Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
- Nursing Homes
- Land O Lakes
- Protest. Reopening protests have been roiling the country for a couple weeks now as Americans are getting fed up with being told what to do, where they can do it, and what to do when they do it. We typically tolerate this stuff for a while, especially when intentionally terrified by governments and their propaganda arm, the media. But after a while, that reservoir of tolerance is drained. And then the politician telling us what to do outs themselves as a pocket dictator, the reservoir dries up pretty quick. The following series of stories caught my attention last week.
- The most hilarious story of the week comes out of NYC where Mayor Bill deBlasio set up what he called a tip line, essentially a rat out your neighbor line to call in and send in photos of people not complying with his lockdown guidelines and social distancing rules. Demonstrating that they have had quite enough of both his and Governor Cuomo’s crap, NYC residents flooded the tip line with porn, photos of DeBlasio, obscene comments, photos of private parts, Hitler memes, and filthy hand signs. My God, there are sometimes I just love New Yorkers, for this is a typical American response to a demand that they spy on their neighbors, reporting to the KGB any violations in return for a new pair of blue jeans (which was an old joke about the old Soviet Union in the 1980s).
- A skateboard park closed by the city of San Clemente was still being used by local skateboarders in violation of the stay at home order. In response, the city covered the park with 37 tons of sand. They foolishly thought this would stop the skateboarders. It did for a little while, though other neighbors did show up including people with beach chairs and coolers (local beaches were closed at least for a while) as did the dirt bikers. It didn’t take long before the skateboarders cleaned the sand off the ramps and other obstacles and resumed their outdoor exercise routine. Some would say that the city even improved the park as now the skateboarders have a softer place to land when they wipe out. Another big fail for big government.
- Speaking of wiping out, appears SoCal beaches are quickly becoming flash points for opposition to California’s continuing and finely detailed lockdown. Last weekend, there were a LOT of people on the beaches all in violation of state and local orders to the contrary. And there weren’t enough cops to arrest them all, so they didn’t, although Gov Newsome expressed his displeasure. Cowabunga Dudes! Who thought the surfers would be among the first official protesters in Cali?
- Final protest story comes out of Michigan where Governor Gretchen Whitmer has managed to use politics to define what is open and what is closed. Typically, if it is a left-wing cause (abortion, marijuana sales), it remains open for business. If it is anything else (seed and plant sales at local stores), it is closed. Golf courses are also closed, though in the words of one observer, if you are closer than six feet for any period of time, you are playing the game wrong. A country club a block from the Governor’s residence had a lot of people playing the closed course, all with appropriate respect for the Governor’s orders – none.
Will close this one out with something else I ran across last week. The term quarantine is derived from Italian for 40 days. There is Biblical direction in Leviticus to separate the sick from the living, though as best I can see, no specific number of days is attached to that separation. Rather it is subjective based on the duration of the sickness. Actual quarantine started showing up in 1377 when the Great Council of Ragusa established a 30-day separation period for visitors from plague-endemic areas (Black Death). That was extended to 40 days over time. NIH suggests that the 40 days may have been more effective in preventing disease, or a nod to Biblical events – Great Flood or Jesus’ time in the wilderness. There is at least one wag who observed that perhaps 40 days is simply the maximum amount of time humans will tolerate being locked up. Perhaps we are reminding ourselves where that number came from.
- Nursing Homes. I have wondered for nearly two months about the viral infestation in NYC and neighboring NJ. Guessed that a combination of urban living, filthy subways, and the sheer amount of international travel into and out of the city would all be players in what was going on. It turns out that there is another disease vector, this one aimed directly at the most vulnerable NY residents – elderly in nursing homes. The NY Post ran a story over the weekend of a Brooklyn nursing home where 55 patients died was overwhelmed by Wuhan patients. They notified the state health department on April 9, asking if they could send their Wuhan positive patients to either the hospital built in the Javits Convention Center or the USNS Comfort. They simply did not have the ability to care for the Wuhan sufferers and protect the other residents. Their request was summarily denied, and the virus ran wild in the facility. At the time, Javits had 134 of 1,000 beds full, and the Comfort had 62 of 500 beds full. The ship ended up treating just 179 patients before NY Governor Cuomo said it was no longer needed. Shortage of personal protective gear at the nursing home was so bad that staff was wearing plastic bags. The April 9 request was not the only time the nursing home cried for help. The problem was caused by a March 25 health department order barring nursing homes from refusing admission to “medically stable” Wuhan virus patients. Very important to note that nothing in the order mentioned the stable patients no longer being able to transmit the disease. And transmit the disease they did. On April 23 Governor Cuomo said that nursing homes were not allowed to challenge the March 25 order. “They don’t have the right to object. That is the rule and that is the regulation and they have to comply with that.” Cuomo is of the opinion that the nursing home has the legal, financial and ethical responsibility to arrange transfer of an infected patient with the Department of Health, and the Department of Health refused those requests out of hand. NJ has a similar order. These orders guaranteed spread of the disease among residents of the homes. These orders and the politicians who wrote, promulgated, defended and implemented them are responsible for murder. And they are the reason that NY and NJ have by far the most deaths of any state in the union.
- Gyms. I ran across Mark Rippetoe and his Starting Strength weight training program several years ago courtesy Glenn Reynolds’ Instapundit. I am old enough that loss of strength is a concern and the program has been helpful and a positive. Figure if I’m going out, it won’t be because I’m frail. Rippetoe writes irregularly in PJ Media. Last week he had a piece about the future of the fitness industry following the Wuhan flu lockdown. He first notes that governments at all levels divided all businesses in the US into essential and non-essential. And guess which category the fitness industry ends up being in (hint: non-essential). The problem with the fitness industry is that if you lock the doors, people can’t come in. People purchase memberships because of expense and space requirements for training at home. When the government takes control of your hours of operation or availability, they take complete control of your business. And they take control based on the notion that patrons of these businesses are unable to determine what sort of risk they are comfortable taking. He notes that the NYC subway system, an obvious disease transmission vector has not yet been shut down, while every single gym in the state are until further notice. Government has shown every single non-essential business owner it will do the next time a new disease makes the rounds. Business owners, banks and investors will make future plans based on that knowledge. He notes the fitness industry is in trouble. Small places which are paid for and debt free can put up with this for a while. Larger ones, not so much. He believes that the industry is going to diverge to small gyms that concentrate on low overhead and home gyms. He sees a lot of action toward the home gym and believes there will be some real business opportunities selling racks, plates and barbells.
- UV. I was originally going to write about the most recent round of fake news out of the daily WH Wuhan Flu briefing, the specious claim that Trump suggested we inject, mainline bleach and disinfectants as a way to fight the disease. The other thing he did was do some thinking out loud about internal use of ultraviolet (UV) light as a way to kill off the virus. As it turns out, UV and viruses do not play well together, with far UVC light capable of quickly killing airborne viruses and bacteria. There is at least one company working on a way to run a far UVC emitter down a tube into the lungs and intravenously as a way to fight an infection. Aytu Biosciences is pursuing the technology that President Trump did a bit of head scratching about last week. They have a video that got very popular following the media firestorm, popular enough for YouTube and Twitter to take them down. But the ability of UVC to destroy airborne viruses and bacteria provides a real opportunity for businesses and venues to address the problem of airborne disease transmission indoors. As far as I know, there have been vanishingly few cases where the virus was transmitted out of doors, which renders the requirements to mask up out of doors at best foolish. OTOH, almost all of the cases of transmission have taken place indoors where sanitizers, cleaners, masks and gloves work well. But what do you do about airborne pathogens? One way would be to start installing UVC lights (they are available and cheap_ near the ceiling, turn them sideways, and direct a flow of air upwards between the lights. Everything that in the air is pulled up, say by a ceiling fan, goes between the lights and is sanitized, over time, clearing the air. Unlike vaccinations, this solution is not just applicable to the Wuhan Flue, but will also work when Wuhan shows back up this fall and when other viruses show up in the years to come. This sort of solution should be applicable for bars, restaurants, gyms, and large enclosed sporting venues. It might even be applicable to home forced air heating and cooling systems not unlike humidifiers. Final point, UVC light is safe for use as overhead lights. While conventional germicidal UV lights present a human health hazard, and can lead to skin cancers and cataracts, far UVC does not have this problem. Far UVC has been used in hospitals to kill medicine resistant MRSA bacteria. The use of strategically directed, low level far UVC light pointed sideways is a possible long-term sanitization strategy following the current festivities. It also represents a marvelous entrepreneurial opportunity for those who are so inclined.
- Land O Lakes. The PC world claimed yet another scalp, this one was the Land O Lakes butter that removed an Indian maiden that has been the company’s logo for a century. The current logo was redesigned in the 1950s by Patrick Desjarlait, a Ojibwe artist from Red Lake, MN. Apparently white women in MN objected to a logo that the vast majority of American Indians in MN loved. Every independent poll or survey since 1992 has found that 80 – 90% of American Indians have no problem with the use of their names and images on sports teams at any level of competition. However, the MN LtGov was very much in support of the change stating “Native people are not mascots or logos.” So, does she have the MN Vikings lined up for a name change next?
More later –