Ruining Society Every Day

The so-called “Public Health” “Authorities”, and the so-called “Press” (scare quotes fully intended) seem to be in collusion with the state government to ruin society.  If Society means people interacting with each other for mutual benefit, Society is being ruined, decimated by the reactions of Government to the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus.  The lockdowns that started in March, and are continuing in various forms six months later, are having deleterious effects on every aspect of Society.  Here are some stories from today’s KOMO Seattle Web site.  [Please note that the actions of the Seattle City Council and mayor might have taken place anyway, but are amplified due to the abrupt halt in revenue from sales taxes curtailed by business shutdowns.]

Nearly 600 Layoffs as Boeing Supplier to Close Plant in Kent

Covid-19: Report Looks at Risks of In-person Learning

Washington adds 800 New Covid-19 Cases While New Report says Cases Are Plateauing

Some counties worry that people fleeing the heat could bring Covid-19

Mayor Durkan extends moratorium on evictions through end of year

All of the above articles directly relate to the effects of government shutdowns to try and halt the spread of the virus.  Please note that none of the efforts to halt the virus have been effective.

Now, to the double-whammy affecting residents and businesses in Seattle, the City Government and local “activists” add their Demands.  Some of these issues stem from the death of a black man in Minneapolis that was immediately assumed to be the fault of the policeman who was arresting him, but now, with new information coming out, may have been the result of medical conditions he already had.  No matter, Seattle activists and Antifa will be equal-opportunity destroyers.

Seattle businesses ask the City Council to stop the Payroll Tax      That would be the tax on high-earners that would affect companies like Amazon and Bartell Drugs (a local chain which was started in Seattle in 1895)

Activists demand Mayor Durkan to use $100 million for minority community

Seattle Police arrest 4 at Cal Anderson Park for alleged criminal trespass   That park was part of the CHOP/CHAZ zone that saw so many incidents of shooting, vandalism, and property destruction.

All the above stories testify to the ruination of Society in our area.  Please see my post on the War of All Against All, where the governments are pitting every citizen against every other citizen.  The Seattle city government is a past master at this, with their ruination of landlords by requiring them to accept tenants who do not pay rent; their ruination of area bars and restaurants by forcing them to close; and their ruination of thriving businesses with a payroll tax on their most creative and productive employees.

I feel sorry for the ordinary citizens of Seattle, who seem to be despised by the people they elect to public office.  Maybe you get the government you elect.  Good and Hard.

The War of All Against All…

or How the Governments Multiplied Their Power by Destroying the US Economy to Fight the Wuhan Coronavirus

The United States has seen epidemics of new and old diseases many times in the past.  The so-called Spanish Flu infected 500 Million people worldwide between 1918 and 1920, claiming between 17 and 50 million lives (figures vary, because governments around the world censored their information reaching the public).  Abot 105 Million people were infected in the United States, with 500,000-850,000 deaths.

In 2009, the Swine Flu Pandemic infected 700 Million to 1.8 Billion people worldwide, with about 250,000 deaths.  The US had about 12,000 die from this flu.

In neither of the above pandemics did the United States Government, and State and Local governments, nearly completely shut down their economies to fight the Pandemic Flu.  Travel restrictions were instituted, and the population was advised to stay home if ill, wear masks in public, and avoid large gatherings.

It is estimated that about 45,000 people die of influenza and its complications in the United States each year.  Flu Season is prepared for regularly, the population (especially the elderly) is urged to get their “flu shot” each year, and life goes on.  Symphony concerts, football games, and rock concerts are held everywhere during flu season, and life goes on.  Thousands die of flu every year, and the so-called Press pays little attention.

This time, and this Wuhan Coronavirus, are different.  The world watched, and took notice, in January when news came of a contagious, deadly new virus in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.  It was supposed to have originated in a Chinese “Wet Market”, where exotic animals are sold, alive and dead, for food and medicine.  There were rumors of medical personnel in China dying of this virus.  Rumors also flew about the Chinese Communist Party suppressing news of the virus, and “disappearing” doctors who tried to warn the wider world about it.

Soon, those rumors were confirmed to be true, and the rest of the world began to take serious notice.  The virus spread within Wuhan and its surrounding territory, the the story of brave Ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, who tried to warn the world about this new virus, and was subsequently silenced by the Communist Party, and died of the virus.  Stories emerged about heavy-handed Chinese methods of trying to contain the virus, including welding apartment doors shut so inhabitants could not go out (stories and pictures exist of this).

It took the UN Agency, the World Health Organization until March to declare a pandemic existed, and that organization and its Director General did their best to minimize the effects, and play down the role of the Chinese Communist Party.  Over the weeks, it came out that the WHO has been under the thumb of the Chinese Communist Party for years.

Europe and Asia suffered the most, and the news was filled with stories of how hospitals in Italy and elsewhere were overwhelmed with Covid patients. [editorial comment: I wonder why that name just grates on me? Every time I hear it, I cringe].  The first “country lockdowns” were seen in Italy, with everyone required to remain in their homes, not leaving except for “essential” activities like food-shopping; stores and factories shuttered; travel forbidden.  You may want to check out this story of how Chinese companies are buying up Italian ones-no wonder Italy was so badly affected. Soon many countries were locking down their economies, and closing their borders.

In the US, President Donald Trump instituted a ban on travel from China in January, and of course it set off the wailing dogs of the Leftist Press, bemoaning the travel ban as discriminatory and unnecessary.  The first case of the virus was actually found not so very far from where I live in Washington State; the man, who had traveled from Wuhan, China, before the ban, recovered and returned home.  And also in our area, a nursing home in Kirkland was the first incidence of virus spread among residents of a long-term-care facility.  The disease has been found to disproportionately affect the very elderly, especially in congregate-care settings.  There were many deaths.

In February, the first state-wide lockdowns started.  The San Francisco Bay Area was almost totally locked down, businesses closed, travel forbidden, and the people confined to their homes, supposedly to “flatten the curve”, and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.  Only “essential” businesses were still permitted to operate, but the definition of “essential” varied by State, and by locality.  The lockdowns were supposed to be only short-term, until the hospitals had time to increase capacity.  The Navy sent two hospital ships to New York and San Francisco, so care for non-virus patients so the hospitals could concentrate on virus patients.  Neither ship saw much use, and they were withdrawn.

Schools and colleges closed, and students were sent home.  K-12 students were advised to engage in “distance-learning”, but many school districts had no experience with this, and teachers had no idea how to do it, so most students got little education at the end of the year.  Parents who lost their own jobs, were now forced to stay home with their kids. Parents who could work from home, discovered that they now had two jobs-their own, and “school teacher” for their kids.

One feature of the anti-virus lockdowns was the requirement that hospitals stop all “non-essential” care; non-essential included joint-replacement surgeries, cancer surgeries, diagnostic radiology services, and all other non-emergency care.  These so-called elective procedures are how most hospitals make their money, and when they were no longer allowed to do them, their revenue suffered.  Many hospitals laid off doctors, nurses, and other personnel-in the midst of a pandemic!  And some hospitals were forced to close their doors, reducing the total quantity of care for many communities.  Numerous people, afraid to go to hospital emergency rooms, died at home of heart attacks and strokes that might have been treated if they had called for help.  How many more cases of cancer will grow worse, because the people were denied diagnostic exams?  That may not be known now for years.

Most localities closed all their bars and restaurants, throwing millions out of work, and contributing to the increase in the unemployment rate from the 3.5% in January, to 15% in March.  State Unemployment offices were inundated with claims that, despite Federal money, were delayed when there were simply not enough people to process them.  All travel being forbidden, decimated the airline industry, and the big aircraft manufacturers.  Many parts of the economy simply shut.  City streets were deserted.

State Governors had been presented with a kind of power they had never had before.  The Feds took the advice of infectious-disease “experts” who had never seen an infectious virus like this one, and so they simply closed the economy, to stop the spread of the virus.  But those who run these government agencies knew nothing about making policy, and their jobs and livelihoods were never in danger.  They were so far “above” the man or woman on the street that it never occurred to them that they might be doing more harm than good.  The news stories emphasized how deadly the virus is, and how you need to protect yourself and others whenever you leave your home.  And all the efforts to stop or slow the spread of the virus, have been demonstrably unsuccessful.  The virus continues to spread.  People still get sick, and some die.  But the War of All Against All is perpetuated by Government.

Children have been denied the right to go to school, learn English, math, and science, and play with their friends.  They are not allowed out of their homes, except for the back yards (if they have one-kids in big cities don’t).  Kids who were eligible for low-cost or free lunch at school cannot get lunch.  Children are now being taught to be afraid of their friends.

“Social Distancing” is the new Mantra-stay away from all those other people, because they might carry disease and death!  The economy has partially re-opened, but stores everywhere install plexiglass barriers at checkout stands, so the clerks don’t get infected by their customers.  Many State Governors have enlisted Businesses to be their “diktat-enforcers”.  It is now mandatory for everyone age five and over to wear a “face-covering” or mask whenever they enter a building other than their own home.  Businesses who allow un-masked customers in their stores can be fined, or their store closed.

Society itself is being destroyed.  Every person is being taught, over and over, to distrust EVERY other person.  Government, in its heavy-handed response to the Wuhan Coronavirus, is proceeding to tear down the foundations of society; ripping the people away from their friends and acquaintances, and destroying businesses on a daily basis.  Here are some news items. gleaned from various places, showing

The War of All Against All

Virus Takes Heavy Toll on Stores

The outdoors store Land, Sea, And Sky, which sells telescopes and binoculars, closed in March and had its employees working remotely.  Once it reopened, it chose to keep the store closed and conduct transactions on the sidewalk.  They chose, because they have high-risk employees, not to allow customers back in the shop.

The [record] store stopped allowing customers to review albums in-store.

Truck stops will now require all their customers to wear masks.  The coronavirus has made life on the road more challenging for truckers as they contend with new requirements and restrictions.

In a Wall Street Journal article, outside meetings are shown.  There is a picture of seven adults in lawn chairs in a circle, all wearing masks, sitting six feet apart.  Outdoors.  The article says that some people may still feel anxious about meeting in groups, even outdoors.

Headline: Fauci, Powell warn of fresh risks to Lives, Economy, if virus spirals

Health experts say mass adherence to basic guidelines is sorely needed.

Due to safety protocols, many colleges aren’t alowing parents in dorms, or, in some cases, even on campus.  Move-in dates have been staggered over multiple days, to allow students to keep distant, with specific time slots allotted. Some schools are limiting the number of suitcases students can bring with them, asking that everything be shipped ahead to reduce trips in and out of the residence halls. Many students will be tested for the virus immediately upon arrival and quarantined as they await results. [Premise: Everyone is assumed to be infected]

About return to schools: Even if the numbers allow them to open, teachers and staff members will have to distance themselves by at least six feet from each other and from children.  Students in third grade and higher will be forced to wear masks.  [effects: children will not see their teachers smile, or their friends either]

...the American Federation of Teachers, the second-largest education union, threatened “safety strikes” if reopening plans are not to their liking.

On net, therefore, the value of online public school is much lower, especially for young children, than the value of in-person public school.

Summer school has informed some districts’ plans.  In Norwalk, Conn., as soon as someone at a summer school tested positive in July, the building shut for three week-days of disinfection, plus the weekend.  All six people in the infected person’s group quarantined for 14 days.

Headlines on Wednesday, July 25:  Pandemic Lockdowns Clip Sales at Gucci; Altria Sees Pause In Smoking Slide, Shift to Cigarettes [people locked down at home are smoking more]; Closures, Costs, Dent McDonald’s Profit; Starbucks Loss Worst in Decade; Mondelez Snack Sales Suffer From Measures to Fight Virus Overseas; L Brands to Lay Off Hundreds.

Virus Cases Slow, but States Struggle.   Headline sounds like it is trying to demoralize us.

There have been numerous stories of citizens in big cities “snitching” on their neighbors.  New York issued a phone number for a hotline, for citizens to report others not in compliance with Government Mandates to wear masks and “social-distance” from others. There is now even a word to describe snitches, they are called “Karens”.

Here is a picture from one of my Ricochet friends, of signs she found around her neighborhood one day.  Governments are creating a mini-Stasi, the East German Secret Police that kept tabs on all citizens.

Karens

Below are some very pithy comments from a bunch of my Ricochet friends, who are in general smarter than the average bear.

As we’ve navigated this pandemic, I’ve seen indicators and warnings (term of art, in my previous life) that we’re all getting played across the board by this pandemic reaction and mitigation efforts. What I am saying is not that there should be no mitigation or protection efforts. I’ve stated my preferences of the start point for protecting the vulnerable before, and early on in this grift.   [Boss Mongo]

 

Progressives are pushing a “no risk” solution, which of course is not “no risk.” It goes like this: Do whatever it takes to ensure that no one dies; OK someone died, but let’s now do whatever it takes so that no one else dies; OK someone else died, but now do whatever it takes so that no others die; (wash, rinse, repeat). This maximizes, not minimizes, total losses. And yet it is being sold as the way to minimize loss. It sounds like a wonderful aspiration: we all work together to keep us all alive. But in practice, it is the best way to assure that more people die — if not as a direct loss to the disease, then as an indirect loss due to the response to the disease.  [Rodin]

 

Governments, businesses, organizations, and people have imposed or implemented many virus transmission mitigation efforts, including closing businesses, schools, churches, public events and social activities, preventing travel, forcing people to remain physically distant from one another, and building physical barriers to separate people from one another, including extra walls, face masks, etc. These virus transmission mitigation efforts have and will continue to impose significant costs on society and on individuals. “Costs” that are not just monetary, but also medical, psychological, and social.  [Full Size Tabby]

 

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced tonight that he has authorized the city to shut off water and power at homes and businesses that continue to host large parties and gatherings, “in flagrant violation” of health orders:

“Starting on Friday night, if the LAPD responds and verifies that a large gathering is occurring at a property, and we see these properties re-offending time and time again, they will provide notice and initiate the process to request that DWP shut off service within the next 48 hours.”  [ontheleftcoast, but I had already seen this info]

 

This next part is something I copied myself from the KOMO Seattle Web Site.  There is a well-known U of Washington group whose prediction/projection “models” of the virus spread/containment inform the governor of Washington state, who has said that the massive restrictions will stay in place “until there is a vaccine” for the virus.  In my opinion, this is evil.

SEATTLE – Washington state will likely need to reimpose stricter stay-home orders and business closures by October amid a projected increase in the state’s death rate from coronavirus, according to a new University of Washington study released Thursday.

The study says the stricter measures will be needed when the state’s daily death rate reaches 8 per million, and may be similar to those imposed at the start of the pandemic in March and April, including closures of nonessential businesses and expanded stay-home orders.

However, if face mask usage were to increase to 95% of the state’s population, the stricter measures could be delayed by six to eight weeks, the study concluded.

The new study by UW’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation also found that America’s “rollercoaster” approach to COVID-19 is worsening the effects of the pandemic, and that the nation could see nearly 300,000 deaths by Dec. 1 unless there is a wholesale increase in mask-wearing.“We’re seeing a rollercoaster in the United States,” said IHME Director Christopher Murray. “It appears that people are wearing masks and socially distancing more frequently as infections increase, then after a while as infections drop, people let their guard down and stop taking these measures to protect themselves and others – which, of course, leads to more infections. And the potentially deadly cycle starts over again.”

The study forecasts a total U.S death toll of 295,011 by December if mask-wearing does not increase – an increase of 137,000 fatalities over the current total of 158,000.

However, if 95% of the people in the U.S. were to wear masks when leaving their homes starting today, that total number would decrease to 228,271 deaths, a drop of 49%, the study projects. And more than 66,000 lives would be saved.

There is no possible way that those modelers can have any kind of certainty about any of the above statements, and just the thought that they can impose strict stay-home orders on the Citizens of Washington State on such flimsy evidence is appalling!  And, what if there never is a vaccine?  What if the virus just stays around?  Will the people let the State run their lives forever?

Spot Inspections Rise as Officials Seek Covid-19 Safety compliance.

Governments in the United States are pitting each citizen against every other citizen.  Mask-wearing is said to “protect you from others, and others from you”.  Government is creating the ultimate low-trust society in the United States, and that will ensure that the United States as Founded, will disappear.  If each American is taught to be deathly afraid of each other American, how can anyone ever have some semblance of a normal life?  Governments and the Press are already getting us prepared for the “new normal” of remaining socially-distant from our former friends and coworkers, obsessively washing everything in our environment, including ourselves, and suspicion of every place other than our own homes.

Governments have destroyed Sports, both professional and amateur.  My husband goes to an athletic club to play squash; the club was hard-closed for five months!  Even now, the club is open, but he can’t play with another person on the court, or even take a shower after hitting by himself.  This is cruelty!  I wonder if all those pro football season-ticket holders will be keeping those seats, if they are not allowed to watch the games in person?

They have destroyed the performing arts (see my post on that subject from June).  Our tickets for Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra were worthless, since all the 2020 concerts were canceled.  At least the organization got our money.  Will they survive?  Unknown.

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, entitled “Want Schools to Open? Get Serious about Outbreaks”, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and a co-author say these things:

[low-income children] These are the children whose futures will suffer most from keeping schools shut. The country chose the short-term benefit of reopening un-essential businesses over the long-term benefit of ensuring children could be educated properly. [This is manifestly BS.  Who are they to deem any business un-essential?]

…trying to open schools doesn’t mean pretending Covid poses no risk to children, a move that only sows distrust among parents [as if that statement didn’t sow distrust itself]. Closed schools in the spring protected many children from Covid [impossible to prove]. This deliberate sheltering means we don’t know all the consequences of the virus spreading widely in children [assumption that the consequences would be dire].

And possibly the worst part of all this destruction is that the People, from very early on, have been compliant, obedient, Sheep.  Notice how easy it was for most US Citizens to be herded into their homes, and ordered to stay there.  Like dogs, who drool on their masters and obsequiously do their bidding, the American people allowed themselves to be ruled by their elected officials, with next to no pushback.  Even now, six months later, there is still very little clamor from the people, demanding to be let out of their pens and go back to productive work.  The Powers are saying that it might be necessary for further lockdowns this year-where are the cries from the cowed, compliant masses?

The “Healthcare Emergency” that started in February is now over six months old, and Governments everywhere still have their boots on the necks of all citizens.  Most cities are enforcing mask requirements and insisting that people stay six feet away for all other people.  Bars and restaurants are still closed, or only partially open. Fear literally permeates the entire country.  Adults are prevented from meeting their friends outside, and in many places, even in their own homes!  No one’s life is safe from government mandates anymore.  Unemployment is still stubbornly high, and many people will soon exhaust their benefits.  Governments say, “don’t worry, we will take care of you, and protect you from that nasty, killer Virus”.  But most people don’t want the government to take care of them.  We want the Government to let us get back to work, and play.  We want our children to be able to play outside with their friends, and go to school to learn.

Most of us don’t want to be at war with everyone else.  We need to start fighting back against our own governments.  They are truly Drunk with Power, and need to be stopped.  Starting with the local level.  Tell your Rulers that you will elect new officials who see their citizens as adults who can make their own decisions, instead of as children who need to be controlled by their betters.  We need to Reject the War of All Against All, before we are All ruined.

Shall we try “canceling” the California teen…

…who tried, in a Twitter post (sorry, I will not link to anything on Twitter), to humiliate Trader Joe’s Grocery into changing all their generic/ethnic product names?  She did her best to bring down the wrath of the “Twitter Mob” on the grocery chain, who names some of its products after the countries in which they originated.  Say they want to sell soy sauce, they call their brand “Trader Ming’s”, or Italian Olive Oil, “Trader Giotto’s”.  We all know that TJ’s is being funny!  Those brands make their customers smile!

So, Little Miss Scold, @BrionesBedell, attempts to bring down the grocery chain.  Well, funny thing, she did not succeed!  The management at Trader Joe’s received so many notes of support from their customers, that they refused to bend to the winds of Political Correctness, and Cancel Culture!  We who shop at Trader Joe’s regularly, love those product names, and we love Trader Joe’s stores and their products.

So, Miss Briones Bedell, go crawl back under your rock, and be offended in private.  We don’t want to hear your scolding your elders and betters.

I’m very happy to support any of my readers and followers who are on Twitter in calling out this teenager, who needs a taste of her own medicine.

Lens-Artists Challenge #103-Surprise

A surprise is something unexpected, exciting, thrilling.

Animals

On our Hillsdale College cruise to Hawaii in 2018, we had a few hours in Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii.  We were taking a rest in a pleasant little shopping center, deciding where to go next, when I happened to glance at a tree behind me, and saw the big snail.  I got out my camera to take his picture, when I noticed, on the opposite side of his tree, a little green lizard!  I never would have noticed him if I hadn’t been zooming in on the snail.  And I’m pretty sure neither knew the other was there!

I also got a big kick out of this sign we saw in a coffee shop right by the dock where the cruise ship’s boat let us off.  How many places do you know where kids who misbehave are offered this?

CoffeeSign

Mongoose?  Someone at that coffee-shop has a great sense of humor.

 

Link

Dispatches from Furlough, Day Seven

Yesterday was the first day I spent entirely at home.  I didn’t go out of the house, except to get the mail late in the afternoon.  I did catch up on my Wall Street Journal, reading on my bed as usual.  Protected by my Fierce Guard Cat.

FierceGuardCat

I did 26 minutes on my rowing machine, listening to my old Rush Limbaugh podcasts.  For dinner, Hubby went over to our favorite local Thai restaurant, and got our favorites for takeout (pork Pad Thai for me and red curry chicken for him, and spring rolls).  We want to support our local eateries, as the stupid governor has tried to tank their businesses.

Last night, I did a couple of short posts here, and read and commented on Ricochet.  And I had a dream, about my job as an aerospace buyer.  I dreamt that I was at work, around a big round conference table with my fellow buyers and our supervisor.  The company had gotten us a bunch of swag, including orange t-shirts.  I remember thinking to myself, “I hate orange!”, which I do.  We were preparing to do the foul duty of getting ahold of all our suppliers to push out and cancel all our orders.  I got up to go get ice for my water, and couldn’t find any ice in the really messy break-room.  Then I woke up.  I wonder if that was a prophecy?

Today, just a few minutes ago, I got a text from work.  WE ARE GOING BACK TO WORK ON MONDAY!!!!!!!  Whew!  Dodged a bullet; nope dodged a barrage!  I am really glad to be returning to work, as I was worried about maybe being forced to retire before I really wanted to.  So now, I have about 3-1/2 days of vacation left.  My birthday is next Thursday, and I can’t imagine a better birthday present than going back to work.

Speaking of birthdays, normally Hubby and I go out for a big dinner for our birthdays, and we usually go to either of two of our favorite places, Ruth’s Chris or Daniel’s Broiler, both in Bellevue.  Well, all the state’s restaurants are now closed for in-person dining, and you can only get takeout.  I was resigned to cooking my own birthday dinner at home, when I thought to visit Daniel’s Broiler web site to see if we can get the dinner “to go”.  Well, yes we can!  So, I’ll be calling them and arranging to have our Filet Mignon and Garlic Mashed Potatoes delivered.  They use DoorDash, which I have heard of but never used.  This should be interesting, but very tasty.

How Seattle businesses prepare for the 2-week “Stay at Home” edict-Updated with Yep!

Remember Seattle?  The city on the Left Coast with the huge homeless population living in tents and under tarps on its streets?  The city where street people are allowed to remain on the streets if they don’t want to “accept help”?

20170302ballard_gm_006.JPG
The city has announced plans to clear away a homeless encampment under the south end of the Ballard Bridge. About six people are still living at the camp. (Genna Martin, seattlepi.com)

This article in today’s news just made me laugh (and vow, once again, to stay the hell out of Seattle, which won’t be difficult since the entire state is under the order to stay home unless involved in essential activities).

So people don’t break in and drink our alcohol”: Stores board up for stay-at-home order.

BoardedUpSeattle

Look away for a few minutes, and your livelihood is trashed.  Except for the fact that these businesses were already in danger of going under, due to the order that all bars and restaurants close, to slow the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus.  In this case, the cure may be worse than the disease for small businesses.

Update 3-27 And here it is-the article describing exactly what those business owners feared would happen:

Seattle restaurants hit by thieves, vandals, during coronavirus closures.

Right on time.  Welcome to lawless Seattle.

It’s The Culture, Stupid! How we got the Wuhan Coronavirus

It’s The Culture, Stupid! How we got the Wuhan Coronavirus

With Novel Coronavirus spreading like wildfire everywhere in the world now, perhaps you are wondering how it all started, where this virus came from in the first place.  You might wish to know how it was that, last fall in China, someone in the medical establishment there noticed some cases of a particularly nasty pneumonia cropping up around Hubei Province in central China; the capital city of Wuhan in particular.

Let’s start, then, at the beginning.  Chinese culture is very old, going back many centuries, and many of the culinary characteristics of today’s China are throwbacks to a much more primitive time.  In the long past, like in most countries, the Chinese people lived closer to the forests.  In those forests lived many species of animals, and the people killed and ate those animals.  When the Chinese people became more civilized, and moved into villages and then into cities, they brought many of their culinary tastes with them.  Chinese people today still have a taste for unusual foods like pangolin, bats, and sharks-fins.  It is well-known that Chinese will pay good money for some very unusual foods, and that has led to their encouraging of poaching of some endangered species.

Cultures in Africa also have a taste for some exotic wildlife, and many tribes today still live in or near jungles and forests, where they hunt and eat wild animals, sometimes including primates.  Here is a picture of a market stall in Africa, where they are selling exotic wildlife for food.

bushmeat-Africa

In Africa, this is called “bushmeat”, and you can see the face of a primate among the specimens in this market.  It is well-known that some diseases can be spread by the consumption of exotic animals, and that eating the flesh of primates may carry what is known in humans as Creutzfeld-Jakob disease.  This is a particularly gruesome, incurable condition that causes the brain to deteriorate.

Getting back to the beginning, scientists for decades have known that many exotic species of forest and jungle wildlife carry their own kinds of viruses and bacteria.  In these species, the pathogens often do not cause any kind of adverse effects or illnesses.  In fact, we humans also carry many harmless, and sometimes beneficial, viruses and bacteria (bacteria are what actually allows us to digest our food).  It is only when humans consume, or live among, these exotic species that their viruses and bacteria can “jump” to humans, and then they can cause very harmful diseases.  This process is called “zoonosis”.

In the early 20th Century, it has been determined, the virus that causes AIDS first jumped from African primates to humans.  It remained localized for a long time, but eventually made its way into civilization, and they was spread very rapidly by homosexual humans and their multiple sex partners (the original “spreader” was a flight attendant who boasted of over 2,500 partners).  The Ebola virus, whose name is a river in Africa, was spread by Africans and their penchant for eating bushmeat, and it remains a stubborn low-level epidemic in multiple parts of Africa.  Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a virus found in horses that can spread to humans, and African Swine Fever has recently decimated the pigs of China (it is similar to Ebola in humans).  Scientists and wildlife experts have been trying for decades to get Africans to stop eating bushmeat, but their efforts have been in vain.  Culture is just too powerful.

Well, the same kind of situation holds in modern China.  The Wuhan Wet Market is an institution in the large capital city of Hubei Province, where citizens can buy all manner of wild animals for food.  Investigators have determined that the virus that is now propagating everywhere in the world originated in bats sold in the market.  And the Chinese people have proven similarly resistant to giving up their cultural taste for exotic food.  The Communist Party has closed the market for now, but the culture does not change that quickly.  Here’s a new interesting article.

China has been a Communist country since 1949, and the Party has added another layer of culture over the original Chinese culture.  Their culture of secrecy and arrogance contributed in large part to the spread of this new disease.  However, their very-Chinese concentration on “saving face” also helped in a big way to keep this world-wide pandemic going.  The Communist Party’s prime directive is tranquillity-they will do anything to avoid unrest in the population.  So they did things like suppress news of the disease outbreak, and put the doctor who originally told his medical colleagues about it under isolation, making him sign a confession to “spreading rumors”, and condemning him to death from the virus.

Communism is Evil, and it can lead to situations like we are seeing now.  People all over the world are succumbing to this previously-unknown virus, and their deaths can be attributed in part to Chinese and Communist Culture.

See, I told you so

See, I told you so

I have mentioned many times on my blog how I refuse to give up my single-person, fully-owned automobile, in the face of environmentalist wackos trying to get us out of our cars.  My car is my Liberty.  Any time I want to go somewhere, as long as my car is working well (99.99% of the time), and has gas in the tank (100% of the time), I can just hop in the car and go.

Now, what about all those good little sheeple, city-dwellers who, in the name of “saving the planet”, gave up their cars, and take the bus, or the train, or walked, to work and everywhere else they needed to go?  What do they now do, when public transit is shut down in the face of a rampant viral disease epidemic? How do they now get around, when their only modes of transportation are not available?  Do they call Mommy and ask for a ride?  Do they impose on their friends who might have a car?

I guess there might just be disadvantages to giving up your personally-owned transportation.  When you have to depend on the government to take you where you need to go, you’d better have a backup plan, because government is sometimes unreliable.  Unlike your own car, which is always available for your use.

A sample of RushBabe’s Email for this week-Coronavirus Edition

The past week has been pretty volatile for everyone, around the world.  Whole countries “locked down”, stock-market swings like never before (2,000 points in one day on the Dow!), panic-buying leading to empty store shelves, restaurants and other public venues closing, and a death-count rising almost everywhere.  I live right smack in the middle of a “hot zone” in the Seattle area, so the local media is keeping us informed of conditions around Puget Sound.

I have a dedicated “professional” email account, where I direct emails from companies I buy from, both online and in person, and use for my employment contacts, should I be looking for a job.  For the past two weeks, I have been receiving emails from most of the stores and businesses I buy from, with a variety of updates and information on how they are dealing with the crisis.  Most places describe how they are keeping their own premises and employees safe; cleaning everything in sight, encouraging everyone to stay home if feeling sick, and following local and national guidelines.

Herewith, a sample of some of the emails I have been receiving:

The first one, from last week, from the head of Alaska Airlines. I was impressed that he has eight children-that’s pretty unusual these days, and I admire him for it:

Please be assured that Alaska Airlines is closely monitoring the situation, including conducting daily briefings with some of the best medical experts in the nation. Our top priority is always the safety of you and our employees. Check out our blog on the extra steps we are taking to keep our guests safe with additional cleaning and updates to onboard procedures.

At Alaska, we are optimistic about the future and hope you feel that way too. We launched our Peace of Mind policy so that you can take comfort in knowing that any ticket purchased after February 27, 2020 can be changed or canceled without a fee (applies for any travel through February 28, 2021). Today, we launched our biggest fare sale yet with fares starting as low as $20 one way* for travel between March 19, 2020 and May 20, 2020. And, we’ve got great deals to Hawaiʻi, New York and Florida starting at $99 one way.* We hope the combination of these great fares and our Peace of Mind policy will help those who want to travel this spring but are concerned their plans may change.

We understand that everyone is in a different place when it comes to what is best for you and your family. Just recently, Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said “I just want to echo again that the risk is low—the risk is low. I encourage Americans to go about their life. That includes travel to California, Oregon and the state of Washington.”

In closing, some of you may know that my wife and I are blessed with eight children. We have a family trip to Hawaiʻi planned for spring break this year, and we can’t wait to go! We know things can change, but we are looking forward to our trip together as a family. Hopefully we will see some of you there.

Thank you for being a Mileage Plan™ member.

Andrew Harrison

From my financial institution where I have my “play money” individual stock Roth IRA account:

As you might expect, volatility in the markets has increased the number of clients contacting us. Unfortunately, this has resulted in much longer than normal phone wait times, sometimes keeping us from delivering the level of service we are known for.

Given the potential spread of the virus over the coming weeks, we’re anticipating additional impacts that may lead to a continuation of extended wait times. In an effort to protect the safety and welfare of both our clients and associates, we may deem it necessary to limit or suspend person‑to‑person interactions between our clients and associates within our branches. If that is the case, our branch staff still would be available to clients by phone or other means. Please check the branch locator for the most up to date information on your local branch. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

They also emphasize that their Web site is the place to go for more information 24/7.

From Lands’ End, where I often buy clothing items.  They are located in rural Dodgeville, Wisconsin, and have some of the best customer service around:

We are following guidance from public health officials and government agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), so we can make assessments and provide information and guidance as the situation develops.

Employee self-care is important to us.  We continue to focus on encouraging washing your hands regularly, staying home when you are sick to prevent the spread of germs to others, and hand sanitizers are available for all employees. We also have restricted international travel and US travel is on a case by case basis.

In addition to our regular cleaning procedures at our retail stores, offices, and distribution center, there has been an increased focus on cleaning and sanitizing the more commonly touched hard surfaces, including entrances, bathrooms, fitting rooms, break rooms, conference rooms, phones and registers.

From Enterprise Rent-a-Car, where I often rent when out of town:

Enterprise Rent-A-Car® is offering College Student Travel Assistance in response to the closing of colleges and universities due to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns.

We are reducing the minimum age and waiving young renter fees for rentals through May 31, 2020, to help students get home safely and ease the burden on families during this time.

Details
• Available to college students 18–24 years of age
• Official student ID must be presented at the time of rental
• Valid on Economy through Fullsize cars, Minivans, Small Pickup Trucks and Cargo Vans
• Valid at U.S. locations only for rentals reserved in advance
• Standard driver and credit requirements apply (excluding minimum age)
• Expires May 31, 2020

A short and sweet note from Barnes and Noble bookstores, which have not been doing well lately, seeing their business decline due to the influence of Amazon.  They are still my primary source of the physical books I still buy (I do not buy ebooks-just old-fashioned, I guess):

Dear Reader,

We’re living through turbulent times together. Our booksellers are your neighbors, your friends and family. Your stories are our stories, and we know how resilient our communities are.

Sincerely,

The Booksellers of Barnes & Noble

An email from Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Israel, to whom I donate each year:

In light of the recent directives from Israel’s Ministry of Health in the fight against the Coronavirus (COV-19), Yad Vashem is closed to visitors from Sunday 15 March until further notice.

This one is interesting.  I buy tickets to the University Unitarian Church full-length Messiah Sing-and-Playalong each December, through local ticket agency Brown Paper Tickets.  They are known for their Social-Justice Warrior characteristics, and each ticket-buyer is offered a choice of charities to which to direct their share of agency profits (they concentrate, obviously, on social-service outfits).  Here’s the email I received from them:

To our events community,

For the first time in Brown Paper Tickets’ 20-year history, we are reaching out to our entire community of fans and supporters because artists, performers, and organizers are in crisis. They need our help now.

The impact of COVID-19 on small, community organizations is unprecedented. From independent bookstores, to local theaters, to arts nonprofits, event organizers are in immediate financial danger. For them, every ticket matters – one canceled event could mean the difference between making rent and closing their doors forever.

Our core mission at Brown Paper Tickets is to support events and the people who make events happen. Now, we’re asking you to join us.

Please consider contributing to your local arts organizations during this difficult time.

We currently have over 20,000 small events listed, and more are being added daily – purchasing a ticket to a future event now can have a huge positive impact. Many organizers also accept donations through our platform or on their own websites.

We know that the climate right now is one of uncertainty. Some events may be postponed, some may be canceled, but many will go on. Our commitment to you remains the same: 24/7/365 live support, full refunds for canceled events through the Brown Paper Tickets processor, and an unwavering belief in the power of our community.

Thank you,

And, finally, a missive from one of our favorite local restaurants.  We like going to the local Red Robin for a burger, and we know that they got their start in Seattle in the 1950s.  Their message was encouraging, since we are not locked down yet, and have been going out to eat when we can:

[Edit: Sorry, I just could not make their email work with all its formatting. Suffice it to day, RR is remaining open for business, with increased cleaning and as usual following all the CDC guidelines.  We plan on going there soon.]

Hubby and I are still very well, and living our lives as we have always done.  We are still working (he from home, me at the factory), washing our hands more often (even if our skin is beginning to look like a rhinoceros), and keeping up with regular activities.  We are not panicking, even if many others are (our local Costco is still out of toilet paper!).  And we are grateful that most of our favorite restaurants are still open for business.  It is gratifying that the entities I deal with in person and online are doing what they can to support their customers and employees.

We will make it through this crisis, if we keep a level head, follow directions from health authorities, and just keep on keeping on.

Spotted at Costco, of all places

This is one of the benefits of owning a smartphone.  When you come across something unusual you think your friends and blog followers might like, you just whip out your phone and take a picture.  What do you think of this new item on the shelf in Costco’s booze department?

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A most unusual item.  I’m guessing that 25% of the cost is in the bottle!

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Whew!  And it comes in its own nice display case.  Once you finish the brandy, the bottle is its own exhibit.