Not an event I would want to celebrate, but this entry completes a full year of BLOG records chronicling experiences during the declared Coronavirus Pandemic. Ouch.
Shockingly, the large accounting of many (not all) the events recorded below occurred or became visible within just the last 4-5 weeks. These are indeed Troubled Times.
And it all started with us needing “just fifteen days to flatten the curve.”
The year was busier than ever and filled with more social upheaval and woes than most I can recall. The only positive… we have not yet (from the US) started another war. Oddly, we recently ramped down a couple but now are perhaps becoming more tentative with this position.
So, lets consider a few positives before rolling out the record of troubles and events that have emerged in this last month.
I recently returned from a first-time Ice Fishing trip to the Northern Midwest. Enough catches to enjoy results and an opportunity to fish with friends and relatives in frozen, sparsely populated local farming landscapes, featuring occasional abandoned homesteads and spectacular clear-sky sunsets.
Ice was two feet thick and established a base for the truck to shield us from chilling (feels like, -6 F) winds and provide the transport for occasional Fishing Hut (Tent) assembly and propane heaters. The only human sounds were ice augers preparing fishing holes and very occasional vehicles driving onto the lake.
The ice itself booms and clicks all day long as it forms and reforms with changing light and winds.
Even occasional, cold dry-air nosebleeds did little to detract from the experience.
Recent San Francisco Bay sailing outings featured a few private sailboats and some occasional motorboat traffic, depending on the day. Weekends now increasingly attract sparse and distant vessel groupings and individual boats making occasional passing’s, while the weekdays remain largely deserted.
The Bay itself has become surprisingly busier with commercial traffic. Fewer tankers but now more container ships anchor South of the Bay Bridge for later passage up to Richmond or into Alameda and Oakland docks, respectively. The customary point-to-point ferries busily crossing the Bay are long-since gone; their rare sightings transport the very few early morning commuters or end-of-business-day workers returning from the City.
In the last several weeks I made a couple of post sunset night runs into the Bay and along the San Francisco waterfront. These proved both picturesque and haunting, brightly illuminated yet chilly moonlight trips much appreciated by occasional passengers that came along.
In my hometown Santa Cruz, the local surfers are now enjoying larger, more prolific Winter waves. Weekenders and visitors are fewer in the water and surfers move along cliff roads on customized, board-carrying bicycles with little annoyance from far less numerous parked cars.
Weekends feature occasional High School and other surfing tournaments at Pleasure Point where locals huddle about the cliffs surrounding organizers’ tents, watching skilled competitors scything through the waves.
And now to the meat of this record. The Hodge Podge of local, National and Global events…
Firstly, Texas has been in the wars with freezing temperatures and power outages variously blamed upon excessive new solar and wind conversions, iced-up wind turbines, snow covered solar panels and various other frozen equipment. Opinions of the root problems continue to be offered.
What is certain is that residents I know reported local farm food, dairy and produce shortages which persisted for weeks and cannot fully recover for many months. Chickens froze, spoiled unpasteurized milk was poured away and harvests were entirely lost in a rare frozen wonderland.
A group of attorneys in Germany want to criminally prosecute “politicians and media people” for unnecessary inflammatory language and actions taken regarding the pandemic.
On a personal note, I returned from my Midwest travel expecting my scheduled 2nd Moderna vaccine shot to find supplies were unavailable to proceed at my (2 hr. drive away) local (Sutter Healthcare) provider in Modesto. Either the Sutter Systems blew up, CA States’ system failed, the Providers failed to input availabilities correctly, or Blue Shield’s oversight of the entire operation belatedly inserted by Gov. Newsome) caused a catastrophic reset or, all-of-the above. Who knows?
Lots of finger-pointing here. My arm awaits a 2nd shot, hopefully BEFORE the CDC (currently) recommended 42 days lapse between injections.
Mississippi, Texas and some other States are 100% re-opening, advising any concerned or at-risk citizens to use their learned mask and distancing protocols as and if they see fit to protect themselves and family. Even Vegas is looking to open their shows and facilities sooner than later.
There has been sad, high-level mudslinging between the President and relevant Governors in criticism of these moves towards economic recovery.
Some parts of the UNITED States are at a vastly different end of the spectrum in relaxing COVID Constraints. It is required to quarantine when you fly into NY, LA and SFO. San Francisco has no visible enforcement, but New York pursues arriving (even Domestic) passengers with check-in calls and multi-page forms for completion and submission. Not clear about LA, but I suspect inevitable local mismanagement might ease burdens for travelers despite the heavy COVID-19 prevalence in LA County and its immediate surrounds.
Alaska and Georgia never announced Statewide mask mandates. Many places like North Dakota waved enforcing such measures and some 11 other States never required mask wearing at any time.
New York is already planning passports for vaccinated people to visit large arenas and gatherings. The airline industry is screaming for uniform globalization of such a scheme.
It will be tough and restrictive for some time for those declining vaccination to travel around. Canada has long-since hinted at restrictions upon the unvaccinated and Australia insists no citizen will leave or enter the country without a vaccination; their entry quarantine procedure is very rigorous and managed, while inland there are no masks required, nor are there any real instances of COVID.
England (and much of the UK) is still in hard lock-down with “next month” and “Summer” hopes for people mixing outside of their Social Bubbles, Restaurants and Public Facilities re-opening and the carrot of Holidays to be had. Their draconian public constraints have resulted in ugly pandemic stats quite like those of (say) Sweden who enacted very few restrictions and sports quite similarly miserable results within their much smaller Country.
Most of the Globe (and US) has already or is currently emerging from a spike in infections and deaths.
It is difficult to miss the fact that heavily locked-down States often fare as badly or even worse than those that are much less restrictive. It is noticeable that densely populated regions (big cities, especially) do very poorly when people are forced indoors in proximity with others; this, a result of the close confinement itself, or just signaling an increased need for groups of people to be separated?
The French Delegation Chair is wanting to prosecute current Globalist President Macron for trying to “sneakily re-introduce last minute mail-in voting” when it was outlawed and made illegal there in 1975 for being commonly known as so blatantly open to voter fraud (“too easy to cheat”). Go figure.
Next, Cancel Culture is so rampant that even President Macron of France has very publicly condemned it, asserting the French do not need or want the virulent behavior prevalent in the US spilling into their Culture and Universities. And France already has a particularly colorful history of rebellion, demonstrations, social unrest and rioting.
You cannot make this up: Harvard Business School recently cancelled a Speaker who was to talk on Cancel Culture, “because someone complained.”
Having recently seen the works of Shakespeare, Dr. Seuss and numerous books (i.e. “Of Mice and Men,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “Tom Sawyer” etc.) cancelled for various reasonings and by varied authority, I am at loss to comment further, but rather offer this YouTube video for your amusement and consideration
Policies of the new US Administration have resulted in a crisis of illegal immigration and activities at the Southern border. MSM is not reporting the calamity but reality is leaking out as numbers of illegal entries grow and openings of new confinement facilities continue.
The situation is claimed to be challenging but being handled. In 2015 the Obama administration (Biden was part of the Commission) declared that >1k/day illegal Southern Border crossings are the Definition of a crisis. The CDC is already admitting 3-4k/day are routine and some sources report as many as 6k/day.
Media visits to the border have been prohibited by the Administration over concerns about COVID. Correspondingly, there are reports of hundreds of illegals being admitted and routinely released into the US who are known COVID positive.
As part of this there is a visible explosion of unaccompanied minors at the border, driving the (re) opening of facilities (one with a reported capacity for 13k people) shuttered under the Trump administration. Illegal immigration exploded over 300% in the Rio Grande Valley <6 weeks after implementation of the new Administration’s policies.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared a State of Emergency and deployed National Guard, DPS, Marine, Ground and Air force assets to self-protect citizens from problems tied to illegal entry, human trafficking and various drug cartel activities growing in the Lone Star State.
And when will the COVID pandemic all be over? I have read credited expert opinions for the US projecting a return to normal ranging from early this Summer to perhaps a year from now. Some say never and others say the virus and annual boosters will be with us for years to come.
President Biden just suggested he hopes things will be approaching normal a year from now. Many politically Left-Leaners want to rock the pandemic into 2022 mid-term elections. It has often been stated that the COVID Pandemic was the best thing that ever happened for Biden’s career; a chilling thought.
The head of CNN is on-the-record announcing that the pandemic is very good for business as witnessed by the viewing numbers he enjoys.
As for the impish Dr. Fauci, he seems to have gradually worn out his welcome. This inevitably happens to all those who are over-exposed, anyway. But his recent statements that the virus is “not a big deal,” doesn’t inspire confidence in those infected (or deceased) and he is now routinely credited as being “often wrong” with his stated goals and projections for COVID.
The fact that the overly sensitive and seconded primary testing method to identify POSITIVE COVID cases worldwide is finally widely acknowledged as reporting 90% false positives is not helping public perception and confidence in reporting on and understanding of this Coronavirus.
Personally, I AM incredibly happy to hear the current belief that the chances of dying of COVID-19 after just ONE injection of any vaccine (Johnson & Johnson, Astra Zeneca, Pfizer or Moderna, so far) is essentially ZERO. Of course, this is from a medical community that sadly does not know for just how long an injection is effective, OR if annual boosters will certainly be required. 😉
Locally, the much-despised CA Gov. Newsome will probably be recalled as the desired 2 million signatures are currently secured with only 1.5 million required. Him being photographed dining indoors a couple of times and sending his children to private schools while CA education, dining and business is in general lockdown will not help him. A new (Hollywood) wife hell-bent on his Presidency, his cocaine habits of record and fraudulent personal grabs of COVID relief funds do not make him a point of light in the community. This, even without considering his troubling Spending practices and Policies.
I witnessed a young, voting age girl hesitate to sign for his recall without an explanation of if this was a Liberal or Conservative issue. It should be an issue of integrity and competence, but that ship has obviously sailed.
In reality, being recalled and facing a Special Election may still not be enough (in CA) to oust even this hypocritical, and incompetent blot on society.
They say that gas prices jumped 63cents/gallon in the first 6 weeks of the new Administration. Shutting pipelines, thereby destroying accompanying infrastructure and prohibiting oil drilling will do that, along with loosing about 1.5 million US jobs though 2022. The good (?) world news is that those losses here will be gains for other countries in both jobs and revenues as that oil WILL be replaced (with environmentally dirtier practices) in other parts of the world. BTW- I just paid $3.96 for a Gallon of Regular in a (less expensive) 76 Gas Station in Silicon Valley, CA; reports suggest $4.00/gallon across the US by Summer.
It looks like NY Gov. Cuomo will be held to some level of account for knowingly driving COVID cases back into nursing homes. I personally recall that advisers and medical professionals were “pleading” with and screaming” at him NOT to do this BEFORE it was ever implemented. He apparently chose the medical lobbyists over these pleas despite well-known Nursing Home deficiencies in PPE, Training and Facilities issues having been visibly consequential across the world (in Italy and Spain) and even within the early US cases in Washington State.
The man was lavished with TV Awards and accolades when this was public knowledge and in plain sight. It was actively and deliberately ignored by the (MS) media as they created their darling.
This is the same man who cried wolf demanding 40k ventilators (he had previously chosen not to purchase) and multiple new hospitals. I recall about 7-8k ventilators ultimately being required while 5 purpose-built hospitals went wholly unused. But the cover-up on the deaths… firstly, to avoid Government scrutiny and then again to facilitate his now stalled book publication, is despicable.
With the seven (currently and counting) sexual harassment (and assault?) claims added on top he is failing to control the investigations even in this deep blue State. His career and methodology of intimidation and threats has been exposed. And yet as he inexplicably refuses to abdicate, I wonder how all this will pan out?
I must believe that NY residents who lost parents and loved ones, out-of-sight and alone in those doomed homes will want his head on a spike. I would, wouldn’t you?
It should be noted that four more Governors (3-D, 1-R) willfully pursued the same policy of returning confirmed COVID cases into Nursing homes. One of these (Gov. Whitmer, MI) is already aggressively preventing access to relevant records to aggrieved parties in her home State. This dam might eventually burst, too.
On a lighter note, the Privacy-Seeking (possibly, soon-to-be Exiled 😉), uber-privileged Sussex Royals of California interviewed with Oprah and a support group of 17 Million American viewers. Essentially, they called out the British monarchy as racist; not helpful if you head a Commonwealth community of >>I Billion people and live in the UK with a massively mixed population of racially diverse immigrants.
The Sussex’s are not popular there and have failed to advance their case for likeability. Markle herself (an ex-TV soap actress) has a long series of documented predatory behaviors, ambitions and reported histrionics she seeks and needs to nullify. Good luck with that when there are US reports of her advising PR staff their goal is to help her become the most influential person in the world.
There has been (more than) 1500 years of the English Monarchy. Armada’s have lined up offshore, overhead bombers have destroyed cities and British armies have campaigned across the Globe. I suspect this veiled grasp for more benefits and acknowledgement with zero personal effort will fade quite quickly into the past, but the fickle world of Cancel Culture and instant global opinion can be dangerous.
And troublingly, nobody would make such claims without a complete, planned and targeted strategy backed with a desire for real material harm and/or personal gain.
Still other personalities have come into focus…
Australians are mercilessly hammering Biden’s cognitive decline and have aggressively commented on his frail campaign performances deteriorating further since the Inauguration. They noted his (unelected and so wholly unempowered) wife stepping in to shield him during botched answers regarding an immigration crisis question and the reopening of a (Trump) facility on the US Southern Border. The Australian press is not under the control of the US MSM.
The Pope was in Iraq supporting persecuted Christians who are suffering in greater numbers now than in any other time in history. He opined that bloodshed and War are incompatible with Christian values.
And Law Enforcement has been under constant pressure from early 2020…
Minneapolis is willingly trying to fund new police recruits after their self-admitted failed defunding moves. Portland is seeing violence levels not witnessed in 25 years and Oakland are topping National murder charts along with Chicago and a string of others.
This is good point at which to think HAPPY THOUGHTS. 😊
Even the President of Germany (Angela Merkel) is calling for the restoration of Trumps Twitter accounts, citing that the suppression of Free Speech has become too profound and unlawful. A collaboration of US publishers has coalesced to prevent any-and-all publication of Conservative ideology, particularly from the previous Administration. Students of history will note historical similarities to events in the Third Reich preceding WWII.
Cancel Culture and the eradication of persons (such as Donald Trump) tends to have a backlash, often worse than if no action were taken. Pendulums swing back and the eradicators are often vilified to a greater degree than those they persecuted. Time will tell.
The NBA has chosen to side with China and NOT roil their largest Market. They are backing Chinas play to line their pockets.
The fact remains that China has subdued the rights of Hong Kong residents by establishing law that allows them to take anyone back into Mainland China that they determine is not compliant with their laws and philosophies. There were massive protests growing in Hong Kong throughout 2019. So, China moved in and subdued the populace. This was condemned all over the world and the US (and others) imposed sanctions on Hong Kong and China as a result.
NOTE: Hong Kong was returned to China by Britain (after their Treaty expired) almost 25 years ago as a Capitalist enclave and a Global Market Financial Center.
One NBA GM mentioned solidarity with Hong Kong’ers and the NBA ended up kissing Chinas rear-end so as to not have their broadcasting and merchandising rights pulled from the Mainland by the CCP.
In addition, China has three (3) million ethnic minority Uyghurs imprisoned. Although the one child Chinese Policy is officially gone, Beijing commonly has Uyghur women forcibly sterilized after two births. The CCP does not like or want this ethnic minority around. This policy is also denounced all over the world as the blatant Human Rights violation which it is.
These are not the only Chinese Rights violations and Imprisonments. It is THIS China the NBA defends and will not speak out about in any form.
The NBA has seen its domestic viewership collapse through 2020 because of activism. It’s convenient and privileged allegiances with China simply do not bear moral scrutiny.
Continuing with the theme of RIGHTS…
For better or worse we recently celebrated International Womens Day with Biological Girls being newly forced to share Bathrooms, Sports and Teams with Boys. Some folks are placated, some happy, others are saddened and angered.
We are becoming a Nation that satisfies the needs of all. We operate to the LOWEST COMMON DENOMINATOR. After all, the more lowered are the expectations of a populace, the easier they are to control, direct and use.
To this end Boston has just eliminated Advanced Placement Classes. Apparently, they are too white and too Asian. The argument here would be: Do not raise things UP to joint advantage, rather bring everything DOWN to instant commonality.
Let me paraphrase in the modern vernacular how the somewhat now-cancelled Thomas Jefferson might perceive this current world of chaos…
Cities are Blue.
Rural is Red.
If Socialists rule
you’re better off dead.
It seems that the House has been barreling countless partisan bills to pile-up in the Senate with little hope of review or passage. The only practical reason to actively build the logjam and waste Congressional resources in such desperate times is if the endgame is the ultimate removal of the filibuster, regardless of current refusals to do so. Otherwise, what shocking Government waste.
The latest ($1.9 Trillion) Partisan COVID Relief bill passed through Congress. Less than 9% is earmarked for Relief and <1% is set aside for vaccinations. I heard braggadocio; self-congratulatory claims were made about the removal of a $100 Million pork earmark targeted for a San Francisco Subway. Let me explain math. Even such a massive sum is inconsequential with respect to the total burdensome tab.
Mental health issues in teenagers (particularly) have skyrocketed. Self-harm and overdoses increased 91-100% over the last year. Young people are proving “especially vulnerable to mental health issues related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.” There is NOTHING in the $1.9T COVID Relief Bill to address this issue.
There will be States preferentially baled-out with these funds from decades of mismanagement that precede the pandemic; money and pet programs for the boys with weighty and consequential debt for the people.
Too many Handouts make Citizens convenient Wards of Government. And eventually, the checkbook must be balanced.
I am certain we all hope for many just and appropriate inclusions in the $1.9T bill that will address Infrastructure, Social Issues and make worthy Repairs. Fingers crossed. Have trust in Government.
However, the warnings that the US is headed for economic collapse have begun; they are more frequent and numerous than usual. Certainly, the new Administration has spooked investors and broad-based market fluctuations are now underway. My limited personal aspiration is simply that the current incumbents neither start a War nor Collapse the Markets. What desperate and little requirements to have of Government.
At least the Capitol building is now safe, enshrined behind encircling razor wire barriers, mysteriously and inexplicably still guarded by thousands of troops. Had known early warnings of expected unrest simply been heeded, this situation would never have occurred; incompetent security management abounds at all levels yet remains predictably and largely unacknowledged.
It is time to think MORE HAPPY THOUGHTS. 😊
Georgia is now acknowledging and pursuing some 35 affidavits filed regarding Voter Fraud in the last Presidential election. Many States are passing laws and reviewing their Voting practices. It seems that few will raise their voices high for fear of being cancelled.
There were >1,000 more Affidavits filed about the 2020 election. Little profound investigative legal action is visible on this front, though Congress is pushing radical partisan Voting Laws that (currently) cannot stand Senate scrutiny. Action seems late for what has passed and yet contrived for what is to come.
On a different note, I typically receive email notifications of 3-4 wholly inappropriate, but available professional nursing jobs each day. Google has hiccupped on my behalf. Certainly not the caliber of relevant snooping and personal targeting one has come to expect. 😉
The Daily News looms over the Pandemic, fraught with misery and misdirection. When everything feels mired with gloom, I restore my personal faith in the World by listening to Pavarotti singing Puccini’s Nessun Dorma. Try it on YouTube. It really does inspire.
How are you bearing up under the weight of Local, National and International News? Making any time to recharge your batteries? Are you helping friends and family navigate this stressful era?
It might be wise to set aside some personal time and make plans for mentally recharging. Give it a try.