Norms Abandoned => Become Requirements

Frequently, one becomes aware of norms when they are violated. Someone facing you directly in an elevator breaks a norm. You always had a sense of how it was supposed to be, but now you are jolted into awareness that what is going on is wrong, an aberration, or at least against the norm.

Once a norm is made explicit, it is no longer a norm. Now it is a requirement, if you want to keep it. It can even be a rule, regulation, or law. A norm that everyone abides by does not require spelling out, enforcement, and accountability. For example, simple human decency or civility may draw a willing response from most people, so it only needs to become part of a regulation when it is ignored, contradicted, acted against.

Airborne Virus is Air Born

We have to keep ahead of those who recommend methods for avoiding Covid-19. They’re too slow.✹This Airborne Virus is Air Born in you. Don’t get impregnated✹[-The major thing is to pay attention to air flow in closed spaces like restaurants where you might spend more time. The facility should already have figured this out – spacing 6 feet from an entire family at one table does no good if the air drift is in your direct, and a group puts out more effluents than a single person, and spacing should be greater. BUT, you are far safer if the facility has introduced ultraviolet light, hepa filters, and has set the room according to air flow. Since most nobody has done this, you have to exercise your own judgment. Maybe you could take along a stick of punk, or mild incense to test air flow. Better if the facility has already done it.] – Research shows that wearing glasses lessens the likelihood of the virus entering through our eyes. – Don’t touch your face, but what keeps you from washing your face for 20 seconds, soaping up like you soap your hands? – Hydrogen peroxide is a good way to clean your phone, wipe down groceries before they go in the fridge, where the virus might stay alive longer. – O2 a Canadian company has an N-99 mask that sells for $70, has replaceable filters that cost extra. Unfortunately, the flight required a mask that came down to my chin – a problem of writing solid regulations. So I wore an N-95, covered by the blue hospital mask. – You can use a Miele vacum cleaner filter that strains out microscopically, but it loses effectiveness when it becomes damp. So, you can cut it to shape and replace. – More items below – I’ve used Uber and Lyft and they were find with opening the windows, but had not been advised on NOT recirculating cabin air – which keeps every past rider’s effluent in the HVAC system.

Spreader -In-Chief

Could you imagine that the “leader” of our nation is so unconcerned about the welfare of others that he is an active spreader of the virus. How many deaths would you attribute to his negligence, failure to provide clear information, underplaying the virus threat, and bravado? I think a conservative estimate is at 40,000.

In addition, the economy could be up and running at nearly full tilt if only clear measure had been put in place much earlier. Now we have fatigue set in, few backup resources in most families, and no plan. But 3.5 weeks of thorough shut down, quick testing, and tracing can still do it.

Process vs. Facts: Putting One Over on the Public

Fox New has followed a clever strategy that leads to their followers losing sight of reality. For years, their commentators issue opinion about facts, sometimes about doctored facts. Suddenly, their opinion obliterates any need, thought or desire for underlying facts. Opinion trumps reality!

One of the best examples of this strategy occurred in the 1984 Presidential Debates between President Ronald Reagan and Vice-President Walter Mondale. When Mondale confronted Reagan with some facts to which Reagan was uncomfortable responding, he said, “There you go again!”

This deflection was masterful. The audience laughed and no facts were forthcoming from Reagan. Fox news built their news cycle and the reputation of their pundits on offering procedural comments, without offering any underlying facts or evidentiary basis.

On September 9th, 2020, Laura Ingram elevated the art form by offering meta-opinions. This is where you interpret and interpretation. Trump took early action on the Covid-19 virus, ignoring the point that he did so by offering public opinions and behaviors that misrepresented the nature and threat of the virus.

This opinion of this writer is that if the President had explained how this virus was a threat and had modeled good practices by wearing a mask, a significant number of people would have followed suit. The resultant deaths and the duration of the pandemic could have been reduced significantly. Even if I stated the number of deaths reduced by 20,000, this number would still be on the hands of the Trump. [See the Sunday Doonesbury column, 9/6/2020]

Cover your Mouth when you Sneeze or Cough

Even the least civilized, inconsiderate or unmannerly individual covers his mouth when sneezing or coughing around strangers. It is generally accepted social practice out of consideration for others.

Covering your mouth provides a benefit to others when as an asymptomatic individual you expel fewer particles of virus into the environment. And now there is evidence that wearing a mask limits the amount of virus particles you might inhale by wearing the mask. A mask is a continual covering.

Making mask wearing an issue of individual rights has skewed the issue so much that it will cost us billions to trillions in lost revenue due to continuing the spread of the virus.

Fat Farm Fatalities: Covid 19

Today the news featured the story of a man who exposed his mother, sisters and daughter to the virus. He himself died his first day in the hospital. What was apparent from the photo of the entire family is a shared pre-existing condition – obesity, and possibly resultant diabetes. We need to be looking at several levels of vulnerability and what contributes in these cases.

The food industry is getting by with a huge burden on the government through the health care system. As obesity becomes normalized in various modes of “learning to love myself the way I am,” outsized “big and beautiful” models, even XL caskets, together with elevating “fat shaming” to a felony; people are becoming accustomed to evidence of an unhealthy way of life.

Packing on padding is not a healthful step in life. Those extra pounds got put on one bite at a time, less exercise to off set the calories, and then a regimen of repetition. Only when the food industry is exposed for its role in creating food cravings, addictions and tricking the body’s metabolism, will people see how they have been set up and taken. The industry has groomed them. Only when this is exposed will people have the choice to take that next bite; or take the next step.

Cause v. Contributing Factor

There was some discussion that asphyxiation might not have been the cause of death for George Floyd. The problem here is the use of “cause” instead of “contributing factor.” Was the knee on George’s neck for 9 minutes “the” cause, single linear causality? Even if it was not, any reasonable person could conclude that he would not have met his untimely end when he did, but for the major contributing factor of the officer’ knee on his neck.

A Question of “Proportionality”

When someone is stopped for having a taillight out, and it escalates into an assault and arrest, something is distorted. The fact that a man can walk or run through a neighborhood, and vigilante types can act on a misguided hunch to end that person’s life, is criminal on its face.

The police themselves have a standard which you do not want to reach. Are you perceived as a “threat.” Once you are, it seem that almost any action can be taken against you. I was talking with a local policeman in Maryland about this issue. He described a scene in which a farmer, emerging from his own home in the country, carried a pitchfork. The officer described him as a threat. I said, “Why don’t you just back up out of his range?” He replied,”Oh, you’re one of those humanitarians.”

I carried that one a little farther. “You are on his property, and he does not have lethal force. You arrived and you have choice over where you position yourselves. Back up.”

I would just like to see time spent on developing apprehension “flow charts.” Even someone fleeing the police…where is he going to go? Do you have to shoot to kill? What about shooting him in the leg. Better, how about picking him up at this home, where he is bound to return? A bullet is not a solution. It is an overstatement and invocation of lethal force. Why? Because you have a gun?

Training needs to extend beyond use of lethal weapons, and more toward seeing the person as a human being, and the situation as not necessarily confrontational or having to play out with finality in a few minutes. Let’s get some proportion back into law enforcement.

Masking Second Hand Breath

Words matter. Social distancing is an unfortunate term, because people are trying to get together. The “six foot rule” would be better. That is what you want. Not a seemingly anti-social term.

Does wearing a mask stifle your breathing? Fog your glasses? Get a better fitting mask. The reason you are wearing a mask is the same reason that smoking was banned from public places years ago. Second hand smoke was deadly, consisting of tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide and cyanide gas. It created a gas chamber. An effluent of smoking, it created liability for employers. And is gone.

Second hand breath can be more immediately deadly than second hand smoke. It creates a virus chamber. You don’t have to wait years. And you have no visible sign [asymptomatic] or behavior that the virus is being distributed, unless by sneeze, cough, spit, touch, or loud speaking. You just don’t know who is a source. The smoker is now the breather. That is why we wear a mask. It’s not about your liberty. It’s about the health of people you come in contact with.

Excuses, Excuses

The current president reminds me of my friend Stephen, who when his mother asked who wet the bed, replied, “The little boy down the block came in and wet the bed.” Unfortunately, the president can do much more than wet the bed we all sleep in.