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America Held Hostage

America Held Hostage

Those of you old enough will remember when Rush Limbaugh used that tag line on his radio show until the Republicans took back the House of Representatives in 1994.

I’m using that phrase in a sardonic way, although in some ways were are being held hostage. The threat is a virus that has caused a lot of illness, some deaths, and a lot of panic over the past two months or so.

In my state most restaurants are closed, some are doing pick up or delivery orders only. Grocery stores are open, which is good. Some have “special” hours for senior citizens. 6:00AM is a bit early for me most days, but out of curiosity about a week ago I ventured out to see what that was all about. What it was about was standing outside for about 20 minutes and then going in to find absolutely nothing on my list.

I went to a different store in the same chain later that same day and it was well stocked, even with toilet paper. A cynical person might think that the special hours were some sort of scam, but as you all know, I’m not cynical

Grocery stores seem to be catching up with demand at last. The last two I were in had everything I was looking for except for… toilet paper. That’s still inexplicable, to me.

I’ve been to hardware stores and Harbor Freight. Harbor Freight is sort of a hardware store, I guess. I violated my own rule about not buying anything with moving parts at HF and once again was reminded why I have that rule. I had to take the tool apart and rebuild it to get it to work properly. I’d return it, but I really only needed it for one small job, so I put up with it. I also bought a small tarp for a different project, If it doesn’t leak, it will serve it’s purpose.

I’ve turned into a landscaper of sorts. I did yard clean up after a nasty storm earlier this week. Lots of small branches blown out of the trees. Now, if the wind and rain will abate, I’ll be able to get the burn barrel going and dispose of that and some other stuff. The lime and GrubEx are waiting for the weather as well.

Then comes a job I really hate. Painting. There is a section of the front of the house that needs to be scaped, sanded, primed, and then painted. Normally I’d hire someone to do that, but right now there aren’t people who are all that interested in small jobs.

Before the Wu Flu hit the world, construction was going full tilt on residential projects. Dumpsters filled driveways throughout my area, carpenters, roofers, painters, brick masons were all hard at work. Some of that has fallen off, but I still see a lot of activity when the weather permits.

So, I’ll have to do this one myself. I have to go to the paint store, a real one, not a “home improvement” paint department and get some paint and advice. I’ve used this company before and I trust their advice.

Some low, less than 10 feet, ladder work is required. Fortunately, a neighbor of mine has a set up that he’s going to let me use.

Did I mention that I hate painting? I’m not a big fan of scraping and sanding either, but it has to be done. I’ll even have to dig out one of my precious N95 masks so I don’t get a lung full of paint dust.

When you own a house, there is always something to be done.

N95 masks are a good segue to the virus.

The Chinese, in addition to lying about the origin and spread of the Wu Flu tried to corner the market on masks and other PPE while they were doing it. When they started to “give” masks to other hard hit countries, many of them were sub standard. To make matters worse, they didn’t really “give” them, they sold them. At exorbitant prices. Chinese is making a good case for being tossed out of the United Nations. Of course that won’t happen because the Chinese have spent years bring officials of Third World Nations to support them.

Speaking of donating, entrepreneur and possible confidence man Elon Musk promised to donate 1,255 ventilators to hospitals in need.  In fact, he said that Tesla and Medtronic were discussing building ventilators together. Well that hasn’t happened, at least not yet. He did manage to send some BiPAP machines, which are definitely not ventilators. As so often seems to happen with Musk, he ove rpromised and under delivered.

Funny thing about all those ventilators that people were hyperventilating about. They aren’t needed. New York is sending many of theirs to other parts of the country. After crying, rending of shirts, and bemoaning the lack of action by the federal government, it turns out that no where near the number of patient actually need ventilators.

Also, a lot of people seem to be confused, or maybe misrepresenting, the difference between respirators, masks, and ventilators. The three terms have been used interchangeably when they aren’t even remotely the same.

Masks and respirators are used by health care providers. Ventilators are used by patients who can’t breath on their own. People bloviating that they could make a ventilator for $100.00 didn’t know what the frack they were talking about. So called journalists knew even less and fell for that BS hook, line and sinker.

Several books will be written about what happened in the winter, spring, and summer of 2020. Some of them will be total and utter cow manure, but some will hopefully tell about all of the misinformation that flowed from the mouths of idiots in the media.

Meanwhile, most states are still in some degree of shut down. Others, lets say Michigan are imposing restrictions that would make the Chinese Communists Party green with envy. The idiot Governor of Kentucky and dope Mayor of Louisville ordered people NOT to go to driven in services on Easter. A Mayor in Mississippi ordered police officers to issue $500.00 fines to people who sat in their cars in the parking lot of their church and listened to a service on Easter morning. Fortunately, the Attorney General of the United States intervened in the form of adding the official position of the United States on that topic.

Then there is the Governor of Michigan who has clearly overstepped her authority. She thought that would make her a good Vice Presidential candidate for the Democrats. Actually, I hope it did.

In Massachusetts the fake Republican Governor not only ordered all gun dealers in the state to close, but he prohibited even one on one sales by them. He went on to order the State Police to forbid the gun safety classes that are required before a person can apply for a firearms license. Continuing the assault on the Second Amendment, he ordered the state to stop processing new applications and renewals. He has also refused to allow the state to automatically extend licenses which are due to expire.

Oddly enough, he has allowed motor vehicle inspections to be extended until sometime in May.

I’m sure he looks on with envy at what some of the other governors are doing to deny citizens their rights.

The litigation has already started and I expect it to continue for years after things are back to “normal.”

Speaking of which, I’m not expecting anything even remotely like the major league sports we are used to to resume until fall. If then.

All of the above said, I’m getting the sense that we are reaching a tipping point. There are people who are fed up with the burdens that various levels of government have put on citizens. There is going to be over the next few weeks a demand to start a return to normal. Whatever that is.

I expect we’ll see businesses start to ramp back up by the end of this month.

I also expect to see a vaccine before the end of this year and more treatment modalities to be authorized well before then.

As much as I think wearing masks in public is for the most part silly, if that’s what it takes to get the economy back up and running, I’ll put one on. I’m thinking about buying something like this.

Speaking of masks, this is a hard time to be a police officer. Just about everyone wearing a mask is a potential suspect.

Well enough rambling. I was able to get to the range a couple of times during all of this and will try to post some thoughts on shooting a couple of different handguns.



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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.