I’ve become what I hate

No, I am not a believer; I am a rather open atheist. But there is some wisdom in religious texts and I turn to Romans, 7:15:

15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. “

(ok, taken out of context just a bit but it will do)

I used to hate the “hall monitor.” And now, as I look at social media and see some of the risks some are taking, including those who claim to take the virus seriously, ….and when some of these get the virus and describe the effects….well, some thoughts I should just keep to myself, though I have little sympathy for our “leaders” who disregarded the rules and got it (example, example)

It appears that “follow my example” type of leadership is obsolete.

Now there ARE some examples of outrageous behavior:

But when a regular person gets it: there are many factors, most of which are unknown to all but a handful: maybe they got infected at work by a jackass like the one in the above video, maybe it was that low probability event infection; maybe it was from another family member or careless member of the bubble, etc. Our failure is really collective:

“Structural issues are, almost by definition, much harder to fix than simply asking people to do the right thing. It’s easy and cheap to yell at people for getting together for Christmas — especially when they really shouldn’t be doing it. Closing down bars and supporting them economically, in turn, requires both political and financial capital.”

But, back to me. The itch to judge others harshly is strong. After all, MY life is disciplined.

1. I am employed with the option to work remotely.

2. I have health insurance.

3. I have no kid living at home; only an elderly spouse.

4. I have no strong family pressure, and if I did, I am enough of an @sshole to just cut them out. I have the means and job to be reasonably self-sufficient, and well, the number of people I actually like is limited. I can “do without” support from people who insist on making unreasonable demands. In fact, if anything, this pandemic has relieved me of having to socialize.

5. I have the internet; I’ve enjoyed bantering with social media friends.

So, the “do not judge” and “walk a mile in another person’s shoes” is good medicine for me; be helpful when I can (among other things).

But to let you know what *I* do…exactly…so you know that I am “walking the walk”:

A sum total of what I do outside the house:

a. work from my solo office (really just me and I close the door)

b. walk outside on sparsely traveled streets and sidewalks.

c. Grocery/drug store run when needed (brief, only necessities)

d. Take out food; quick in and out and eat at home.

e. Doctor visits (not many; one as a support person)

f. A brief, (1 hour) socially distant visit with a bubble buddy (who has tested negative and is herself, very careful)

g. Blood donations (and I get antibody tests)

That’s it: TV sports, books, zoom meetings, home gym and walks/runs.

Yes, there is my spread. Basement needs to be redone but I won’t do that until the gyms have opened (safely opened) and I have a place to workout while it is getting redone).

Covid: our sorry response.

There is plenty of blame to go around. One is our tepid government response:

“The truth, as Covid-19 has shown us, is this individualistic approach doesn’t work well for public health (even if it does serve us well in other areas). The alternative to not taking collective action is more death. The countries that have done the best against Covid-19 — including Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and, to a now lesser degree, Germany — all approached the issue collectively, leveraging government aid and public health systems to let people stay home without losing as much income or health insurance, to test and trace infections, and, when necessary, to close down to stop the spread.”

Individual response? Sure, we were pretty bad here but:

“Despite that, officials across the country have by and large resisted shutting down again. Many of them, instead, have cited another culprit for Covid-19 spread: private gatherings. New York, for example, put out a PSA to stop “living room spread,” and the state published data suggesting households and private gatherings are driving 74 percent of coronavirus spread.

It’s true private gatherings and households are driving some transmission. Most experts agree Thanksgiving dinners likely led to a surge on top of a surge, and similar Christmas and New Year’s events likely will too.

But that’s why at least some experts believe there’s a need for more focus on systemic action, not the individualistic approach. “People, in general, are horrendous risk assessors — we’re awful at assessing risk,” Daniel Goldberg, a medical historian and public health ethicist at the University of Colorado, told me. “I hate to say people can’t be trusted, but.”

There are other problems with this framing. For one, the New York data doesn’t separate within-household transmissions from social gatherings — so the 74 percent figure includes someone spreading Covid-19 to the husband he lives with (not as avoidable) and someone spreading the virus to someone he invited over for drinks one night (very avoidable). This also only includes the cases that New York could actually contact trace, and it’s much easier to trace transmission between family and friends in a household than strangers in a bar.

The big problem, though, is that there’s nothing unusual about Covid-19 spreading among people who live together. It’s typical for the bulk, even the majority, of the transmission of any disease to happen within households. If you’re infected, the people you live with or come into close contact with at home are simply likely to get it too. That’s how pathogens work. What matters most, though, is where that virus originated from in the first place.

To put it another way: People couldn’t infect others in their homes if they hadn’t picked up the coronavirus in bars, restaurants, or other public spaces. So if these places weren’t open, individual choices to gather — including over Thanksgiving and Christmas — would be of far less concern. There would simply be much less virus out there jumping from person to person.”

Yes, the onus is on us when the government is so weak, but then again, people aren’t going to follow directions, though it might be easier to do so if the government, well, plaid businesses to stay closed and payed people to stay home.

Of course, too many “leaders” set dreadful examples.

And, this kind of thing sickens and kills remotely. If you need a spreadsheet to see it, your emotional response won’t be as strong.

But the vaccines are on the way. That is great news, but we’ll still need to social distance and wear masks for a while. Why? Well, if a vaccine is 95 percent effective, it means that one is far LESS likely to get sick with an exposure. But if exposure goes up, that increases the chances of getting sick. The idea is that we need BOTH less vulnerability to getting sick once exposed AND less exposure.

Too many Americans have this idea that measures such as masks and vaccines are perfect instead of risk mitigators. (witness the stupid “why do you care if I am not wearing a mask if you are wearing one” remarks).

There is good news though: fewer new cases today than in the past few months; hopefully this is not mere “statistical noise.”

Post one: workout

I call this photo: “reducing the concavity of my demise curve.” That is, I am try to slow the rate of my decline.
Yes, I am at an age where this inspires me..and NOT in a “aw, look how cute Granny is” but more …damn, she is nice looking and STRONG. (genuinely). Ok, adding all of those “oversized but really not that heavy” bumper plates to that trap bar lift is for show. Yes, she does pull ups..and on her Instagram feed she admits to putting a bench to come to rest on between reps.

Ok, what about my own (less impressive) workout? (and I might make an adjustment)

pull ups: 4 sets of 5 (quality sets) with hip hike/rotator cuff recovery.

bench press: 10 x 134, 2 sets of 3 x 184 (brief pause), 2 sets of 4 x 170, 1 set of 5 x 165

trap bar squats: 1 set of 10 x 134 neutral, 2 sets of 10 x 134 deficit (technique)

shoulder press :3 sets of 10 x 48 (up 4lb); seen above, 1 set of 5 x 102, 1 set of 5 x 96 barbell

rows: 3 sets of 10 x 134 trap bar

back outside: 1 set of 10, 4 sets of 5 pull ups (to get to 50 reps total)

push ups: 50, 20, 10 (50 maybe too sloppy?) Was a bit fired up about jury notice..I got it deferred to June when COVID might be a bit down.