Sept 13, 2020 Musings about the COVID-19 Pandemic
It has now been six months – half a year – since COVID19 started hitting our community and we started staying home while wearing a mask and social distancing when going out for needed supplies.
Last month I reported that I had a 3cm bulge at my L4/L5 that was pinching the nerve to my right leg and it had put me into a wheelchair. I had microdiscectomy spine surgery on the 21st as an outpatient. It did eliminate the nerve pain, but my right leg has atrophied a lot – I lost an inch of the circumference of my right thigh.
I was warned that Physical Therapy would be painful. The therapy is painful but not as bad as the nerve pain.
It’s not like I have been banished to Dante’s third ring of hell. Well, I have been overeating during the COVID19 pandemic, so maybe I am in the third ring. I am making progress and can now walk short distances without a cane.
Even though I have spent most of the last two months on my back, I am not wasting my time. Among my efforts are: I have had time to work toward having murder hornets declared the official wildlife mascot of 2020 and I have also determined that there is not an even number of each color in the big jars of M&M peanuts that Costco sells.
This year has been so ridiculous and weird that I don’t have the energy to be surprised anymore. A portal to another world could open up in my living room and I’d be like “Well, I guess this is just another thing I’m going to have to learn to live with”
I was thinking of contacting our Church’s youth director and asking if anyone has tried writing “COVID19” on a piece of paper and throwing it into a bonfire at a youth meeting. The church does have a fire pit. I’m ready to try anything.
I have continued to track the progress of the vaccines. I was disappointed that the Oxford compound had an adverse event and the trial was temporarily suspended. It doesn’t mean that the Oxford compound is no longer a candidate, it does mean that safety protocols are being followed.
At this point, I don’t expect a vaccine to be widely available until mid-winter. Given the knowledge I gained during my 20 years in BioTech there is no way I would be first in line for a COVID19 Vaccine developed under a speeded-up process. The process to develop safe vaccines takes time. It should never be rushed. When the process is rushed, folks are harmed. For example, In 1955 the Salk Polio vaccine was deployed. Cutter Labs in Berkeley cut corners in the safety checks in manufacturing and 120,000 doses with live virus went out. 40,000 kids became sick.
I have been watching the number of fires explode here in the west these past two weeks. The number and sizes of Wildfires have exploded in the past ten years. I think this is our new normal as our climate changes. The climate is changing and we need to plan accordingly.
COVID19 continues to spread. It was clear from the literature I read back in January and February that COVID19 was going to be nasty. Over 190,000 Americans are dead. So many families are impacted. And yet we see people out in crowds not wearing masks. Are they volunteering to be candidates for Darwin Awards? The sad thing is that they will bring COVID19 home and infect others. What we do know, is that 40% of patients are asymptomatic and 50% of transmissions occur before symptoms appear. I guess I am fortunate in that only one close friend has come down will COVID19 and it was a mild case. I pray that COVID19 avoids more of my friends.
Our Granddaughter continues to make each day a joy. I started taking baby American Sign Language classes with her and the rest of the family. Her ability to sign with us is just amazing. She has also discovered how to take a photo with my phone. Her selfies are awesome. I have included a sample.
I continue to educate myself on the systematic racism in our country. I was blind to so much of what was going on with my brothers and sisters of color. Last week my church held an event called “Open Conversation On Race: Exploring a Christian Response to Racial Tension. A time of listening, asking questions, and worship.” You can view it at https://youtu.be/LT2ndQEvgr4
So wear a mask, practice social distancing and be safe.
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