous record. Germany’s new cases are at a six week high. Poland also recorded a new daily record. In Harare Central Hospital in Zimbabwe, seven babies were stillborn on one day earlier this week attributed to staffing shortages due to COVID; one doctor said, “These are not isolated incidents. This is repeated every day and all we can do is watch them die.”

Update 7/18/2020: Confirmed cases 14,242,950 with 600,487 fatalities. The US has 3,773,089 cases with 142,105 fatalities. New cases in the US have been steadily increasing over the past month, recording numbers over 72,000 for the past three days — more than double the daily highs during the April/May wave. While fatalities remain lower, they have started increasing over the past few days as well. Washington state has 46,506 cases with 1,442 fatalities. Benton Franklin health district has 5,372 cases with 129 fatalities; 15 of the deaths have been recorded in just the past week. Yakima Health District has 9,275 cases with 179 fatalities. Continue reading “Coronavirus Updates”

The Survival Mom: TEOTWAWKI has finally arrived

The Survival Mom talks about some societal and cultural changes resulting from the pandemic in TEOTWAWKI has finally arrived.

This past spring while America was busy shopping for toilet paper and hand sanitizer, and panicking at their shortages, TEOTWAWKI happened.

The End Of The World As We Know It arrived. It slipped right past us while we were all distracted, but make no mistake. We are unlikely as a country and a world to ever go back to “normal”. We aren’t going to turn a corner at some point and magically, it will be as though the pandemic never happened.

Who knew, back in January and February of 2020, that the coronavirus pandemic would be the TEOTWAWKI event that changed our world?

There has been an upheaval in virtually every aspect of our lives. New divisions now exist between people that didn’t exist in the “before time”. Authorities, both elected and unelected, have expanded their powers. Data has been skewed, misrepresented, and at times, falsified in order to maintain an official narrative, and in the meantime, a near-panic-level fear has drilled its way deep into the hearts and minds of millions.

We went from “slow the spread,” “wash your hands for at least 20 seconds,” to now, altering everything about our lifestyles as we wait for a vaccine, which may or may not ever come.

However, it turns out that this TEOTWAWKI event isn’t wholly negative and full of doom as many of us once believed.

Some commentators, James Altucher for one, have called the virus, “The great reset”, meaning that society has a chance to re-imagine and re-create something better than what existed before. Mike Cernovich described it as an “accelerator” – The pandemic has accelerated events that would have eventually happened but are now occurring within weeks rather than months or years.

Our public school system, medical treatment and consultation, family relationships, and businesses are just a few things that are being reset and accelerated.

Public education and TEOTWAWKI

Public education will never be the same. As we speak, thousands, maybe millions of parents across the country are taking control of their children’s education and are seeking to hire teachers and tutors directly.

Image: parent message to find teacher

Nebraska’s homeschool filings are up 21% from the same time last year, and in social media, parents are clamoring to find other like-minded families to create “homeschooling pods”. Here’s a quote from a now-viral Facebook post:

“If you are not a parent/in a mom’s group, you may not be aware that a kind of historic thing is going on right now.

This week there has been a tipping point in Bay Area families looking to form homeschooling pods. Or maybe “boiling point” might be a better term… Essentially, within the span of the last 48 hours or so, thousands of parents are scrambling through an absolute explosion of facebook groups, matchups, spreadsheets, etc. to form homeschooling pods.”

She adds, “This is maybe the fastest and most intense PURELY GRASSROOTS economic hard pivot I’ve seen.”

Parents are learning about micro-schools and diving into homeschooling, even as teacher unions are making demands that might have made sense back in January but are now completely untethered to this new reality. A reality where millions of students and parents discovered the variety of options available and are continuing down that alternative path.

Yes, for public education, TEOTWAWKI is the new reality — the end of public education as we once knew it. There’s no putting the traditional public educational genie back in the bottle, ever.

TEOTWAWKI and the family — surprising results

Another positive result has been during the quarantine weeks, families discovered they quite like being at home together. A friend of mine living in Brooklyn was astonished by how well his family, including two teenagers, are getting along in their apartment, with only a nearby park available for outings and fresh air.

I read this quote from a mom who said, “It’s going to be very difficult to get back to normal because for the last eight weeks we’ve been having dinner together as a family, every single night. And for the previous 10 years, we never did that.”

Many families are facing dramatic financial hardships. I don’t want to minimize that, but at the same time, spending more time together and not less has resulted in, for many, strengthened family ties…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at The Survival Mom.

Survivopedia: Are We Looking At The Wrong Numbers?

Bill White at Survivopedia writes about some of the numbers that aren’t being talked about much related to the current coronavirus pandemic – people with permanent damage who didn’t die – Are We Looking At The Wrong Numbers?

As the second wave of COVID-19 continues sweeping the nation, it is becoming even more politically polarized than ever before.

This is sad to me, that we can’t unite over something that is really not a partisan issue but is affecting us all. Our focus, all of us, should be on doing what is best for the people of our county; and that includes both protecting their health and protecting their ability to provide for their needs, financially speaking. The two are not mutually exclusive.

But that’s not what’s happening. Those on the political left are trying to use the pandemic to make Trump and Republican governors look bad, focusing on the rise in cases, as we wade through the second surge. It doesn’t matter that this second surge was part of the plan all along, as the original lockdowns were just about flattening the curve, in their narrative, the surge has to be because of some grave error in judgment on the part of their political enemies.

Then we’ve got the political right, many of whom are focusing on how the left-leaning media is overreacting and overstating the danger of the current situation. Sadly, they aren’t serving us any better, when they’re saying that we shouldn’t have to be wearing masks. Yes, I understand their position that the government is infringing on our liberty, but at the same time, I’ve got to say that there’s enough evidence that masks help save lives, that it makes sense to do so.

The argument that’s being used is that only one percent of the people die of COVID-19. But just what do they mean by “one percent?” If they’re talking 1% of the people who come down with it, the numbers don’t jive. We’ve had 4,170,000 people come down with the disease and 147,342 deaths as of this writing. That works out to 3.53% of total cases ending up in death.

But we need to realize that 3.53% is a low number. Even if nobody else comes down with the disease, some of the 2,042,559 active cases will result in death. We just don’t know how many. If we divide the number of people who have died by the total number of closed cases, we get 6.9%. That’s probably too high. When all is said and done, the death toll will probably end up being somewhere between those two percentages; we just don’t know where.

On the other hand, if they’re talking about one percent of the total population dying from COVID-19, then we’re talking 3.31 million people. Since we have no idea of how many total people are going to come down with the disease, that number is not outside the realm of possibility. I personally don’t think it will get that bad, but I can’t discount the possibility…

o start with, for every person who dies of COVID-19, there are 19 others who require hospitalization. That’s a hard number, which can be substantiated by hospital records. So the 147,342 people who have died become 2.8 million who have been hospitalized. Unfortunately, I can’t find any data to substantiate that; as everyone is reporting hospitalizations on a weekly basis, not a cumulative total; and I can’t just add those up, because we don’t know how long any of those people have been in the hospital.

So let’s use that 2.8 million number for now. Supposedly for every person who dies of COVID-19:

  • 18 people will have to live with permanent heart damage
  • 10 people will have to live with permanent lung damage
  • 3 people will end up having strokes
  • 2 people will have to live with chronic weakness and loss of coordination due to neurological damage
  • 2 people will have to live with a loss of cognitive function due to neurological damage

Granted, I’m sure these numbers are preliminary and they will be modified in the future, as our medical community gains more information. But we’re talking about the potential for all of those 2.8 million people having to live with some sort of permanent or semi-permanent disability. And that number is only going to go up, as we’re nowhere near the end of this pandemic if an end actually even exists.

If we take the viewpoint that one percent of the population is going to die of COVID-19, as some are saying, then we’re looking at a total of:

  • 3,311,000 dead
  • 59,598,000 with permanent heart damage
  • 33,110,000 with permanent lung damage
  • 9,933,000 who have strokes
  • 6,622,000 with permanent weakness and lack of coordination
  • 6,622,000 with permanent loss of cognitive function

Obviously, we can’t afford that as a nation. While I’m sure that there will be a considerable amount of overlap, with people having more than one of those symptoms, that just means that those who do have long-term effects will be in that much worse shape. And before you say it will just be old people, I know people in their 20s who have come down with COVID and are still battling these sorts of long-term symptoms two to three months later.

When I say we can’t afford that, I’m referring to the loss in our labor force. While a large percentage of the people who have serious problems with COVID-19 and die are elderly people with underlying health problems, more and more younger people are having serious problems with the disease. Are those young people going to become disabled and end up needing public assistance their whole lives? (continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Survivopedia.

KIMA: Yakima Hospitals Overwhelmed with Covid Cases

From KIMA TV:

The Yakima Health District says Yakima County Hospitals are being overwhelmed by COVID-19, and the district is pleading with local people to take the steps necessary to stop the spread.

The release from the Yakima County Health District is below:

As of last night Virginia Mason Memorial had no intensive care or non-intensive care beds available.

There were multiple patients waiting for hospital bed space overnight.

This was after at least 17 patients had already been transferred out of the county.

Several individuals are still currently waiting for available bed space.

Across Yakima County, there were 61 COVID-19 positive individuals hospitalized, the highest we have seen to date.

Over the past week, all hospitals have reported critical staffing shortages. Many of these shortages are due to staff being out for either having COVID-19, demonstrating COVID-19 symptoms or because they are a close contact to a COVID-19 individual and are now under quarantine.

Not only do we have the highest rate of COVID-19 infections, but as of last night, Yakima County represented 22% (61 of 242) of all hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Washington State. This was more than King County, the most populous county in Washington State. Yakima County COVID-19 patients also represented 24% (11 of 46) of all ventilated COVID-19 patients in the State, which is the same as King County.

Nearby, the Benton and Franklin Counties health care system is also reaching capacity. “Benton and Franklin Counties are seeing a steady, rapid increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19, with the number of patients nearly doubling the past two weeks. While hospitals are not overwhelmed yet, if the rate continues, we will exceed capacity quickly.” Said Malvina Goodwin, Benton-Franklin Health District.

Yakima County cannot continue to rely on other counties to absorb patients that need additional intensive care. As our case counts continue to spike after large celebratory weekends, we are seeing hospitalizations also sharply increase shortly after. The entire health care system in Yakima County is exceeding capacity.

Today, as of 3PM we have already seen an increase of 180, one of the largest single day increases of COVID-19 positive cases to date. These numbers will likely be higher when we finish reporting later this evening.

PUBLIC HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS

Stay at home as much as possible

Avoid close contact with anyone outside of your household

If you must go out, ensure at least 6 feet of distance from others and wear a mask

Wash hands frequently and sanitize common surfaces frequently

If you have a fever, cough, shortness of breath, fever, muscle pain, headache, sore throat or new loss of taste or smell, get tested for COVID-19 within 24 hours. For testing locations, call 2-1-1.

If you have any symptoms of illness, stay at home and isolate except to get tested. Make sure those you have been in close contact with know they need to quarantine.

Yakima Health District:

“This is the day we have been fighting to avoid for months, when our hospitals can no longer provide their highest level of care because they are overwhelmed caring for patients with severe COVID-19 infection. We have a choice to make today- whether we continue to do what we have been for the last three months and keep watching our neighbors get sick and our local healthcare system break down; or whether we commit to keeping each other safe and healing our healthcare system by avoiding close contact with those outside of our households and masking when we do need to be out. We need to stop having in-person parties, barbecues, large family gatherings, celebrations, and happy hours and figure out how to connect with each other virtually. These adjustments have been made all over the world and have been proven to work to slow the spread of COVID-19. We need to do the same in Yakima and we need to do it now, to ensure the safety of our families. As a community, we have no choice but to come together to protect Yakima County. We must take immediate action to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that we can provide complex medical care needs to our sick community members. Not just those with COVID-19, but those needing care for any severe illness or injury. We cannot allow our friends and neighbors to die waiting for space at the hospital or waiting to be transferred to another hospital” said Dr. Teresa Everson, Health Officer of the Yakima Health District.

Doom and Bloom: Covid Fatigue and the Second Wave

The Altons at Doom and Bloom Medical have an article up about Covid Fatigue and the Second Wave. A second spike in cases is coming.

COVID-19 cases may again be on the rise as a second wave of infections coincide with the reopening of many businesses throughout the United States.

Perhaps the first thing I should mention is that a second wave is going to occur as society reopened. I repeat: Regardless of the timing or the measures taken, at one point or another there is going to be a second spike in cases. This is to be expected; It’s what many pandemics do. Health officials and political policies can do little to stop it.

If we look at previous infectious disease outbreaks, like the Spanish Flu of a century ago, it’s clear that there were, not two, but three waves in Spring and Fall of 1918 and winter of 1918-19. Each wave claimed its share of victims.

Most health officials have long stated that more cases are expected. Social distancing, face coverings, and other important measures to prevent spread of infection may be breaking down. In some cases, it’s because of what I call “COVID fatigue”. People are weary of staying home, donning personal protection equipment, and avoiding the restaurants, movie theaters, malls, and other staples of normal American society. The New Normal compares poorly to the “good old days”.

Not an example of social distancing

Even for those who have adjusted to pandemic prevention guidelines, current headlines have sparked nationwide mass protests which are spilling over internationally. As you can imagine, large demonstrations don’t follow the rules of social distancing and hamper efforts to stop the spread of infection.

Public policy may also play a part. Reopening too quickly due to COVID fatigue-fueled anger may cause large numbers of new cases, while staying in semi-permanent lockdown must eventually throw the nation into a major economic depression. The balance is so delicate that a perfect solution is almost impossible to achieve. Either option is fraught with risk.

All of the above factors make it more likely that a second wave will be significant, but how significant? Will we see just a ripple in the pond or a massive tidal wave?

One expert, Dr. Lawrence Kleinman of Rutgers University, says: “I think people mistake the idea of society reopening with the idea that society is safer, but things are no safer today than they were weeks ago when we were in full lockdown,” said Dr. Lawrence Kleinman, MD MPH of Rutgers University. He goes on to say that the recipe for personal safety doesn’t change even as society opens up.

Others aren’t as pessimistic.  Columbia University virologist Dr. Vincent Racaniello said, “I’m hoping we can continue our lives without having to go back into quarantine in the fall, because we’ve learned that distancing and face masks can really make a difference.”

Indeed, we have learned much about SARS-CoV2, the virus behind the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides social distancing, we have come to realize the importance of mass testing, and keeping close track of contacts. With a contagious disease, we have to know who is capable of spreading it. With workplaces beginning to reopen, this information becomes essential.

We have also realized the importance of having personal protection items in our medical kits. Surgical and N95 masks are considered to be for medical workers only, leaving the average citizens with a limited array of less-effective cloth coverings. These were endorsed by health officials, but only because of the lack of standard supplies.

Yet, many folks ended up becoming “medical workers” when someone in the family came down with a mild to moderate case of COVID-19. You can bet that there will be more face masks to go around in future outbreaks; many of these will be made in the U.S.A…(continues)

SchiffGold: Nearly Half of Small Business Owners Expect to Close Down Permanently

An article at SchiffGold says that Nearly Half of Small Business Owners Expect to Close Down Permanently because of the pandemic shut down. This echoes previous studies. Datapro Research Company found that 43 percent of companies hit by a severe crisis never re-opened, and 29 percent more failed within two years. The American Red Cross has estimated that up to 40% of small businesses that experience a disaster never reopen. And a FEMA report after the 1992 Hurricane Andrew landing found that 80% of businesses which did not have a Business Continuity Plan failed within two years of the storm. We should expect similar numbers.

The economy was booming. The stock market was setting records. Then coronavirus came along and governments shut things down to minimize the pandemic. That led to massive layoffs and a nasty recession. But once states open up, things will spring back to life and the economy will go back to being great again.

That’s the mainstream narrative. But it’s not based on reality.

In truth, the economy was a Fed-induced bubble before the pandemic. The central bank has managed to reinflate the stock market bubble despite the economic destruction, but it is nothing but a Fed-induced sugar high. And the economy won’t likely rebound quickly, even after things open up.

There are all kinds of reasons to doubt the quick economic recovery narrative. We’ve reported on the number of over-leveraged zombie companies, skyrocketing household debt, the battered labor market, and a potential cash-flow crisis even after the economy gets moving.

Now we have another sign of long-term economic trouble. A survey conducted by financial services company Azlo found that nearly half of small business owners think they will eventually have to close their businesses for good.

Forty-seven percent of the small business owners surveyed said they anticipate shutting down, and 41% said they are looking for full-time work elsewhere.

This is on top of the small businesses that have already shut down and will never reopen.

The survey also asked questions about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) instituted through the CARES Act. The results were less than stellar, as Newsweek reports.

Less than half of participants—38 percent—involved in Azlo’s recent survey applied for PPP loans. Of those who did apply, 37% said the program was slow to distribute funds and 20% described the process as ‘painful,’ the company reported.”

It’s absurd to think the economy is going to come roaring back when nearly half of small business owners expect to shut down. Small businesses employ 58.9 million Americans, making up 47.5% of the country’s total employee workforce.

The economy would struggle to recover from the shutdown even if it was healthy before the pandemic. And it wasn’t.

Raconteur Report: Kung Flu Still a Thing, By The Metric …Ton

Aesop, a healthcare professional dealing with Covid patients and a long time blogger of things both preparedness and liberty-related, over at Raconteur Report writes to remind people that, yes, COVID-19 is still a real thing that can kill you, and not some government conspiracy in Coronatardation Bad News: Still A Thing, By The Metric F**kton

…I told you all that to tell you this:
The tests for Kung Flu, because of the incompetent government @$$holes at the CDC (but I repeat myself again), Suck Balls. Bigly.
The swab tests report an inordinate number of false negatives, and the antibody tests (which AFAIK no one has reliably demonstrated yet are specific to COVID-19, as opposed to all coronaviruses, like the common cold) throw out false positives, like a drunk spilling pocket change staggering down the street.
This leads to undercounting those who do have it, and overcounting those who never had, both of which inexorably undersell how many people are infected who we think have it, and oversell how deeply it’s penetrated this society. The latter is a number less than 5%, and probably less than 2%, nationally, at least anywhere outside the Five Boroughs.

Which has inevitably led medical professionals, contrary to the jackassical suggestion above, to use y’know, a clinical medical approach to making a diagnosis of presumptive Kung Flu.

Like what, Aesop?”

Wee quaint little diagnostic tools like, say, X-rays, kids. (Common Core history grads, look up Marie Curie. #medicine # X-rays #actual things.)

For laymen, esp. those who didn’t pay attention in middle school science class, here’s what an average normal chest X-ray looks like:

Bog-simple, no problems. Spiffy, right?
What does it look like when you have ordinary pneumonia?

Mini-anatomy lesson: you have two lungs, R and L. You have 5 lobes; 3 on the right, 2 on the left. Upper, middle, and lower on the right, upper and lower on the left. (Your heart is part of the reason there’s no Left Middle Lobe.) So, look at the pic above. The red arrows in the original stolen (Fair Use, btw) image came with it. See that area of schmutzy stuff all over the right middle lobe? That’s RML PNA: Right Middle Lobe PNeumoniA. The opacity (the blurry part) indicates fluid in the alveoli (little air sacs) in the lung, which is why you can’t breathe: your lungs filled with water don’t work well underwater, because they’re lungs, not gills. That’s what bacterial pneumonia, the kind that antibiotics will treat well, and that a shot will help prevent, looks like. In elderly people, pneumonias of the lower lobes, from less physical activity, prolonged immobility, etc. are the most common, and nota bene: as in this illustration, only on ONE side. (Gunny Hints:You will see this material again.)

So what?
So, let’s look at a typical CXR (Chest X-Ray) of a Kung Flu patient:

WHOA!
Not typical.
Not even typical pneumonia.
There’s schmutz EVERYWHERE.
Schmutz? = “Ground glass opacity”.
Bilateral multifocal pneumonia.
Like you won’t see in bacterial pneumonia.
Like you’d expect to see in pneumonia caused by a respiratory inhaled virus, and/or virus-induced coagulopathy, and/or both. (Pathologists, chime in anytime.)
Which fits only Kung Flu.
You have fluid ALL OVER your lungS, plural, (and pleural! See what I did there?) on BOTH SIDES, which is why people who have this symptomatically can’t effing breathe.
Their lungs, as in the whole contraption, is full of fluid.
And if you’re hypoxic (too little oxygen in your blood stream) on room air, or worse, even on supplemental oxygen, like a nasal canula, or a face mask, you’re pretty f**ked.
If you have that, and a fever from the infection, and a cough, and this CXR, and your blood tests fit the pattern, neither I, nor anyone witrh MD or D.O.  after their name, needs a gorram broke-dick CDC-approved COVID test to tell you, me, Yellow Dog, or Medicare, that you have Kung Flu!
They can see it for themselves, with their own lying eyes, and they’re not going to falsify it for some pittance of chump change from Uncle Sugar.

Go back and read the AAR from the ER doc in Nawlins (like every one of the ER MDs I know and work with did, long since): clinical indications = Kung Flu. Period. A test, good, bad, or half-assed, is a nice confirmation, but the CXR and other clinical indications are diagnostic (that means a lead-pipe cinch sure thing). Testing, at that point, is a luxury, and if it comes back opposite the clinical indications, will be completely and rightfully ignored. Because the tests are all so much bullshit, courtesy of The Usual Gang Of Idiots at CDC, plus Typical Government Incompetence.

BTW, none of these are my actual patients’ X-rays, but #3 was what the CXR looked like on my guy from this past weekend. (One of six COVID-positives I cared for, BTW.) He’s in his early twenties, kids. Not 80+. Not 70-80. Not even over 40. Barely old enough to legally buy a beer. Full coronavirus bilateral multi-focal pneumonia.

What does this mean for you?

1) Temperature screenings are going to get everyone infected.

2) Getting everyone infected means you can expect orders of magnitude more sick and dead people (from Kung Flu, not with Kung Flu, if you’re that particular brand of Coronatarded) than you’ve seen so far.

3) Lockdowns largely stopped this, but
a) we cannot, and weren’t intending to, lock everyone down forever until the economy was in total flames, nor would we wish to continue the experiment
b) some of you were too smart to pay attention to what worked, because “muh paycheck!”
c) TANSTAAFL

4) You (for any value of that term) have essentially decided to throw everyone who dies from this under the bus, in order to preserve the economy.
a) You did it, are doing it, and want to. Own it.
I’m not judging which is better, but don’t try and soft-soap and sugarcoat the decision you made, and the consequences as a direct result.
b) Don’t yap and yammer about your anti-abortion creds, if you’re willing to kill people at the end of life as casually as the Governor of Virginia is willing to kill them at the beginning.
Like Esau, you’ve sold your credibility there for a mess of pottage, and there are consequences to that sale. As noted in one tale, “we’ve already established what sort of person you are; now we’re simply discussing the price”.
c) There was a right way to do this, but most of the country couldn’t wait for that.
Suture self. And tell granny and gramps you loved them, and will miss them.

5) Get used to your masks, unless you like bilateral multifocal pneumonia.
a) Unless you’re Mary Mallon.
b) And deserve her fate.

6) You have no wild idea who’s sick, and who’s healthy, never did, and probably never will.
a) You DGAF, never did, and probably never will.
b) You have not hired Helen Keller as your crossing guard on the freeway.
c) EVERYONE is Helen Keller crossing the freeway.
d) Kung Flu is the 5000 busses upstream from you.

7) Good luck with your choices, and may the odds ever be in your favor.

8) I told you before, you’re not going to get what you like, and you’re not going to like what you’ll get.

9) This is a virus. It’s real. It kills people. There’s no recognized effective treatment, and no vaccine, and neither truth will change, probably this year, at least. There’s no evidence – none, nada, zip, niente, bupkus – that getting this confers any immunity to re-infection or that any such thing as “herd immunity” will ever be achieved. Not least of which because it’s been genetically altered with SARS, Ebola, and HIV sequences in the gene. (Thanks, Dr. Frankensteins!)

Luckily for you, it “only” kills about 1-3% of people who get it. That’s 1/30th-1/90th of Ebola. It’s 20-30 times worse than the flu. But it can’t be reasoned with, it can’t be bargained with, it’ll just keep coming.

Bonus: Getting it symptomatically creates permanent damage to the lungs and other organs, even if you survive.
And as you’re seeing now, (and 30-50% of those reading this will totally ignore, no matter how many times we tell it to you) the deaths from this virus are the least of your worries in the grand scheme of things, compared to the other 5000 consequences to life in society.

10) This virus doesn’t give a flaming bag of dogsh*t what your politics are, what whackdoodle conspiracy theories you espouse, who you voted for, or for the Constitution and Bill of Rights. People on both sides politically are so full of sh*t about this crisis their eyes are brown, and stupidity is no exclusive province for either side. (No, really. And I can show you their blogs and press releases.)

11) You ain’t seen nothing yet.
You’re not crawling out of this.
You’re not even close to the crawling-out-of-this stage.
You’re still in the crawling-intoit stage.
You have no idea how deep this swamp is, and while one can only ever walk halfway into such a swamp, you had no idea how big it was when you walked into it, thus when the halfway point was will only be determined after you come out the other side, retroactively.

Hurts, don’t it?

Citizens Journal: Boost Your Immune System, Too

In Karen Selick’s article Coronavirus Crisis Reopens 150-Year-Old Controversy at Citizens Journal, she reminds us that there is another side to fighting viruses besides just avoiding the virus itself, i.e. you can boost your body’s ability to fight off viruses by improving your immune system.

…French scientist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) is widely celebrated as “the father of germ theory”— the idea that we become sick when our bodies are invaded by foreign organisms such as bacteria, molds, fungi, and of course viruses. Although the idea had been circulating long before Pasteur achieved eminence, his laboratory work in the 1860s appeared to provide the scientific proof that had previously been missing.

What’s not widely known is that other French scientists working in the same field in that era held somewhat different beliefs, known as the “terrain theory”. They believed that the most important factor that determines whether or not a person becomes ill is not the presence of a germ, but rather the preparedness of the body’s internal environment (the “soil” or terrain) to repel or destroy the germ…

But regardless of Pasteur’s character, and regardless of whether he recanted at the end or not, what lives on after him is the mindset, clearly visible amongst most of today’s medical professionals and health care bureaucrats, that it is the germ (formally designated SARS-CoV-2) that has to be tracked down, isolated, avoided, and eradicated—and that’s all that matters. The “terrain”, to conventional modern thinkers, is nothing.

For instance, on the Ontario government’s website telling its citizens what to do about COVID-19, its advice consists entirely of measures designed to prevent people from coming in contact with the virus: stay home, wash your hands often, don’t touch your face, maintain physical distancing and wear a mask when you have to go out.

No mention is made of any measures individuals can take to ensure their immune systems are operating at peak efficiency (or as the French scientists would have put it, their terrain is well prepared to mount a defence). It’s almost as though the Ontario government doesn’t believe human beings have immune systems or that they’re of any use whatsoever. The only hope, Ontario seems to believe, is for a pharmaceutical company to patent a vaccine, because that is the only way that human beings can defend themselves against a virus, or acquire immunity.

In fact, Ontario and Canada have gone out of their way to discourage people from looking for methods of helping themselves. Ontario’s website says “there is no specific treatment” for COVID-19. End of story. Canada’s government-owned broadcasting company, the CBC, recently published this article denouncing “bogus cures” including vitamin C, zinc, medicinal mushrooms and oil of oregano.Vitamin D3, Zinc and M…Jeffers, NancyBest Price: nullBuy New $6.98(as of 03:40 EST – Details)

This official attitude is utter nonsense—there is actually an abundance of scientific evidence supporting various nutritional supplements as being instrumental in preparing people’s immune systems to repel or overcome viral infections.

Take zinc, for example. Many COVID-19 patients have mentioned as symptoms the loss of their senses of smell and taste. According to the BBC, these symptoms affects as many as 18 percent of infected patients. This CNN article says that some people  will take days or weeks to recover these senses after having the virus, while others may take months or years.

But the loss of these senses is a well-established symptom of zinc deficiency, a fact not mentioned in either of the two articles cited, and apparently not known to most of the mainstream medical community. Yet here is a PubMed study connecting zinc deficiencies with “smell and taste disturbances”. Here’s one specifically connecting “older patients” with zinc deficiencies and loss of acuity in the senses of taste and smell. Both of these studies also mention that zinc deficiencies lead to impaired immune function or an increased risk of infection. Can medical “experts” and governments not connect the dots?

Vitamin D is another nutrient (a hormone, actually) well recognized by scientists to have antiviral benefits. Google Scholar lists 3,670 research reports published in 2020 alone containing the words “vitamin D” and “virus”…(continues)

Click here to continue reading at Citizens Journal.

Zero Hedge: America on the Brink?

An alleged protester in Harrisburg, PA

From Zero Hedge, America On The Brink? Shocking Images Show “Pennsylvania Militia” Rolling Up To “Reopen America” Rally. Early in this pandemic, I noticed that people had stopped talking about civil war, which was rampant talk last year. As the lockdowns progressed, I began to wonder if the economic damage would knock down all the barriers that intelligence analyst Sam Culper of Forward Observer said would prevent widespread violence.

America could be standing on the edge of a revolution. Seriously, well, with National Guard troops deployed across the country, any uprising would likely be squashed.

We noted late last month that a “social bomb” was set to detonate over major Western cities. It was thought that the epicenter of unrest could begin deep within inner cities, such as those in Baltimore and Detroit, but that might not be the case.

It appears tensions are soaring among anti-quarantine protesters and state governments. The lockdown backlash started last Thursday in Lansing, Michigan.

Anti-quarantine rallies sprouted up across the country over the weekend, organized by right-wing groups that held rallies in Texas, Indiana, New Hampshire, Nevada, Maryland, Utah, Wisconsin, Washington, and Colorado.

Attempting to show force, some protesters wielded rifles, handguns, and shotguns, along with American flags, Betsy Ross flags, Trump signs and “Don’t Tread On Me” flags right up to the doorsteps of some state capital buildings.

The sight is absolutely stunning, but before we continue, we must understand the right-wing groups that organized the rallies are fed up with quarantine orders enforced by state governments to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While it is open for discussion if the strict lockdowns were worth it, several things are evident, and why many of these protesters are angry, is that the economy has crashed into depression, 22 million jobs lost, businesses bankrupted, and hunger crisis unfolding. Combined this all together, and a perfect storm of unrest could be nearing.

While we could show you images of the latest rallies from across the country, that would be a bit too much. So, let’s focus on the “reopen” Pennsylvania demonstration on Monday (April 20). The location was Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, more specifically, at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Complex…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Zero Hedge.

Independent: WA Gov. Inslee Says Trump “Fomenting Domestic Rebellion”

In a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black, Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Friday accused President Trump of fomenting domestic rebellion for daring to plan for the reopening of states. This despite Governor Inslee’s own efforts throughout his tenure as governor to destroy the liberties and property enjoyed within his own state, creating an antagonistic divide between Eastern and Western Washington.  Inslee accuses Trump of “anti-democrate rhetoric” while his own actual actions have been dictatorial in nature – executive orders with no representative approval.

Jay Inslee, governor of Washington State, has accused President Donald Trump of “encouraging illegal and dangerous acts.”

In a statement released on Friday afternoon, the governor said the president’s “unhinged rantings” could lead to violence and were “fomenting domestic rebellion”.

He also warned that the president was putting millions at risk of contracting the coronavirus.

The governor was responding to the Mr Trump’s comments earlier on Friday about “liberating” parts of the country from lockdowns put in place to stem the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Inslee says that while on Thursday the president stood alongside White House officials and public health experts, saying that science would guide his plan for easing restrictions, with sensible guidelines to resuming economic activity, “Less than 24 hours later, the president is off the rails.”

“He’s not quoting scientists and doctors but spewing dangerous, anti-democratic rhetoric.”

(continues)

See also We the Governed: A good day for a little rebellion against Washington Governor Inslee

TACDA: Strategies for Coping with Isolation and Loneliness During the Pandemic

From The American Civil Defense Association, Strategies for Coping with Isolation and Loneliness During the Coronavirus Pandemic:

Contributors: Dr. Russell Fulmer, Dr. Michele Kerulis, Alexandria Widener, Lauren Brdecka, Ali Haji, Colbertson Kreger, Zemzem Amme, Sue Tao

Loneliness is not a phase

– Layne Staley, lead singer of Alice in Chains in the song Angry Chair

People respond to a world crisis in different ways. Some, including first responders, doctors, sanitation workers, and those in food preparation, must continue going to work to maintain essential functions in our communities. Others who are under stay-at-home orders have responded with stress, anxiety, and despair; they likely feel lonely and isolated. However, some people see a silver lining, have faith in humanity, and believe that, together, we can do our part to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has worried many people who already are anxious. We live in the Age of Anxiety. For those who experience the turbulence of anxiety, loneliness, panic, or existential angst in the best of times, a global pandemic may further trigger the underlying sense of existing uncertainty.

If you are lonely and anxious, we–members of the Counseling@Northwestern community https://counseling.northwestern.edu/–want to share how we are managing isolation and social distancing with the hope you may learn how to address the situation from different perspectives.

Our purpose is to:

  • Identify common types of isolation. Identification may be the first step toward lessening some of the pain. We draw from existential theory and philosophy, notably the work of Irvin Yalom.
  • Provide tips from students who deal with each type of pain, so that you might use their coping strategies. You will see that some students embrace isolation or otherwise identify positives from its onset.

Types of Isolation

There are three types of isolation: interpersonal, intrapersonal, and existential.

INTERPERSONAL ISOLATION is akin to loneliness. The often-repeated phrase that “it’s not the quantity of your relationships that matter, it’s the quality,” is relevant here. Certain personality styles may crave interactions with people more than other styles. Group identity is also relevant, including whether you belong to a group that society has traditionally shunned or oppressed.

INTRAPERSONAL ISOLATION is to disavow of part of the self. Have you ever said, “A part of me has died?” Do you recall a time you felt whole, but after a traumatic event, you felt fragmented? Maybe you have felt fragmented ever since. Or, did parts of you never have a chance to develop, maybe due to dysfunction in the home during your upbringing? If so, you know intrapersonal isolation.

EXISTENTIAL ISOLATION, as described by Yalom, is “a vale of loneliness which has many approaches. A confrontation with death and with freedom will inevitably lead the individual into that vale.” The existential form of isolation refers to the inherent gap that exists between people, no matter how close the bond. For example, your experience about an event—like the coronavirus scare—is unique to you, and your feelings about it, perceptions toward it, and exact encounters you have because of it will live only within you. Other people may have similar attitudes and experiences, but the unbridgeable gap remains.

Eight Tips for Managing and Thriving in Isolation During the COVID-19 Pandemic

1Accept the reality of the situation. Acknowledging an unpleasant reality may help to reduce stress and enable you to think through the best way to move forward.2Embrace your feelings. Acknowledging uncomfortable feelings can give you power over those emotions. Tend to feelings of danger and insecurity.3Don’t think about feelings as positive or negative. Feelings can represent how you connect to your environment and signal what actions you should take to make yourself comfortable.4Be mindful of how loneliness can manifest in physiological sensations like elevated heartbeat. Recognizing alarming sensations in the moment and allowing them to pass may help neutralize them.5Use isolation as an opportunity to better get to know and understand yourself outside of who you are when interacting with other people. Rediscover your uniqueness.6Focus on the opportunities isolation provides, rather than the things you have lost. Take advantage of extra time to make positive changes or pursue goals you may have put off.7Find ways to stay relaxed and connect to your social networks. Maintaining pre-pandemic routines as much as possible can help, but give yourself leeway to make adjustments.8Practice self-care. Receiving constant news updates can create more stress. Plan how you want to receive important information and take mental and physical breaks.

Learning to Accept Your Feelings While Experiencing Existential Isolation


Alexandria Widener

For me, experiencing existential isolation isn’t necessarily a bad thing, even though it does add another layer to my depression. Granted, I didn’t always view it in this manner. I used to fear the voice in my head that told me life was meaningless and nothing would change. I resorted to self-destructive measures in a desperate attempt to silence it. Nothing worked; I was always left alone with that voice in my head to keep me company. The only way to conquer it was to embrace it.

My main tip for anyone struggling with existential isolation or depression if it occurs as a result of isolation is to accept your feelings. Once you accept feelings of depression as a part of yourself, you gain autonomy over it.

However, there is a thin line between acceptance and concession. Acceptance places the power in your hands because it indicates you are acknowledging the discomfort and choosing to “sit with it” as opposed to running away. For me, accepting my depression means recognizing I interpret and feel things differently from others. I’m not always happy, and that’s OK. Embracing this knowledge frees me from pretending to be something I am not.Once you accept feelings of depression as a part of yourself, you gain autonomy over it.

Obviously, my experience will not be the same as yours. I can’t list coping skills to help you because what works for me might not work for you. People can accompany you on your journey to offer guidance and support, but ultimately, you arrive at the final destination alone. I’m genuinely enjoying the current social distancing and stay-at-home orders imposed by state leaders due to the coronavirus. Getting to choose when I interact with people has been refreshing. Once I accepted that whatever will be will be, it alleviated a lot of stress and anxiety. I’m not saying that I don’t think I can play a role in helping, nor am I saying that I have surrendered to complacency. I think we should come together and do what we can to flatten the curve. I just recognize that regardless of our efforts, what’s going to happen will happen. All we can do is our best. What that means for me is helping those who are most vulnerable, chilling with my dog, and binge watching The Good Doctor as I do my part to slow the spread by staying inside.

Tending to Yourself in Intrapersonal Isolation


Lauren Brdecka

Many of us, myself included, are familiar with intrapersonal isolation. At one time we felt whole and circumstances, events, and people took away that sense of wholeness. Circumstances such as the COVID-19 outbreak can trigger intrapersonal isolation. In a time like this, life is very limited, life-altering choices are being made for us, we have physical limitations, there is an acute sense of danger and caution, some of us may become hypervigilant, and the looming danger and fear may exist without the words to fully articulate the larger scope of your feelings and circumstances.

Intrapersonal isolation, very simply put, is isolation of parts of yourself. During this time of literal isolation, I have reflected on varying parts of myself and my once full life—my loving and rewarding relationships with my nieces and nephews (7 months old, 3, and 7 years old), my sober community, and serving and supporting my clients’ mental health—have become starkly narrowed. Being ordered to isolate has, if nothing else, ensured my physical safety and given me clarity on important aspects of my life and things I can live without.Intrapersonal isolation, very simply put, is isolation of parts of yourself.

I can live without fast food, but in the long run, I will struggle to live happily without seeing members of my family. Amid these unique times, I make sure to tend to the parts within myself that are longing for security. When I feel threatened or unsafe, I always lean into those parts of myself and hear what they have to say and make certain I am not dodging or shushing them. I “re-parent” the parts of myself that feel lost. Re-parenting allows people to give ourselves what we didn’t receive as children, such as positive reinforcement, someone who will listen to me, unconditional love, etc. I engage in re-parenting to heal the younger parts of myself that show up in adulthood.

For me, taking action to relax and stay grounded really helps. These things include yoga, stretching, cooking, taking a hot shower or bath, and meditation. Also, I ask myself, are there parts within me that believe being able to leave the house will make this easier? In fact, I am seeking more control in my life because the truth of it is, I am safer at home. On a daily basis, I FaceTime people I know, and I have reached out to friends to ask if we can go on walks together while standing far apart. The global pandemic requires me to be flexible in ways we have never had to be, and that is not inherently bad, although it may be uncomfortable.

Above all, I know that most of the literal world is having to face these uncertain and uncomfortable times and, although I am physically alone, I, by no means, am alone, which has actually helped me to feel even more united to people and parts of the world I will never meet or see. Stay well for the time being all, and this, too, shall pass.

Reframing Your Feelings Related to Interpersonal Isolation


Ali Haji

With social distancing becoming the buzz phrase of 2020, and for good reason, understanding the ramifications of interpersonal isolation on our mental health is important. All of us have likely felt the effects of interpersonal isolation and perhaps the one with which we are most familiar. Interpersonal isolation is defined as a person-person isolation. In other words, isolation from other beings. It is important to note that this does not always have to take a physical form. Interpersonal isolation can exist amid group gatherings whereby the way we relate to others is not ideal for what the group setting requires. Given the current state of society, I will focus most on the more literal, physical separation from others with which most of us are currently coping.Interpersonal isolation is defined as a person-person isolation. In other words, isolation from other beings.

As with most things in our life that render us out of control, knowing how to cope with the resulting feelings can make or break us. In my experience, interpersonal isolation and the subsequent loneliness that can result is a challenge. With any difficult feeling, I find it important to understand how the loneliness that I experience is unique to myself. I ask myself questions like “Where do I feel this feeling in my body?” and “What physiological sensations can I associate with it?” This process brings a mindful attention to our present moment, allowing us to observe the arrival and departure of uncomfortable feelings, thereby helping us to objectify them. The process of objectification and being mindful of our visceral sensations can allow us to reframe thought processes like, “I am lonely,” with “that’s loneliness.” In my experience, allowing the feeling to pass rather than holding on to it and using our thinking minds to “figure it out” proves most effective, albeit most difficult as it requires an attention to our present moment and felt experiences. Loneliness, like most other feelings, can often be paired with concrete physiological sensations like our hearts pounding, heavy breathing, or muscle tension. The onset of these feelings can be quite alarming and noticeable but in bringing a mindful attention to our state of being, we notice that the aforementioned sensations are not permanently lodged in our system but rather able to neutralize and dissipate as time passes. For example, maybe after a few minutes, we notice our breathing return to normal and our muscles beginning to relax.

We might also consider why we deem loneliness a negative feeling. Our feelings guide us and perhaps these feelings of loneliness are a gentle reminder that we need to reach out to those around us in the ways that we can. The energy that loneliness brings might be applied to poetry, music, writing, or creating in some capacity. At the end of the day, removing the duality of positive and negative is our best bet at seeing our feelings for what they are—our visceral and honest connection with the environments and surroundings in which we find ourselves. Perhaps they are not things that we need to avoid and push away and more so a highly personalized teacher that we have 24/7 access to, informing us of our limits and boundaries. We have a greater capacity to neutralize and feel our feelings than we give ourselves credit and sometimes reminding ourselves to have mastery of our feelings rather than be slave to them is the push we need. And hey, a Zoom-based social hour can always help.

Using Isolation to Encourage Acceptance of Your Authentic Self


Colbertson Kreger

In a society that promotes conformity while shunning originality, it is hard to find our place within the maelstrom of social self-acceptance. The person I am behind closed doors is my authentic self, whereas when the door opens, I become a performer. I am performing for the masses and myself a certain standard of human interaction, while at the same time wildly fantasizing about the feeling of authenticity. Taking the step toward an authentic experience with others, and most importantly, yourself, is to take a step into the unknown. We have performed since our birth, and now is a time to learn who we really are. Your uniqueness may be overshadowed by anxiety and internal critique, but that shadow can only be cast if you stand behind your angst instead of finally taking that fabled step toward the light of self-authenticity.

I have taken that step. I have shouldered the burden of being unique and all the notions that are attached, and I have felt the warm sun upon my face for the first time. Our purpose here has been constructed into spending our time to benefit a culture and society that does nothing more than break people down. Our time is for growth and taking the steps toward discomfort. Growth will only occur during a period of discomfort, and in a world of lies and fear mongering, we all owe it to ourselves to put down the mask, and to finally act as who we are.

Embracing Growth in the Face of Interpersonal Isolation


Zemzem Amme

With so many limitations now in place due to the ever-changing circumstances of the coronavirus, it is nearly impossible to still have your pre-pandemic routine. Sudden change commonly brings a period of mourning and anxiety that occurs when navigating through your new reality.

During these moments, I find Viktor Frankl’s words fitting: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”Sudden change commonly brings a period of mourning and anxiety that occurs when navigating through your new reality.

This is the time where I challenge myself by finding new ways to still enjoy my time at home. It can be easier to focus on what we have lost, rather than seeing what we now can explore. Just like any growth, we are never truly ready. This is something new and it creates an opportunity—if you choose to seize it—for change. Whether you are reconnecting with individuals, better organizing your house, or doing the daunting task of confronting your internal conflicts, there is a chance of coming out of isolation changed for the better.

Even though we are bombarded with many new ways of communicating, it doesn’t replace what we are used to. As human beings, we are constantly communicating with people, whether verbally, through sign, or something as simple as eye contact. There is no right way to handle communication and connection disruptions during this situation, but there are ways to assuage the loneliness that we feel. For me, this is the time for reflection, when I can truly focus on what matters most. Though I may take this as a time for growth, the reality is that most of my growth happened around a community. Even though we all may experience this uncharted territory differently, one thing that doesn’t change is that we are experiencing this phenomenon together.

Generating Meaning from the Reality of Isolation


Sue Tao

Week two into social distancing, I have mastered a daily coping routine to keep myself active, both mind and body, and to keep from feeling isolated. I’ve taken advantage of this time that I call “a break from the world” to realign my personal agendas that have been pending due to the lack of time I had before the pandemic, such as studying for my national counselor exam. I recently integrated hosting a daily social hour with friends on Zoom, which has been a great hit with new friends dialing in, and group walks every other day for fresh air and live conversations with friends who are not exposed to COVID-19 and have complied with social distancing/isolation the past couple weeks. Lastly, I engage in daily mindfulness techniques, a skill set I am enhancing so I can teach my clients in the counseling arena about the benefits of mindfulness with competence and confidence.

I was determined at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to not let the news and media affect my mental health well-being, because so often, stress and anxiety can be accumulated from consuming excessive news and media (which I have personally witnessed among my family and friends). No pun intended, but anxiety is a strand of virus that feeds the fear in us. All in all, I think that isolation is subjective, and it is my responsibility to generate a meaningful and productive day, one day at a time.

Living in Isolation as an Extrovert


Dr. Michele Kerulis

I am a social butterfly so having a mandated stay-at-home order feels very confining for me as an extrovert. I feel very fortunate that I am used to working from home. This experience allows me to feel 100% confident in my ability to work from home for prolonged periods.

What is difficult for me during this time is having my stress management tools taken away without advance notice. Part of my self-care routine is attending yoga classes, going to the gym, and participating in sporting events, many of which have been canceled. My gyms are closed so the routine of separating myself from work and going into a different environment to wind down from my day is no longer an option.

Each year, I look forward to seeing my colleagues at counseling conferences where we come together as a community and celebrate our amazing mental health field. Like falling dominos, we watched our community conferences canceled, one after another. I was devastated to learn I would not be able to see my fellow professors and counselors, as we frequently share ideas about how to continue providing for our students and clients. I was looking forward to providing a keynote address to my colleagues and helping to decrease the stigma related to seeking counseling services.

Like many helpers, I was shocked at the magnitude of the pandemic and I wanted to know what I could do to help. I know that I must care for myself if I want to be effective at caring for others. What I have done during the stay-at-home order is committed to a daily schedule to help create a sense of normalcy during these chaotic times. I suggest that people continue as if they were going on with their pre-pandemic routines as best they can. For me, this includes completing morning hygiene tasks, making a cup of coffee or tea, attending to work responsibilities online, and exercising. I take breaks throughout the day and connect with people. I call, text, and have Zoom video chats with friends, colleagues, and loved ones. I enjoy simple things like watching animal videos online, participating in home workouts from Pinterest, and looking at beautiful photos. I find that these simple, enjoyable things help decrease stress.I know that I must care for myself if I want to be effective at caring for others.

I have also turned off the TV and have asked specific people in my life to inform me of pandemic updates if/when my community status changes. I believe the oversaturation of media coverage is not healthy for society. Instead of overindulging in repetitive media posts and stories, I think it is more effective for people to come together as a community (while maintaining social distance) and to follow the recommendations of trusted health authorities like the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Until the pandemic subsides, we must have faith in ourselves to keep living our day-to-day lives so we can be effective counselors and teachers.

Citation for this content: Counseling@Northwestern https://counseling.northwestern.edu/, the Online Master of Arts in Counseling Program from The Family Institute at Northwestern University

Yakima County Emergency Mgmt Seeks Donations of Protective Gear

From KNDO/KNDU in support of Yakima first responders and healthcare workers:

Yakima County Office of Emergency Management asking public for donations of protective gear for frontline workers during COVID-19 outbreak

The Yakima County Office of Emergency Management urged the public this week to donate protective gear to frontline workers during the OCIVD-19 outbreak.

The organization stated there continues to be a shortage of supplies and are asking the public to provide homemade gowns, gloves, masks, face shields and more.

People can drop off donations at the following locations:

Valley Mall/2529 Main St, Union Gap, WA 98903 from Monday, April 13th to Wednesday, April 15th.

Grand Cinemas/3400 Picard Pl, Sunnyside, WA 98944 from Thursday, April 16th to Friday, April 17th.

Management stated people donating have to stay in their cars at each donation drop off as a staff member will pick up the items.

Alt-Market: How To Protect Yourself From Long Term Pandemic Lockdown

How long with the lock downs last? Hint: X-axis is in months, not weeks.

Brandon Smith at Alt-Market has an article on protecting yourself during what he believes is sure to become a long term pandemic lockdown – How To Protect Yourself From Long Term Pandemic Lockdown. Certainly he is not the only person to express that this will not be over in just a couple of weeks, and there is much to back him up.

It has been only two weeks since widespread pandemic lockdowns were implemented in the US and as expected the public is not handling the idea very well. Within one week there were already frantic demands for the economy to reopen by Easter (spurred on by Donald Trump), and mass delusions have developed that this is still going to happen despite the fact that lockdown guidelines have been extended to at least April 30th. People desperately want to believe that this will all be over in a matter of weeks.

Many governments continue to perpetuate this fantasy by using very carefully worded terminology. For example, the phrase “two weeks of hell” is being consistently repeated by the media after Trump uttered the notion a few days ago. In Italy, a Milan official sees lockdowns now continuing for 2-3 more weeks. In Spain, the public was left with the impression that two solid weeks of quarantine and lockdowns would help stave off infections, yet the government extended the restrictions for…yes, you guessed it…another two weeks.

Why are these announcements always in two week intervals? I suspect it is because this the maximum amount of days before the average person begins to register the passage of time in their minds in a new situation. After two to three weeks of going without certain comforts and habits, people tend to adapt and find different ways of doing things. And, after two to three weeks of crisis, they might wake up and recognize the situation is not going to get better…

Are we just supposed to sit back and become slaves, dependent and clamoring for a meager UBI check every month?  I think not.

So, the question is, what can we do about it? As I have been saying for well over a decade, the solution is to decouple from the system and build our own. But what does this mean specifically?

Step 1: Start Providing Your Own Essentials

Essentials include water, food, shelter and security. Without these four things no human can live for very long. If a person can provide these things for himself, then he will never be beholden to anyone, including a domineering government.

I suggest starting small and expanding. Build a water collection source, or drill a well if you own property. Turn your yard into a garden, even if you live in the suburbs. In fact, your entire neighborhood should be growing gardens right now, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise should be dissuaded from their attempts to control what you do on your own property. This means establishing neighborhood security and no longer relying on local law enforcement.

It’s one thing to store essentials in case of emergency, it’s another to become a producer and ensure your survival for the long term.

Step 2: Organize For Mutual Aid And Defense

Each neighborhood or town should be working together for security as the system continues to collapse, which means establishing radio communications and small patrols to ward off looters. In New York alone, major crimes are up 12% as the lockdowns ramped up.  In many municipalities in the US, law enforcement is not responding to most calls involving assaults, break-ins and robberies.  Organization at this time is paramount; the more organized you are the more of a deterrent you represent to people who would seek to take what you have. Most predators are cowards; when given the choice between a strong target and a weak target, they will invariably choose the weak target.

The common argument against organization is that the “nail that sticks up will be hammered down”. I would remind people that the nails that are willingly hammered down will be stepped on forever. Nobody wants to step on a nail that sticks up. That hurts.

Predators, including predatory and totalitarian governments are, at bottom, weaklings. And their weakness will become apparent the moment they face an opponent that actually refuses to back down due to fear.

Step 3: Establish Barter Markets And Black Markets

As noted in previous articles, the primary goal behind this pandemic is to use it as a rationale for controlling all commerce. If you do not have the proper “green code” from the government indicating you are “free from infection”, then you are not allowed to participate in the economy. No job, no grocery stores, no public gatherings, etc. This is happening right now in places like China and South Korea and according to elitists like Bill Gates and others it is coming to the US soon, make no mistake.

The only way to counter such control is to not need the mainstream system at all. Localized barter markets need to be established, and if they outlaw those, then you need to set up black markets. Trade and production must continue or humanity as we know it will die. It will be replaced with a centralized socialist hive system that will crush all liberty, and this is unacceptable. Localization is the key to our survival.

This means that the public must make and active effort to save themselves through their own innovation instead of waiting around for government to save the day…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Alt-Market.

TIWIKB: Lessons Learned in the Time of Coronavirus

Lessons Learned in the Time of Coronavirus comes from the Things I Wish I Knew Before blog. The article relates some lessons learned in the earlier phase of the pandemic growth in the US.

I’m home with my family this morning, following guidelines for self-isolation and social distancing. It is so surreal, but here are the actionable items that I’ve learned so far from living in the time of coronavirus. Most of us will survive the coronavirus, and this is why these learnings are important to me.

Photo credit: forbes.com

#1 Respond at the first hint of trouble, not at panic time

Determining what constitutes as “the first hint of trouble” is open to debate, but I will say that I responded somewhere in the middle between “the first hint of trouble” and “panic time.”

I went to Costco two weeks ago and decided to purchase some stocking supplies. It was more crowded than usual and I could see a number of carts filled with an irregular amount of certain supplies. However, it was still a manageable crowd. I should have thought of precautionary preparation when the first case of coronavirus was diagnosed, rather than when I actually did. After all, there’s no downside to acting earlier.

A few days ago, I went back to Costco for some allergy medicine and it was panic time. The parking lot was almost full before the store even opened. The allergy medicine I wanted was out of stock, as were all of the panic items (paper towels, toilet paper, rice, pasta, disinfecting wipes, rubbing alcohol). Shoppers were elbow to elbow (great for our minimum 6ft social distancing requirement) and I am now hearing online reports from our neighbors of the continual crowds at all the local grocery stores.

#2 Always have 3 months worth on hand

Why 3 months worth? Well, I’m not sure that’s the correct number, but basically you want to be self-sufficient for some period in the event that you become isolated (due to say coronavirus, store closures, insufficient stock, or a major disaster renders everything unavailable to you except for your home (don’t forget to pack your emergency bag for when your home isn’t an option either).

Here’s what I should have had 3 months worth of:

  • Food (that we would actually eat – not random cheap stuff for emergencies)
  • Household supplies (paper products, cleaning, and disinfecting supplies)
  • Toiletries (soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.)
  • Medications (common OTC items like cold and allergy medicines and prescriptions)
  • Protection supplies (disposable gloves, garbage bags, plastic bags, N95 masks, face masks )

I wasn’t able to get some of these items during the current panic time. What I should have done is just gradually amassed 3 months worth of the above items like a regular consumer in the months/years prior and thereafter, just replenish stress-free any items that dipped below the 3-month threshold.

If you don’t have enough room where you live, stockpile whatever amount is realistically maintainable in your available space. If organized purchasing is not your strong suit, use an inventory list – there are many online options to help…(continues)

Keep reading at Things I Wish I Knew Before by clicking here.

Rainier Redoubt: Prepare For At Least Six More Months of Social Distancing

As the virus spread has appeared to slow in Washington state, it’s easy to begin thinking that things may return to normal soon. Here’s Rainier Redoubt talking about why that may not be so, Prepare For At Least Six More Months of Social Distancing and Stay-At-Home Orders.

On March 24, 2020 we asked the question COVID-19, When Will It End? In this blog post we suggested that it pays to start planning for strong social distancing for at least the next six months.

On April 2, 2020 Washington State Governor Jay Inslee extended end date of the state’s “stay-at-home” order from April 6th to May 4th.

On April 6, 2020 the Govenor and the state Superintendent of Public Instruction, Chris Reykdal, announced that both public and private schools in Washington would remain closed for the remainder of the school year. The school year in Washington normally ends in mid-June, so this adds an additional six weeks of school closuers beyond the current end date for the state’s stay-at-home order.

As of April 6, 2020 there were 1,346,299 confirmed cases of COVID-19 world-wide, with at least 368,000 of those cases being in the United States. State and Federal governments must weigh the risks of the spread of the COVID-19 virus and perhaps a million deaths, against a complete collapse of the economy with millions of people out of work and small businesses never being able to recover from the financial loss.

The government must decide at what point it is medically safe to allow businesses to reopen and to lift restrictions on social distancing. Even if the government removes these restrictions prior to October 2020, we still strongly recommend caution in your social interactions through at least the end of the year.

COVID-19 is not going to just suddenly disappear. Until an effective vaccine and treatment are developed and distributed there will be a significant health risk from the virus.

In the absence of a vaccine, cure, or massive testing and quarantine, lockdowns and stay-at-home orders will need to last for months. However, the US faces a unique challenge because only half the states have adopted aggressive intervention, and done so at varying times. Even if these states achieve control or containment, they may be vulnerable to contagion from other states that were late to do so. (SSRN)
According to an article in Business Insider, Ultimately, experts say that social-distancing measures will be necessary until we have a vaccine, and that’s 12 to 18 months. But that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re all in our homes for 18 months, it means maybe we’re avoiding public gatherings for that amount of time or limiting the amount of travel internationally, but it’s not necessarily as restrictive as what we’re seeing now.

Click here to read the entire article at Rainier Redoubt.

See also The Organic Prepper – We Won’t Be Getting “Back to Normal.” Not Soon. Not Ever.