Sunday, May 3, 2020

Testing,We Need Antibody Testing.

Mark Twain is Quoted as saying there are three kinds of lies. Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics. I wonder how to interpret the information that I have read. As of the date of writing this post, there have been 140,000 people tested in this state and 12,000 confirmed cases. There are 432 deaths attributed to the virus. Of these 12,000 confirmed cases, how many are still contagious? There are 10,500,000 citizens of this state. The math says one out of every 875 people have had the virus. I don't encounter 900 different people in any given month, so not so bad.

Eight and a half percent of those tested were positive. But is there a bias in that number. If it were representative of the population at large then 875,000 people have had the virus and that would be about one in twelve people. I do encounter twelve different people every day. Not so good. But because there are so few confirmed cases in the west, I think the odds of running into someone with Corona are about 900 to 1. But I wish I knew for sure.

We really need wide spread antibody test to make better decisions.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Graham County NC Closes it Boarders

Two days ago I traveled to Graham County, NC. I encountered a Check Point where the local Sheriff was demanding ID and only allowing residents with ID into the county. This is not America.
The County's stated purpose was that County resources should be saved to be available to the residents. This is a cover. This county does not have the any resources to save. With any serious illness a Graham County, the patient is transferred to a larger nearby city in another county. The real reason is that they want to keep out anyone who may be sick. They are afraid that they may catch this virus and they are shutting everyone out.
I believe that the County can not legally shut out traveler or part time residents. If I lived in Atlanta or Charlotte, and had a second home in the mountains, I would want to ride out this pandemic away from the city. The truth is that politicians are spineless cowards. No will will stand up and state publicly that this is illegal. If we all shelter in place, who care who lives two house over, or drives through the county.
We are translating the fear of this virus into fear of our neighbors. We are all going to get this virus. It is only a question of time. Ninety nine percent of us will come through it just fine, Do not allow our humanity to be a victim of this virus..

Friday, March 27, 2020

Eastern Band of the Cherokee Close Their Boarder to the United States

I am currently living on the Cherokee Indian Reservation in Western North Carolina.  I have been here for about five months.  I am not Cherokee.   I first heard about these plan to close the reservation on Friday March 20th on social media.  The story I heard was that only Tribal members were allowed on the reservation.  That later changed to tribal member and residents.  The shutdown would start on March 23rd at 12 noon. 

On Saturday, March 21, I was standing in a grocery line and overheard a police officer speaking with someone else in line.  He stated that the basic reason for the shut down was for the tribe to keep all of its resources available to tribal member and prevent people coming to the reservation from the nearby big cities.

I have been living with this limitation for five days and every time I pass through the check point, I get grilled about where I am going. I explain that I am a resident but usually that is not enough.  I have to produce ID, tell them who my landlord is and otherwise convince them to let me in.  I have inquired and there is no method of registering with anyone and getting a pass.

I recently learned that a town down the road, Robbinsonville, NC,  is closing itself off from the rest of the world.  I can't believe that this is what we have come to.  Creating an "us against them" mind set and locking out our fellow citizens.  Both Cherokee and Robbinsonville do not have the resources to respond to any kind of virus out break.  The residents there would have to go to Tennessee or east in North Carolina for treatment if an outbreak occurred.  The resources on the reservation are equally inadequate.   If there was an outbreak, they too would need to rely on outside help.  But, in the mean time, if you aren't from around here, you can't get in.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Can We Reopen America For Business

There may be a way to reopen America and still protect against the spread of virus. Scientists are close to developing an antigen test for the virus. This kind of test demonstrates that the person has been infected and has recovered. Scientist are also close to developing a test that returns results almost immediately. Instead of waiting hours or days, the results are immediate.

This virus is much more dangerous to the elderly and those with underlying health concerns. In parts of the country that have yet to be seriously impacted by the virus, a program involving testing and or monitoring could be used to put people back to work. Test an individual and if he has antigens, then he can go back to work. Test a person and they are free from virus, then they can go back to work. Testing for the uninfected could happen daily or every other day. If they show virus, then off for quarantine. Social distancing and followup with the contacts of anyone who tests positive would certainly be required. If everyone in the work force was from the low danger age groups, then deaths could be dramatically reduced.

I don't know if this is the answer, but the concept should be explored. Yes, everyone could stay at home and wait as the viral wave washes over the county. Maybe we can construct another scenario that has less financial impact upon the country. The characteristic of this virus and how it impact our population should be exploited to construct the best possible response.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The End Of The World as We Know It

The end of the World as we know it.

In a far away place where more than a billion people call home, a novel virus has been unleashed and is spreading like wildfire. Wuhan China, a city of eleven million has been quarantined. Countries have closed their boarders and band international flights. We sit here in the US and casually watch and wait.

The Corona Virus is an RNA based virus. (WuFlu) This kind of virus is know for mutating at a rapid rate. What this means is that a virus that causes a mild cold like symptoms can morph in the blink of an eye into a virus that is lethal.

The last couple of viral scares included Middle East Respiratory syndrome (MERS) and Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). These viruses were spread by close physical contact with an infected person. This WuFlu can be spread by breathing the air or touching a surface. In addition, it can be spread through the digestive track. What that means is that if you are using in a public toilet and someone with the virus is stinking up the place, you can contract the virus. The virus can aerosolize by flushing the toilet. Infection can happen if you touch a surface in the area of the toilet. Carried a little further, in places where the sanitation systems are not good, the virus gets in the sewers and insects can carry and spread the virus. This virus has not yet been reported in India or Africa. It will. The population density and sanitation systems in these parts of the world will boost its spread.

A highly contagious virus has more opportunity for mutation. The more people it infects, the more likely that it will morph. At the time of the writing of this post there has been reported 24,500 confirmed cases, with 500 deaths. Reporting began on January 20th, 15 days ago. At first glance, this does not seem like a very high fatality rate. The problem is that the virus has to be in your system for a while before you even show symptoms. Then it takes time to result in a sever enough condition to be lethal. Backing the numbers up ten days and there were just 2700 case confirmed. That would be a 20% fatality rate. Add on top of that the allegation that China does not accurately report causes of death. This rate could be much higher.

The Spanish flu killed 50 million people around the world. That was in 1918 when the world was no where near as connected as we are today. Maybe the virus can be contained in China. Hopefully for at least long enough for a vaccine to be developed. Is it the end of the world as we know it. Will millions of people succumb to this virus? The next few days will tell the story.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

PKO Sterling Cross Flea Market Find.

     I like to go to flea markets and garage sales and look for treasure to sell on Ebay.  I am not much of a fan of jewelry.  I saw this cross and believed it to be sterling.  I thought it might be Russian or Greek Orthodox but was not sure.  And it could be old or not, again hard to tell. I paid fifteen dollars and thought that it was a gamble as to whether I could make any money with it. 

    The fun in treasuring hunting is discovering the history of the things you find.  I have search the internet and have not found a similar item.  I have not come across any thing close.  The cross has six faces.  Probably Saints or Popes and four diamond like stones.  They are not diamonds. 

     When I found the cross, I could not see any makers marks on it.  I After I got in home I discovered on the reverse in very small print  "PKO".  Not much on the internet on "PKO" that I can find.  Finding this mark probable means that it is not old.  It is Sterling and the weight is enough to cover the cost I paid. 

    Unfortunately there is no home run here, just a base on balls.  I like the look of it and may just hang it on the wall. 

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Promoting the General Welfare

Promoting the General Welfare

These United States were created when a contract was created between the people and a proposed government. The people all agreed to be bound by the terms of the agreement. In the Preamble, one of the stated reasons for entering into this contract was to “promote the general welfare” of the people. There is no greater element of welfare than a persons health.

The common welfare would be enhanced by our government assisting and promoting health care at no cost to the people.

Wait, Don't Stop Reading!

I know what your thinking. Socialist Medicine, right. I never understood why we the people need to label everything. The fact is there are a lot of people in America that make a lot of money in the Health Care Industry and they want to keep us paying for it. I am a true believer in capitalism. It is one of the single most powerful mechanism for improving the living standards of people all around the world. And I have never been much of a fan of he way the government does much of what it does. Sometimes I think that governmental agency intentionally mess things up. But what is more important to you and me than our health?

There is a revolution coming and lots of feet dragging to prevent it from happening. Modern technology will revolutionize medical care. Everyone with a financial interest in health care will resist. Imagine what is now possible. With the advent of the internet the world has never been closer than it is today. We turn on our computers and look and talk to anyone who has internet access. Add to this mix the advent of Artificial intelligence and this is a game changer. Health care can be provided at a cost that has never been available before.

Many years ago if you were sick, the doctor made a house call and treated you. That changed and patients were required to go to the doctor or to a hospital for treatment. Now, the doctor can sit in his office somewhere and you could be seen over your computer or at a local facility were machines were available to monitor your vitals during the exam. The doctor could be anywhere in the world. Right now you can purchase wearable devices that will monitor everything from your heart to your body temperature. These devices monitor your vital signs and alert you and your health care provider if something changes. I'm not even going to talk about remote robotic operations.

Not being a fan of how the government does anything, I would suggest that we as a country encourage and promote non-profit health care provides that are endowed both by government and by private citizens with the goal of being self supportive. There are such institutions today. St Jude Children's Research Hospital comes to mind. Health Care is a big business and billions of dollars of profit gets generated every year. It's appalling to profit off the suffering of others? Why can't we approach this problem in another way.

There is a campaign being waged to mold public opinion and maintain the status quo. Suggesting an alternative to “for profit” health care gets translated into “Socialist Medicine.” Push past the labels. They want to keep the profits rolling in. Don't fall victim to the “Makes vs Takers” propaganda.  Lets rethink health care and make it better.