these next six weeks or so, even though it is likely almost all of us will eventually be exposed to the virus (ie it’s not going away)? Because there is going to be a peak period soon when hospitals will be overwhelmed, we won’t have enough respirators, and doctors will start triaging. You don’t want to be caught in that wave if you are among those for whom this is most dangerous: older, preexisting illnesses and conditions.

If you are going to get sick, it’s better after the peak, when there are facilities and personnel available and, importantly, medical personnel are experienced in how to deal with this. Better late than now, is the saying, I guess.

I was thinking about all that yesterday when walking with Scout in the forest. We live in a system that is highly connected. But with that high degree of connection comes a fragility that is going to be tested in the coming months. We have to live up to it.

The NY Times and other publications have dropped their paywall for information about the pandemic.

As of today, 14 March 2020, here is where we stand:

Please understand that the numbers are skewed because the United State is WAY BEHIND in testing.

I went to the food store this morning, more to see what the status of things was after last night’s events.

Certain areas were pretty picked over. No ramen; people having flashbacks to college perhaps. Lots of soups gone. Certain other items.

People were being extra-friendly, which was interesting. I’ll talk more about this in a couple of days, but there is a curve on that we might go through that won’t be pretty, but right now, everyone is nervous, but sort of okay.

The most interesting part was that only one checkout line was open. Yet there were a lot of people working restacking shelves. Since it wasn’t that crowded this morning, I’m assuming they got swamped last night. But standing near the manager’s desk, she was on the phone and in less than two minutes called five different people asking if they could come in to work. That’s a dark cloud on the horizon.

What really surprised me was people were still waiting in line in their cars at Starbucks and Chik-Fil-A. I don’t want to be a downer, but really? I feel bad for the gig workers. Many have no health insurance (I estimate my wife and I have spent over a half million dollars in health insurance over the past several decades and as deductibles keep going up, getting less and less back– we got zero paid the last two years). Lots of people losing their jobs for an uncertain future.

On a shit does happen note, I got back this morning to see lots of smoke behind our house. A neighbor’s house behind and to the side was in the process of having the fire department put out a pretty serious fire. The couple were taken by ambulance already to the hospital. You could tell the first had started at the fireplace and gutted a third of the house. So the thing is, while we are focused on one thing, we can miss other potentially dangerous things. Keep your head clear. Take deep breaths. Focus on your surroundings.

I tend to be snarky and was going to be that in this blog, but I think it’s already too late for that. Yes, we need a sense of humor, but many people are already hurting. A big key is to be positive. It might seem extreme but I just posted an update to the acronym SURVIVAL on my free slideshow page– if you understand what each letter stands for you can apply it to this brewing storm.

To the right are some of the free slideshows on the page– there are more. Feel free to peruse; they are linked via Slideshare, a vetted web site, so you can also download them if need be.

Remember– no hugs or handshakes. We use: