Days 11 and 12 of Incarceration, March 26 and 27

The diagram above is included just so that people know what a diagram is.  I know that sounds silly but I don’t think that t does, or maybe he just doesn’t know how to organize the sort of work this illustrates.  The Pentagon does.

Closures or changes:

In our eastern mall the Indian market and café sign says to stay 6 feet apart and take food to go.  The hair design place sign asked that people not come sick.  Star cleaners has reduced hours.  State Farm says to call.  The bail bond company is open, but call, don’t come in.  The chiropractor is closed.  The Vision Center is closed – make an appointment to pick up your glasses.  Ambiance gift shop is closed.  H&R Block – drop off your paperwork.

In the western mall:  The Beach House restaurant has only food to go and includes draft beer and beer and wine by the bottle.  (How do they do draft beer?)  Another dentist – delay any non-essential work until May.

A neighbor, Francesca, said she was told that she knew doctors who were trying to use scuba masks.

She also said that people my age are in The Kill Zone.  Boy would I like to have time to write about that, but obviously my time is limited though it has not ended as yet.  Xmas letter

She is a high school teacher.  She said one high school (Granite Bay) has the kids doing more than they would be doing if actually coming to school.  Another (Oakmont) has kids doing about the same as they would be at school.  Roseville is doing 2/3ds of the work and Antelope is doing about half the work.  She just shook her head.  Antelope wants to start having weekly math meetings starting May 1. (Er, normally the school year only lasts until the end of May.)

Today or yesterday the state of California got 186,00 new unemployment claims.

The Labor Department received 3.3 million unemployed claims last week.  That is four times as many as in 1982.

T’s response to the unemployed is that “we’re taking care of our people.  It is not their fault what has happened.  We are sending them very big checks.”  A family of 4 will receive around $3400.  (But that is a single check – a house payment, a car payment, food…)  Later maybe more, he said.

“They say” that everyone will get a stimulus check – those on social security, the disabled, the unemployed, vets – all.  (t didn’t say this, I’m not sure he even knows it.  Originally he said two checks, not one.)

We have arrived.  The U.S. now has more cases on COVID in the world ahead of China or Italy.

Newsom says we need 50,000 beds – already have 30,000, but normally they are full.  We can use tents possibly, but we also need ICU equipment and STAFF.


A local doctor has one n95 mask and doesn’t know where his next one is coming from.  (That is why we need tens of millions more.)

Elk Grove, CA: no evictions for now until this is over.

6’ is two shopping cart lengths.

Don’t flush disposable wipes and anything but toilet paper down the toilet.


23 sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt are now positive.  They all will be tested.  (Gee, where are THEY getting the tests.)

T sends a letter to the governors of 28 states with stay at home orders saying that there could be an easing of restrictions at some point soon.  (How does he do that?  They aren’t his restrictions.  He doesn’t do the appropriate restrictions.)

A nurse died at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York.

At Elmhurst Hospital in New York only 5 ventilators arrived today.  Normally people are on ventilators for 3-5 days.  With COVID it takes 11-12 days, some longer.

Nurse: they told us ventilators are coming.  Are they really coming?  Are we really going to get them?  No

The governor of Texas, one of the states who has done nothing, said the if anyone comes from NY, NJ or CONN, they must go into quarantine for 14 days or face a fine and jail time.  (Conn?  Connecticut has cases, but nothing like NY or NJ.  Why punish them?  But who said anything is rational about any of this?  Could one reason be that they are all Democratic?)

A New York doctor sent his 2 children out of state to keep from infecting them himself.

Even as the crisis expands, t says he wants to open the country soon.  They are planning new guidelines categorizing counties as to high, medium or low risk.  (For what purpose?)  “People,” he says, “want to get back to work and I think it will happen quickly.  3.3 million is a lot of jobs but I’m sure we’ll come back strong as soon as we get back to work.  (What planet is he living on?)

Ask New Jersey about this.  They have 2400 new cases since yesterday.  Soon they will only test those symptomatic health care workers and first responders.  (WE ALL KNOW BY NOW THIS IS NOT ENOUGH BUT THERE ARE NO TESTS.  Well, most of us know.)


Philadelphia plans to reduce its jail population.  (Good idea, but…)


Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (a Republican): his state is being outbid by the open market. He talked about how the states have to fend for themselves.  For instance, The producers had confirmed an order for millions of pieces of gear, but the order evaporated before our eyes.  Someone overbid.  There is no national coordinating role.  No mandating the manufacture of supplies and the feds are competing with the states.  We have a critical shortage of supplies.  (the usual complaint) All 50 states and hospitals are fighting against each other in a bidding war for these supplies.  It’s Lord of the Flies price gouging and hoarding.  We need bold federal action to take over the supply chain and direct the distribution of critical resources, to identify private sector capacity to produce millions more unites of PPEs and critical medical equipment.  We need a coordination of the distribution of these supplies ending competition.  We need to federalize the manufacture of critical medical supplies.  It’s every state for themselves leading to price gouging.  Lack of federal coordination – no one is prioritizing

The president says that all of this work that Baker is up to the states, that the feds are only a backup.  (Well, if that is so, it is definitely time for the backup.)

Florida is doing next to no testing.

The Army just asked for retired nurses and medics to come back for active duty.  They asked and 9000 retired soldiers said yes.

The head officer of the Army Corps of Engineers:  The business of the Army Corps of Engineers is speed building.  We have no time to build new hospitals.  We can

  • Change over college dorms or hotels easily
  • Convention centers and arenas are harder. We need each governor to tells us when he expects his peak to be so we do the right work at the right time.

Charleston, SC shut down today.  Toilet paper is a big problem.

From The Week, March 27

“China is now using ‘its spectacular success in rolling back the virus to project its soft power globally.’  Xi has pledged $20 million to help the World Health Organization improve public health systems in poor countries, and is sending doctors and medical equipment to hard-hit Italy.  Compare this with the selfishness of President t, who tried to cut funding for international pandemic prevention efforts and who weeks ago ‘portrayed the outbreak as good for America’ – claiming it would make America spend their dollars at home rather than abroad.” (Chinese): “Now other countries are trying to emulate the Chinese model, only too late and without giving China credit.  U.S. officials are even trying to blame China for their sick citizens by referring to the ‘Wuhan virus.”  It’s not China’s fault that America has been unable to organize a ‘coordinated national response’ as effectively ours.”

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer:  “…many Filipinos still lack access to basic sanitation… some 6 million Filipinos ‘in rural areas defecate ‘in open fields and waterways.’   The government has tried giving out toilets, with the idea that the residents would dig their own septic tanks.  But I’ve visited rural homes only to see a toilet bowl on the wall hanging like a vase, adorned with flowers.’”

Talking Points:  Gun and ammunition sales are surging in states hard hit by the new coronavirus.  Major supplies are out of stock, and customers have been lining up outside gun shops.  (Can you shoot a virus?).

March is usually one of the best months on the sports calendar with NBA and NHL playoffs nearing, college basketball entering March Madness, golfers preparing for the Masters, and baseball gearing up for opening day.  Instead, “It’s the Great Sports Shutdown of 2020.”

Hospitals:  A dire shortage of beds…the management of for-profit hospitals has spent years cutting their supplies and bed capacity in the name of efficiency, so if the novel coronavirus were to spread in this country with the speed and in the numbers it has in Iran, Italy and China, they will soon be overwhelmed.”  (Flash forward – that is what has happened.)

Jobs: Unemployment claims flood the states – The White House is pushing for a payroll tax cut, but that does nothing for people who are out of work.  We need to expand eligibility for unemployment insurance and include independent contractors.  Business can’t resume if there’s a wave of ruined credit scores, home foreclosures, and bankruptcies.

The bottom line:  U.S. crude oil prices fell this week to $24.62 a barrel, their lowest point since November 2002, as Saudi Arabia and Russia continued to ramp up production.  (t says that these two are our friends.)


Day 12 of Incarceration, March 27

According to the government we have reached a Level 4 travel advisory.  Don’t travel out of the country.  If you do, you might not get back in.

It has been amazing for me.  Some of the folks on the block have been helping one another and I think that is going to expand.  I’ve only been out once since the 15th and that was to walk with a friend and then I went for a bag of ground coffee.  So in twelve days I’ve been out 2 – and one of those was today.

Why could I stay in (and since I am in The Kill Zone, I should.)?  Because my neighbors help me.  Two have shopped for me.  I don’t need much, and they are willing to add my list (actually a few items out of my major list) to theirs.  Today I shopped for one of them.

So, I went to Belair because they have a post office.  That is the main reason I go there as they are more expensive than Save Mart.  But, no post office anymore.  I have to go across town to the main post to mail the three packages I have.  I didn’t even bother to shop, just left.  One of their doors in and out was blocked.  Wonder why.  It was after old folks hours 6-9 AM but there were lots of old folks there like me.  From the front of the store, everything looked normal.  I suspect I would have learned something different if I had gone down the aisles.

At Save Mart they were trying to guard against hoarding.  There were signs all over limiting me to one or two units (units?  I thought it was food or sundries.)

Two Units/ Customer One Unit/Customer
Bacon and sausages


Cleaning supplies

Cascade dish washer soap   ???

Dish soap


Laundry soap booster

Meat counter

Frozen veggies




Boxed foods like potatoes

Dried beans


Tomato canned products

Cereal in big bags



Peanut butter and jelly

Deli meats



Paper towels

Hand sanitizers


Toilet paper


I was pleased to notice that the booze section was fully stocked and there were no limitations on how much you could buy.  If we can drink, we’ll be fine.

Empty shelves Almost empty shelves
Paper towels

Hand sanitizer


Toilet paper


Cleaning products

Cascade dishwasher soap

Dish soap

Dried beans



Canned tomato products

Chili and canned beans





Bacon and sausages

There were 5 bottles of bleach

There were several detergent boosters

Laundry soap

Some meats and at the meat counter

there was only seafood not meat

Frozen entrees and vegetables

Eggs – most left were 2 doz pkgs


Soups – except in large boxes – broths

Boxed potatoes and pastas

Cereal in large bags

Peanut butter

The produce area looked complete.  It was eerie – as though an outside force had sucked all humanity out.   It wasn’t total as there were a few people at noon.  Everyone was very nice to each other as they tried to slide by on narrow aisles that were not designed for avoiding contact.  If two shopping carts = 6’, then it would be an unusual aisle where two can pass at once.

Gray shelves with nothing on them on one aisle and bright boxes, bottles and jars on others.  Lots of questions on mind about why people buy something and leave others.  There is a short story here.  Wish I had time to write it.

This morning the florist shop was closed with a message to call in orders.  The shoe shop cut its hours to 10-1:30. Another dentist is closed.  This is the strip mall on the west.

The EPA is allowing some environment laws to be put on the shelf.  (t finally gets part of what he wants.)

When this is all over, we’ll need health care to support all the medical facilities we have built.  Maybe universal health care won’t be such a strange idea.

I read about a town; the name escapes me.  It suffered a change of several severe storms.  The town wouldn’t let COVID sick residents into the storm shelter.

The naval ship Mercy arrived in LA today with 1000 more beds.  The patients will not be COVID sufferers.  The beds will be for people with other health issues.

92% of the cities in California say they haven’t enough tests

91.5% don’t have enough masks.

88.2 don’t have enough of the rest of the PPEs.

85% don’t have enough ventilators.

The post office delivery workers in Sacramento are nervous.  They have contact with people each day.  They lack cleaning supplies.  They don’t have enough gloves to change several times.  They have no masks.  One worker says he buys his own wipes.  The post office says there are enough prevention supplies, but this worker was afraid to give his name because he feared retribution.  There is no way for them to work from home.

COVID stays on cardboard up to a day.


t is trying to force GM to make ventilators.

t signed the stimulus package.

The PM Boris Johnson and the Health Minister of England tested positive.

30 states now have stay at home orders.

The Javits Center in New York will open on Monday.

512 of the NYPD now test positive.

New York has 44,000 cases.

At the Elmhurst Hospital in Queens 1000 people signed up to get tested.



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