Showing posts with label Panic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Panic. Show all posts

August 22, 2020

No, It's Not Fort Knox

Did I just walk into Urgent Care or is this Fort Knox's repository for gold bullion?

I don't think I've ever seen this many surveillance cameras in one relatively small room that's not related to national security! 

And there were even more cameras around me--they were freakin everywhere. 

I get that people are afraid and want security, but seriously over a dozen cameras in the entry/waiting room to see a doctor!

Did someone go a little overboard here?

Maybe they had a bad experience, who knows.

Still, this is beyond dystopian and never a private moment shall one have!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 21, 2020

You Get Your Own Special Table

This was a funny sign on a table a good deal away from all the others in a restaurant.
Reserved for Mr. and Mrs. Social Distance. Thank You.  

Wow, for people that are rightfully worried about Coronavirus or maybe they're just hypochondriacs, there is a secluded table for you in the restaurant, so you can still go out and eat and enjoy yourselves. 

Mr. and Mrs. Social Distance, you are sitting far away but still part of the living, Halleluja!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 27, 2020

The Doctor Is Out!

So one huge downside to this Coronavirus shutdown is that you can barely get any help for other medical conditions or elective surgeries. 

I just heard this morning from a relative about family members that can't get shots they need for pain control or surgeries for breathing problems.

Everything now is COVID-19.

That's the priority (maybe all of the top ten priorities)!

But does it really make sense to completely triage COVID-19 above Cancer, Heart Disease, Respiratory Disease, Strokes, Alzheimers, Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Liver Disease, Parkinson's, and more. 

Coronavirus patients are who the hospital and ICU beds are for now. 

And the respirators. 

The testing. 

The new research dollars. 

Perhaps, the global medical community has gone a little Coronavirus crazy, extreme, radical, overboard in their singular focus, panic, and chaos over just one virus to the exclusion of everything else!

Apparently, our totally "overwhelmed" medical system can't "walk and chew gum at the same time."

Certainly, we have a lot to be grateful for to the dedicated and selfless doctors and nurses in the medical community for everything they are doing to help people with Coronavirus under very trying circumstances.

The problem is that in the meantime, people that have new or other chronic conditions are being left out and sometimes to rot. 

Unless of course you are a big fan of telemedicine, which may be good to get something routine looked after, but something major, and I think you're in big trouble. 

After this Coronavirus (assuming there is an after), there is going to be a lot of pent up demand for medical care. 

I think a lot of people are suffering now with conditions that they were waiting to take care of until they were absolutely necessary, but unfortunately when it became necessary, then the care was not there. 

Makes you wonder whether and when you should do or put off medical procedures in the future: just because the care is there "today," doesn't mean it will be there tomorrow. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 19, 2020

Coronavirus - Something or Nothing?

I don't know about you but I have found the communication about the Coronavirus to be absolutely confusing.

And the actions demonstrating unpreparedness, disorganized response, general chaos, and panic do not match the few calming words we are getting. 

No wonder everyone is panicking and the bottom is falling from the market.

On one hand:

- The officials tell everyone to remain calm, and there is no reason to panic. 

- Help is on the way.

- People are overreacting.

- Most people that get Covid 19 won't even know they had it or the symptoms will be mild (or maybe moderate)

- The death rate is "only" like 3 or 4% and it's mostly older people or those with chronic ailments anyway (as if these people don't matter). 

- Younger children aren't really getting it (although we don't know exactly why or the impact on pregnant women). 

- It's less contagious and deadly than the flu (wait, it's more contagious and deadly). 

- There are plenty of tests available for everyone (no, there aren't).

- It will be over in a few weeks when the seasons change and the temperature goes up. 

- A vaccine will soon be ready for testing and then distribution after 12-18 months. 

- The numbers of infected are going down in China--see they have it under control!

- Maybe we should allow investigative drugs to be used (or maybe not, the FDA thinks this is a bad idea).

- The impact to the economy will be over probably by August (or will it?). 

- It'll ALL be over soon.

On the other hand:

- We don't know what we're facing (people are routinely using the words apocalypse and armageddon). 

- This could be the "big one!"

- Is this a punishment from G-d (and is the Messiah coming)? 

- This has reached pandemic proportions. 

- We are declaring a national emergency. 

- This may have come out of a Chinese bioweapons lab.

- Also, China suppressed information and initial response on this making the outbreak worse. 

- "China should be punished for these things" (or some version of this).

- Cases are raising around the world. 

- The contagion is worse than initially thought (there are comparisons to the Spanish Flu of 1918 which killed around 50 million people)

- The death rate is higher than expected. 

- We don't know why or where certain people got Covid 19 from.

- The hospitals are already overwhelmed and are unprepared for a real surge of cases. 

- We need to "flatten the curve" so our healthcare system isn't brought to its knees. 

- We are already triaging patients and our doctors and nurses are working extra long hours and are exhausted. 

- We aren't prepared for this--our healthcare system and government has "failed us". 

- We're rolling out unprecedented economic assistance from the Fed, the Treasury...another trillion dollar deficit (no answer for how this gets paid, if ever...can anyone say runaway inflation in the future and lots of worthless dollars). 

- Washing and "Social Distancing" are paramount. 

- There is a run on toilet paper and disinfectants and these are either sold out or vendors are price gouging these items. 

- We are shutting down the country (workplaces, fitness centers, eat-in restaurants, entertainment, travel, places of worship, and any significant gathering of people). 

- The instructions to stay at home in "indefinite"!

- People are stuck in the house and worried about how long this will go on. 

- Some places like New Rochelle, NY are under quarantine and the National Guard has been called out.

- There is talk of a curfew and further measures of quarantine to be enforced under penalty of imprisonment. 

- The lines at the stores (Costco, Sam's Club, Supermarkets, Groceries) are out the door and the shelves are empty. 

- Amazon announces that they are running out on consumer stables!

- Businesses are suspending workers, moving them to part time, and laying them off. 

- The stock market is down by 1/3 and we're told that this could just be the beginning. 

- A recession is looming and the economic impact and duration is unknown. 

- Italy is on lockdown. 

- Borders are being closed. 

- People can't get home from abroad. 

- Cruise ships aren't being allowed to port. 

- Airlines are screaming for a financial bailout. 

- Navy Hospital Ships with 1,000 beds each are being deployed to the east and west coast. 

- We're sending $1,000 checks (or something like this) to people below a certain income level (maybe $65,000).

- Taxes are supposedly being deferred (although not filing of returns or estimated taxes yet).  

- People are wearing masks everywhere (but we are being told only the sick ones need to wear it and we see everyone in China wearing it and of course our first responders and medical professionals, so which is it).

- Primary voting is delayed in some states and there is question whether the November Presidential election will also be delayed.

Summary:

Does anyone know WTF is going on around here???

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 16, 2020

Germs, Can't Think About Anything Else

With Coronavirus media madness 24/7...

Who can think about anything but germs!

Or should I say killing germs. 

Nobody wants to get sick.

And we don't want to get others sick either. 

- Wash your hands a lot!

- No more handshakes.  

- No more touching "suspect" surfaces.  

- Keep good ("far") social distancing. 

- Quarantine yourself in the house for 2 weeks (actually it's more like indefinitely).

What has become of our world. 

Just one big GERM BOWL. 

Can we really hide from the germs? ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 15, 2020

The Coronavirus Panic


Fruits and Vegetables...


Bread....


Cereal...


Paper Towels and Toilet Paper...

(Credit Photos: Andy Blumenthal @Harris Teeter)


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May 4, 2017

There's No Shield Against Loneliness

Loneliness is empty, hollow, a panicky void, and depression. 

It's like being in the ocean and feeling so small in its massive depths...almost like drowning. 

In the end, you are alone in the universe. 

No one can truly feel your pain or joy or experience all of you.

You're a world unto yourself. 

You connect and form relationships with others--there is learning and growth and love and caring in that. 

Talking and reaching out and being part of someone and something washes away parts of those scary feelings and creates a greater purpose of being and meaning. 

But there is also silence and solitude and the darkness of the night. 

And in that there is just the faith in G-d Almighty. 

He alone is what comforts us as we stare into the vastness out there as well as the evil and loss that we come face-to-face with and combat in life. 

The soldier girds his sword for battle and carries a shield to protect himself.

But there is no shield for the loneliness we experience in life and ultimately in death itself. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 22, 2015

10 Reasons In Just 1 Week To Fear Government Breakdown

When I saw this in the store, I knew it was a true sign of the times, as they say. 

When the government that is supposed to sustain order and usher in social and economic progress is dysfunctional and broken, instead we have:


"Chaos, Panic, [and] Disorder"


Here's some news highlights from just this last week:


SPREADING BASE OF WORLDWIDE TERRORISM


1) ISIS murdered 137 and wounded over 300 in suicide bombings at mosques in Yemen.


2) Al Qaeda / Islamic State killed 23 mostly European tourists and injured over 50 at attack on the National Bardo Museum in Tunisia.


3) Iraq's battle to take back Tikrit from ISIS slows as ISIS continues to hold territory in Iraq and Syria larger than many countries--this after the last U.S. troops left Iraq in 2011. 


AGGRESSIVE POWER AND LAND GRABS:


4) Russia annexes South Ossetia from Georgia, just a year after annexing Crimea from Ukraine.


5) China starts up the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) with support from key European Countries as well as Australia and South Korea, challenging American dominance via the International Monetary Fund (IMF)--this shortly after China surpasses America as the world largest economy.


PROLIFERATION OF WMD:


6) Iran says "Nuclear deal within reach," while their neighbors in the Middle East shutter and warn of impending nuclear arms race.


FORESAKING STALWART ALLIES AND MIDDLE EAST PEACE:


7) The Administration threatens to back United Nations against Israel, imposing a 2 state solution rather than a negotiated peace and security for the region. 


ECONOMIC MESS:


8) U.S. economic forecast by the Fed was downgraded to just 2.5%, despite years of near-zero interest rates that were supposed to spark growth, but instead has simply driven stocks into overdrive and set us up for another bursting of the financial bubble


HEALTHCARE SHAMBLES:


9) Upcoming Supreme Court decision on Obamacare could see 8 million people lose subsidies and ultimately their health insurance coverage.


ENVORNMENTAL CRISIS:


10) 2014 as the hottest year on record and 13 of the 14 hottest years are in the 21st century so far, this as even Chinese officials acknowledge looming fallout ahead in terms of climate change and disasters


If this is just one (more) week with the current breakdown of government,  those causing it all, as the sign states, can proclaim:


"My Work Here Is [Almost] Done."
 ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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October 26, 2014

Don't Worry About It--Yeah Right!

Lately, with the Ebola outbreak, primarily in Africa, but unfortunately also spreading here into the U.S., we are hearing refrains from politicians and pundits, not to be afraid.

- It won’t come here.
- It’s hardly contagious.
- Out health care system is superior.
- It’s all under control.

But what we are finding is that the reassurances are mostly empty words to calm a growing restless public, who are justifiably afraid, and see little to no action from their leaders.

- Ebola has come here to Texas, Maryland, and New York.
- Experts now admit that you can even get Ebola from sweat on the bus, and they blame broken protocols (as yet to be identified) that inflected 2 nurses in Texas.
- Yes, our health system is superior, but we are mostly inexperienced with dealing with a true pandemic.
- Define, “It’s under control” as the CDC is now projecting 1.4M infected by January (and growing exponentially)!

This is like the old adage that we are always trying to fight the last war, and not preparing with an open mind for what the next one will look like.

Similarly, we fail again and again to predict the threats and risks that confront us...Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Depressions/ Severe Recessions, ISIS, and much more are evidence of this.

FDR said “There is nothing to fear but fear itself,” but this is dead wrong.

I am afraid that we are not fearing enough (or that even worse, we are afraid to fear)--when this is perhaps of as great, if not of greater importance to adequately preparing ourselves to the immense challenges ahead of us.

Fear can cause paralysis or even chaos, but fear can also drive intelligent preparation, innovation, and life-saving measures.

Lately, many have said to me that unhealthy eating or gun violence is what we should fear and act on, and I think this is truly narrow vision.

We can’t live with heads in the sand, because there are multiple issues that we must confront.

True, we don’t have unlimited resources to address everything 100%, but as I’ve been telling people, we can worry about multiple issues (and I certainly do), work to address them with common sense—in other words, walk and chew gum at the same time!

Everyone seems to have their pet peeve issue that they want politicians to address, but we don’t have the luxury of paying attention to those that big mouths, lobbyists or politicians elevate to fear factor status, and ignoring others that may pose real significant threats to us. 

Frankly, I would rather be a little needlessly afraid, but more thoughtful, prepared/protected, and ahead-of-the-curve in addressing issues, than fearless, foolhardy, not ready, and extremely sorry later. 

While Ebola may or may not be catastrophic to us, when you hear coldly, almost matter-of-factly, “Don’t worry about it,” while thousands are dying and many more horrific deaths are at hand, and we are told by the U.N. that there is no real plan if things continue to go south, then be afraid, be very afraid--and let that guide you to creative problem-solving, and not deer in the headlights inaction. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 9, 2014

Ebola On The Move

Watching this video of an ebola patient escaping quarantine and the panic in Liberia, it is hard not to be concerned about it coming here. 

Additionally, with a third American infected with Ebola overseas coming back home for treatment, and the CDC retesting a Miami patient negative for Ebola after having shown some symptoms, the stakes seem to be going up with this deadly disease. 

Just last Friday, GovExec reported that Ebola has a 18% chance of reaching the U.S. in September.

Moreover, if the outbreak is not contained the risk of it coming here is said to "increase consistently."

My daughter asked me the other day why commercial flights to/from the infected countries (not including aid delvieries) have not been cut off for now to help prevent the spread of the disease and save lives.

Unfortunately, I did not have a good answer to this, except that certainly there are economic and social implications to those countries in the short-term, but what are the potential costs to countless other global citizens if we do not do everything we can to adequately contain this outbreak?  

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 19, 2014

Panic, Technology To Rescue

Who us panic?

- ISIS is threatening the West with "dangerous new extremism"

- Syria's death toll tops 170,000 with more than 10,000 believed tortured to death. 
- Boko Haram is still abducting young girls (and boys).
- Iran says no deal on nukes
- Ebola is "out of control."
- China is emergent as the U.S. pivots east and space becomes militarized with anti-satellite weapons. 
- Russia is resurgent (Crimea is history to Ukraine).
- The national deficit only hints at the true extent of our unfunded liabilities from entitelements.
- The economy is bubbling over the top again, warns Robert Shiller.
- Racial and income inequality continues to divide America (case in point, Ferguson MO).
- Nearly 1 in 3 American adults has an arrest record.
- Almost half the world--3 billion people--live in poverty on less then $2.50 a day. 

Ah, if only technology could solve all our global problems--and this is a big list and not by any means comprehensive.


It's a race of the "world is exploding all over" with technology trying to make it better with more and better information, innovation, productivity, security, and cures.


Almost like the war of good over evil--we may lose the battle, but hopefully (let's pray) in the end, we will win the war. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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July 13, 2014

Two Lost Children

Often we hear about lost children with everything from Amber Alerts to our phones and billboards to advertisements on local TV and even on milk cartons--and it is completely frightening. 

Rarely though do we come into contact with lost children...but yesterday it happened to us. 


We were taking a nice quiet walk around the neighborhood, but something was different this time. 


I see 2 children running down the block, and as they get closer, I see they are not playing, but running scared. 


The taller, older girl is ahead of a smaller boy. 


As the girl is within speaking distance, her whole face breaks into tears and she starts sobbing loudly.


Not knowing if they were in some imminent danger, I asked quickly what was wrong and were they in danger. 


By now the little boy has caught up with his sister and they--taking turns--saying they are lost. 


We start asking more questions.


Are you from around here?  No, they are visiting from NY. 


What is the address of where they are staying?  Don't know. 


What the name of the people they are staying at?  Don't know. 


Where are their parents?  Don't know--they told them to go out and run around the (strange) neighborhood.


How old are they? The girl is 7 and the boy is just 4.


We told these 2 little kids not to worry that we would help them find their way back and that we wouldn't leave them until we did. 


Immediately, we headed back from where they had come from to backtrack and find their parents. 


The boy and girl took turns running ahead, crying, afraid they were not going to find the house they came from and saying the streets here are so curvy unlike the square blocks where they are from in NY. 


As we kept going around, I started to get leg pain, as I am still on a cane myself from recent surgery, and we were rushing to find their home in the midday Summer sun.


We made it down a long block, looking this way and that with the kids--turned the corner...then again the same thing...down another block...although we try to calm them, as we kept going, the kids get more panicky that they were just completely lost. 


Finally, thank G-d, a lady in the distance...the kids start running...they recognize her immediately...it's their mother. 


The lady sees us behind them bringing them home to her...she picks up the little girl who makes it to her first...so glad to have her kids back.


She waves to us...a quick sort of thanks--and turns and walks away.


That was it...she didn't say a word and was gone before we even caught up. 


The kids were really sweet--they were also fortunate--and I hope they are okay and never have to experience anything like that again. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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August 26, 2013

Where Do You Find G-d?

My dad told me this joke over the weekend.

It's about the Rabbi who asked the little boy in school... 

"WHERE do you find G-d?"

Raising his voice again...

"Where do you find G-D?"

Stretching out his arms to the heavens....

"Where do YOU find G-d?"  

The boy rushes outside, nearly in tears, and finds his little brother and says:

"The Rabbi thinks we stole G-d."

I'm not sure if the joke itself is really funny or just the way my dad tells it. 

But I can almost see that child panicking and thinking he was being accused of something terrible. 

Anyway, as we all know G-d is everywhere and most importantly inside all of us. 

That's the spark that burns--our soul from above. 

(Source Photo: adapted from here with attribution to Kigaliwire)


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December 11, 2012

Escaping From A Submerged Vehicle Gets Easier


Of all things, here's an innovation to the seat belt. 

In the movies, we've all seen cars plunging into the water and submerging with people trapped inside. 

Wired Magazine (11 December 2012) reported on a new escape belt that helps people get out of the vehicles and to safety. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administation, almost 400 people die a year from car accidents that result in accidental drowning. 

Now Dutch company, Fijen TMLS has developed a seat-belt that releases when water goes in the interior and dissolves a salt pill in the latch. 

The mechanism costs as little as $40 and according to the company's website can "be assembled on all seatbelt releasers in just a few simple steps."

From the pictures of the assembly instructions, I am not sure it is quite so easy. 

Also, it is unclear how long the device is good for, since on one hand, their website states that the "Escape Belt lasts 6 months" and on other hand that "the cartridge will need to replaced after 2 years."

In any case, I think the idea is a good one as long as the belt remains secure when not submerged and will not release accidentally with any simple spill or splash. ;-)

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