Coronavirus Updates

Update 5/27/2020:  Confirmed cases 5,876,936 with 360,648 fatalities. The US has 1,766,762 cases with 103,296 fatalities. Washington state has 21,526 cases with 1,104 fatalities. WA state announces new measures for nursing homes and farm workers. Franklin County, WA child diagnosed with coronavirus-related inflammatory illness. Tri-cities, WA Independence Day fireworks canceled; Pasco Grand Ol’ 4th parade canceled.  Around 25% of the entire US workforce is now jobless, but continuing claims have fallen from 25 million to 21 million, indicating that some business activity is picking up. South Korea reinstates some social measures after recording its largest single day increase in cases in nearly two months.

Update 5/27/2020:  Confirmed cases 5,763,756 with 355,996 fatalities. The US has 1,742,758 cases with 101,887 fatalities. Washington state has 21,368 cases with 1,092 fatalities. Benton Franklin Health District has 1,265 confirmed cases, 287 probable cases, and 81 fatalities. Yakima Health District has 3,252 cases with 87 fatalities. New cases in Richland, WA jumped 15% over the past week. Sixteen inmates and staff infected in Connell, WA prison. Grant County, WA 2020 fair cancelled. Brazil has over 399,600 cases and over 25,000 fatalities. India and Peru are rapidly increasing case numbers, adding over 6,000 per day. The Intercept reports that scientists believe that anti-viral medication Remdesivir does not help Covid patients.

Update 5/26/2020:  Confirmed cases 5,684,684 with 352,223 fatalities. The US has 1,725,275 cases with 100,572 fatalities. Washington state has 21,209 cases with 1,086 fatalities. Benton Franklin Health District has 1,251 confirmed cases, 295 probable cases, and 78 fatalities. Yakima Health District has 3,123 cases with 87 fatalities. In the US over 11,000 cases have been tied to meat packing plants; updates on these outbreaks are being suppressed, according to the NY Times, in order to alleviate bad news. US pork production capacity expected to return to 90% by August. Yakima County, WA coroner says that suicide rate has increased 30% during pandemic. The Indian Council of Medical Research has found that consuming the drug hydroxychloroquine reduces the chances of getting infected with Covid-19, and so will expand its use.

Update 5/21/2020:  Confirmed cases 5,188,924 with 334,059 fatalities. The US has 1,620,204 with 96,282 fatalities. Washington state has 20,013 cases with 1,049 fatalities. Benton Franklin Health District has 1145 confirmed cases, 271 probable cases, and 77 fatalities. Yakima Health District has 2684 cases with 79 fatalities. Michigan begins allows gatherings of ten or fewer people. A quarter of Americans say they won’t take a coronavirus vaccine. CDC warns that Covid-19 is cyclical and outbreaks in the southern hemisphere will return to the north later in the year. US pork production up to 81% and beef production up to 85% capacity. Brazil has moved into the spot for third most cases.

Update 5/20/2020:  Confirmed cases 5,058,629 with 328,254 fatalities. The US has 1,588,260 with 94,773 fatalities. US DHS extending border closures through 22 June. The continent of Africa now has over 88,000 cases, with the virus spreading to all 54 countries. Ford Motor Co shut down two plants shortly after re-opening because of new cases. Leaked Pentagon memo warns coronavirus pandemic could last until summer 2021. China is worried that a new mutation may be spreading in the northeast; patients there are carrying the virus longer and taking longer to test negative.

Update 5/19/2020:  Confirmed cases 4,982,762 with 324,523 fatalities. The US has 1,570,470 with 93,521 fatalities. Washington state has 19,639 cases with 1,029 fatalities. Benton Franklin Health District has 1116 confirmed cases, 263 probable cases, and 75 fatalities. Yakima Health District has 2517 cases with 77 fatalities. Washington state’s Yakima County may not move into phase 2 with the rest of the state because of growing cases. An Oregon judge declared the state’s restrictions “null and void” but the state supreme court has temporarily reinstated the restrictions pending review. Russia has the second most cases with 299,941 cases. Brazil has moved into fourth with 271,885 cases, and will likely pass Spain for third tomorrow.

Update 5/17/2020:  Confirmed cases 4,793,076 with 316,341 fatalities. The US has 1,524,542 cases with 90,902 fatalities. U.S. health secretary says no spikes, yet, in locations that are reopening. Fed chairman says economic recovery may depend on vaccine. Russia takes over second most cases spot.

Update 5/16/2020:  Confirmed cases 4,716,928 with 312,902 fatalities. The US has 1,507,773 cases with 90,113 fatalities. Washington state has 19,211 cases with 1,015 fatalities. Benton Franklin Health District has 1080 confirmed cases, 257 probable cases, and 72 fatalities. Yakima Health District has 2349 cases with 76 fatalities. Santiago, Chile imposes lockdown as cases rise. US says it will restore 10% of its funding for WHO. American foodbanks experience 70% increase in number of persons seeking food assistance since crisis began. Tree Top temporarily shuts down Selah, WA plant after second employee tests positive. Washington state retracts requirement for restaurants to collect customer info. Brazil enters top five countries for cases after adding nearly 15,000 cases. Russia set to move to second most tomorrow.

Update 5/15/2020:  Confirmed cases 4,617,176 with 307,988 fatalities. The US has 1,481,834 cases with 88,400 fatalities. Washington state has 18,901 cases with 1,008 fatalities. Benton Franklin Health District has 1056 confirmed cases, 256 probable cases, and 72 fatalities. Yakima Health District has 2308 cases with 76 fatalities. Washington state delays unemployment payments after $1.6 million in fraudulent claims for covid jobless benefits. Yakima County commissioners seek more local control of business reopenings. Americans drinking more during lockdown and defying bans on public drinking to let off steam and help local businesses. Brazil adds over 15,000 new cases, and should pass Italy to land in the top five worst countries for cases by tomorrow. Continue reading “Coronavirus Updates”

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.

Mint Press: The Attack on Civil Liberties in the Age of COVID-19

Rhode Island National Guard Military Police direct a motorist with New York license plates to a checkpoint, March 28, 2020, David Goldman | AP

Constitutional attorney John Whitehead writes about The Attack on Civil Liberties in the Age of COVID-19 at Mint Press. It is important to reflect upon whether the government is taking actions for which it has the authorized power in perilous times like these. There have been many calls on the federal government to take actions for which it has no Constitutionally delegated authority – like national quarantines. State governments have more power, but still limited by their own constitutions – a reason why Washington State, for example, recently passed a constitutional amendment to provide for broader emergency powers. That being said, during this pandemic, some people have taken the absurd approach that if the government is requiring you to do something, and you believe that requirement is unconstitutional, then you it is your duty to do the opposite. For example, because you believe that a statewide stay at home order is an unconstitutional exercise of power, you may deliberately gather with others to protest. This is akin to shooting yourself in the head because the government makes suicide illegal. Just because a particular exercise of power is not constitutionally sound, the underlying requirement may still be the wise course for people to take, and indeed may be your duty as a responsible citizen to take. Protest the illegality, but not by getting people killed.

You can always count on the government to take advantage of a crisis, legitimate or manufactured.

This coronavirus pandemic is no exception.

Not only are the federal and state governments unraveling the constitutional fabric of the nation with lockdown mandates that are sending the economy into a tailspin and wreaking havoc with our liberties, but they are also rendering the citizenry fully dependent on the government for financial handouts, medical intervention, protection and sustenance.

Unless we find some way to rein in the government’s power grabs, the fall-out will be epic.

Everything I have warned about for years—government overreach, invasive surveillance, martial law, abuse of powers, militarized police, weaponized technology used to track and control the citizenry, and so on—has coalesced into this present moment.

The government’s shameless exploitation of past national emergencies for its own nefarious purposes pales in comparison to what is presently unfolding.

Deploying the same strategy it used with 9/11 to acquire greater powers under the USA Patriot Act, the police state—a.k.a. the shadow government, a.k.a. the Deep State—has been anticipating this moment for years, quietly assembling a wish list of lockdown powers that could be trotted out and approved at a moment’s notice.

It should surprise no one, then, that the Trump Administration has asked Congress to allow it to suspend parts of the Constitution whenever it deems it necessary during this coronavirus pandemic and “other” emergencies.

It’s that “other” emergencies part that should particularly give you pause, if not spur you to immediate action (by action, I mean a loud and vocal, apolitical, nonpartisan outcry and sustained, apolitical, nonpartisan resistance).

In fact, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been quietly trotting out and testing a long laundry list of terrifying powers that override the Constitution.

We’re talking about lockdown powers (at both the federal and state level): the ability to suspend the Constitution, indefinitely detain American citizens, bypass the courts, quarantine whole communities or segments of the population, override the First Amendment by outlawing religious gatherings and assemblies of more than a few people, shut down entire industries and manipulate the economy, muzzle dissidents, “stop and seize any plane, train or automobile to stymie the spread of contagious disease,” reshape financial markets, create a digital currency (and thus further restrict the use of cash), determine who should live or die…

Click here to read the entire article at Mint Press.

See also Aesop of Raconteur Report’s response to claims of never ending government tyranny related to Covid.

…”Objection: Assumes facts not in evidence, i.e. that a temporary quarantine will become a decades-long boondoggle.

Reductio ad absurdum Fallacy, 20 yard penalty and loss of possession.

And I observe FTR that people crying about something that’s not yet three weeks old as though it will go on endlessly are children who were never spanked, sent to bed without their supper, or told to wait for any form of gratification…(continues)

NY Times: Official Counts Understate the US Coronavirus Death Toll

From the New York Times, Official Counts Understate the US Coronavirus Death Toll

A coroner in Indiana wanted to know if the coronavirus had killed a man in early March, but said that her health department denied a test. Paramedics in New York City say that many patients who died at home were never tested for the coronavirus, even if they showed telltale signs of infection.

In Virginia, a funeral director prepared the remains of three people after health workers cautioned her that they each had tested positive for the coronavirus. But only one of the three had the virus noted on the death certificate.

Across the United States, even as coronavirus deaths are being recorded in terrifying numbers — many hundreds each day — the true death toll is likely much higher.

More than 9,400 people with the coronavirus have been reported to have died in this country as of this weekend, but hospital officials, doctors, public health experts and medical examiners say that official counts have failed to capture the true number of Americans dying in this pandemic. The undercount is a result of inconsistent protocols, limited resources and a patchwork of decision making from one state or county to the next.

In many rural areas, coroners say they don’t have the tests they need to detect the disease. Doctors now believe that some deaths in February and early March, before the coronavirus reached epidemic levels in the United States, were likely misidentified as influenza or only described as pneumonia.

With no uniform system for reporting coronavirus-related deaths in the United States, and a continued shortage of tests, some states and counties have improvised, obfuscated and, at times, backtracked in counting the dead.

“We definitely think there are deaths that we have not accounted for,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, which studies global health threats and is closely tracking the coronavirus pandemic.

Late last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance for how to certify coronavirus deaths, underscoring the need for uniformity and reinforcing the sense by health care workers and others that deaths have not been consistently tracked. In its guidance, the C.D.C. instructed officials to report deaths where the patient has tested positive or, in an absence of testing, “if the circumstances are compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty.”…

Click here to read the entire article at NY Times.

Medium: What Everyone’s Getting Wrong About the Toilet Paper Shortage

Will Oremus has written an article at Medium.com on What Everyone’s Getting Wrong About the Toilet Paper Shortage, pointing out that it has little to do with so-called hoarding. The fact is that people actually are using more toilet paper at home. There are similar problems with dairy products. With everyone staying at home and mostly eating at home, consumption of milk, butter, eggs, etc. is higher at home, now.

round the world, in countries afflicted with the coronavirus, stores are sold out of toilet paper. There have been shortages in Hong Kong, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. And we all know who to blame: hoarders and panic-buyers.

Well, not so fast.

Story after story explains the toilet paper outages as a sort of fluke of consumer irrationality. Unlike hand sanitizer, N95 masks, or hospital ventilators, they note, toilet paper serves no special function in a pandemic. Toilet paper manufacturers are cranking out the same supply as always. And it’s not like people are using the bathroom more often, right?

U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar summed up the paradox in a March 13 New York Times story: “Toilet paper is not an effective way to prevent getting the coronavirus, but they’re selling out.” The president of a paper manufacturer offered the consensus explanation: “You are not using more of it. You are just filling up your closet with it.”

Faced with this mystifying phenomenon, media outlets have turned to psychologists to explain why people are cramming their shelves with a household good that has nothing to do with the pandemic. Read the coverage and you’ll encounter all sorts of fascinating concepts, from “zero risk bias” to “anticipatory anxiety.” It’s “driven by fear” and a “herd mentality,” the BBC scolded. The libertarian Mises Institute took the opportunity to blame anti-gouging laws. The Atlantic published a short documentary harking back to the great toilet paper scare of 1973, which was driven by misinformation.

Most outlets agreed that the spike in demand would be short-lived, subsiding as soon as the hoarders were satiated.

No doubt there’s been some panic-buying, particularly once photos of empty store shelves began circulating on social media. There have also been a handful of documented cases of true hoarding. But you don’t need to assume that most consumers are greedy or irrational to understand how coronavirus would spur a surge in demand. And you can stop wondering where in the world people are storing all that Quilted Northern.

There’s another, entirely logical explanation for why stores have run out of toilet paper — one that has gone oddly overlooked in the vast majority of media coverage. It has nothing to do with psychology and everything to do with supply chains. It helps to explain why stores are still having trouble keeping it in stock, weeks after they started limiting how many a customer could purchase.

In short, the toilet paper industry is split into two, largely separate markets: commercial and consumer. The pandemic has shifted the lion’s share of demand to the latter. People actually do need to buy significantly more toilet paper during the pandemic — not because they’re making more trips to the bathroom, but because they’re making more of them at home. With some 75% of the U.S. population under stay-at-home orders, Americans are no longer using the restrooms at their workplace, in schools, at restaurants, at hotels, or in airports.

Georgia-Pacific, a leading toilet paper manufacturer based in Atlanta, estimates that the average household will use 40% more toilet paper than usual if all of its members are staying home around the clock…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at Medium.com

Here is a video of a dairy farmer of Wagner Farms, talking about dairy item shortages and supply chains.

Organic Prepper: How to Survive Uncertainty About the Future

From Daisy Luther at The Organic Prepper, What Will the Future Bring? Here’s How to Survive the Uncertainty

…Three months ago, we all had dreams, goals for the future, or at least some idea of what the upcoming year would hold for us.

I’ll bet none of us even considered on New Year’s Eve that we’d spend the first half (at least) of the year dealing with a deadly pandemic. Heck, I sat on a balcony in a little seaside village in Montenegro, toasting the new decade with a friend and some Jack Daniels, watching fireworks over the Adriatic Sea, and planning what European destination I’d be heading to next.

It probably never crossed anyone’s mind that there’d be some crazy new virus that nobody had ever heard of which would leave us under the equivalent of house arrest for months. Few of us imagined that suddenly, over the course of just a few weeks, more than ten million Americans would suddenly become unemployed.

Dreams have been shattered.

Goals have been put aside.

Lives have been lost.

Everything has changed.

And nobody knows what the future will hold.

A lot of the things we do know are horrible.

How utterly terrifying to know that we’re all likely to lose somebody we love to this virus or to a medical condition that would have been survivable if the local hospital hadn’t been overflowing with COVID patients.

We know there’s nary a roll of toilet paper to be found in a huge swath of the United States. We know that our supply chain, if not broken, is at the least, badly bruised. We know that if a person we love goes into the hospital with COVID-19, there’s a frighteningly large chance they may never come out again unless it’s in a body bag. We know that medical professionals in New York City don’t even have personal protective equipment to keep themselves healthy while they try to keep people alive. We know that yesterday in the state of New York, 23 people died every hour of the day from the coronavirus that has destroyed the world as we know it.

We nearly all know people who have been laid off. Maybe it’s someone in your family. Maybe it’s you. And if you haven’t yet lost your job, are you waiting for that hammer to drop? We all know of businesses that aren’t going to make it through months of this shutdown.

We know people who couldn’t pay their rent this month. We know people who pulled it together this month but won’t be able to pay May’s rent if this lockdown should continue. We know it’s so bad that the government has said landlords can’t evict tenants in many states – which means the landlords may not be able to pay their mortgages.

We may not know much right now, but we know that the economy is a f*cking disaster.

And we have no idea when this current purgatory will end…

We’d all like to think that one day this will suddenly be over. The kids will return to school. We’ll go back to our offices and our commutes. We won’t be struggling over money anymore. Life will return to the pre-COVID days.

But is this the healthiest way to look at the situation?

Spending all your time looking forward to the day when this is over is an exercise in frustration because nobody knows when that will be. And more than that, nobody knows what “normal” is going to look like when all the lockdowns are over. A lot of things will never be the same.

You can help yourself by learning to adapt now to changed circumstances. This will help you learn to live with the new normal, whatever that turns out to be. Major events are bound to cause major and long-lasting changes. This has happened throughout history.

In reality, the things we’re experiencing right now, while not necessarily easy, aren’t so bad. Things will probably get worse before they get better, but eventually, some form of “better” will come.

Your ability to adapt is indicative of your ability to survive. So let’s get through this lockdown and keep our mindsets positive.  Let’s get through the part that comes next.

Then, eventually, we’ll come out on the other side, ready to tackle the new normal, whatever that ends up being like…(continues)

Click here to read the entire article at The Organic Prepper.

Buchanan: When It’s Over, Will We Be the Same America?

From Pat Buchanan, When It’s Over, Will We Be the Same America?

“Depend upon it, sir, when a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully,” said Samuel Johnson.

And as it is with men, so it is with nations.

Monday, Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, projected some 100,000 to 200,000 U.S. deaths from the pandemic, “if we do things almost perfectly.” She agreed with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s estimate that, if we do “nothing,” the American dead could reach 2.2 million.

That 2 million figure would be twice as many dead as have perished in all our wars from the American Revolution to the Civil War, World War I and II, and Korea and Vietnam.

This does indeed concentrate the mind wonderfully.

Now add to this slaughter of our countrymen a market plunge steeper than the 1929 Crash and a 1930s-style Depression. Wall Street analysts are talking of a wipeout of 30% of our GDP and unemployment reaching 35%.

What a difference a month can make.

On March 3, Super Tuesday, we were caught up in the 14 primary contests after Joe Biden’s stunning victory in South Carolina, which broke the momentum of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wins in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

What March 2020 produced and what it appears to portend is a sea change in U.S. history, an inflection point, an event after which things never return to what they were.

The coronavirus crisis seems to be one of those epochal events that alter the character of the country and the course of the republic.

Consider what has happened in three weeks.

The Republican Party, the party of small government and balanced budgets, approved with but a single dissent a $2 trillion emergency bill. There is talk now of a second $2 trillion bill, this one for infrastructure.

In a single month then, a Republican Senate and president grew the federal budget by 50% and are looking to double that.

For years, Democrats raised alarms about Trump’s poaching of the powers of the other branches. Now Democrats are demanding to know why Trump has not shut down the economy by presidential decree and not used his latent dictatorial powers to order U.S. companies to produce what the nation’s hospitals demand.

Democrats who long accused Trump of xenophobia and racism for seeking to close the borders to migrants entering the country illegally are now silent as Trump closes America to the world.

First Amendment free press champions are calling for Trump’s White House briefings not to be carried on TV because the president is spouting propaganda and lies. The problem: The people are watching and approving of what the media think the people ought not see.

If people in a crisis will jettison lifelong beliefs like this readily, how enduring will their professed belief in democracy itself prove?

The president thinks this will be a V-shaped recession, that once the economy hits bottom and turns up, it will soar, as in 1946 when pent-up demand from World War II was unleashed and America began to churn out cars and consumer good as rapidly as it had weapons of war.

Perhaps. But put me down as a skeptic. You can’t go home again. The shattering events of March, followed by what is coming in April and May, will have lasting impacts on the hearts and minds of this generation.

That once-insatiable appetite for Chinese-made goods at the mall — will it really return? Will Americans, after having “socially distanced” for months from family and friends, be reassured of their safety and pack into restaurants in July?

Observing the carrier Theodore Roosevelt in Guam offloading scores of sailors infected with coronavirus, will Americans be up for a clash with a China that is even today asserting its claims to the South China Sea?

Will Americans who survive this crisis care whether Iranian-backed Shiites dominate Iraq or Saudi-backed Sunni prevail in Yemen?

If March shocked this nation as severely as 9/11, what is coming may be even more sobering.

Are millions of unemployed workers without the cash to pay for or to find medicine and groceries likely to stay indoors for weeks or months?

All those criminals being given early release from virus-infested jails and prisons without the means to provide for themselves and their families, how will they react to weeks of mandatory sheltering in place?

Will MS-13 and its thousands of members, and its rival gangs that live off narcotics sales, comply?

Americans have done well in staying home in March. Will they do so through April, May and perhaps June? Or will the system gradually break down just as the second wave of the virus in the fall appears?

In times of crisis in America, there is a tradition of self-sacrifice.

But there have also almost always been not a few whose mindset is that of the Fort Lauderdale spring-breakers.

Business Insider has a more rosy view, 10 ways the coronavirus pandemic could change American life as we know it

The Federalist: What Will America Look Like After The Wuhan Coronavirus?

Politico: Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently

WA Benton-Franklin Health District: Wear Masks in Public!

From KIMA news,

Benton-Franklin Health District leaders are now advising people to wear face coverings while in public to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Health leaders say medical grade masks should be saved for first responders and medical staff members.

Health officials say something as simple as a scarf would be acceptable to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Experts say the mask, or cloth, can be an added layer of protection for people.

Health leaders say people should also continue to use social distancing guidelines and not leave their homes with the exception for essential activities.