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Even some of the materials needed to make masks are skyrocketing in price -- trying to source elastic bands has been something of an exercise in frustration.  Likely leaving that part to the hospital, since the mask itself can be sterilized pretty effectively but those bands are somewhat tricky (and would not be coming from a sterile environment if I were to put them on).

 

Also: welcome back, Mightybec! [insert ominous background music here]

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Just now, Simon said:

Even some of the materials needed to make masks are skyrocketing in price -- trying to source elastic bands has been something of an exercise in frustration.  Likely leaving that part to the hospital, since the mask itself can be sterilized pretty effectively but those bands are somewhat tricky (and would not be coming from a sterile environment if I were to put them on).

 

Also: welcome back, Mightybec! [insert ominous background music here]

Thanks!

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'Murica now owns over 25% of the world's coronavirus cases and fell just short of 1000 deaths today, second only to France at 1164.

 

The U.S. case trajectory is less exponential than a week ago, but is still accelerating.  The per capita track is almost exactly the same as Italy's.

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   I just got back from the grocery store.   I counted 8 people in masks, and four others in gloves, but no masks. No one had both. I had a mask in my pocket but between the oxygen hose and my normal breathing problems it wasn’t feasible.     
     If I don’t have it now, I never will.    
        I AM THE OMEGA MAN!!!!   Anybody got a German Shepard to sell?
     I won’t pay you, but I’ll make sure you get buried before the vampires come.

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I was slated to work the CoViD ward this weekend, but this afternoon I got a message that re-routed me to the usual internal medicine ward. Huh, says I. When I got here the evening crew tells me that they got me reassigned for the sake of my surgerized heart.

 

These guys ...

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Not even trying to find a grossly overpriced mask that won't arrive for a month or two anyway.  We're going to try to make our own tonight.

 

https://www.popsci.com/story/diy/make-diy-face-masks/

 

https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/6860-printable-face-mask-tutorial/ded6e67bb78f2599a7ff/optimized/full.pdf#page=1

 

I took a seam ripper to a reusable non-woven polypropylene bag (ironically, one I got from Michigan Medicine, aka the University of Michigan hospital), taking it completely apart.  The single piece that made up the bottom and sides of the bag happens to be almost exactly the width needed for the New York Times mask pattern, and the edging connecting the sides/bottom to the front and back of the bag looks like it will work perfectly for ties for the mask.  We'll cut down, fold, and sew the handles for additional ties.  Overall, I estimate that one reusable bag has enough material for at least a half-dozen masks.

 

Correction:  I didn't realize the instructions call for two layers, so one bag has enough for 3 masks.

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1 hour ago, Old Man said:

'Murica now owns over 25% of the world's coronavirus cases and fell just short of 1000 deaths today, second only to France at 1164.

 

The U.S. case trajectory is less exponential than a week ago, but is still accelerating.  The per capita track is almost exactly the same as Italy's.

 

Day's not done.  Coming up on midnight GMT, which is close of day for worldometers.  US deaths over 1300.  
Also, that France death toll isn't entirely correct.  Saw this the other day.  France wasn't reporting deaths in nursing homes...just hospitals until a couple days ago.  So starting with that really big spike of 1300+ deaths, it looks like they are.  They may not have happened *today* tho.

 

US has 40% of the world's new cases.  Or...at least among those whose reporting we think is reasonably honest.  

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3 minutes ago, BoloOfEarth said:

Not even trying to find a grossly overpriced mask that won't arrive for a month or two anyway.  We're going to try to make our own tonight.

 

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From the website I posted above, there are a few states that are projected to hit their peaks soon:

 

Louisiana  6 Days

Michigan  6 Days

New Jersey  5 Days

New York  6 Days

Vermont  6 Days

Washington  8 Days

 

The rest of the states are running about two to four weeks out.

 

 

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Washington Post Article:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/chinese-families-should-be-sweeping-graves-now-but-thousands-still-havent-buried-their-dead/2020/04/03/5a6daa50-7234-11ea-ad9b-254ec99993bc_story.html

 

Using photos posted online, social media sleuths have estimated that Wuhan funeral homes have returned 3,500 urns a day since March 23. That would imply a death toll in Wuhan of about 42,000 — or 16 times the official number. Another widely shared calculation, based on Wuhan’s 84 furnaces running nonstop and each cremation taking an hour, puts the death toll at 46,800.

 

The Chinese numbers aren't shaved a bit.  They are massively under reported.

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Um, I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I'm trying to understand the desire to continuously post detailed stats as to what the total deaths are, which country's having the worst day, whose curve is climbing or flattening, etc. It's almost like watching the score in a competition to see who's screwed the worst. Does this give you some comfort, or fulfill a sense of responsibility? I can understand wanting to be aware of general trends, but personally this level of detail feels a little morbid, and pretty depressing. :(

 

But maybe this serves a purpose I'm not recognizing yet. Like I say, I'm just trying to understand.

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Wife is teaching the kids how to wear some cloth masks she had lying around for yard work, so they can go visit my FIL.  Damn this virus, and damn the government officials who fumbled the response.

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We've been self-quarintined since last month, the office is closed until further notice anyway. Not sure if the Beer Virus can affect a demon in a meat suit, but I chose not to take any unnecessary risks. Only going out when absolutely necessary, like shopping for groceries.

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For what it's worth, even a bandana (doubled over) will protect from spreading droplets.

 

_However_  --- and you wouldn't believe how many times I have had this conversation with really thick-headed people:

 

masks can also HELP SPREAD disease.  No; I'm not kidding: surely someone else here has medical in their background:  if you aren't changing your mask every time you change locations, there is an excellent chance you are spreading disease, even if you are protected from it.

 

Let me break it down this way:

 

A mask is a filter.  As air is drawn through a filter, things that are "filtered out" get trapped on the outside because they can't get through.

 

As air is pushed back through a filter, things on the outside of the filter get BLOWN BACK OFF, you friggin' redneck idiot!

 

Oh, sorry.....  Flashback.....

 

 

No; not in their entirety-- some will stay trapped or at least better-adhered to the mask.  _Some_.  But not all.  Not even half will be trapped, if it's a really high-quality filter (they are much less porous, meaning it's harder for things to get lodged in it).

 

This is the reason that masks and other PPE are so damned critical in a healthcare setting:  They have to be changed each and every time they change patients, or they _will_--- not "may," but _WILL_ carry any contagions from the first person to the second and each subsequent person.

 

It works the same in every other possible situation:  the more places you go, the more chance you have to get you a nice slathering of COVID all over the outside of that mask, and the more places you can blow it back off all over potentially uninfected people.  Go you, you big damed hero, you.

 

So remember:  if you _really_ want to help spread Covid or any other microbe-caused ailment, put on a mask and gloves, and _leave_ them on, unchanged, as you run to the grocery store, the drug store, Sprawl-Mart, the gas station-- wherever it is you just _have_ to spread illness and death.  Only got one mask?  Then use it in only one place: stay your happy ass at home!

 

 

 

In my own news:

 

Second week drawing to a close.  Still asymptomatic.  Not being a moron, I completely understand that doesn't mean I don't have it: I could develop symptoms later, or possibly even be one of the fortunate few in every illness that simply doesn't develop symptoms.  

 

I know someone posted that meme a few days ago:  "Check on your extrovert friends; they are not okay."

 

This is Gospel Truth.  I can't afford to sit _my_ happy ass at home, and thus far, both jobs have been accommodating, if in varying degree:  primary job (the "Good" job   ;)  ) has set me up doing straight-up equipment operation (which was only a small part of it before) and unloading trucks.  Truck pulls up, I hold up a large sign that says "I have been exposed; call [my cell]"  The sign is _huge_; I never have to get within fifty feet for them to read it.  I wear a glass-worker's respirator with changeable filter pods.  All the time.  I feel like that tall skinny guy with the big coat in that Batman movie.  I burn the pods in the incinerator when I change them.

 

At any rate, I hash out with the driver that he is to un-secure everything on his truck and then get back in it.  I unload it.  I stop and spray down the whole damned truck with bleach when I'm done.  I do not touch his securing equipment (though I do bleach it.  So your chains will get a bit more surface rust; I'm sure you don't mind).  I mean _everywhere_, not just where I might have been.

 

He snaps me a picture of the BOL and the packing slips (if they are not on the pallets / materials) and texts it to me.  I use that picture to check in the material, edit the photo with my signature across it, and text it back to him and e-mail it to the company from which the material was ordered.  I e-mail a copy to my office, where someone else finished the paperwork (usually the guy who is normally unloading the trucks).  He prints it and files it, etc.

 

there are currently three other guys doing my inventory counts; all my spreadsheets have been e-mailed to me; I do it all from my phone with a blue-tooth keyboard: data entry, order estimates, purchasing, and all that entails.

 

I spend a minimum of fourteen hours a day at this job.  There are a lot of aspects of my job that I can't do-- at least, not until we know I'm safe.  I'm trying to remote-train unskilled laborers to do bookkeeping, inventory management, projections, etc.  It's not easy.  The bright side is that the boss reports forklift bites are at an unprecedented low (go figure:  I've only got forty-something years of equipment operation in my background and I tend to go to work every day with a lunchbox and a fresh can of give-a-damn.  Beyond that, the Book tells me that if I truly honor God, then I will always do my best in all things.  I can't remember a time when I didn't, even if my best sucked, I _knew_ it was my best.

 

As I said, I spend a minimum of fourteen hours a day here. Forklifting isn't my favorite thing in the world, and it takes ninety-minutes to _truly_ bleach it down, too boot.  I don't mind the skidder, but there's not a lot of work for it at the moment (and it takes like four hours to know I've bleached every square inch of it anyway!).  I miss King Raoh.  No; a pan loader (earth mover for those unfamiliar with the proper name) isn't a lot of fun, either, but if I've got to be by myself, at least it's noisy enough to keep my thoughts away.  Besides, when you're done with a pan loader, you can point to an actual accomplishment.    And I have to confess, driving over trees is _way_ more satisfying than you think it is.  :lol:   The guys out working the dirt for the new plant have all thanked me for what I've done so far, but have specifically asked that I not be back out there until we know I'm good, so no more King Raoh for a while.....

 

The other equipment-- don't have a lot of use for it every single day, and as I've alluded to: disinfecting most of these things is _hell_.   Fourteen hours a day, two weeks since I was exposed.  I haven't been within one hundred feet of another human being, unless you count talking to my family through a closed door.

 

Absolutely _not_ bragging here, because I actually _hate_ the damned thing, but my house is enormous.  When we moved to this area (it's where my wife is from), we had forty-nine acres of woods and a six-acre pond with four spring heads in it.  Nice and quiet.  Private.  We had a little brick two-bedroom house that I tore the roof off and added an upstairs to, giving us another bathroom and three more bedrooms.  I loved that place.

 

Then the house she grew up in came up for sale, and --- well you know the "happy wife" thing, I'm sure.

 

So now I live in a freakin' three-story house with cavernous rooms- enough rooms that honestly, after fifteen years of living in this house, two of them still have absolutely no purpose whatsoever.

 

All that on a 3/4 acre lot.  Seriously.  My wife's father (rest his soul) was a doctor, you see.  A doctor who loved hosting parties, hosting guests, and hated yard work.  Our first dress-up date was his funeral.   Yeah, it's maudlin, perhaps morbid, but death is a perfectly natural part of life; we can't pretend that maybe one of us is going to get out of here without it.  

 

Currently, I live in the garage.  Seriously.  There is a full bath off the garage.  There is a spare washing machine in the garage (originally bought for cloth diapers, which for some strange reason we still own-- so hey, you!  Toilet paper hoarder!  HA-HA-HA!  You spent what?  Eight hundred bucks on toilet paper?  I spend twenty-five bucks on a used washing machine and ten bucks on two cases of bleach.  I don't remember what the diapers cost, but I'm betting it was less than you spent on your horde of toilet paper.....

 

I have blocked off the air vents and the air return (and sealed them, just to be safe) that feed the garage (yes; the garage is air-conditioned-- or was.  I told you: my father-in-law did _not_ like to go outside.  ) to make sure nothing gets into the air system for the house.  I have sealed the door between the garage and the house.  It's no big deal:  I can replace the door if I get through this.

 

 

I spray the thing down top to bottom when I get home, and again before I leave in the mornings.  My kids put my supper and tomorrow's lunch on the stoop outside the side door (which I bleach the ever-loving _hell_ out of, every few hours, just in case).  They leave me two quarts of coffee.

 

I haven't seen them other than video calls for two weeks.  I can hear my daughter in her room (it's right over the garage) practicing her singing as I write this (she has choir in school, and a clever teacher who has figured out how to do it remotely).  I can't sit in front of her and smile or clap.  I just hear the muffled singing.

 

I haven't laughed or shared a joke with another human being in two weeks.  The guys at work -- the ones that are usually under me-- are starting to loaf because I'm not there to scare them back straight.

 

I haven't laughed; I haven't shaken a hand or patted a back or flashed a smile or seen a twinkling eye or whispered conspiratorially or in any way touched another human being in two weeks.  I am sure some of you dream of that.

 

I am an extrovert.  I did not have to die to go to Hell.  My daughter is still singing.   It's killing me.

 

 

At this point, I am almost hoping that I won't develop symptoms.  Two of my co-workers (exposed by the same idiot that exposed me) are sick.  They are both positive.  The last I heard, one of them may be hospitalized: he has sickle-cell anemia, and evidently that makes it worse; I don't know.  I know it does affect immune response.  They are young, and things look good for them.  I don't know why I haven't started to show.  It makes me hope, but not too much.

 

Other than my wife, I think I have mentioned this to only two other people-- one I consider a very good friend, and I don't have a lot of people I think that highly of (no offense; I don't know you people ;)   ).  I am sixty.  I look back at my life.  I have made an lost two fortunes.  I have had four children and buried two (and their mother).  I have ralsed my youngest siblings only to have them forget I exist; I have "close family" I haven't heard from in thirty years.  I have built things and had them smashed and repeated the cycle over and over until I  am just too damned old and too damned busted up to do it again.

 

I look at the plans I had for my life, and where my life went-- how everything turned out---

 

I see all these people panicking, doing any stupid thing they think my keep them alive--  stocking up on toilet paper; hoarding eggs, blaming politicians (how many do we have to blame for this to magically go away, anyhow? How the hell does breaking out the ol' Blamethrower _ever_ help?  _EVER?!)

 

and I realize that I really don't care.  I really don't care one way or another.  The world is a complete wreck, full of self-absorbed nitwits who, like me, will not rate so much as a footnote in history-- why do any of us deserve anything more than a coin flip?  I hear stories about people stealing masks and meat from old ladies' shopping carts and fights over bleach-- it's not like I have any interest _at all_ in a world full of these people!  Who the hell _would_?!  Why are we fighting to save them?  Or ourselves?  Every single one of is someone else's complete dickhead, did you know that?  Every one of us is someone else's useless meat bag, wrapped in skin that would better be used by burn victims.  Some of us are better at pretending otherwise, or at deceiving ourselves, but ultimately, should I live (and daily it seems more likely that I will), I _still_ won't give a rat's rolly red rump about the bulk of the jerks in the world---

 

Jeff Bezos makes something on the order of thirty-two million dollars A MINUTE and yet he wants those of us working ninety-plus hour a week jobs to donate to help his 800,000 employees....

 

Someone who cares: do the math.  How long, at thirty-two million a minute, would Jeff Bezos have to "work" before he could afford to give each one of his employees a million dollars?  Ignoring that fact that he could do it right f'n _now_ if he wanted to....

 

I don't care.  If I get it, I get it, and honestly, there's a lot about dying that, at this point in my life, is remarkably comforting.

 

 

In other news, since I am still asymptomatic, I have decided to try something new: after being convinced that I could fit it in, I joined pbemguy's Top Secret game.  I haven't made a character for _me_ in over a decade, and looking him over, I'm pretty sure he's cannon fodder, but what the Hell?  :lol:

 

The company I work for (the good job) has been amazing, not just for me, but for all the people that work there.  There have been meetings-- not just with the owners and us management types (oh-- another new thing: conference-by-phone.  Can't say I ever want to do that again), but with accountants and attorneys, etc.

 

And me having to quell the young guys  (again, by phone: I wish these dummies would learn to "pass it on;" I can't field two hundred copies of the same dumb question every day!  I'm busy!

 

The biggest complaint from the peanut gallery is "but they keepin' us here workin'!  All they care about is they damn money!"

 

Idiot children:  That man is here, with you, with us-- every damned day.  He is the _only_ person in this company with longer hours than mine.  The only damned one!  He is high-risk because of age and high-risk because of health, but he is here-- not locked in an office, but out here amongst us-- every damned day.  Let's put this in perspective:  I don't think anyone here really appreciates just how wealthy he is-- I rattle off just what _I_ know of, and eyes bug out.  That man could close this place _forever_ any damned time he wanted to, and not only would _he_ never have to work again, his great-great-grandchildren would _still_ be millionaires!

 

The only reason this place is still open is because he is genuinely concerned about _you dipshits!_.   Look over at that parking lot!  How many six-hundred-dollar cars do you see?  Like maybe a hundred of them?  How many of those six-hundred-dollar-cars have two-thousand dollar rims? Like ninety of them?  (voice in the back:  "Sheeeiiit!  Mine's costed like thirty-two hunchrit!"  No; I'm not making it up: that was a quote, and I can even tell you the kid's name.  I actually like this kid, but it kills me how quick he caves to peer pressure.... :(   ) (another voice:  "Y'all stupit!  Das why I _rent_ mines!"   Seriously:  three weeks ago, I learned you can _rent_ rims....  Why do we think we all want to live through this, again? )

How many of those six hundred dollar cars with two -thousand-dollar rims have thousand dollar stereos?  Roughly every damned one of them?  Am I close?  Now how many of the people who _own_ those cars have more than fifty dollars in the bank _right now_?  (silence)  How many of you financial geniuses, who have invested so wisely in rims and stereos can make your rent, or your lights, or buy your babies some damned food if your paycheck is late even _one damned day_?

 

This has been going on for weeks, and there's been talk about shutting down the whole damned country ever since California shut down, and how many of you have been laying in some extra groceries or putting extra money aside of even pre-paying some rent?  How many?

 

Not one damed person.

 

_That's_ why we are still here, and still working:  _exclusively_ because an incredibly wealthy man-- the kind who you love to bitch and complain about-- actually _cares_ about you dumb-ass baby makers and your total inability to see further than the liquor store you cash your check at.

 

 

 

 

Seriously: this company has been great.  Work has been "Volunteer only" since before I got exposed.  Volunteers are getting a little extra, as with the reduced work force, there's more overtime (also volunteer only).  The meetings with the accountants and the lawyers was to find out what grants and emergency funds were available to help provide full paychecks to the guys who have opted to shelter at home (no questions asked).  The owner is making up the difference from his own pocket.  Further, he's lined up people to come and speak to these dumb ass kids about financial responsibility, saving, investing-- learning how money works.  No; I'm not kidding.  He's been great.

 

Every two hours, we stop (they stop: I'm not with them anymore, at least not for another two weeks, until we know) and bleach the entire plant, top to bottom (for what it's worth, at a 10/1 water-to-bleach ratio, it takes thirty-six gallons each time).  I mean equipment, hand tools, everything.  I was part of the project to restructure work flow so that no one was cooer than ten feet at any moment, and most of them are fifteen feet apart, so long as they follow the rules.   There is a guy who wanders the floor doing nothing but checking temperatures every hour, sanitizing the men's room and the secure equipment rooms when he's not making his rounds.

 

I can't say enough about the good job.  Oh hey-- here's another thing:

 

We build portable buildings: everything from storage sheds to classrooms to those little guardshacks you see all over the place.  We build those.  We have converted one line to build additional waiting rooms and triage units for local hospitals: the owner is paying for those out of his own pocket.

 

Today he wasn't on the floor, which is odd.  

 

He spent most of the day in his office, calling each and every employee (we ran a skeleton crew today; not unusual on Fridays)  who was going to be laid off (we got our shelter-in-place order today) for the duration _personally_, getting their cell numbers and texting them a list of websites that might offer assistance with baby needs, etc, telling them that they would receive full paychecks equal to their last paycheck for the next two weeks, and that he had gone to the trouble to start their unemployment claims should this last longer than two weeks.

 

And the internet tells me nothing about people like him: just the Waltons and the Bezos and others like them.....

 

The other job:

 

The owners and higher-ups have been hermitically-sealed for almost a month now.  Last week, the just stopped coming in.  They have been busily checking all the regulations to find the right loophole to have us listed as "essential" so they can keep the doors open to the public and us traveling through it.  Good news!  They found it!  so all the low-wage people can keep coming and exposing themselves to keep those coffers overflowing.

 

Oh-- and when I told them I'd been exposed, I was told "well you've only got eight days of sick leave, so....."

 

 

Joke's on them.  You see, when I started back there, they didn't re-do my hire package: they just flipped the switch back on for my access, files, etc.  So I _started_ the job with ten days sick leave and ten days vacation.

 

And I work there _one day_ a week. ;)

 

I think I'm good. ;)

 

My daughter has stopped singing.  I can hear the dog snoring (he likes to sleep in her room).

 

I'm going to go cry now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Old Man said:

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Might not be the best to use considering that last block.  Lest someone change alien aliens to illegal aliens, and change Earth to America.  Trump would love that analogy.

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5 hours ago, Lord Liaden said:

Um, I don't mean to be disrespectful, but I'm trying to understand the desire to continuously post detailed stats as to what the total deaths are, which country's having the worst day, whose curve is climbing or flattening, etc. It's almost like watching the score in a competition to see who's screwed the worst. Does this give you some comfort, or fulfill a sense of responsibility? I can understand wanting to be aware of general trends, but personally this level of detail feels a little morbid, and pretty depressing. :(

 

But maybe this serves a purpose I'm not recognizing yet. Like I say, I'm just trying to understand.

 

For me, some of it is probably job-role related.  I aggregate and analyze data for a living so it's natural to want to keep clarifying the picture further as new data rolls in.

Data-driven decisions beat reactionary ones over time so the better information you have before deciding to do things - the better.

 

Two out of three people in my home are high-risk for this crud and we have multiple parents still alive in their 70s and 80s who are at extreme risk.

 

Some of these numbers could have influence on very real decisions coming up in our near future.  Does this hydroxychloroquine / z-pac combo work or not?  How often?  How often with side effects?  How many people die from it vs. the disease.

I'd like the best numbers possible because it's a very real possibility that one or both of us will be asking our doctor for the treatment or passing on it based on whatever numbers we have at the time.

 

Per country deaths and infection rates, curves, etc., help tell us how this thing is going and give some limited insight towards what we can expect in our own immediate futures.

 

Shelter-in-place until April 30 vs. August 30 has very real financial meaning for most of us and certainly for my family.  My company is cutting us back to 50% hours and I'm pretty happy to have survived the chopping block this long.  Still, with 1/2 an income we're making some hard cuts as a family just in case this crap-fest extends out for awhile.

 

This whole situation is depressing.

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