We Must Fight COVID Aggressively Right Now And Avoid Getting Too Lax Too Soon

3-6-21
   The COVID pandemic has been raging for over a year now. People are getting tired of wearing masks, social distancing, not seeing friends and family in person, not attending gatherings, and so on and so on. A great number of people are hurting financially due to jobs being lost or hours being severely curtailed because of the economic impacts of the pandemic. Many businesses are suffering and quite a few sadly have closed permanently.
   So I understand why people are so eager to try to get life back to a more normal level.
   But, the pandemic is still raging. While in a number of areas, cases have slowed down to some degree compared to during the holidays, the numbers of new cases are still dangerously high. And in many states and cities, the rate of new cases right now is higher as compared to the spring of 2020 when states went into total lockdown.
   I’m not saying we should to go into a total lockdown again. But we must continue to fight the pandemic.
   Texas has rescinded its mask wearing mandate and is allowing businesses to open to full capacity. This is dangerously premature and in my opinion will absolutely cost lives to be lost unnecessarily and tragically. It’s way too soon to open businesses at 100% capacity, and rescinding mask wearing mandates is grossly irresponsible.
   The COVID virus has mutated as viruses due. Currently, there are multiple variants spreading around the country and the world. Several have shown to be more contagious than the original strain. We also can’t say how efficacious the current vaccines will be against all these new variants. This is why mask wearing, social distancing, and restrictions on how many people are allowed inside businesses are still vitally important in fighting this virus.
   What we need is for everyone around the country and the world to continue wearing masks and social distancing in public. Businesses will have to find ways to function as best they can with restrictions such as limiting the number of customers allowed inside. We also need as many people as possible to get vaccinated as soon as they are able. If we do this, we will get control over the COVID virus much sooner, which in the long run will save lives and help businesses get back to more normal levels sooner than otherwise.
   But fully reopening and relaxing mask wearing/social distancing rules too soon will prolong the pandemic and cost more lives to be lost, lives which could have been saved otherwise. The other thing that would prolong the pandemic is if too many people refuse to get vaccinated. In order to reach herd immunity, we need as much of the population to get vaccinated as possible.
   So please, continue taking precautions. Wear masks and social distance in public. And when your turn comes, unless your doctor has a genuine legitimate reason not to, get vaccinated against the COVID virus.
   By working together we can get through this and get through it sooner. But it’s up to all of us.

The United States Badly Needs The COVID Relief Bill Passed

3-1-21
   People all around the country are hurting badly during this pandemic between health concerns, tragic deaths, and economic impacts.
   A great number of businesses are seriously hurting, and as a result, many people have found their hours being cut or their jobs lost completely. Even places that have been around for decades with devoted customers have had to shutter their doors permanently. Many people are on the precipice of potentially being kicked out of their apartments and homes. Millions of Americans are barely hanging on.
   But the thing is: this pandemic is still raging. People are still getting sick and too many are dying, so various restrictions are still needed to try to control spread of the disease and save lives.
   It’s a terrible dilemma. We have to balance fighting the virus while trying not to devastate the economy at the same time.
   This is why we really need Congress and the White House to pass the COVID relief bill as soon as possible. Everyone’s not going to get everything they want in the bill. This is a democracy in a time where partisan divides are often extreme and bitter. But we have to find ways to work together and get something passed to help people and businesses who are struggling economically as well as provide strategy and coordination in the effort to battle the devastating virus.
   Come on DC. Please get it done.

Everyone Needs To Do Their Part In Battling The COVID Pandemic

3-1-21
   I know people are sick and tired of the pandemic. They want to get out and do things. They miss restaurants, family gatherings, bars, movie theaters, the list goes on and on.
   People are getting impatient. They want their lives back to the way they were before.
   But folks, the COVID Pandemic is still raging.
   People are still dying. As a matter of fact, people are dying at a daily rate that is higher than was seen back in early 2020 when strict shut down measures were first instituted.
   We must all do our part to fight this deadly disease, and that means keep wearing masks and social distancing in public. It also means that when your turn comes to get a vaccine, get it! Unless your doctor has genuine legitimate reasons not to, get a COVID vaccine when your turn comes because it’s not just about protecting yourself. It’s about protecting everyone. In order to gain herd immunity in the population, we need as many people as possible to get vaccinated. That’s how it works. If a bunch of people refuse to get vaccinated, the pandemic will continue and people will keep dying needlessly, tragically, and before their time.
   So please, please, please: do your part.
   Practice social distancing and mask wearing in public. Avoid large gatherings especially when indoors. And when your turn comes, get vaccinated!
   Together, we will get through this.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

2021 Is Here

1-1-21
   It’s a new year!  The twisted, tortuous, brutal year of 2020 has finally drawn to a close which is a huge relief to people around the world.
   While we all hope that 2021 will be better than 2020, the reality is that it will take time.
   In the United States, COVID case numbers are scarily high with death tolls often reaching over 3000 in a 24 hour period. Many experts expect January to get particularly bad with a surge upon a surge occurring as the effects of people, who disregarded medical experts’ pleas to avoid big holiday gatherings, are felt.
   In addition to the COVID situation, Trump and his people are undermining American democracy with outrageously false claims about the election. While Trump’s attempts to steal the election away from the American people will fail, it appears he is going to try to hold as much power over the Republican Party, after he leaves office, as he can get away with. This is disturbing to say the least. Even though he will no longer be an elected official, he will likely try to control what Republicans (who are in elected positions) do by threatening to turn his followers against them. This is a form of authoritarianism that is dangerous and damaging to democracy.
   Thus, 2021 will not be a walk in the park. But hopefully, it’ll get better. Perhaps with time, some of the Republicans who have been going along with Trump’s outrageousness (even when they know he’s in the wrong) will finally grow a spine and turn away from him, but time will tell if that actually happens. Hopefully, the COVID vaccination program will pick up steam so that the majority of the population can get vaccinated as soon as possible, that way we can start reaching herd immunity. With herd immunity, we can begin getting life back to a more reasonable, enjoyable state.
   So, hang in there. People need to listen to medical experts and work together in combating COVID-19. We must stand up for our democratic values. People need to stop enabling Trump’s abhorrent, unAmerican behavior and recognize that the election was fair and that Trump legitimately lost. It’s time to put the toxic divisions and hate of the Trump years behind us and strive to help one another and work together in creating a better future.

Restrict Indoor Holiday Celebrations To Only Those Who Already Live In The Home.

12-20-20
   COVID cases are rising at a dangerous rate here in the United States. As a matter of fact, right now, the leading cause of death in the US is COVID with a person dying of the dangerous virus approximately every 30 seconds.
   Think about that: every 30 seconds, a human being dies of COVID-19 in the United States. Putting it in these terms: when you listen to Bing Crosby’s “A White Christmas,” odds are that 5-6 people just died of COVID in the United States.
   Think about that.
   As of 10am EST on December 20, 2020: 316,209 people have died of COVID in the United States, and with the way things are going, by April 1, there is a very real chance that number will be well over 500,000.
   There are a number of reasons for why the US is getting hammered so badly. One factor is that a number of viruses get worse in terms of spread during cold weather. Flu is an example of that.
   Another reason is due to the fact that the United States has mishandled this pandemic so badly. Leadership from the Federal Government has frequently been severely (or at times totally) lacking and when present, has often been uncoordinated and terribly inadequate. The Trump Administration has botched the job with confused, inconsistent responses and messaging which has often been filled with bad information and even flat out lies. In many ways, states have been left on their own in battling the pandemic (to a far greater extent than they should have been) with some states being more effective and responsible than others. The result has been a kind of disorganized ad hoc, patchwork approach instead of a coordinated national strategy.
   On top of this is the fact that many Americans (including Donald Trump) are still not taking this pandemic seriously and frequently disregard social distancing and mask wearing guidelines. Far too many people ignored the pleas of the medical community and went ahead and traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday to have inappropriately large gatherings. This undoubtedly worsened surge of COVID cases and deaths this country is seeing.
   Enough folks!
   The COVID pandemic is real, serious, and deadly. COVID has a significantly higher mortality rate than flu and can lead to debilitating long term effects in some who survive it.
   Another factor in COVID’s rapid spread is how a number of people who get COVID have mild or no symptoms but can still unknowingly spread it to other people, who in turn may be at high risk of serious disease and potentially even death.
   Hospitals around the country are nearing (or have reached capacity), and ER personnel are beyond exhausted with too many getting sick themselves. Southern California is literally running out of ICU beds as I write this. When hospital systems get overwhelmed, more people die who could have been saved otherwise.
   So, damn it, open your minds and do your part.
   Listen to the scientists and medical experts. Practice social distancing and mask wearing in public. Don’t have big holiday gatherings. Holiday celebrations (particularly indoor ones) should be restricted to only those who already live in the household. Stay home as much as you can. This is not the time for unnecessary travel, big indoor gatherings, and such.
   We are at war with COVID, and everyone should make adjustments in their lives in order to do their part in combating the virus to save lives.
   It’s up to all of us!

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

12-7-20: 282,436 People Have Died In The US From COVID 19

12-7-20
   COVID cases are rising at a dangerous rate here in the United States. As a matter of fact, right now, the leading cause of death in the US is COVID with a person dying of the dangerous virus every 30 seconds.
   Think about that: every 30 seconds, a human being dies of COVID-19 in the United States, and it will get worse.
   As of December 7, 2020: 282,436 people have died of COVID in the United States, and with the way things are going, by April 1, there is a very real chance that number will be well over 500,000.
   There are a number of reasons for why the US is getting hammered so badly. One factor is that a number of viruses get worse in terms of spread during cold weather. Flu is an example of that.
   Another reason is due to the fact that the United States has mishandled this pandemic so badly. Leadership from the Federal Government has frequently been severely (or at times totally) lacking and when present, has often been uncoordinated and terribly inadequate. The Trump Administration has botched the job with its confused, inconsistent responses and messaging which has often been filled with bad information and even flat out lies. In many ways, states have been left on their own in battling the pandemic (to a far greater extent than they should have been) with some states being more effective and responsible than others. The result has been a kind of disorganized ad hoc, patchwork approach instead of a coordinated national strategy.
   On top of this is the fact that many Americans (including Donald Trump) are still not taking this pandemic seriously and frequently disregard social distancing and mask wearing guidelines. Far too many people ignored the pleas of the medical community and went ahead and traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday to have inappropriately large gatherings. There will undoubtedly be a worsened surge of COVID cases and deaths because of this.
   Enough folks!
   The COVID pandemic is real, serious, and deadly. COVID has a significantly higher mortality rate than flu and can lead to debilitating long term effects in some of the people who survive it.
   People can also get COVID without symptoms but unknowingly spread it to others.
   Hospitals around the country are nearing (or have reached capacity), and ER personnel are beyond exhausted with too many getting sick themselves. When hospital systems get overwhelmed like this, more people die who could have been saved otherwise.
   So, damn it, open your minds and do your part.
   Listen to the scientists and medical experts. Practice social distancing and mask wearing in public. Don’t have big holiday gatherings. Holiday celebrations (particularly indoor ones) should be restricted to only those who already live in the household. Stay home as much as you can. This is not the time for vacation travel, big indoor gatherings, and such.
   We are at war with COVID, and everyone should make adjustments in their lives to do their part in combating the virus and thus save lives.

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

12-5-20: The Leading Cause Of Death In The US Right Now Is COVID-19

12-5-20
  Cold weather is arriving in the Northern Hemisphere, and with it is a rising tide of COVID cases, especially in the United States. To anyone paying attention to what has been going on, this should come as no surprise. As a matter of fact, right now, the leading cause of death in the United States is COVID, with a person dying of the dangerous virus every 30 seconds.
   Think about that: every 30 seconds, a human being dies of COVID-19 in the United States, and we haven’t even seen the full effects of the surge of new cases that is coming due to people ignoring medical advice and having big Thanksgiving gatherings.
   As of December 5, 2020: 280,634 people have died of COVID in the United States. At the rate the US is going, by April 1, 2021, there is a very real chance that number will be over 500,000 dead which would be more than the 418,500 Americans who were killed in World War 2 (and that’s the entire war, both fronts).
   Now, consider how the United States as a whole has done a terrible job in trying to deal with the COVID pandemic. The Trump Administration has grossly mishandled the crisis with confusion, incompetence, false information, and a lack of coordination coming from the White House. States have in many ways been left to their own devices in battling the pandemic far more than they should have been. Their tactics have varied with some being more effective than others. The result has been a kind of ad hoc, patchwork approach instead of a coordinated national strategy. On top of this is the fact many Americans (including Donald Trump) are still not taking this pandemic seriously and frequently disregard social distancing and mask wearing guidelines.
   As a result of this confused quagmire of a response, it is no surprise that we are now seeing record numbers of cases throughout the country, and tragically, it will get worse. Many more people are going to die.
   Each and every one of us has a responsibility to do our part in combating COVID.
   Practice social distancing and mask wearing whenever you are in public. Educate yourself in what you need to do in fighting the pandemic. Avoid big crowds, especially when indoors. Do not have big holiday gatherings. Period. Holiday celebrations should be restricted to only those who live in the household already. No one from the outside should be there.
   Remember since people can carry the virus without even knowing it, this is more than keeping yourself safe. It’s about keeping everyone you come in contact with safe as well.
   By working together, we can get through this.
   It’s up to all of us!

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Trump’s Lies About The Election Are Endangering America

11-17-20
   Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the presidential election. That is very clear, yet Donald Trump has thus far refused to concede and is making baseless, destructive accusations of fraud. In addition to that, Trump is refusing to allow the Biden transition team the access it needs to prepare for the peaceful, safe transfer of power from the old administration to the new.
   All states are reporting that no significant irregularities occurred this election. International observers monitored the election as well and are also reporting that no widespread irregularities happened. As a matter of fact, an international observer report has criticized Trump for making baseless claims against the election.
   The United States is deeply divided to a scary, unhealthy degree with people, organizations, and political parties not trusting each other and often even hating one another. It’s hurting our nation. Donald Trump has exacerbated these divisions throughout his time in politics and the presidency.
   It’s no surprise that Trump is making unfounded claims of fraud despite having no evidence for it. He has been sending clear signals for months that he would act like this if he lost. Thing is, Trump’s childish behavior making baseless attacks upon the election is hurting our democracy. Even when Trump is clearly lying, millions of Americans still choose to believe him. This means that even though there is overwhelming evidence that the election was fair, millions of Americans think the contrary.
   This is dangerous and is really hurting our nation.
   Elections and the peaceful transfer of power is part of the very foundation of the United States. It’s a major factor in making this nation great. But Donald Trump (along with the millions of Americans going along with his dangerous behavior) is undermining the entire process with false claims of fraud and in doing this is undermining the United States itself.
   By impeding the transition process as he is currently doing, Trump is endangering this country’s national security as well as increasing the likelihood that more innocent people will needlessly die from COVID. Biden should be receiving intelligence briefings like Trump does, but Trump is blocking this from happening. Biden officials should be coordinating with Trump officials in the various government departments (such as the State Dept, Intelligence, Defense, Health, and so on) to ensure a smooth transition so that things don’t get screwed up and fall through the cracks. Again, Trump is blocking this. The production and distribution of new COVID vaccines is a monumental, complex operation that will go well beyond the date of the inauguration. Biden’s COVID officials need to be coordinating with Trump’s to avoid confusion and delays that would cost lives. But Trump is preventing this from occurring as well.
   People need to open their minds.
   Joe Biden won in a free, fair election, and Donald Trump lost. Time for people to accept this and move forward.
   To be blunt, stop blindly following Donald Trump! Don’t blindly follow anyone. Look at the facts using varied, reliable, independent sources for information. Don’t use sites that just tell you what you want to hear.
   There is no evidence of widespread irregularities. None.
   Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election fairly.
   Time for people to accept that and move forward. Demand that the transition process proceed. Put pressure on Republican officials to demand this as well.
   And for goodness sakes, quit blindly following Donald Trump’s outrageous, dangerous lies and rhetoric.  Don’t contribute to undermining democracy, people’s health, and the security of this nation because that is what Trump’s actions are doing right now.
   Stand up for truth, honesty, democracy, helping one another, and trying to do the right thing.
   We need to start working together so that we can begin healing this nation and get through this pandemic.

The COVID Pandemic Is Getting Worse

11-14-20
   Cold weather is arriving in the Northern Hemisphere, and with it is a rising tide of COVID cases, especially in the United States. To anyone paying attention to what has been going on, this should come as no surprise.
   Other viruses such as the common cold and flu often seem worse in terms of numbers during colder weather as compared to warmer weather. There are a variety of possible causes for this phenomenon that we won’t delve into here.
   Now, consider how the United States as a whole has done a terrible job in trying to deal with the COVID pandemic. The Trump Administration has grossly mishandled the crisis with confusion, incompetence, false information, and a lack of coordination coming from the White House. States have in many ways been left to their own devices in battling the pandemic far more than they should have been. Their tactics have varied with some being more effective than others. The result has been a kind of ad hoc, patchwork approach instead of a coordinated national strategy. On top of this is the fact many Americans (including Donald Trump) are not taking this pandemic seriously and frequently disregard social distancing and mask wearing guidelines.
   As a result of this confused quagmire of a response, it is no surprise that we are now seeing record numbers of cases throughout the country, and tragically, it will get worse. Many more people are going to die.
   Since Trump is president until Biden’s inauguration on January 20th, we cannot expect much, or any, new help from the federal government for the next couple of months. It will primarily be up to local and state governments to do what they can in addition to every day people.
   Each and every one of us has a responsibility to do our part in combating COVID.
   Practice social distancing and mask wearing whenever you are in public. Educate yourself in what you need to do in fighting the pandemic. Avoid big crowds, especially when indoors. Don’t have big holiday gatherings with people coming from all around because doing so would spread the virus.
   Remember since people can carry the virus without even knowing it, this is more than keeping yourself safe. It’s about keeping everyone you come in contact with safe as well.
   By working together, we can get through this.
   It’s up to all of us!

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/

Trump Proves Over And Over How Unqualified He Is As President

10-25-20
   Let’s get one thing out of the way. I’m an Independent politically and don’t blindly follow anyone or anything. I look at the evidence and make the best decisions I can.
   It’s very clear how horrendously bad a president Donald Trump is. His outrageous hurtful rhetoric, colossal scale of lying, authoritarian tendencies, xenophobic behavior, and gross mishandling of the COVID pandemic are well known. Trump seems to go out of his way to avoid upsetting Russia and has not held the adversarial nation accountable for its ongoing cyber attacks on the United States. He has also not adequately addressed the serious accusations of Russia paying bounties for killing US and Coalition soldiers in the Middle East. On top of that, he and other Republicans are using the courts to try to take away Obamacare in the middle of this pandemic without having any replacement whatsoever. If they succeed, millions of Americans with pre-existing medical conditions would be at risk of losing their health insurance during the COVID 19 crisis. Think about that. If you don’t have a pre-existing medical condition, I bet you know someone who does. Trump is also engaged in voter suppression with his baseless, unfounded attacks on mail in voting. He is clearly trying to hinder the ability of people (whom he fears will vote against him) to vote. This sort of behavior goes against the very foundation of our country and democracy itself.
   Now consider this: Trump is totally disregarding social distancing and mask wearing guidelines at his political rallies. During these events, people are gathering in very close quarters (often shoulder to shoulder) and the majority are not wearing masks. The September 26 White House event in the Rose Garden has already proven to be a COVID super-spreader event that led to over 20 confirmed cases and has potentially led to the exposure of hundreds (or even thousands) more people. Some of these rallies could end up being even worse super-spreader events. How many people are going to get sick from these Trump rallies, and how many will die? Think about that. This exemplifies how horribly the Trump Administration has been handling the COVID pandemic.
   I could go on and on. The point is that whatever your political views, it’s time to unite behind Joe Biden and Kamala Harris because we must vote Trump out of the White House. We also need to vote a Democratic majority to both Chambers of Congress in order to start trying to repair the damage being done to this country by Trump and numerous other DC Republicans.
   The United States cannot afford 4 more years of Donald Trump.
   It’s time to bring back decency, thoughtfulness, respect, humanity, empathy, and service to the White House and Federal Government.