Serenity Now

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So there’s a little bit of panic in the air concerning the ‘rona. Yes, it does look like we are headed for a second peak which may even pass the first one – in terms of the number of new cases. As with the first one, there are vast differences among the various parts of the country. The top 10 states account for about 66% of the new cases. It is primarily centered in the warmer parts of the nation with Arizona, California, Florida and Texas leading the way. (It might be worth noting that New York still has more total cases than Texas and Florida combined just to put things in perspective)

And we have endless speculation on the cause although there seems to be a concentrated push to blame Texas and Florida for “opening too soon”. It could be. My problem is that it always seems like there are counter examples for every example and so the truth is hard to find. The fact that it is happening in the warmer parts of the country might be a clue. Is there some factor (bars, restaurants, offices, gyms, churches) that is driving this? Maybe some of the contact tracing is providing clues but I never hear about it so I don’t know.

Hospitalizations are on the rise and a few places are getting near critical capacity. But we haven’t seen a spike in deaths that we saw earlier. For what its worth, this is a little chart I made showing cases and deaths by date – had to put them on two different scales so you could see things. There’s a lot of periodicity in the death data because a lot of states don’t report much over the weekend and then do a “data dump” during the week. Right now, the lines are moving in opposite directions. Deaths do lag cases but, back in April when this was primarily a NY/NJ problem, the lag was about a week. So maybe the curve turns up. Maybe it doesn’t.

I suspect this becomes a self regulating system. Maybe that is the only good part of media induced panic. If you think things are getting out of control, then maybe you retreat back and limit contact and it starts to slow things. Not a forced quarantine or closure but people just exercising some risk management.

And maybe I am just too cynical these days. It just seems to me that everyone has been so wrong on this thing. The early predictions that were way too severe. The flip flopping on masks by our government. It just makes it hard for me to really trust the sources we are supposed to trust to inform us – the media and the government. Add in the fact that most people are just really, really bad at interpreting numbers and the problem just gets that much worse.

It also makes it much harder to engage in conversation with anyone. Should I just automatically believe the “experts” and not question them? When people do that, they just shut their minds to any other possibilities and you can’t have a reasonable discussion with them. It would help if I believe that the “experts” were truly unbiased but they aren’t – none of us are. And I know the media is trying to sell a particular point of view so they will find “experts” who support that view and leave off the “experts” who don’t.

Boy, I really am a cynic, aren’t I?

On the whole, I think I’ll just spend more time watching videos of the guy feeding raccoons. It is probably healthier in the long run.

So we have another weekend approaching. For me, the only thing that marks a weekend is that my wife stops working and we go grocery shopping. Oh and we get delivery rather than me having to cook something. Pretty boring stuff.

I’m trying to settle into a more structured exercise routine (abrupt topic switch – but it connects to the weekend). What I am loving about the app I’m using is that it forces me to track repetitions but that also allows me to increase them when I feel like I can do more. Even if it is only one rep each set, it is still a sign of progress which is always good. Plus, I do use the app to focus on certain areas each day. Since today is Friday and I don’t really work out over the weekend, I added a few things to make sure I hit multiple areas. Finished with a plank just like the good old days when I worked with a trainer which now seems like a lifetime ago.

Hope you all have a good weekend. If you’re in a “hotspot”, exercise more caution but try not to worry too much – that is never good for you.

Working on this!

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