Posts Tagged ‘Health’

I do not know which of our afflictions God intends that we overcome and which He means for us to bear.  But this is certain:  Some I have overcome, some I continue to bear.
  —  Jean Toomer
[This is an unusual post for me.  This post is being written on 28 May, three days after the Memorial Day weekend.  Yesterday, the U.S. passed 100K in deaths due to COVID-19.  We are dying at just under 1,000 lives per day.  We are engaged in a great social experiment testing whether we can open our economy without a plan to deal with the virus.  This post is scheduled to go online roughly 15 days after the holiday weekend.  If the President’s gamble was correct, the average death rate will be at or below 1,000 per day.  If his gamble (with our lives) is incorrect, the death rate will be higher – and potentially much higher.  Only time will tell.   —   KMAB]
Follow Up to Last Year’s Post (115,000+):
The “post” above is from one year ago.  It is still too early to tell how good / bad a gamble President Trump took with the health of the nation.  Partly because it is still too soon to have had academia take a look at the data and partly because a number of states – mostly (but not exclusively) with Republican governors (Florida) – are using their office / administrations to hide the true / accurate numbers of illnesses and deaths for political reasons.  We do know that since the Inauguration, the vaccine count has gone from under 50 million to over 300 million.  Over 50% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of vaccine.  Part of this success is attributable to a competent President / Administration and part to the manufacture and distribution of the various vaccines ramping up.
As for our losses, the current “rolling” weekly death average is under 500 per day.  A few weeks ago, the CDC also updated the information on their site to “confirm” that not only are the vaccinated unlikely to get seriously ill and die (still 5 – 10% chance of illness, and less than 1% chance of death), you are also unlikely to become infected and ill at all (15 – 20% illness rate once vaccine period is completed).  Again, it’s too early to KNOW the exact numbers, but in this case it’s because (it is my understanding) “illness” is being self-reported.  Still, this is “good” news and we should see the economy and society begin to return to normal.  We’ve dodged a bullet this time folks.  I am not making light of the individual losses to family members and friends, but the virus could have been a lot more lethal and we still have a considerable way to go on getting the rest of the way to herd immunity.  Let’s hope we are better prepared for the next epidemic…
On This Day In:
2020 115,000+
2019 One Generation’s View
2018 The One Thing
2017 Never Give Up
2016 Which Generation Are We?
Congratulations, Kyle!
2015 Centered
2014 Economic Trinity
2013 At Both Ends
2012 Holding Allowance
2011 The Power Of Good

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Our bodies are apt to be our autobiographies.
    —    Frank Gelett Burgess
On This Day In:
2020 Unlike Faux News Viewers
2019 I Don’t Know Truth, Either
2018 An Approaching Disgrace
2017 Liberty, Collusion, History And The Republican Majority
2016 But I Have Too Many Questions
2015 A New Friend
2014 Do I Have To Fall In Love?
2013 More Democracy, Please
2012 Speaking Of Love
2011 Limits

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Plagues don’t come for one tribe or another;  they don’t smite a population because it’s gone astray;  they’re neither divine punishment nor a sign of the Rapture.
    —    Virginia  Heffernan
From her article:  “Words To Live By
Appearing in:  Wired Magazine;  dtd:  May 2020
On This Day In:
2020 Social Distancing
2019 Touched?
2018 Chillin’ With My Bro
Inconvenient Adventure
2017 Genuine Tragedies
2016 Why I’m Scared Of November
2015 I Can Tell Too
2014 In Hand
2013 No Fear
2012 Comic Books
Keeping The Peace
2011 You Still Have To Pay For It

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Every patient is a doctor after his cure.
    —    Irish Proverb
On This Day In:
2020 A Liar As President Corrupts Us
2019 Is It Dark And Quiet For You?
2018 Undeniable Requirement
2017 Orange Corrosion
2016 Both Particle And Wave
2015 Deep In Debt
2014 The Difference
2013 My Heart Is Described
2012 Keen To Be Alone
2011 The Ideal Business…
2010 55

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This afternoon, my wife and I both got our first COVID vaccine shots!  We’re also scheduled for our 2nd shots towards the end of March.  Two weeks after that we should be “fairly” safe from COVID.  So far (after 6 hrs), the only after-effects are a little shoulder soreness at the injection site.
It is important for everyone to understand: the vaccines do NOT prevent you from getting COVID or from developing long-term  COVID related illnesses OR transmitting COVID to others.  The vaccines are only supposed to prevent you from getting “seriously” ill and dying.  We got the Pfizer version which is 95% effective at preventing “serious” illness and was 100% effective preventing deaths during trials.  We still do not know how long the vaccines remain effective and / or if we will need periodic boosters (like the annual flu shots).
The bottom line is that even after we have reached some level of local / state / national / worldwide herd immunity, we will probably need to keep wearing masks and maintaining “some” social distancing.  We just don’t know enough yet and we will have to follow the science / data when it becomes available…
On This Day In:
2020 Decide, Support, Vote
2019 Aware Some
2018 Know Any Christians?
2017 The Only Thing I Can Give…
2016 Wiser But Less Cocksure
2015 Not Today
2014 …Am Too
2013 Credible?
2012 Both
2011 Risking Hidden Linkage

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Favorite Line(s):
My life has been a tapestry
Of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision
Of the ever-changing view
A wond’rous woven magic
In bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see
Impossible to hold
[A few days ago, I got word of an old friend’s passing (from COVID).  This makes two friends in less than a month.  This friend was a nurse who I bumped into at the ER over ten years ago when I went there for heart issues.  She didn’t recognize me as it had been almost 35 years since we’d seen each other.  I said she reminded me of someone I used to know back in the 1970’s in San Francisco and she got excited as she remembered me, too.  Anyway, I was having heart issues and she triaged me into the back area for an immediate IV and care.  The ER doctor said I was lucky as for most men my age (early 50’s back then), the first sign of heart problems is your face hitting the floor.  He said most men are “too tough” to admit they have a problem when they start to feel “a little” chest pain, and then their family is burying them.  So, in a very real way, this friend from the past helped to save my life.  This song came to mind as I was thinking about her passing.  The song is kind of sad (to me).  She was NOT like that at all.  She was enthusiasm, laughter and infectious smiles.  I guess, the song came to mind because it reminds me of the tapestry of our lives weaving in and out of other’s lives creating a vision we don’t really see until we’re well beyond the current moment.  I wish I’d been able to see her before her passing, so I could’ve thanked her for these extra years to work on my tapestry.   —  KMAB]
On This Day In:
2020 Can We At Least Set The Bar Higher Than An Incompetent Liar In The Oval Office?
2019 Uncertain Times
And Government Shutdowns, Too
2018 Satisfied
2017 In The Mind
2016 Dreaming
2015 The Best Medicine Is Also Contagious
2014 Eyes Off
2013 The More Things Change…
2012 The Delicate Moment Of Giving
2011 Ready, Shoot, Aim!!

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My “Do It Yourself” (DIY) efforts on setting up a home workout station are proceeding.  Below are some images of the yesterday’s progress…
Yesterday, I assembled my “double-double”.  Basically, it’s two striking targets attached at two ends.  The bottom target is roughly the height of a body shot (waist to lower ribs).  The top target is roughly the height for head shots (chin, front and side of the head).  You may notice a few things:
1)  the top attachment is vertical while the bottom is horizontal.  The bottom target would normally be either fixed to the flooring below or (using some type of rope or bungee) attached to a weight to stabilize the target and limit random / excessive swinging movement.  In this case, I had to work within the “command structure” of:  “I don’t want any of your weights damaging my concrete!”  So, I used a horizontal bungee (with a loop to keep the rope from sliding left and right).  The practical limitation to this setup is I cannot work around the target;  I am limited to the 180° on the front side.  Still, I can live with it…
2)  less obvious until you start hitting the targets…  They are not “fixed” within the netting.  There are gaps above and below the balls where they can move when struck.  The practical effect of this is they are not staying in the same place in the netting when you try to do a double-up punch (like two jabs to the head).  I will try to correct this by tying rope / paracord around one end of each ball / net to “lock” them into a more standard position within each net.
3)  FAR less obvious, (but which I have learned from recent experience,) is that these targets hit back at you – and from unexpected angles (at least up to now unexpected).  In my initial setup (prior to my wife’s objection), I had the bottom ball / net secured by weights.  This tended to produce reaction motion for both balls in a relatively circular motion around a vertical axis (much like an up-right cylinder).  After the modification to the bottom to include the horizontal bungee, a solid right punch to the bottom target resulted in a solid left hook by the upper ball to the right side of MY head.  My wife started laughing and said:  “It hits back!!”  (Note: NotAre you okay, dear?“)  As near as I can tell, this is due to the back and forth (back to front) motion of the lower horizontal bungee and the circular (like a vertical cylinder) motion of the upper vertical bungee.  My response:  “I’m gonna need a head-guard.”  Her reply:  “You sure are!“, still giggling.  Fortunately (for me), there wasn’t sufficient mass / speed in the basketball to knock me out, because it certainly struck me full on the side of my head at roughly temple / cheek height.
My next brilliant (okay, obvious) idea was to attach the original horizontal double-end target (“bag”) and see what that felt like.  To my surprise, a “triple-double” and it is terrific!  I now had a target (the bottom ball) for body shots, a target (the middle ball) for upper-cuts and body jabs, and a top target (the top ball) for chin and head shots.  The only trick now is to find a way to attach the original double-end to the double-double which keeps them together (when used together), but which also easily separates so I can continue to use the single-double on its own.  The original horizontal “single-double” works as a “slip-rope”.  A “slip” is when you move your head side to side (like a metronome) to avoid an incoming punch.  It is frequently accompanied by a “bob” (up and down head movement).  Together, they are referred to as “bobbing and weaving”.  Basically, I stand next to one post and move to the other ducking under the rope with each step to the side.  When I get to the middle, I release an upper-cut.  I then continue to the opposite post.  When I reach the post, I turn around and start back, trying to time the steps so my next upper cut with be with the other hand.  (Always try to practice every punch with both hands.)  Anyway, there is still some tweaking to do…
The next image is what’s happening in the background.  I attached a “hook-screw” to the back post and then I just swing the weighted chain up to it and hook onto it.  The lat-pulley set up is then out of the way for the boxing.  It is adjustable for more clearance, but because of the angles, it (the chained weights) doesn’t have to be as far back as I initially expected.
And, finally, here’s an image of the “normal” lat-pulldown.  We timed the set up and take down and it takes under a minute to set up or take down!  It takes longer to put on a single boxing hand-wrap than it does to set up the station for boxing.
And so the adventure continues…
On This Day In:
2020 Posting As A Continual Exercise
2019 Border Security – Yes, Border Wall – No
2018 Supporting Survival Values
2017 Inauguration Day 2017 [Sometimes, I hate it when I’m right! — KMAB]
2016 Or A Pot Of Gold After The Storm
2015 One, Two, Three…
2014 Lend Your Hand
2013 Amnesty, n.
2012 Best Resolv’d
The Clock Is Running
2011 Magic

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Some of you regular readers may recall I had a pull-up rack set up in a corner of my backyard.  Image below…

Pull-up Stand with Double-End Target

I was always intending to use the setup as a multi-function station for working out going forward.  My initial modification was the addition of two “eye-screws” to setup a horizontal double end punching bag.  As you see, I made it out of an old basketball, a basketball net and a couple of bungee cords.  This has worked out reasonably well…
The “main” goal of the setup was to have a pull-up station.  Unfortunately, it turns out I am FAR too out of shape to hang from the bar, let alone try to do a pull-up.  In my first (aborted) attempt, I nearly pulled my arms out of their sockets “trying” to hang.  I was able to hang for just long enough for me to remember my age before letting go (aka: “falling”).  Also, despite my interest in adding “DIY” boxing options, I will NOT EVER be boxing / sparring.  I have a heart condition and am on blood thinners which (technically) make me a “border-line” hemophiliac (a “bleeder”).  The boxing options are only for their fitness / exercise value.
To make a longer story short, I scavenged some parts from my old “Total-Gym” and have now set up a “Lat – pulldown” system which I can use to build up my strength until I can hang from the bar and try another pull-up.  Image below…

Image of Lower Bar & Lat Pulley Setup

Lower Bar & Lat Pulley Setup

A “Lat – pulldown” is an exercise which concentrates on the latissimus dorsi muscles.  These are the muscles used to pull something down from above your head or to pull your head and body up to something which is above your head / shoulders.  In this case, I am using four(4) ten pound weights.  At the moment I have completed day four(4) of a 30 day challenge to do five(5) sets of fifty(50) “reps” (repetitions).  After each set, I turn 45° and do a cross-body pull down Left to Right (50 reps) and then Right to Left (50 reps).  In all, 250 reps of the double and 250 reps per side.  As I get stronger (and less sore), I hope to get up to 10 sets per day.  Hopefully, by the end of the 30 days I will be able to suspend myself in a hanging position for a few seconds.  Then I can proceed to descending pull-ups, which will lead to actual “up” pull-ups.
I have an additional five(5) modifications under consideration:  1) adding a “slip bag”;  2)  adding a “heavy bag”;  3) adding a vertical “double-end, double bag”; 4) adding a “speed bag”; and, 5) adding a two-grip, low level pulley systems to create a “rower”.
So, that’s the progress.  And, that’s the future plans…  (Oh, yeah.  The posts and the rest of the back fence have to be painted / stained to help reduce / prevent weathering.)
On This Day In:
2020 Still Crazy After All These Years…
2019 20 / 20 Foresight
He Knew Damned Well…
2018 Be Someone’s Kindling
2017 When The Moment Comes
2016 Changed Clothes Lately?
2015 Like Stone
2014 Resistance Is Futile
2013 Subtle Humor
To Look Behind Green Eyes
2012 The Path Is Endless
2011 Happy MLK, Jr Day!!!
A Factor Of Ten
Better Late Than Never?
Acceptable Beginnings
Slow Progress
Useful Confrontation
When Phenomena Are Different
Creative Avoidance
Fast And Flexible
Surrender Certainty
Vive La Difference

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No practice today.  I tweaked my right knee walking our dog and then aggravated it more with a LONG walk around Costco (and unloading the car).
Instead, I’m posting an image of the “precision” target I mentioned in my prior post.

Tennis balls adapted for precision punching practice.

As you can see, it’s just two tennis balls strung up on a nylon cord with a bungee cord and a weight on the bottom end and more nylon cord (and rope) tying the top end to a hook in one of my rafters.  Simple, yet effective.  There are knots tied in the cord at either side of the tennis ball to prevent the ball from moving up or down the cord.  The base weight is just so I didn’t have to make any attachment (damage) to the floor.  The weight is just a single 10lb free weight.  I tried lighter and heavier weights.  Lighter (5lbs) and when the balls were struck, the weight moved  and banged into things.  Heavier (25lbs) was just too much of a hassle to move around to set up and take down.
This type of target is sometimes called a “double-end” target (“bag” when actual punching bags are used) or a “kangaroo” target.  My modification to the basic target was to add a second tennis ball.  This gives me a target at roughly chin height and one at roughly rib / solar plexus height.  This is the target I was using when trying on my gloves every couple of days.  Although it was “safe” in this location, it wasn’t particularly useful as I could hit it without “it” hitting anything else, but I couldn’t move around much (at all).  Now that I think about it, this was probably one of my earliest lessons:  “punching” is hitting things;  “boxing” is hitting things while you move around so they don’t hit you back.  (LoL)  Yes, I still learn the hard way every time!
On This Day In:
2019 Yet We Should Keep Trying
2018 Let Us Dare
2017 Two Good To Be Real
2016 Learning Subtle Differences
2015 Dog Eat Dog World?
2014 And Sometimes Blogs About It
2013 Outside-In
2012 They Are All Perfect
2011 Delegation – The “How-To’s”
2009 Diet Update and Other Bits & Bobs…

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So, what did I learn from my first lesson (yesterday) and today?  This is hard training.  Even with a very basic session…  I am old, and I am sore!  I had a difficult night sleeping because both of my shoulders and my neck are painful when pressed on or when moved.  Net result: I’m even more tired today from lack of sleep.
I slowed down my punching (attempts) as yesterday I missed the target at least a third of the time.  The target is a basketball suspended with bungee cords.  You would think it would be “easy” to hit something as big as a basketball…  It ain’t!!  Particularly when it’s moving / rebounding from an earlier strike.  So, the first lesson is start slow.  Learn the correct form.  Form leads to accuracy.  Speed will follow from form and accuracy.  (Eventually.)
The nice thing about never intending to hit (or get hit by) anyone is I can take as long as I want to practice individual punches:  left and right jabs, hooks, upper-cuts, straight punches.  Standing traditional and “peek-a-boo”;  conventional and southpaw.  I can also practice slipping and bobbing to my hearts content.  (My heart is pretty content after about a 30 second stretch.)  Then, it’s pause for 5-10 seconds to catch your breath and then start something else (or do it again).
I learned I need to wear my mouth guard and I’m going to need to get a head protector.  The ball “hits” back.  Not hard, like a real person.  But it’s hard enough to bite your tongue or the inside of your cheeks if you’re not concentrating.  The lacing holding the ball can slice you (forehead and cheeks) if you’re not careful.  And, lastly, basketballs have a course “pebbled” surface which makes them easier to dribble, but it will chafe you pretty good if it hits you at the wrong angle.  It might have been smarter to start with a smoother surfaced ball, like a soccer ball.  Oh, well…
End result:  pouring sweat, exhausted, exhilarated – fun!
Wife’s reaction:  “You’re too old to be doing this everyday.  You need to start with every other day or just a couple of times a week.”  When I pointed out she made me promise to use the gloves if I was going to buy them, she replied:  “Yes, but you’ve already used them twice as much as I EVER thought you would.
On This Day In:
2019 A Surprisingly Good Way
It’s Official X-mas (Tree) At Home
2018 Weight / Health Update
What’s Happening With You?
2017 The Great Leveler
Conservative Depressions
2016 Election + 1 Month
2015 Dance And Sing
2014 A Measuring Stick For Progress
2013 Courtly Love Or Victory Over Habit
2012 Have We Met?
2011 Efficiently Useless

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Freedom is not the right to do whatever we want;
It is the privilege of doing what we ought;
It is not private license;
it is public responsibility;
It is not freeing ourselves;
it is binding ourselves for the good of all.
    —    Bishop Robert Brown
On This Day In:
2019 A Surprisingly Good Way
It’s Official X-mas (Tree) At Home
2018 Weight / Health Update
What’s Happening With You?
2017 The Great Leveler
Conservative Depressions
2016 Election + 1 Month
2015 Dance And Sing
2014 A Measuring Stick For Progress
2013 Courtly Love Or Victory Over Habit
2012 Have We Met?
2011 Efficiently Useless

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My wife isn’t sure if I’m having a mid-life crisis or just going into my second childhood…
This year I’ve been watching A LOT of YouTube.  Well, okay…  It started last year, but that’s just a detail.
I was viewing a bunch of videos on working out and I found myself going through reams of “30-Day Challenge” videos.  Of course, I decided to give one a shot.  My choice:  the “30-Day / 100 pushup per day challenge”.
Day One (Test):  Zero.  That’s correct.  I could not do a single pushup from the floor.  I could get into a plank position, (with effort,) and lower myself to the floor, but not get back up off the floor.
Obviously, some modifications would be necessary…  Inclined pushup from the back of the sofa.  Five.  Okay.  It’s a start.  First day:  20 sets of five, spread through-out the day (and evening).
Days 2 and 3 were more of the same.  Day 4, I was able to do 10.  So, 10 sets of 10, spread through-out the day.
To make a longer story shorter, about day 10 I was finally able to do ONE pushup from the floor.  By then, I was doing five(5) sets of 20 inclined.  At the end of 30 days, I could do 5 pushups from the floor.  (And shorter again…)  At the end of 60 days, I was able to do 15 pushups from the floor.  By way of comparison, Google says an “average” 65 year old man should be able to do between 6 and 16.  In other words, I went from abject failure to the top end of “average”.
And then I got hurt…  (But that’s another story.)
While browsing YouTube, it started feeding me boxing and martial arts videos (over and over again).  So, (of course) I started watching them…  Because I wasn’t able to do much other than walk, I started shadow-boxing in front of a mirror…  And then I bought gloves…  And then I bought hand-wraps…  And then I bought focus pads…  And then I started making home-made (read: inexpensive) boxing targets.  It turns out YouTube has videos on how to jury rig most of the expensive kit you need to practice boxing.
Here’s some pictures of my gloves…  They are RDX F12 Training Boxing Gloves (16oz.)

Fresh out of the box and still in plastic

Palm side up

“Business” side up

And, after trying them on a few times a week for the last month or so…  Today I did my first “workout” with the gloves.
Now to be fair,  I did actually try them on and use them for a few minutes when I would set up a new target and once for a few minutes of shadow-boxing in front of a mirror, but until today, my wife had put it down to another one of my “phases”.  When approached on the possible purchase, she did insist on a $50 limit on my gloves because she was convinced they’d be gathering dust by now.  So, yes, they’re an inexpensive pair.  Not “cheap”, just inexpensive.  And, no, they are not leather.  They are “engineered” leather.  (LoL!)
Today’s workout was about 45 minutes long, sweaty and exhausting.  But, it was loads of fun and I felt terrific after my hot shower.  Tired and relaxed and starting to get sore in strange (and not so strange) places, but all things considered – terrific!
I’m really not sure if this is a “phase” or not, but I’m going to put up a post every now and then about this “journey”.  I’ll try to come up with a way to let you know in the “post” title when I’m on this topic as I have no idea how many of my blog followers have the slightest interest in this side topic.
A final note (reality check):  I am a 65 year old man, morbidly obese, with a heart condition (AFib) and on blood thinners.  So, NO, I will NEVER be in a fight or EVER sparring.  This is just a way to try to add some fun to my efforts to raise some sweat (and maybe learn a bit about the “sweet science” while I’m at it.)
On This Day In:
2019 I Think I’m Repeating Myself
It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like X-mas!
2018 No Reason To Turn
2017 Talking Knuth
Seeing It Through
2016 Hoping For The Best Come January
2015 Adaptive Security
2014 Wants
2013 Side Effects
2012 Just Trying To Earn A Living
2011 Productive Worry

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So far, all our patients are responding to treatment, so people think we are not saying the truth about how bad this will be.  The same happened in the Ebola crisis.  Until people saw that others were dying, they had doubts that the disease existed.  They won’t believe if they are not seeing bodies.
That said, while caring for patients in extraordinary circumstances, you must remember it is God who saves lives.  You may provide the right medications and have the right equipment, but if someone is bound to die, no matter what you do, you will end up losing the person.  For me as a physician, this is the most painful part of my service.
One of the best ways to support frontline health workers is to first appreciate the sacrifices they are making to save lives in the face of limited resources.  It doesn’t have to be by providing them gold or diamonds or even money, but just a word of appreciation and encouragement.  It is an assurance that they are not alone.
The health workers are our soldiers on the front line.  We need to equip them if we want them to fight effectively.  They need a safe work environment and the tools to execute their duties.  As we would do in warfare, we have to look for all available ammunition and sophisticated weaponry so they can win that fight.
This pandemic has proven that no one nation is supreme.  It is time we forget our differences and fight this disease as a united force.  We have to understand that no matter how small or weak a country or person may be, there is something he or she has to offer to the good of the world.  If we think it is a disease belonging to the Africans alone, or the Chinese, we are getting it wrong.  As long as we continue to have COVID-19 in one country, the rest of the world is not safe.  We must work together to defeat it.
—   Dr. Jerry Brown
CEO of JFK Medical Center in Monrovia, Liberia
From his interview / article: “How To Conquer A Pandemic
Appearing in: 27 April / 4 May 2020 issue of “Time Magazine
A similar version appears online (with a different title) at: “I Helped Fight the Ebola Outbreak in Liberia. Here’s What It Takes to Conquer a Pandemic
On This Day In:
2019 It’s Obvious
2018 Passed Too Swiftly
2017 On Our Wall (Part 1)
2016 Or The Ripples From A Good Life
2015 Titles And Reputations
2014 Unfolding
2013 Again
2012 Needs
2011 Potter & Prejudice
Blink, Blink

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Several years ago, I was riding home on our BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system and I looked out the window at the memorial to those lost in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It moved me deeply.  These lives lost are a far greater treasure lost than the “mere” trillions we’ve spent on fighting these conflicts.  Our military forces are still present in both countries with no real (IMHO) hope of any “victory” in any normal sense of the word.  The best we can hope for is that whatever government we leave in place when we finally withdraw is not slaughtered within the first two years of our “escape” – as happened in South Vietnam.
Anyway, I was watching the Presidential debate and listening to President Trump tell us how (once again) we’ve “turned the corner” on the COVID pandemic, while former Vice-President Biden was telling us under President Trump’s continued “leadership”, we stood to lose another 200,000 American lives by the end of the February.  This morning, I was looking at some news sites and I saw an image which stopped me.  It was an image of small flags, one for each American death from COVID.
Here is an update on the image of the lost military lives over the last 20 years:

Lafayette Hillside Memorial

And here is an image of Americans lost to COVID in less than nine(9) months:

Flags representing individual American lives lost to COVID so far in 2020.

Remember these flags are “expected” to double by the end of February 2021 if we don’t increase our efforts to stem this terrible pandemic.  Today’s current death count:  227,107.
Please:  1)  WEAR a mask;  2)  wash your hands frequently;  3)  practice social distancing (stay a minimum of six feet apart);  4)  avoid large (more than 10 people) gatherings;  and, 5)  if you must gather (even with 10 or less), do it outdoors.
This predicted loss of life doesn’t HAVE to happen.  Our losses over the last four months could probably been halved if we (90% of us) had simply followed these five simple rules.  We cannot prevent all of the losses over the next four months.  But estimates are that we could halve those predicted losses if we act based on science and not politics.  The question is:  What have we learned America?
On This Day In:
2019 Can I Get A Witness?
2018 I’d Still Like To Try It Out
2017 In Every Thing
2016 Future Halo
2015 The Hard Way Every Time
2014 Indispensable Wits
2013 I’d Like To
2012 2012 National League Champions – San Francisco Giants!!
2nd Viewing – No Change
Light Shining Out of Darkness
2011 Just Kickin It
Are These The “Real” Protectors Of America’s Constitution?
2010 Giants Advance To 2010 World Series!!!

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Health Update:  For those who haven’t been following my blog for long, I’ve spent most of the last decade suffering from non-continuous Atrial Fibrillation (AFib), which is an irregular and rapid heart rate that occurs when one or both of the two upper chambers of a heart experience chaotic electrical signals.  Basically “AFib” is a fast and irregular heart beat.  The heart rate in atrial fibrillation may range from 100 to 175 beats a minute.  My most common symptoms include: chest palpitations, sweating, a shortness of breath (difficult to fully inhale) and a “feeling” of weight on my chest.  Most of the time my symptoms are brief – a minute to a half hour.  My most frequent symptom is the chest palpitations.  Occasionally, the symptoms double up or last longer.  Rarely, the symptoms go to three and or last more than 90 minutes.  When that happens, I go to the ER.
Just to be clear, many folks live with continuous AFib for decades.  As my cardiologist told me: “Most AFib patients don’t die from AFib.”  They die from blood clots and related illnesses: stroke, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism.  My AFib has been non-continuous.
To make a longer story briefer, on 24 September, about 3am, I woke up with very strong palps.  I take my blood pressure (BP) three times a day.  In the morning, I still had the palps and my blood pressure and pulse were elevated, and my pulse was irregular (in AFib).  That evening, although not experiencing additional symptoms, I went to the ER.  They gave me a top-up on one of my meds and sent me home with instructions to contact my cardiologist ASAP.  I called the following day and arranged for the first available appointment – which was the following week (Wednesday, 30 September).
So we met and he put me back on a blood thinner (to prevent blood clots / strokes) and scheduled me for a COVID test and a visit to the hospital for an Electrical Cardioversion.  An electrical cardioversion is when the doctor uses a defibrillator to zap your heart to disrupt the electrical misfires and set you back into a normal heart rhythm.  In computer terms:  “A cold re-boot.”  This will be my second zap.  My first was back in November 2017.  In cat terms:  I’m on life two with seven to go…
I had the COVID test on Monday and today I got the “all clear / negative” results back.  I am scheduled for the “DFib” on Friday (in two days), so please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.
One thought can produce millions of vibrations
and they all go back to God… everything does.
   —   John Coltrane
From his poem:  “A Love Supreme
On This Day In:
2019 …And Bullet-Proof Suits
The Bottom Line (Is No Surprise To Me)
2018 What Do You Hear?
2017 I’ve Got A Pocket Protector
Word Up!
2016 Better Value
2015 Any Port In A Storm
2014 Babies (II)
2013 Why The Young Stay In College Longer These Days
2012 Perceptions Of Worth
2011 Flavor
2010 Giants Win 1-0 !!

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