Ramble Log

This is my ramble about various topics. You will see them listed in reverse order that I write them so that the newest entries are on top.

NOTE: These are whatever I feel like writing. The content frequently expresses my own opinions and nothing should be considered an absolute fact. It's up to YOU to verify the validity of any thing said here.

Note also that I won't intentionally lie to you. I will always give this my best effort to be factual. If you have any questions about anything here drop me an email at: - I am NOT looking for rants, critiques, or corrections. You can expect me to ignore any of these.

Would You Believe ... - Oct 9, 2020

Look back a year ago to Halloween 2019. If I predicted the following would happen in 2020 ...

  • A global pandemic would infect millions and over a million would die from it.
  • Our president would know about this pandemic and it's severity in January but would do NOTHING about it until mid March.
  • Our president would continue to downplay the pandemic right up through the election in November (a little guessing here but will probably be true).
  • The pandemic would be capable of infecting nearly everyone with at least 5 million infected in the United States (it's already above that number).
  • All travel in and out of the US would be halted.
  • With no guidance from the federal government, our governor (Ohio) takes action which no doubt saved thousands from contracting the pandemic virus. The actions are sometimes unpopular but they are effective.
  • Schools would close down in March to slow the spread of the pandemic. All of the day cares were also closed. Students would suddenly be at home full time and parents couldn't go to work because they had to be with their kids. Many parents lost their jobs (at least temporarily).
  • Unemployment would be widespread with millions more applying every week for several weeks.
  • Congress, in an unprecedented show of bipartisan cooperation, passed a multi-trillion dollar aid package which included a flat payment to EVERY citizen, grants to small businesses to keep them afloat, loans (that had conditions where they didn't need to be repaid) to airlines, unemployment assistance to everyone on unemployment, and various other perks.
  • Restaurants, bars, and all other public gatherings are banned to curtail the spread.
  • Large numbers of workers will work from home. Students will study from home. Meetings become virtual.
I know I've missed a few things but even this list would seem absolutely absurd to anyone a year ago.

How Not Being Truthful Hurts Everyone - Sep 10, 2020

I always thought of Trump as a person who would lie whenever he thought it would help him. No secret here - we all saw it (or were blind) well before he was elected.

But ... lying about the very basics of the coronavirus to the public is just plain unacceptable. We could all see what the rest of the world was saying. It wasn't anything like what he was saying. He's claiming that it was to avoid panic.

Well, I wonder how those people who DIED (and their close friends and relatives) feel about that lie. Actions that could have saved THOUSANDS of lives were not taken because we were lied to. The economic impact is also much worse because we didn't prepare like we should have - because we were lied to.

Many of us saw through the lies and acted accordingly. All too many of us followed like sheep. Many have suffered the consequences.

Let's Not Let It Happen Again!

Pandemic Update - Sep 1, 2020

I'm seeing some interesting developments in the pandemic world we are living in. Most are good things.

  • It turns out masks are not just useful to protect others from your germs. They can help you with incoming germs too. They will NOT protect you from getting the virus but they will reduce how much of the virus you are exposed to. Less virus means your immune system can concentrate on fewer targets making it more likely that your infection will be milder or even without symptoms at all. Good news!

  • Some confusion has arisen from news sources who misinterpreted a statement from the CDC. The statment stated that only 6% of the deaths generally attributed to COVID-19 had 'COVID-19' actually listed as the cause of death. Usually something triggered by COVID-19 ends up being the cause of death and COVID-19 doesn't get listed as the actual cause of death. It's like dying from blood loss caused by being shot. The cause of death is not the bullet but it certainly contributed. It's too bad several media outlets jumped on this without actually reading the information carefully before writing a false and misleading article.

  • Studies have shown that almost 50% of infections come from someone who has no symptoms. This ability of the virus to spread from someone who doesn't even know they have the virus is what makes this virus so dangerous.

  • From Ohio statistics I'm seeing that about 1 in 50 people who become infected don't survive. This is better than the 1 in 25 I saw back in mid July. It's still not great though. If you end up in the hospital then your chances are only about 1 in 4 or 5 that you will survive.

  • The best way to stay out of the hospital is of course to not get the virus. The next best way is to have a strong immune system that can fight off the virus before things get bad. Make sure you get your vitamins (C and D) and do anything else to get your immune system working at it's peak.

  • Get your flu shot! The one thing you don't need is to have the flu and then get COVID-19. Your chances of survival go down a lot if your immune system is already busy fighting off something else.
A vaccine is coming. We should not rush it. I want one that works and doesn't try to kill me.

I'm also rooting for improved treatments. Until we can block the virus with a vaccine better ways to fight it off will be welcome.

Stay Well, Stay Safe

The Mall - September Update - Sep 1, 2020

This will probably be the last mall update for a while. I visited Monday, August 31st, and all was pretty good. Still a couple of vendors (the same ones) that don't wear masks but I don't interact with them so not much of a problem.

Today, September 1st, things were different. Most was the same but there were some actual customers and they were mostly without masks or improperly worn masks. They were also the type of customer that I did NOT want to interact with. It's time to avoid the mall for a while - waiting for those who are being stupid to remove themselves from the gene pool.

The Mall - August Update - Aug 24, 2020

After the last time I was at the mall I had decided that it was becoming a place I did not want to visit. That was at the beginning of July and things have changed since then - for the better.

Not everything is OK though. I saw one kiosk vendor without masks (2 employees). That is outright defiance of the orders - and totally irresponsible and disrespectful.

Down to the numbers - I counted 16 apparently open main concourse stores (up from 13) so things are looking up. One of those is a temporary store so it may not be fair to count it. I didn't see any vendor at that store but it was open. Two others are questionable - they did not open before 11:30 when I left.

JC Penney is closed. No merchandise is left although there are some store fixtures still in there.

The stores that are open seem to be serious about staying with it. None of them seem to be clearing out - except the temporary store which is their stated goal. I still don't see the mall lasting past the end of the year.

If the mall was opening at a reasonable time I'd probably go back to walking there on a daily basis. With things not opening until 11:00 it makes it difficult to fit walking in with my other activities. The best I see is 2 or 3 days a week. I'm going to give it a try for a while.

The Pandemic - Again ... - Jul 22, 2020

Of course I need to say something about it. It's THE MOST IMPORTANT thing going on right now. It will be the most important thing for at least months to come. We may NEVER totally get rid of it.

Today, Ohio has instituted a 'Mask Required' directive that says you need to wear a mask in public or where you can't social distance. There are exceptions of course. I would encourage those with those exceptions to just stay home so you don't become a spreader of this disease.

Those who are obstinate jerks who won't wear a mask should just stay away from me. My idea for dealing with such people is to carry around a super soaker loaded with disinfectant that I can use on such people. Maybe add something smelly to the mix - cheap perfume would work. Essence of skunk would be better.

We HAVE to get this thing under control for at least as long as it takes to get an effective and safe vaccine widely available. Effective treatment procedures could be a short term solution but a vaccine would be much better.

Similar things have happened before. Polio (see WIKI at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polio) was one I remember. Polio is still out there. It's not all that common (only hundreds of cases per year) but it is still with us and probably will be for a long time. I remember getting the vaccine sometime when I was in grade school. EVERYBODY participated in getting the vaccine. It was done at the grade school gym since this was the only place big enough to handle everybody. That school was the only one in our township of only about 1000 people. Yes, it was tiny and still is although it's somewhat bigger now.

So I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing - limited shopping (once a week at Marc's, BJs, and Acme's) and limited interactions with trusted friends in minimal sized groups. I'm not even doing neighborhood walks. I may give walking on the nearby hiking trail a try later this week though. I miss my walks.

The Pandemic - Out of Control (In Some Places) - Jul 6, 2020

I just don't understand. What is so hard about wearing the mask? It WILL make the difference on when this ends!

I can understand the 'invincible' teen age kids. They KNOW they can't be killed by this.

I DON'T understand the 'responsible' adults that refuse to wear a mask. It's just plain stupid!. Particularly that guy who is supposedly leading our country.

Instead of being ready to break out of this when we get a vaccine (that works) or a really good treatment so people don't die we're going to linger on for at least an extra month because thousands of people are needlessly getting this disease and clogging up our hospitals.

There is a level of vaccination that will put this thing to rest. I've seen several numbers but my gut feel is it's probably around 75%. It would be great if 100% of the people got it though. There will be those who refuse to get the vaccine. I will have NO sympathy for them when they get infected.

In Ohio, where we're actually doing much better than many places in the nation, over the last week 1 in 24 people who contracted this disease DIED! I calculate this based on the average span of the disease to be 18 days (the average).

That's not a statistic that I want to be a part of.

I expect all of you to wear a mask so I don't get your germs! I'll be glad to wear one so you don't get my germs. Let's just get through this with a minimum of pain and suffering - mine included.

The Mall - Monthlly Update - Jul 6, 2020

Today I counted 13 main concourse stores still open of the 62 available slots. That's only 21%. There are a couple (T-Mobile and Bed, Bath and Beyond) who look like they MIGHT reopen but I doubt it. It's been a month and a half and neither of them have changed at all.

J C Penney is still open but trying to finish off emptying the store. I did a little searching and saw July 17th as the final closure date. I don't know why they're dragging it out that long - it's ready to close any second now.

The two food court vendors are still there.

The carousel appears to be 'open' although I haven't seen anybody there to operate it. This is one really cool feature of this mall and I would hate to see it disappear completely when (not if) the mall closes.

Very few people around. I saw very few shoppers and just a few walkers. I decided it was time for me to wear a mask 100% of the time I'm not at home or with close friends that I trust. It didn't make the walk any harder so it's not really an issue. I did only do one round though - trying to minimize my risk from unmasked shoppers, vendors, and security guards.

The Pandemic - Getting Worse - Jul 1, 2020

Because too many people are not taking this seriously things are getting worse instead of better. I know, we're all tired of the restrictions but this thing is DEFINITELY not even close to being over.

The stupidity of refusing to wear a mask is something I can't understand. You DO NOT have the right to deliberately infect other people. That's what the mask is all about - protecting those around you from your germs. This virus hides both at the beginning of the infection and some people never even know they have it. They are STILL infectious though.

Although Ohio did a good job in 'flattening the curve' in the past, it's clear that is not going to last much longer. We will be stressing the health care system unless we take immediate action. We have to re-flatten the curve. Then we can squash the curve!

Many of us won't like the restrictions. The alternative is much worse though. Wear that mask, stay home as much as you can, and make arrangements to keep in touch with your friends and relatives.

One in 20 people who get this virus DIE! That's what the statistics show - in Ohio, the United States, and the world. The best way to not be one of those people who become infected (and face the possibility that they're the 1 in 20) is to stay isolated as much as possible.

Ohio Statistics for COVID-19 - Jun 26, 2020

I've been tracking the statistics (I enter each day's statistics into a spreadsheet) and have noticed what I think is an interesting trend. Although the number of cases per day has been climbing the number of deaths has not - yet. We may start to see deaths rise sharply in a couple of weeks.

I've also been following the percentage of deaths vs. cases for each day. To have it make sense the deaths are offset by 18 days which is the average number of days the virus lasts. This is hovering around 5% - which means that about one in twenty people who contract this virus DIE. It will be interesting to see if this percentage changes in a couple of weeks.

I do NOT like those odds. That's not good enough for me. I'm continuing to practice social distancing and wearing a mask out in public. I'm also trying to do any shopping in the slack times - which usually means EARLY in the morning.

You can of course take whatever measures you feel are prudent.

I usually don't have to go out every week (but I do) and I could completely isolate for at least a month if I had to. For now I'm going to keep the shopping to once a week at the three places I go to though I don't necessarily visit all three on the same day.

Next 10 - Top