We are going to get another spike …I think…

But I sure hope that I am wrong.

First, the pleasant stuff: I walked for 1:58:30 this morning; I cut short my original 5.3 mile loop to..what turns out to have been a 4.2 mile loop due to too much coffee. That took 1:02. Then back out for another 3+ which turned out to be 3.6 to get 7.8 for the day (15:20’ish pace).

What was amusing: a lady was walking ahead of me on Heading (other side of the street) and I passed her..she saw me..and proceeded to break into a run to get ahead of me. I was amused (yes, she had on leggings without a long shirt). Sadly, she turned off just a bit ahead else the “friendly’ (?) competition might have spurred me into more effort.

Then I gave platelets

And here is what I noticed: the first time I went into the Red Cross this year, you just walk to the desk, then they took you into the room where they had interview booths and the machines.
Two weeks ago, you had to get a temperature reading at the front desk.
Today: you get in the outer doors and ring a bell; someone takes your temperature before they let you in the next set of double doors, where the desk is. It gets more serious with each time I visit.

During the interview, the medic told me that he was shocked that so many STILL think it is either a hoax or overblown.

We are going to get a second spike; COVID-19 isn’t going to go away because we are bored.

I’d have to do some research. Some of my friends in Austin, TX say that some businesses are still deserted even after the “open up” order. Others are probably like what is shown.

I think that, despite my article that has polls saying that most Americans think that we are rushing it..well, I can see a divide.

My guess, not based on actual observation but based on things like the morons complaining about the COSTCO mask requirement…anyway, I *think* that we will see a greater and greater divide among Americans.
The “it is a hoax/overblown” crowd will do things like this:

Fortunately, I don’t work in such places and I have the luxury of shopping from home and being selective as to which places I get takeout from. Tonight: everyone getting takeout had a mask on.

And yes, as you can see above, I DO get out and about but there is a difference between living in a bubble and taking a foolish risk in a super crowded store or restaurant.
Good Lord; my dad fought in Vietnam twice..which is a bit higher sacrifice than, say, doing without going into a crowded public area.

And I “get” much of the conflict…

First of all, I have not been that productive since online teaching has ended. Yes, I have stuff to grade that will trickle in, but I have to kick myself into writing up some ideas that I have.

About the workout, I do have a note about my right knee.

first, I walked a bit more than 3 miles…enough so I can count yesterday’s 6.9 at 7. So: 5, 4, 5, 7, 3 = 24 so far this week.
Then to the weights: rotator cuff, warm up squats, pull ups: 10, 5, 5, 10, 10, 5, 5,
Bench: 10 x 132, 5 x 176 (hard), 5 x 171, 5 x 171
shoulder presses with 44: 3 sets of 10 (seated, supported)
goblet squats to the chair: 3 sets of 6
trap bar dead: 6 x 184, 6 x 206, 5 x 217 (taking care of the knees)
note: I took my shoes off for the 6 x 184 and felt it in my right knee..again. So I put them back on and had no difficulty. The foot angle makes a difference


The painting above is called “same storm, different boat” (or “different ship”).

And I understand some of the complexity.

Yes, COVID-19 isn’t as lethal as some others, but imagine 10,000 infected people spreading it to 20,000 (r = 2). That 20,000: you’d expect perhaps 100 deaths (at 0.5 percent mortality) and perhaps again as many to suffer long term to permanent complications. Now imagine a sniper killing 100 and wounding 100: do we say “meh, most are ok?”

And so, governors give orders and, well, they really didn’t have the time to be super careful and to craft a careful bill that the state congress can vet and improve.

So, some areas might be locked down more than necessary.

Some essential businesses might take advantage (e. g. a big box store that sells groceries might sell other things that smaller, non-grocery stores cannot sell.

And among the non-essential businesses: some might have great floor plans and safety procedures whereas others might be infection hot spots waiting to happen, and both are treated the same way.

By nature, there will be unfairness and resentment…and yes, the government might be quick to impose restrictions but slow to provide help, if it helps at all.

It sucks. And good people can disagree.

Now I am NOT saying that some aren’t total idiots.

And complaining about mask/customer respect policies …really?

So yeah, some are acting terribly and I have little patience with them; I’ve blocked and muted a lot of people on social media.

COVID 19 tearing our country apart…or is it?

First the workout:

I decided to walk early before the public got to the park. There were a few there; I did some 15:50’ish paced walking (4 miles in lower Bradley Park)
Then: rotator cuff
pull ups: 10, 5, 5, 10, 5, 5, 5, 5 (sets of 10 were usual grip, all but final 5 were with chin-up grip)
bench press: weak: 10 x 132, 4 x 176, 5 x 171, 5 x 171
seated shoulder: 3 sets of 10 x 44 (supported)
hex bar row: 3 sets of 8 with 134
hex bar deadlift (squat really) 3 sets of 5 x 184, being careful with my knees; felt light. Ok, it was.

I am out of sorts but hey, I need to establish a new normal after the grading is over.

Society I think the news of some businesses defying the executive order (and I will NOT patronize them, even after the order is over) and the wack jobs protesting at state capitols and some of the very noisy MUH FREEDUMS got me to thinking that I am pretty isolated in my fear that we might be moving too quickly toward reopening.

Evidently, there are “more of us” that I realize:

Apparently most Americans are not eager to think of themselves as warriors—or are simply wise soldiers, with strategy as their strength. A poll from The Washington Post and the University of Maryland released yesterday finds that eight in 10 Americans oppose reopening movie theaters and gyms; three-quarters don’t support letting sit-down restaurants and nail salons reopen; and a third or less would allow barber shops, gun stores, and retail stores to operate. An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll last week found similar numbers: Nine in 10 Americans don’t think sporting events should have crowds without more testing; 85 percent would keep schools closed, and 80 percent would keep dine-in restaurants shut. There is no significant difference in views between residents of states that have begun loosening restrictions and those that have not.

This uniformity is a sharp departure from the totalizing logic of the Trump era. In perhaps the most extreme example, a small majority of Republican respondents told YouGov last year that Trump was a better president than Abraham Lincoln. That result fit the general pattern, while these results do not.

These numbers don’t seem to match exactly what I see; I do see many going into stores without masks..well, SOME stores. It almost seems that those who “look like” Trump voters don’t care; other places: the mask seems to be what everyone does.

We’ll see.

I just fear we’ll get a local spike and I won’t get to teach in person this fall.

How to get me aboard with reopening efforts

First, let’s dispense with the misconception that US COVID-19 death rates are inflated. Yes, hospitals might have financial incentive to declare a death to be by COVID-19 (e. g. someone has terminal cancer, gets COVID-19 and dies…was that really COVID-19?)

But what we can do is to look at our usual death rate at this time of the year as a baseline and compare current deaths (just total deaths..no matter the cause) to that baseline.
And you get something like this:

Death rates are way up over baseline, at least in many locations. Yes, I know, there is going to be some statistical fluctuation and what we have is really a confidence interval of how many “extra deaths” we have. So you don’t have to take the “lying media” or “lying government’s” word for it. Note: this is from April 11….

So, how to get back to normal?

My opinion, as a non-expert: my worry is the spread. Yes, most who get it won’t be that harmed by it, but as long as the disease is spreading, the greater number of physically vulnerable will get caught up in the spread, and, though we know risk factors (age, smoking, obesity) we still don’t quite understand why some get so harmed (and killed by it) and why others aren’t. And, we don’t have a good way of identifying the vast majority who might be vulnerable..it isn’t just the super old, super sick, etc.

IF we can identify those better so that we can, say, pay the working age people some sort of pandemic unemployment so that they don’t feel the need to take unnecessary risk to work and if we can get a good treatment so that the worst cases aren’t so severe, then sure…lets start to open it up again.

I fully accept that as a 60 year old, I’ll have to be more careful and have less freedom than younger people. I can live with that; this is not a “if I can’t do it, neither should you” sort of thing.
And sure, life has risks; I would like the COVID-19 risk to be on the order of “driving to work” type of risk. It is way more than that now.

For me, that’s the thing: identify those who have unacceptably high risk (say, has high as “drunk driving”) and find a way to protect them and provide financial assistance while pandemic is still a problem.

And I’ll say something else: if a business defies orders and reopens, I am done with them. I just did that with one store I used to patronize regularly…including getting a delivery order.

Some of what we are doing vs COVID-19 is probably unnecessary. But I’ll do it anyway because

Well, here is the deal: this virus jumped from animals to humans a few months ago and while our best scientists are working feverishly on this, we still don’t know.
It is highly contagious and is lethal to a small but significant percentage of our population, and it will put many into the hospital, thereby overwhelming our capacity.

So we need to “flatten the curve” in the sense that we can’t have too many sick at one time, and we need to keep the most vulnerable from getting it at all.

And we need to buy time to see what mix of vaccines and social policy (such as the test, quarantine and trace that Korea used) will make our society reasonably safe again.

So, yes, there are probably things we are doing right now that constitute an overreaction. But..we don’t know which things are essential and which are unnecessary so we need to do them all (following then principals of slowing a pandemic) until our scientists and public health officials can figure out a smart strategy, appropriate for the conditions AT THAT TIME.

And those might mean the “hammer and dance.”

Never quite caught up

Review lessons up. Zoom meetings set up. Syllabus set up…now just missing the new lessons, all of which will be typeset. I am going to be busy.

I’ve thought about our situation some and here is what is a bit different for me: “flatten the curve” keeps our medical system from being overwhelmed and gives scientists time to study the disease and develop things like vaccines, protocols, etc.

But the reality is that I live with a highly vulnerable person; there will be no “herd immunity” for her. If she gets it: bad news.

And ..well, this article is interesting. It talks about how we got here: a combination of the novelty of the virus (recently jumped from animals to humans), the incompetence of our current government ..and this:

Aspects of America’s identity may need rethinking after COVID-19. Many of the country’s values have seemed to work against it during the pandemic. Its individualism, exceptionalism, and tendency to equate doing whatever you want with an act of resistance meant that when it came time to save lives and stay indoors, some people flocked to bars and clubs. Having internalized years of anti-terrorism messaging following 9/11, Americans resolved to not live in fear. But SARS-CoV-2 has no interest in their terror, only their cells.

Years of isolationist rhetoric had consequences too. Citizens who saw China as a distant, different place, where bats are edible and authoritarianism is acceptable, failed to consider that they would be next or that they wouldn’t be ready. (China’s response to this crisis had its own problems, but that’s for another time.) “People believed the rhetoric that containment would work,” says Wendy Parmet, who studies law and public health at Northeastern University. “We keep them out, and we’ll be okay. When you have a body politic that buys into these ideas of isolationism and ethnonationalism, you’re especially vulnerable when a pandemic hits.”

So..what will happen?

It’s likely, then, that the new coronavirus will be a lingering part of American life for at least a year, if not much longer. If the current round of social-distancing measures works, the pandemic may ebb enough for things to return to a semblance of normalcy. Offices could fill and bars could bustle. Schools could reopen and friends could reunite. But as the status quo returns, so too will the virus. This doesn’t mean that society must be on continuous lockdown until 2022. But “we need to be prepared to do multiple periods of social distancing,” says Stephen Kissler of Harvard.

This appears to be the optimistic outcome.

How boring my “usual” life is

I’ve been MORE active than normal online. But some of that has been professional, some has been via zoom, etc.

Much of it: I’ve been spending time getting resources for students and making adjustments to my courses.

I’ve done some bland errand running (groceries, drug store, take out food) and the last “inessential” thing I did was a pick up on exercise equipment, which I plan to assemble today. By the end of the day, I should be able to do just about every exercise at home, save incline and decline bench presses. I’d added bar dips and curls and bent over rows..and power cleans. In good weather: clean and presses. And, of course, runs and walks. Workout updates below.

Society: Ideally, we’d like to drive down the cases while learning more, so that we can then do “the dance” with the virus: be able to respond effectively to minor outbreaks.

Will that happen? Ugh…we are so divided and Republicans are still skeptical. I am fortunate in that I tend to associate with liberals. And yes, I know…even at its worst, the virus will NOT kill us all, but it would kill a small percentage of a very large country, in part, due the virus itself, and in part due to other sick people (sick from other things) not being able to get care from an over-taxed medical system.

Some people are warming to Trump’s handling of the cases. But remember the norm is to really rally around the President, (like we did around W after 9/11) and that is not happening.

Workout update: yesterday: 6.4 mile walk (1:44..very slow walk)

Life goes on, with me or without me

Here, some stores have curbside service but even these might have to close. I do use takeout for meals. But with those exceptions, I am basically following the “stay at home” guidelines shown here.

Wednesday: I diligently assembled my pull up bar…incorrectly, but then fixed it. There is a slight rock (they recommend bolt-down) but using loaded dumbbells as counter weights really helps.

I also am doing dumbbell presses outside; our porch ceiling is high enough to allow for that, even during rain.

And I do bench presses, power cleans, curls, dead lifts, hex bar rows in the basement.

So, here is what I did, workout wise, over the past couple of days:

Wednesday: 6.4 mile run…very slowly…Cornstalk hill plus lower loop; 1:28 ish. I’ve really gotten slow…then assemble equipment (racks, pull up bars)

Thursday: yes, I got a great deal on this bench (150 dollars!)

But I did my own workout first:

rotator cuff and back exercises. (I forgot to plank…better work on that)

pull ups: 10-(5-5)-10-(5-5)-5-5 (the 5-5 sets were when I changed grip)

dips: 4 sets of 5 (getting used to it)

shoulder press with dumbbells: 3 sets of 10: 40, 44, 44, 1 of 5 (44) for photos

goblet squats: 3 sets of 6 with 58 (decent depth)

bench press: experiment: 10 x 134, 5 x 156, 5 x 167 (had the spotter)

rows: 3 sets of 6 x 134 (hex bar)

power clean: new 25 lb bumper plates: 3 sets of 5 x 94

curls: 3 sets of 5 with 55? (22/4.4 on each side)

I am still working things out.

Working the polls

Yes, we got 17 percent (390 out of 2300 or so) turn out at my polling location (CH 05-09) Chillicothe Public Library but early voting was heavy.

And that is one sanitized hand.

I was up at 3:15 am; went to bed just before 10 pm, and was at the polling station from 4:50 (set up) to 8:00 (tear down). 390 voters showed up (mostly Republicans) though among the D’s, Biden beat Sanders 39-19.
It was a bit of a mess all around. We had a few wipes and a lot of sanitizer …library donated hand sanitizer.

Off to run, and put stuff together…should be a good comedy show.

Ok, about this COVID-19: what is the strategy?

Our stated strategy is to take “social distancing” measures to as to “flatten the curve” (that is, to delay when the peak occurs and to make the peak lower than our health system capacity.

How it works.

Evidence from past outbreaks of other pandemics.

How to effect social distancing.

However, the UK is taking a somewhat different approach. While they are attempting to shield the most vulnerable, they are actually hoping enough people get it to establish “herd immunity” (60 percent getting it)

They’ll institute more stringent isolation measures in time (so they hope) to NOT overwhelm their health care system. But they want to avoid a “second peak” when the measures go away..which Japan might be experiencing right now:

March 12. We were supposed to be traveling to Britain next week to look around universities with Molly, but this is not the best time to travel. Vacation canceled. At least the hotels are all refundable.

March 13. On hold to Expedia for three hours to cancel flights — the line goes dead. Repeat two more times. I try calling All Nippon Airlines. On hold for one hour — success. Flight fully refunded.

March 15. The sun is shining and people are outside. Chinatown is as busy as I have seen it in two months. The chestnut seller and fortune tellers are back. It feels good. Until I consult the NHK website: Japan just set a record daily high in new infections, with 63 fresh cases.

Are people relaxing too soon?

The mathematics of the model:

And the standard “SIR” (Susceptible, Infected, Recovered) model.