COVID-19 Is Just A Virus

I’m sharing this from a cousin (Facebook). He’s a lawyer and a smart man.


I shared this from a friend. Excellent read:

Chicken pox is a virus. Lots of people have had it, and probably don’t think about it much once the initial illness has passed. But it stays in your body and lives there forever, and maybe when you’re older, you have debilitatingly painful outbreaks of shingles. You don’t just get over this virus in a few weeks, never to have another health effect. We know this because it’s been around for years, and has been studied medically for years.

Herpes is also a virus. And once someone has it, it stays in your body and lives there forever, and anytime they get a little run down or stressed-out they’re going to have an outbreak. Maybe every time you have a big event coming up (school pictures, job interview, big date) you’re going to get a cold sore. For the rest of your life. You don’t just get over it in a few weeks. We know this because it’s been around for years, and been studied medically for years.

HIV is a virus. It attacks the immune system, and makes the carrier far more vulnerable to other illnesses. It has a list of symptoms and negative health impacts that goes on and on. It was decades before viable treatments were developed that allowed people to live with a reasonable quality of life. Once you have it, it lives in your body forever and there is no cure. Over time, that takes a toll on the body, putting people living with HIV at greater risk for health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, diabetes, bone disease, liver disease, cognitive disorders, and some types of cancer. We know this because it has been around for years, and had been studied medically for years.

Now with COVID-19, we have a novel virus that spreads rapidly and easily. The full spectrum of symptoms and health effects is only just beginning to be cataloged, much less understood.

So far the symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Pneumonia
  • Chills/Trembling
  • Acute respiratory distress
  • Lung damage (potentially permanent)
  • Loss of taste (a neurological symptom)
  • Sore throat
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Mental confusion
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Strokes have been reported in some people who have COVID-19 (even in the relatively young)
  • Swollen eyes
  • Blood clots
  • Seizures
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Rash
  • COVID toes (weird, right?)

People testing positive for COVID-19 have been documented to be sick even after 60 days. Many people are sick for weeks, get better, and then experience a rapid and sudden flare up and get sick all over again. A man in Seattle was hospitalized for 62 days, and while well enough to be released, still has a long road of recovery ahead of him. Not to mention a $1.1 million medical bill.

Then there is MIS-C. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children is a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs. Children with MIS-C may have a fever and various symptoms, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes, or feeling extra tired. While rare, it has caused deaths.

This disease has not been around for years. It has basically been 6 months. No one knows yet the long-term health effects, or how it may present itself years down the road for people who have been exposed. We literally do not know what we do not know.

For those in our society who suggest that people being cautious are cowards, for people who refuse to take even the simplest of precautions to protect themselves and those around them, I want to ask, without hyperbole and in all sincerity: How dare you?

How dare you risk the lives of others so cavalierly. How dare you decide for others that they should welcome exposure as “getting it over with”, when literally no one knows who will be the lucky “mild symptoms” case, and who may fall ill and die. Because while we know that some people are more susceptible to suffering a more serious case, we also know that 20 and 30 year olds have died, marathon runners and fitness nuts have died, children and infants have died.

How dare you behave as though you know more than medical experts, when those same experts acknowledge that there is so much we don’t yet know, but with what we DO know, are smart enough to be scared of how easily this is spread, and recommend baseline precautions such as:

  • Frequent hand-washing
  • Physical distancing
  • Reduced social/public contact or interaction
  • Mask wearing
  • Covering your cough or sneeze
  • Avoiding touching your face
  • Sanitizing frequently touched surfaces

The more things we can all do to mitigate our risk of exposure, the better off we all are, in my opinion. Not only does it flatten the curve and allow health care providers to maintain levels of service that aren’t immediately and catastrophically overwhelmed; it also reduces unnecessary suffering and deaths, and buys time for the scientific community to study the virus in order to come to a more full understanding of the breadth of its impacts in both the short and long term.

I reject the notion that it’s “just a virus” and we’ll all get it eventually. What a careless, lazy, heartless stance.

Memorial Day Ribs 2020

It’s Memorial Day weekend once again, and it’s time to make bbq ribs. This year is unique. It’s been 10 years since I started this tradition (yay), and we are in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic (boo). Last year, you may recall, I made some good ribs. This year, the rain forecast for Sunday and Monday is threatening to wash out the smoker portion of our rib day so I’m cooking them on Saturday.

Ingredients

(Meat)
2 slabs (~6 lbs) of baby back ribs
2 Shiner Smokehouse sausages

(Rub)
4 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder

(Sides)
Potato Salad
Corn on the cob

(Condiments)
Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbecue Sauce
3 A.M. Bobby Que Original barbecue sauce [my local favorite]
Sliced pickles
Sliced white onion
Sliced cheddar cheese

Cook

After 10 years I’m getting better at this part. Start with thawed (refrigerator temperature) ribs. Take the membrane off the bone and cover in a rub 1-2 hours before cooking. Cook uncovered ribs (bone side down) on a cooking sheet in the oven at 250° F for 2 hours. Wrap them with heavy duty aluminum foil, and cook for another 2 hours. Finish them uncovered with bbq sauce (in the oven or in a 250° F smokey grill) for up to 30 minutes; check them every few minutes.

Corn on the cob is easy: shuck, boil for 6 minutes, plate with butter and salt.

It’s Barbie’s tradition to cook the potato salad, and she’s not divulging any secrets today. She said it has potatoes, boiled eggs, mayonnaise, mustard, relish, and onion.

I didn’t cook the sausage – 4 lbs of ribs seemed like enough – and it was.

Results

The potato salad had perfectly sized pieces of potato, and it was delicious. The corn on the cob was sweet, crisp and good. The ribs were tender and yummy (a little over cooked). Since I got the ribs on different days in May I got two brands: Indiana Kitchen (2.36 lbs) and Kroger Natural Ribs (2.47 lbs); couldn’t tell the difference when cooked.

Coronavirus Vaccine Candidate Shows Promise

With ever mounting deaths, scientists have been under pressure to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.

Moderna, Inc., reported that they have developed a COVID-19 vaccine that is safe. Phase I testing (45 subjects) appears to elicit the kind of immune response capable of preventing the disease. There were no no serious side-effects after the first trial. Source: NPR

Phase II can start right away, and the company hopes to start phase III in early July.

Category 5 Hurricane Iota 2020-11-16

The 2020 Hurricane Season

The predictions for the 2020 hurricane season were for an above-average hurricane season. Philip Klotzbach predicted 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 major (Cat 3+) hurricanes this year; updated to 24 named storms, 12 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes. Hurricane season usually runs from June 1 through November 30 – although given the predictions it may extend beyond those boundaries.

Continue reading

Prediction for 2020 Hurricane Season

This year, Philip Klotzbach, hurricane researcher at Colorado State University, tweeted we should expect an above-average season because of the lack of #ElNino. They predict 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes and 4 major (Cat 3+) hurricanes; 69% chance at least one major hurricane will hit the US.

UPDATE 8/5/2020

Researchers from Colorado State University issued an update to the 2020 hurricane season forecast and now indicate it will be one of the most active on record. Now they predict 24 named storms, 12 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes.

Source: WMBF News

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

This new virus is called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or Sars-CoV-2. The disease it causes is called Covid-19. Source: Wall Street Journal. This is a serious disease – “a potential pandemic.” They think it originated in a (animal/seafood) market in Wuhan, China, on December 1, 2019. As of March 3, 2020, the WHO reports that there are 92,315 confirmed cases – 3,131 deaths; 60 cases in the US and 6 deaths.

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The 2020 Primary Election

The schedule for Democratic and Republican primaries and caucuses is very confusing and convoluted. A good place to start is with Frontloading HQ.


Coronavirus Updates

Starting March 15, 2020, the United States did something unprecedented (in modern times) – every non-essential worker was told/ordered to stay-at-home and/or work-from-home. This included primary workers. So, as a result, many states’ primaries were rescheduled.

The 2020 Democratic National Convention which was scheduled to take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 13-16, 2020, was delayed to August 17-20 due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Democratic presidential primaries that were rescheduled/canceled:

PrimaryOriginalNewVote in person
OhioMarch 17April 28Cancelled
GeorgiaMarch 24June 9Scheduled
Puerto RicoMarch 29TBDTBA
AlaskaApril 4April 10Cancelled
WyomingApril 4April 17Cancelled
HawaiiApril 4May 22Cancelled
LouisianaApril 4July 11Scheduled
MarylandApril 28June 2Scheduled
ConnecticutApril 28August 11Scheduled
Rhode IslandApril 28June 2Scheduled
DelawareApril 28June 2Scheduled
PennsylvaniaApril 28June 2Scheduled
New YorkApril 28June 23
GuamMay 2TBDTBA
KansasMay 2May 2Cancelled
IndianaMay 5June 2Scheduled
West VirginiaMay 12June 9Scheduled
KentuckyMay 19June 23Scheduled
New JerseyJune 2July 7Scheduled

The 2020 Republican National Convention will be held from August 24 to 27, 2020, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Republican presidential primaries were rescheduled:

  • The Ohio primary was rescheduled from March 17, 2020, to June 2, 2020. It was later rescheduled again from June 2 to April 28.
  • The Georgia primary was rescheduled from March 24, 2020, to May 19, 2020. It was later rescheduled again from May 19 to June 9.
  • The Louisiana primary was rescheduled from April 4, 2020, to June 20, 2020.
  • The Connecticut primary was rescheduled from April 28 to June 2.
  • The Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island primaries were rescheduled from April 28, 2020, to June 2, 2020.
  • The Indiana primary was rescheduled from May 5, 2020, to June 2, 2020.
  • The West Virginia primary was rescheduled from May 12, 2020, to June 9, 2020.
  • The Kentucky primary was rescheduled from May 19, 2020, to June 23, 2020.
  • The New Jersey primary was rescheduled from June 2, 2020 to July 7, 2020.
  • The Ohio primary was rescheduled from March 17, 2020, to June 2, 2020. was later rescheduled again from June 2 to April 28.
  • The Georgia primary was rescheduled from March 24, 2020, to May 19, 2020.[228] It was later rescheduled again from May 19 to June 9.
  • The Louisiana primary was rescheduled from April 4, 2020, to June 20, 2020.[237] It was later rescheduled again from June 20 to July 11.[209]
  • The Connecticut primary was rescheduled from April 28 to June 2.[205] It was later rescheduled a second time to August 11.[210]
  • The Delaware, Maryland,[238] Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island primaries were rescheduled from April 28, 2020, to June 2, 2020.
  • The Indiana primary was rescheduled from May 5, 2020, to June 2, 2020.
  • The West Virginia primary was rescheduled from May 12, 2020, to June 9, 2020.
  • The Kentucky primary was rescheduled from May 19, 2020, to June 23, 2020.[239]
  • The New Jersey primary was rescheduled from June 2, 2020 to July 7, 2020.[240]

The Democratic candidates are Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Tom Steyer, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Michael Bennet, John Delaney, Deval Patrick and Andrew Yang.

The Republican candidates are Donald Trump, Bill Weld, Rocky De La Fuente, Mark Sanford and Joe Walsh.

February 3

Iowa caucuses took place on February 3, 2020, but there wasn’t a clear Democratic winner because a new application (mobile app) failed to tally and report the votes correctly.

Monday night’s Iowa caucuses dragged on into the early hours of Tuesday with no clear Democratic winner declared, and the New York Times reported that a brand-new, untested mobile app designed in just two months was at least partially to blame for the holdup in results.

Source: Forbes

The Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) – the folks who commissioned the app – promised to have the majority of results published by 5 PM (ET) today.

On February 9, 2020, Iowa finally allotted Pete 14 delegates, Bernie 12, Elizabeth 8, Joe 6, and Amy 1, out of 41 for the Democratic caucus. For the Republican caucus, Donald got 39 and Bill got 1, out of 40.

Both Pete and Bernie requested a recount, which (completed Feb. 27) didn’t change the results, and it was finally certified by the IDP on February 29.

Withdrawals Before the Primaries

Democratic candidates who withdrew before the Primaries started: Beto O’Rourke, Bill de Blasio, Cory Booker, Eric Swalwell, Jay Inslee, Joe Sestak, John Delaney, John Hickenlooper, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Marianne Williamson, Mike Gravel, Richard Ojeda, Seth Moulton, Steve Bullock, Tim Ryan, Wayne Messam. Source: Wikipedia.

Republican candidates who withdrew before (or shortly after) the Primaries started: Joe Walsh, Mark Sanford. Source: Wikipedia.

February 11

New Hampshire primary results: Bernie 9, Pete 9, Amy 6, out of 24 total. For Republicans, Donald 22, out of 22 total.

Today, after the NH primary, Michael Bennet and Andrew Yang dropped out. On February 12, Deval Patrick suspended his campaign.

February 22

Nevada caucus results: Bernie 24, Joe 9, Pete 3, out of 36 available. For Republicans, they cancelled their caucus so Donald presumably gets all 25 delegates.

Side note: Michael Bloomberg (billionaire, former mayor of New York) qualified for the debate in Nevada (Feb. 19), but he was not on the ballot. He’s trying to buy his way in.

February 29

Happy Leap Day! South Carolina (D) primary results: Joe 39, Bernie 15 out of 54 delegates.

On March 1, Pete dropped out and gave his support to Joe.

On March 2, Amy dropped out and gave her support to Joe. Beto also gave his support to Joe.

March 3

“Super Tuesday” is primary/caucus day for Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia (D), and American Samoa (D).

If you’re keeping count, going into Super Tuesday, Bernie 60, Joe 54, Elizabeth 8, and Michael 0.

In Texas early voting starts February 18. If needed, the primary election runoff day will be May 26, 2020.

Texas has 228 Democratic delegates and 155 Republican delegates. 1283 The results for Texas are Joe 111, Bernie 102, Michael 10, Elizabeth 5 out of 228 Democratic delegates. For Republicans, Donald 117 of 155 total.

Nationally, the totals so far are Joe 596, Bernie 531, Elizabeth 65, Michael 58, Pete 26, Amy 7, and Tulsi 1.

After spending $500+ million Michael Bloomberg dropped out on March 4. Bernie announced on March 4 that he will drop out if “Biden gets plurality” going into Democratic convention. On March 5, Elizabeth Warren withdrew from the race. This leaves Joe, Bernie, and Tulsi is still running.

UPDATE: It looks like Texas is headed for primary runoff elections on July 14.

Here are the races in Texas as of July 1.
President Democratic candidate:
Joe Biden
President Republican candidate:
Donald Trump
US Senate Democratic candidates:
Mary Jennings Hegar
Royce West
US Senate Republican candidate:
John Cornyn (incumbent)
U.S. House of Representatives (District 17) Democratic candidates:
Rick Kennedy
David Jaramillo
U.S. House of Representatives (District 17) Republican candidates:
Pete Sessions
Renee Swann
Texas House of Representatives (District 14) Democratic candidate:
Janet Dudding
Texas House of Representatives (District 14) Republican candidate:
John Raney (incumbent)
Railroad Commissioner Democratic candidates:
Chrysta Castañeda
Roberto “Beto” Alonzo
Railroad Commissioner Democratic candidate:
James “Jim” Wright

Texas Candidates

U.S. Senate (Texas)
Democratic Party candidates
Chris Bell
Michael Cooper
Amanda Edwards
Jack Daniel Foster Jr.
Annie Garcia
Victor Harris
Mary Jennings Hegar
Sema Hernandez
D. R. Hunter
Adrian Ocegueda
Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez
Royce West

Republican Party candidates
John Cornyn (incumbent)
Virgil Bierschwale
John Castro
Dwayne Stovall
Mark Yancey

Independent candidates
Ricardo Turullols-Bonilla

U.S. House of Representatives (District 17 Texas)*
Democratic Party candidates
William Foster III
David Jaramillo
Rick Kennedy

Republican Party candidates
Ahmad Adnan
Scott Bland
Laurie Godfrey McReynolds
George Hindman
Todd Kent
Kristen Alamo Rowin
David Saucedo
Pete Sessions
Trent Sutton
Renee Swann
Elianor Vessali

Libertarian candidates
Ted Brown

*Bill Flores (R) is stepping down

Texas Governor
Greg Abbott (R) – Next election is 2022

Texas Lieutenant Governor
Dan Patrick (R) – Next election is 2022

Texas Attorney General
Ken Paxton (R) – Next election is 2022

Texas Senate (District 5)
Charles Schwertner (R) – Next election is 2022

Texas House of Representatives (District 14)
Democratic Party candidates
Janet Dudding
Raza Rahman

Republican Party candidates
John Raney (incumbent)

Comptroller of Public Accounts
Glenn Hegar (R) – Next election 2022

Commissioner of the General Land Office
George P. Bush (R) – Next election 2022

Commissioner of Agriculture
Sid Miller (R) – Next election 2022

Railroad Commissioner
Democratic Party candidates
Chrysta Castañeda
Roberto “Beto” Alonzo
Kelly Stone
Mark Watson

Republican Party candidates
Ryan Sitton (incumbent)
James Wright

Libertarian Party candidates
Matt Sterett
Charlie Stevens

Read More

March 10

Democrats Abroad (D), Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota (D), and Washington primary results: Joe 177+, Bernie 111+ out of 352 delegates; Washington was still counting as of Wednesday at noon.

March 14

Northern Mariana Islands (D), and Guam (R)

March 15

Northern Mariana Islands (R)

March 17

Arizona (D), Florida, Illinois, and Ohio.

March 18

American Samoa (R)

One March 19, 2020, Tulsi dropped out and endorsed Joe Biden.

March 24

Georgia (postponed to May 19)

March 29

Puerto Rico (D) and North Dakota (R) primary results: ND Republicans cancelled election, Trump got 29 out of 29 delegates; PR is TBD.

April 4

Alaska, Hawaii (D), Louisiana, and Wyoming (D)

April 7

Democrats warn people will die as courts rule Wisconsin’s election on for Tuesday Source: NBC News

Wisconsin results: Joe 58, Bernie 13, out of 84 Democratic delegates. Donald 52 out of 52 Republican delegates.

On April 8, Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign.

April 28

Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island.

May 2

Guam (D), Kansas (D), Virginia (R), and South Carolina (R)

May 5

Indiana

May 9

Arizona (R), and Wyoming (R)

May 12

Nebraska, and West Virginia

May 19

Georgia, Kentucky, and Oregon

May 30

United States Virgin Islands (R)

June 2

District of Columbia, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota

June 6

United States Virgin Islands (D)

June 7

Puerto Rico (R)

Brexit schmexit

Britain’s exit from the European Union is finally here. At the stroke of midnight, Brussels time, 5 PM Central US, on Friday, January 31, 2020, the deed is done.

Britain formally exits the European Union on Friday night, casting off from the Continent after nearly half a century and ending a debate that had convulsed the country for more than three years.

Source: New York Times: Britain’s Brexit Shrug: Let’s Just Get On With It

By the sounds of it – and going by how long it has dragged on – Britons are tired of it all and just want to get on with life. Not so fast. For all this time – time supposedly used to negotiate trade deals and legal separation agreements – it seems like very little was done: for the next 11 months they’ll work out trade relations.