Day 9 – 10 of Incarceration, March 24-25

Before I begin this blog, as of the week of April 10

93% of Americans say they are social distancing.

82% are washing their hands frequently

6% say they have been tested for the virus, while another 6% say they’ve had test requests denied.

11% personally know someone who has been diagnosed with the virus

41% say someone in their community has the virus

33% say they or someone in their family has been laid off

Our news people – local people – are working from home.

I tried to get medication for my dog from the vet and it took forever.  The post office is slower.  Duh, workers are staying home, to take care of their families.

Health officials say a state by state approach for providing ventilators and other medical needs won’t work.  If they try that, Fauci says it wouldn’t apply to hot spots like New York.

Newsom has no trepidation that anything t does will get in the way of California’s plans.

Responding to T wanting to go back by Easter an Sacramento economic counselor said that would probably set us back by 5 years in terms of recovery if we come out and then have to go back into staying at home again.

Cuomo – cases doubling each 3 days.

Locally some businesses are defying the close order – a car audio shop, an appliance store, the Lodi parachute center.  Newsom says that he wants compliance willingly, but…  Some police departments say compliance may be coming or 6 months in jail and a $1000 fine    That’s in Modesto.  Sacramento says that will happen only in the most blatant circumstances.

Essential businesses:

  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies
  • Grocers
  • Restaurants
  • Banks
  • Laundromats
  • State and local governments

The stimulus package, if I have it correctly includes payment.

  • For a single person $1200
  • For a married couple $2400
  • $500 for each child under 17
  • payments will decrease for individuals earning up to $99,000 and couples earning $198,000.
  • There will only be one check – in the future more may be allotted.
  • Unemployment will be extended for 13 seeks and it is based on your 2019 taxes or, if not already turned in, then on your 2018 returns.
  • The government will provide people who are unemployed with a $600 weekly stipend for up to four months, on top of benefits already provided by states. Of course, Nebraska’s Ben Sasse, South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and Florida’s Rick Scott — voiced opposition to this provision, believing it would encourage laid off workers to stay on the unemployment rolls.
  • The deal allots $150 billion for the health care system and hospitals, which have been sounding the alarm that they will soon exceed capacity and are already running low on critical supplies; $100 billion will go directly to hospitals, and the additional funds will go toward supplies, medical research and workforce increases. Some $16 billion is specifically allotted for hospitals to procure supplies like personal protective equipment and ventilators.
  • Lawmakers say they are allocating at least $360 billion to help small businesses and nonprofits. Much of that will go to businesses to pay workers, mortgage interest and rent.
  • The Treasury Department will create a fund worth $500 billion or more to assist local and state governments and industries hit by the pandemic. The Treasury will also make $46 billion in direct financial assistance, including $25 billion to airlines, $17 billion for national security and $4 billion for cargo.
  • Democrats fought for stringent oversight of the Treasury fund, arguing that Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Mnuchin could personally benefit from the funds without anyone knowing. The GOP agreed to appoint an inspector general to oversee the fund, and any businesses controlled by Trump, Pence, Mnuchin, or heads of executive departments or their spouses, in-laws or offspring are barred from receiving loans.

If they pass the plan by April 6, the checks might arrive immediately by direct deposit or 4-5 weeks by snail mail.  I’m figuring that, by the time the checks are sent, they will already have been spent and the problem will be there again – perfect timing, of course.

Newsom – $4.5 billion is allotted for California cities and counties.  Some of this can be used for unemployment.  Some may get over $1000 a week.

200 banks and credit unions have committed to California that they will forebear on mortgage payments and foreclosures.  Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase and CitiBank have all said they would give waiver for home mortgage payment impacted by COVID for 90 days.  BANK OF AMERICA said they would only do 30 days.

Good news says the DOW which rose.

Schools have to provide computers and WiFi to students who don’t have them.

Dry Diggins Distillery is not making booze, but surface and hand sanitizers – for first responders and health care folks only.  And they are free.

Half the country is under orders to stay at home.  More than 60,000 cases.  Half are in New York.

Prince Charles of Britain has it.

Cuomo says their peak will probably hit in 3 weeks.  They have 5000 new cases today.  Is that 62,000 people?    They are setting up makeshift morgues.  He also says that extreme social distancing may be working already. He says that less social density means less cases.

New York has ten times the problem CA and WA have.

Every health care person says they are desperate for more tests and that they take too long to process.

The president again assures that we will be back in business by Easter.  Fouci says we have to be flexible, as he has told the president.

Cuomo says that 11,000 ventilators are on the way but they need 30,000.  He says they may have to “split” the ventilator for 2 people.

62% of the deaths are men.

54% of those over 75 die.

There are now 9 cases in Amazon’s warehouses.  2 officers have died in Detroit.  The NYPD has 200 officers with it.

Veterinarians are donating equipment including ventilators.

The governor of Louisiana laments that most of their cases have probably come from Mardi Gras.  Their new cases are growing faster than anywhere else in the WORLD.  She said that they MUST have federal assistance.  They have sick first responders, docs and nurses.

Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York message to their workers is that this is the humanitarian mission of our lifetime.

There are 5 morgues in NY.  They are at or near capacity.

2 babies are infected with COVID in San Diego.

Again today a health care official complains that they can’t get tested or get results of tests.

People, family of the sick and dying, are now turned away from the hospital.  They can’t be with a dying husband or child.  They can talk through glass or Facetime.  Many never got to say goodbye.  Senator Amy Klobuchar’s husband is one of these.  She can’t even hold his hand.

All surgical residents at the University of Southern California are now learning how be critical care nurses.

The rate of increase in Italy is slowing to single digits for 3 days.

In New York Elmhurst Hospital has brought in a refrigerated truck for corpses.  “The only beds we have been able to free up are people who have died.”

Florida has no stay at home order.  Idaho finally has as of today.  This is crazy.  Since the governor of Alabama will not call for a stay at home order, the city of Birmingham has.

Crazier still, Mississippi not only doesn’t have a stay at home order, Governor Tate Reeves has announced an executive order superseding any order given by local mayors or other governing bodies that conflict with businesses and organizations HE deems exempt as essential businesses.  For instance, the mayor of Tupelo has announced stay at home orders and other plans.  Reeves says they can’t do that and they MUST HAVE DINE IN RESTAURANTS.  He said that all nonessential businesses should shut down, but all businesses are essential including any/all offices, so no offices can be closed.  Cities and counties have been carrying out appropriate actions but he has smashed them.  Therefore, business have scuttled the work from home orders and ordered employees back to work on site.   Can he be sued by all of the relatives of those who will die because of his capriciousness?  Of course, the same can be asked of the president.

In the United Kingdom they have asked for 250,000 citizens to volunteer to help health service workers.  ½ million citizens have signed up.  6000 mental health workers have offered to work with people having mental problems – for free.

New York University students will get early graduation if they begin to work as interns NOW.

  • They must meet all requirements (excluding night and call – what ever that is)
  • Voluntarily agree to work as a doctor in internal or emergency medicine, even if those are not the fields you are going into.

Of course, they must also be willing to get the disease.

There is a mad scramble for masks, gowns and ventilators.  Another governor said that pitting the states against each other drives up prices.

They are getting masks and gloves from construction companies, nail salons and tattoo parlors.

They are getting ventilators from large animal vets because they can probably be used by people.

Not only are they competing against other states this governor said, they are competing against FEMA and other countries for the supplies they need.  State official and health care leaders are begging the feds to use the war time law to bring order and insure the US has the gear it needs.  T. administration has declined.

Some of the supplies that have been sent from the stockpiles are items that are old or expired, officials say.

NY, OR and PA call for a nationalized medical equipment chain to stop states and the feds from competing and to decide what supplies go to whom where and when.

No national shut down, therefore many people don’t take is seriously.  The Surgeon General says everyone must stay home, but it is not a national policy.

Remember World War II, or if not, remember learning about it in high school?  The United States was not prepared.  In fact, the military were using beer cans as projectiles in their larger guns.  Overnight the country was totally mobilized and was able to eventually be the reason the Japanese and Germans are not running the world today.  The will and determination of President Roosevelt and the threat of worldwide conflagration and subjugation inspired the country to mobilize immediately.  Although it wasn’t as fast, when President Kennedy called for a man on the moon in less than ten years, he captured the imagination of the American people who mobilized the power of the country, its industry and finances so the Space Program could succeed.

There are other examples of what the United States can do when we must.  There is a reason we deserved to be called the most powerful country on earth.  However, a norovirus and an inept president have left us scurrying for ventilators and toilet paper, hospital beds and hand sanitizer.  Roosevelt and Kennedy accepted the responsibility of being a leader, a president who could get things done through enlisting experts, inspiring the people and organizing a nationwide response.  We will survive COVID 19 and in the process learn about the weaknesses of our system under a weak president.  I pray that our current president will not be reelected because I think it will mean the end of democracy as we have loved it since the Declaration of Independence.   The next president has to be able to unite a dangerously divided country, because the disease will not be the problem then, it will be an economy that isn’t functional and a people divided by petty politics – not so petty after all.

 

 

 

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