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November 24, 2020



Yeaaah no, non-essentials are not worth COVID.

(I'm honestly kind of surprised that enough people cancelled their appointments to make that work out, though! Hooray! Maybe enough people will be sane enough that we won't get an even nastier post-Thanksgiving spike?)(as of yesterday, our local hospital at least had a few ICU beds open, even though their regular COVID ward is totally full and they were stowing one COVID patient in the ER? So... better than zero ICU beds, zero COVID ward regular beds, and one patient stowed in the ER like it was on Friday?)


KC - that’s encouraging. We got a mailer in the mailbox from our local government that said both:
1. The covid is dangerous and the winter will be horrifyingly bad
2. We’d like to ask you pretty please to wear a mask if you go out. We won’t make you do it, but we will ask you nicely.


Yes, this is the thing, it is so bad already and we haven't hit the post-Thanksgiving bump yet *and* so many people are still just blissfully continuing with as much of "normal life" as they can instead of being cautious and auuugh.

That whole "flatten the curve" effort that we made earlier in 2020? We needed to start doing that again several weeks ago so as to not swamp hospitals past the "yep, we could have saved that person's life if we'd had the resources" level, and generally, people (and businesses and schools and specific politicians) just... didn't. And we're not even at the Holiday Gathering Season yet. AUGH.

I am so glad that your local government sent out a mailer at least, though?

(also: aunt is out of the ICU [in Washington, where they are full but not completely swamped] and now has been stepped down to breathing just normal room air instead of oxygen, but if that ICU had been full, she would probably be dead right now; the doctor said she was lucky to be alive as it was. So, that's... something.)


KC - I am very, very glad to hear about your aunt. I know someone with a mother in a nursing home and it’s been very distressing for him.


We'll hope Missouri does not make the "if they're asymptomatic, they can still work, and nah, the patients don't need to be told" decision re: medical care providers and workers in assisted living that Oklahoma and North Dakota have gone for. (which: they *say* this is to only be used as a last resort, and that this should be done safely, and that nurses who are unwilling to show up while COVID-positive should not be penalized, and it'd be best if they are only working with patients who are already COVID-positive, etc... and in fine local tradition, all of the mitigation stuff is just talk; the only thing that has legal bearing is that they *can* work [and therefore could be penalized for not working, and do not have additional PPE requirements or staffing location requirements, etc]. So the hospital doesn't even need to try to find replacements or pay someone overtime if they've got someone who's positive but asymptomatic: they can just send that person to work. AUGH.)

And a friend who works at an Ivy with a big fat endowment and which could totally just wait out the pandemic, got word today that all undergrads will be welcome to attend in person in the spring, and that it's workers' responsibility to figure out how to do their jobs safely in light of that. And like: NO. This is not how this works; you can ask people what aspects of their job will require extra figuring-out in light of quirks of their normal environment or tasks; but you cannot tell the receptionist, housed all day inside a desk that is 8ft or less in diameter and without a plexiglass shield, that it is *her responsibility* to go to work but to somehow keep the normal stream of random people a safe distance from her (instead of, as is not uncommon, coming up and leaning on her desk while asking questions).

I would like a whole lot of people (and the people who directly or indirectly run institutions) in this country to make better choices, please?

(but yes, I am also really really glad my aunt is alive!!!)


KC - and right now MSNBC is doing a segment on how St. Louis ICUs are almost maxed out. Terrifying.
Can’t imagine what it would be like to work at a business , especially with a boss that says “it’s up to you.”


We could be doing this differently (as individuals; as a country; as leaders; as owners of corporations and people making decisions for businesses and universities and hospitals and all the rest), and collectively, most of us haven't made good choices for our full community, and the outcomes are horrific.

(our local hospital has two COVID ICU beds and two regular COVID beds open again, though! and no one with COVID temporarily stowed in the ER as of this morning! Unfortunately it is unclear whether the two ICU beds are now open because people died, and of course, this is pre-Thanksgiving, so... we'll see what happens over the next two weeks. But at least we're going into the next wave starting out with the water only about chest-high instead of about up to our nose?)


KC - that’s fortunate. Our county has finally taken the baby step to close the bars at 11 at night. Actually, What’s smaller than a baby step? Fetus step. Blastocyst step.


That's... something, but it's *surprisingly* close to nothing.

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