And now, this.

It rained hard overnight Friday. I was on the early-morning-weekend-update shift (we rotate), and I was lying in bed, preparing to get up, when I heard a different rhythm to the rain on the roof. A separate drip-drip-drip that didn’t belong to the dripdripdripdripdrip coming down on the bathroom skylight. I thought Alan might be awake, so I asked him:

“Do you hear that?”


And that, friends, is how we were up at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, me trying to aggregate the fucking onslaught of overnight news — Friday night was when the president christened “that woman in Michigan,” our governor, “Half.” (Her name is Gretchen Whitmer. If you don’t get it immediately, think about it.) There was also a hot nursing home and the usual skyrocketing disease numbers. And Alan was clambering around in the attic, trying to set up drip-catchers and figure out where the leak was coming from, because it is indeed the Month from Hell, house-wise.

On March 2, we had our gigantic backyard oak tree taken down. Very close to the house, very tall, and I hated to do it but it had to be done — the thing was rotten all the way through. But hoo-boy, expensive. A couple weeks later, the hot water heater started to leak because why? Because it had rusted clean through. So the new water heater came next. Now, a leaky roof. And a pandemic.

But we’re all healthy! So that’s good. Seriously, it’s good. I’m reading more and more about people younger than me dying, older than me dying, lots of people close to dying. (Like John Prine, please keep him going just a little longer.) The tree, the water heater, the roof — all these can be fixed with money. Your health can’t.

Good to remember. But man, I wish I made a lot more of it.

So it was only a half-terrible weekend. Except that the auto show was finally cancelled, for the upsetting reason that FEMA is taking over the Cobo Center (now known as the TCF Center) for a 900-bed field hospital for the next six months.

I did have to do some food shopping. I put a bandanna over my mouth, which did nothing but maybe made others feel better. Kate went with me; her bandanna was red, which, she said, meant she was a Blood.

I’d like an N95 mask, but they’re only to be had in 300,000-piece lots. I’d like some more hand sanitizer, and businesses are making it, but again, only in gigantic lots. When this stuff trickles down to the retail level, someone let me know.

Or maybe I could buy one “out the back door,” like the president says.

Anyway, the Kroger now has floor stickers to space people out in the checkout line, and plexiglass sneeze shields between customers and the checkout clerks. Our new normal.

Kate says we can make our own sanitizer, but we’ll need aloe gel. That’s probably disappeared from the stores, too. Might have to sacrifice our kitchen aloe; her day may well have come. We’ll see.

What to read? Here’s something I wrote: An obituary, but non-COVID. No, just the tragic loss of a 33-year-old man, widely beloved, who had an aggressive form of colon cancer. He first had symptoms on his honeymoon.

An entertainingly written history of Purell, from the WP.

And I guess that’s all. For once I can ask, what fresh hell awaits us in the coming week and be almost entirely sure there will be some, and a lot of it.

Stay safe! Keep washing those paws.

Posted at 7:13 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

104 responses to “And now, this.”

  1. LAMary said on March 29, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    My bulk buying tendencies are paying off somewhat. I’ve got hand sanitizer. Some liquid hand soap and lots of bar soap. Cabinets full of canned and dried things and olive oil, yeast, flour, lots of spices and herbs. I spoke to my sister in law yesterday; the one who was married to my brother who died in November. She’s nearly completely blind but she’s managing well on her own with the help of very nice neighbors and two good sons who have set her up with Alexa. I asked how she was doing and she told me that my brother bought cabinets full of pasta and canned and dried stuff. I asked, “like plum tomatoes?” Yes. “Tuna?” Yes. “Dried beans?” Yes again. So food hoarding is genetic. Nothing fancy, but very pratical stuff to get you through earthquakes or blizzards or hurricanes or pandemics.

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  2. Deborah said on March 29, 2020 at 8:16 pm

    If we had to stay in the cabin for a few weeks we could make it with what we’ve got here except for water. A big “except for” obviously. If we had one of those water purifying pumps I’ve heard about, we could bring our water up from the Chama River about 2 miles down the road. Of course 2 weeks without a shower would put me way over the edge.

    I’ve been rationing hand sanitizer, TP, paper towels, disinfectant wipes, kleenex and the like. I should have been doing this all along to cut down on waste etc so maybe I’ll change those bad habits when this is all over.

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  3. alex said on March 29, 2020 at 8:52 pm

    Ventured out for supplies and food today and went to Aldi totally on a whim. I’ve never shopped at Aldi. There were almost no cars in the parking lot so I figured it might a) be safe and b) actually have some things.

    I was right on both counts. I may become an Aldi convert. I was blown away.

    This tiny store had every last thing on my shopping list. That never happens when I go to the ginormous Kroger store, and I’m talking about non-coronavirus times.

    What’s more, it was sparkling clean, well organized, well stocked and I had it all to myself. Not only did I find everything on my list, but a few things they don’t carry at Kroger — like broth for pho and tom yum soups, which should make for some fun new adventures in weeknight cooking. And the prices were amazing too.

    Came home and made salmon patties from the index card file and they were the best ever. And simple. Every time I tried it before, it stunk up the house and they’d fall apart. These were perfect.

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  4. colleen said on March 29, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    One of the interesting pieces of information from the data we cancer registrars gather is that colon cancer is striking younger and younger people all the time. Now researchers and cancer scholars have to figure out why colon cancer is increasing among younger people, and what to do about it.

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  5. LAMary said on March 29, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    The one Aldi I’ve visited was pretty big. It was near my last temp job, 32 miles away, so I’ll find a closer one and check it out. It’s kissing cousin of Trader Joe so I have high expectations.
    Just read that Liberty University now has covid cases among the students that came back. I’m shocked.

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  6. joel hanes said on March 29, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    Soap and water is better than sanitizer.

    Soap and water break down the outer shell of the virus, which is essential for infection. Needs 20 seconds; give it 30.

    One washcloth, heavily soaped, in a baggie.
    Another, wrung wet, the rinse, in second baggie.
    A dishcloth on which to dry your hands after.

    Take a pencil with an eraser with which to do the touchpad.

    And your bandana, if doubled, is probably fairly effective in a situation like a grocery store. Don’t reuse it, wash it with soap, and then a hot dryer (SARS-CoV-2 dies in 15 minutes above 56 C, which is 133 F. Clothes driers on high hit 135 F)

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    • nancy said on March 30, 2020 at 8:49 am

      I know, and I’ve never liked the feel of sanitizer on my hands. The only reason we had any in the house was, we bought a few small bottles for Morocco, where bathrooms with running water are often hit-or-miss, and soap ditto. But when you’re doing grocery shopping, or otherwise running errands, it does come in handy. The pencil eraser trick I will remember — that’s a good one.

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  7. Mark P said on March 29, 2020 at 9:30 pm

    Good luck finding aloe gel and alcohol. Our store hasn’t had any since they sold out hand sanitizer.

    I was told that our Walmart has special hours for us olds. Of course it’s about an hour before I get up, and I was also told they don’t restock prior to opening but shortly after opening. Great. Why close the damned 24-hour store if you don’t use the down time to restock?

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  8. basset said on March 29, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    We are within three miles of two Kroger’s, two Publix, a Sprouts and an Aldi… really good pharmacy and a branch of our bank at one of the Publix, somehow it just seems more inviting than Kroger so we mostly go there, or to the Aldi when we need to get in and get out. Aldi also has the best selection of actually drinkable cheap wine.

    Cleaned out the shed today and found a long forgotten box of donated cleanup stuff from the flood going on ten years ago… bleach, gloves, even a few masks. We must be doing something right.

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  9. alex said on March 29, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    We have some scary big aloe plants. They’re like stubborn weeds. Can’t kill ’em. They’re also not beautiful so they’re out in the mudroom with all the other stuff that goes back outside in the summer.

    Back to the grindstone tomorrow. At least my commute is only ten feet and I don’t have to get dressed for it.

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  10. jcburns said on March 29, 2020 at 10:42 pm

    Glad you took care of the tree chore. It’s never fun, but it’s less fun when it’s a super-gusty night and it sounds like a tree limb really wants to remove your gutter.

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  11. Deborah said on March 29, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    No Aldi’s in Santa Fe, that I know of, there is Trader Joe’s. We used to pass an Aldi’s in Chicago to get to a Trader Joe’s there, never went in.

    I don’t think I’ll be going back to Chicago until September. I don’t like summers there and I don’t think it’ll be anywhere near safe until into the summer. I’m going to be very cautious for a long while.

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  12. Ann said on March 29, 2020 at 11:07 pm

    I couldn’t get the “Half,” and I couldn’t get it and I tried googling it but now I get it. What an ass.

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  13. Dexter Friend said on March 30, 2020 at 1:50 am

    I am rather slow so it took me two instead of 1 second to get the Gov slam. Trump really hates your guv.
    Water heater blues got us a little while ago. First we noticed the slight seeping. I have been down the road several times, so no fuckin’ ’round: phoned the plumber immediately and got a new, fancy modern water heater in there.
    I feel for ya having that leak above . Best wishes for an inexpensive fix.
    N.P. daughter called at 1:00 PM, asking what I was doing. I said going to Taco Bell for her mom’s soft tacos. I had the riot act read…the Covid19 on the money I touch, and the fact that Detroit is climbing towards disaster, Chicago is approaching catastrophe, and Toledo is climbing quickly, and Fulton and Defiance counties are accumulating numbers daily. Williams County where I live has no positives yet, but then nobody’s getting tested yet either. I was to quit going to fast food stores and stores in general, but I was outta dog chow and cat litter so in I went.
    Tomorrow I start suffering guilt: daughter insisted on mailing a few M-95 masks to us and they are coming tomorrow. We are being implored to turn them in to medical folks in hospitals but daughter says since I have all but one basic risk factors I must wear one when I venture out. She told me to tell any attackers that I am under doctor’s orders.
    Of course it’s nearly impossible to enter the Toledo Community Outpatient Clinic for my Tuesday 6-month checkup and med re-up, so it is set for telehealth.
    And that fucking wind, fer crissake! I thought it was going to flip my van Sunday afternoon. It didn’t.

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  14. Sherri said on March 30, 2020 at 1:50 am

    If Isaac Chotiner ever asks to interview you, you should probably say no. He’s managed to get people to say some amazingly incriminating things before, but this is just brutal.

    This is no less brutal, just from a perspective of how you should evaluate any work of non-experts in a field (all the ways that Epstein fails).

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  15. Dexter Friend said on March 30, 2020 at 2:03 am

    Aldi’s is our main store but Defiance is just far enough away that we only go twice a month. I buy a lot of stuff at Dollar General here a mile away. I spent $42 there Saturday night , but was kicked out as they had changed their store hours so I had to leave. I went back and finished up by spending another $82 Sunday. I caught hell as I didn’t see the 6 foot warning tape on the floor.Today I had to buy two big bags of dog food and the cat litter and Carla Lee’s usual 3 sixers of big Diet Pepsis. That lasts her about 5 days. I know…man, she is hooked on that piss.

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  16. ROGirl said on March 30, 2020 at 5:44 am

    I was going to mention Aldi yesterday. There’s one less than a mile from my house. They started posting signs on everything that limit people to 2 of each item — before that people were clearing out the shelves. I’ve gotten just about everything there except hand sanitizer and wipes. Although the selection is limited, the quality of their products has always been excellent, and their prices are generally lower than the brand names and even the big grocery store brands. I haven’t tried to go to Trader Joe’s since this started, figured it would just be a big cluster, but they do have a great wine selection.

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  17. alex said on March 30, 2020 at 7:16 am

    We had the bottom of a water heater rust out a couple of years ago. It was a 60-gallon heater. No fun. Huge fucking mess.

    The cause? It was sitting adjacent to the water softener, which had leaked saltwater underneath it one time. The heater now rests in a big tray to prevent this from ever happening again.

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  18. Connie said on March 30, 2020 at 7:40 am

    So, Kroger online ordering, just now. No delivery dates available. Next available parking lot pickup day, next week Monday, 7 days.

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  19. Peter said on March 30, 2020 at 8:00 am

    Ann, you got it a lot faster than I did – I kept thinking that a half-Gretchen must be some wrestling term…

    The Trader Joe’s by me has set up a really good system – although I know many other places do this as well – maximum occupancy 50 shoppers, they wipe the cart down in front of you before you go in, they take the cart from you in checkout and then push it back to you when they’ve scanned everything. I got in and out of that store in five minutes.

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  20. Msris said on March 30, 2020 at 8:58 am

    I am a dummy, because I still don’t get the “half” thing. Could someone explain?

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    • nancy said on March 30, 2020 at 9:35 am

      “Half” Whitmer = “halfwit”

      Always projection with this guy.

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  21. Julie Robinson said on March 30, 2020 at 10:02 am

    Aldi’s has upgraded their quality in recent years; lots of organic produce and upscale stuff like the pho broth, and best of all started accepting debit and credit cards instead of only cash. We buy cases of blueberries there in the summer. Potatoes and onions are consistently lower quality though and spoil rapidly.

    We watched the most recent Mister Rogers movie (so good, so sweet). The next day we went out for a walk and started jokingly talking in Mister Rogers speak about frustrations we were having. It ended with me singing What do You do with the Mad that You Feel, and gosh darnit if I didn’t feel better afterwards! I know everyone pokes fun at him and I did too before I had kids. Then I sat down to watch along with them and learned how to parent. I just love him.

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  22. 4dbirds said on March 30, 2020 at 10:05 am

    My son and his wife love Aldi. My son, almost 33 has been one of those failure to launch kids. A stint in the army was cut short, then he failed massively at Virginia Tech but not before amassing 30K in student loan debt. Then I got him an intern position that could have led to a really good permanent job but he messed that up. Then he found a decent job traveling and doing audio visual work but decided to tell his boss what he really thought of him so now he delivers pizza. They live about 50 miles away from the DC metro area but now that his wife has been furloughed, I’m waiting for the call that they need to move back home. I’ll probably let them, I’m a big sucker. I love this boy but I don’t ‘get’ him. I was chomping at the bit to leave home well before 18. I joined the army, went to school, traveled and never looked back.

    I love to come here and read the comments even if I don’t join in. I hope everyone is well and love the banter.

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  23. Peter said on March 30, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Nancy, your comment has gotten me WAY off on a tangent here, but when I was just out of school, I worked in the architecture department for a large bank. We were in the same division as the building janitors, carpenters, maintenance men, and the delivery crew.

    The delivery crew had two types of employees – railroad conductors who came in part time during their several hour break from morning and evening commuter trains, and old Yiddish types who shuffled around various downtown buildings. The latter group would sit around a conference table and come up with really bad puns, jokes, and nicknames, like “Half” Whit for the governor, and sell them to newspaper writers – Irv Kupcinet gave them $2.00 a pun, and Bob Greene paid for tips – and they would pool the money for bagels and coffeecake.

    I mention this because this was an anachronism 40 years ago, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an operating version at the Trump Organization feeding bon mots to the bon bon machine.

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  24. Jeff Borden said on March 30, 2020 at 10:08 am

    It’s so inspiring to have a “leader” who in the midst of deadly chaos knows his tweets about his phenomenal TV ratings will lift the spirits of the people. Why, they are higher than the finale of “The Bachelor!”

    And this same “leader” is now floating more of his gut instincts to suggest the frontline health care workers who are risking their lives –a brief segment on an NYC nurse working five back-to-back 13-hour days and still caring for her five children at home was heartbreaking– are actually sneaking all those fancy N95 masks out the back door because, golly, these hospitals are going through so many masks it has to be a scam! Only a true “leader” would speak like this as people and institutions in hot spots are pushed to the breaking point and beyond.

    I hate that motherfucker with the heat of 10 million suns.

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  25. Peter said on March 30, 2020 at 10:12 am

    And best of all Jeff, you can’t wish the guy would get the virus – other than the moral and ethical angle, what if he suddenly dropped dead? What would Pence do? Without that big butt to kiss, he’d be like a sad whimpering puppy.

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  26. Julie Robinson said on March 30, 2020 at 10:55 am

    4dbirds, we also have an almost 33 yo son with some similar issues. It is very hard to understand, and very frustrating, and I think I’ll just leave it there.

    And if you couldn’t hate the orange cheeto more, this story from the Washington Post:

    If you can’t read the Post, a black female reporter from PBS asked 45 a question and he interrupted her, saying it wasn’t a nice question, followed by his usual rant about the media. Then a cutesy blond from One America News Network asked him why some networks weren’t carrying his “briefings” when his ratings were so high. When called on cookie again, she asked a similar question.

    Later on a CNN guy handed his microphone back over to the PBS reporter so she could ask her second question and a White House goon tried to take it away from her.

    These people.

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  27. Pam said on March 30, 2020 at 10:55 am

    Pence would have his wife to tell him what to do, as usual.

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  28. Deborah said on March 30, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Why in the world after Trumps tweets about his ratings are the headlines not “Stupifyingly Self Centered President Brags About His TV Ratings While Thousands Die”. Hard to believe a human being can be so horrible.

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  29. LAMary said on March 30, 2020 at 12:11 pm

    What’s harder to believe is people vote for him, fawn over him, trust him and think he’s brilliant.

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  30. alex said on March 30, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    Enjoyed revisiting this day in history 2016. Had forgotten that Patty Duke had shuffled off this mortal coil. But as always, enjoyed the famous wig-snatching scene from “Valley of the Dolls” and the Dionne Warwick soundtrack.

    It also calls to mind when my workplace went from typewriters to MS-DOS computers in the 1980s. We had an instructor who introduced the term “WYSIWYG” (what you see is what you get) which made me think of Valley of the Dolls and Patty Duke saying “Let’s give this thing a shampoo” before attempting to flush it down a commode. That was the best mnemonic ever. Even though it became completely unnecessary to the operation of a computer.

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  31. Deborah said on March 30, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    I wouldn’t be hard on a 32 or 33 year old having launch issues. 2008 happened when they were in the 20 to 22 age range. Not very much was available for them then, they had to work jobs they were probably well over qualified for, if they could even get that. Things were dismal for them then. I imagine there’s some resentment for that, and rightfully so. The financial sector shafted them royally.

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  32. Deggjr said on March 30, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    Brutal indeed, Sherri at #14.

    From memory, ‘Lawyers create doubt and scientists find solutions’. Richard Epstein should have stayed in his lane.

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  33. 4dbirds said on March 30, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks Deborah and Julie on the understanding of my underperforming child. The real frustration is he’s so darn smart and creative.

    I don’t watch the Orange Shit Gibbon’s afternoon rallies anymore. I can’t take it. Fucker has blood on his hands and everyone will praise him for there ‘only’ being 100,000 deaths.

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  34. Scout said on March 30, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    What LAMary @29 said x infinity. I will probably never get over my disgust for this period of America’s history. If I live through it.

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  35. Maria said on March 30, 2020 at 2:22 pm

    Thanks, Nancy. Now I’m embarrassed I was stumped by what now seems so obvious.

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  36. Sherri said on March 30, 2020 at 2:41 pm

    I realize I left out the link to the second article in my post:

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  37. Sherri said on March 30, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    What do the governors who have handled the pandemic the best have in common?

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  38. Mark P said on March 30, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    Sherri @36 — I read the linked article. Interesting how similar Epstein’s piece is to climate change contrarianism. I generally agree with what he says, but he’s more generous than me when it comes to listening to people’s technical analysis of something they know nothing about. There is simply too much of that to waste time trying to debunk it.

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  39. Mark P said on March 30, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    Just to clarify, I agree with Rex Douglass’s points about Epstein, who posted a contrarian piece at the Hoover Institution about how we are overreacting to the coronavirus.

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  40. Dexter Friend said on March 30, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    I wondered why, after everybody was transferring money via many, many options on their phones, and even dinosaurs like me had been using a debit card since Hector was a pup, and people boarded planes and paid at McDonald’s with a flash of a screen, why did Aldi’s only take cash? Then, next visit, right up to speed, even giving cash advances off a debit card up to $100 cash. Just in weight and bulk, my cart at Aldi’s is twice what I would get at our local supermarket for equal money layout.
    Many of this readership mention wine. When I drank, I also enjoyed wine and read up on it. In stores, I read labels. When I became a teetotaller (goddam what an ancient term) I still read labels, noticed the vineyard, the vintage. Same with beer stocks ; I’d notice the new brands, the price increases. After so many years now, I have lost all interest in any of that. It’s like watching cartoons or playing video games . Losing all interest. It even happens with attitudes, like caring about going to church. Church was the first thing to go, I’d say.
    The talk rotated to a topic today: Covid19 nightmares. I have not had any specific Covid19 dreams, but 3 nights last week I dreamed I was running from an unknown force and looked up to see two giant airplanes head-on crashing. Too many episodes of “Air Disasters” I attributed that to.

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  41. Sherri said on March 30, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    When owning the libs is more important than anything else.

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  42. LAMary said on March 30, 2020 at 5:36 pm

    I caught just the last 30 seconds of Trump’s daily bullshit session and saw Mike Lindell, the creepy My Pillow guy, telling everyone to pray and everyone to vote to keep Trump and Pence in office.

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  43. Sherri said on March 30, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    I watched some of Inslee’s press conference. It’s much better for my mental state to watch a competent person rather than the clown in chief.

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  44. Deborah said on March 30, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    Dexter, while I’ve not had any specific virus dreams, I’m having a lot of anxiety dreams. Those dreams for me involve tornadoes, crashes of all kinds, being unprepared for something like a test in school, a performance of some sort, a bombing, that kind of thing.

    I’m having a hard time concentrating like the rest of the country. I can read a book for about a half hour before I have to stop and check the internet for 10 or 15 minutes, then back to my book for a half hour etc.

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  45. Jim said on March 30, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    It is painfully clear given his response to Yamiche Alcindor today that he does not know what per capita means.

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  46. alex said on March 30, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    I read a really bitchy takedown of the My Pillow Guy a while back. Wish I could find it. He’s a con man with a criminal past who figured out he could make a ton of cash by wearing a hanging crucifix on the outside of his shirt and playing the rubes with his redemption story. No wonder Trump finds him useful. Or vice versa.

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  47. Dorothy said on March 30, 2020 at 6:24 pm

    Mary our local news was on while we were eating dinner, and they cut away to join the presser. We muted it so we don’t have to hear his voice, and I immediately said ‘How did his hair turn grey over the weekend?’ And I just read a post on Facebook where someone asked the same question. It’s definitely not the same shade of pissy yellow that it usually is.

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  48. Suzanne said on March 30, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    Probably undyed his hair so he could show that he’s been working so hard, he’s aging before our very eyes.

    I can’t listen to his press conferences any more. It’s too much praising of the Supreme Leader, too much BS like wondering what those doctors are doing with all those masks, and then having an idiot like the pillow guy telling us that God wanted Donald Trump as POTUS because our country is not allowing prayer in schools.

    This is interesting. The Federalist is now too weird for even other conservatives.

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  49. DavidC. said on March 30, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    I spun my wheels pretty badly coming out of high school. I went to college and didn’t do well socially. I didn’t know how to deal with my extreme introversion. I worked shitty jobs until I was 25 and figured engineering was my thing. My wife and I started dating around then so I got an Associate’s degree and started working as a designer. Twelve years after that I finally got my Bachelor’s in engineering. I don’t know how I could have been helped before I figured it out, but I’m sure I could have been.

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  50. Sherri said on March 30, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    I have several friends with kids in that early 30s age range who have had difficulty launching, and I do think the financial crash had a huge impact on it. A large cohort, hitting adulthood as the economy crashes? Not too surprising there were difficulties for them.

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  51. Suzanne said on March 30, 2020 at 9:01 pm

    My son mentioned to me that 9/11 happened when he was a Freshman in high school, he graduated college in 2009, and as he should be moving to the next level career wise, we have a global pandemic that shuts the world,and his work, down. So, he’s said he didn’t want to hear millennials are lazy. They keep getting kicked in the teeth.

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  52. Deborah said on March 30, 2020 at 9:14 pm

    Steve Schmidt said today that Trump was guilty of extreme “dereliction of duty”, that’s a good term that fits the situation. Trump is of course completely incompetent as a leader overall, completely unfit for office. Dereliction of duty is military terminology that completely makes sense during this pandemic.

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  53. basset said on March 30, 2020 at 11:38 pm

    Didn’t turn the tv on at all today, not even once. Checked my phone a few times to see how John Prine was doing and that was it.

    Thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle in progress. We needed that.

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  54. basset said on March 30, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    picked up a big jar of wildflower seeds at a yard sale last summer or maybe the summer before, these are pellets which look like hamster food but larger, you rough up the ground and keep em well watered till they sprout. Opened it and there was a Wal-Mart receipt dated 2001. We’ll see if they live. According to the label, we should soon be covered up in butterflies and hummingbirds.

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  55. Dexter Friend said on March 31, 2020 at 2:21 am

    Just a few weeks ago, my step-grandson that I was near to since he was a baby, and is now 28, quit the job he had been trying to land as a medic on helicopter flight crews working the valley where lies Las Vegas, Nevada. He developed grandiose ideas of business, and he and another man got involved with plans for a startup CBD Lotions, Creams, and Topicals store in Portland, Oregon. Yes, just in time for the nation and world to shut down. I do not know how he is even getting beans and rice these days. He shot the accident that convinced him he had made a bad, for him, career choice. A hiker slipped and totally fucked up his leg. Air Rescue arrived, and to get to the man, my grandson had to balance more than precariously on a jagged steep sharp rock and hang a fluids iv on a sharp spiked rock and insert the needle while trying to stabilize a broken ankle and leg. He said a rogue gust of wind nearly blew him off to his death far below. He quit shortly after that.

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  56. beb said on March 31, 2020 at 4:46 am

    We were having leaks so bad that the ceiling was starting to fall in. Ended up having the roof replaced. Found a lot of rotten lumber, flashing, etc. It cost a lot of money but it’s such a relief to sit through a storm and not worry about buckets overflowing.

    The TP situation is starting to become a crisis. We have enough, if used sparingly, for another week. And then what? We’ve gone to several grocery stores and no one has any idea when they will get a shipment in. We’re the richest country in the world and we can’t get toilet paper!

    This morning I can across this:
    “The 37 most mind-boggling lines from Trumps coronoa virus briefing.” Some of them denying that he ever said he wanted the churches full on Easter, or that he had told VP Pence not to call Inslee or Witmer.

    The Federalist Society, which has always been a fascist organization has become an all-in cult for Trump. It’s interesting to see conservatives saying Trump is going too far, but are any of them willing to vote for the other guy come the election. If they hold their nose and vote for Trump they’re just some lying sacks of shit.

    It sounds like Dexter’s step-grandson was working without a safety line. I can’t imagine a rescue crew letting a team member attempt something so dangerous that a stray breeze would blow him to his death. The safety classes I went to when I was working were pretty clear on that point.

    The “hot” coronavirus nursing home Nancy mentioned. I first read about in the on-line Free Press. They had a picture of the nursing home. I recognized it. It was where my wife working until four years ago when her back gave out. She was shocked, though not surprised. The current owners were terrible people, badly managed and always understaffed. And when they said the infected were quarantined, there’s really no place in the facility to quarantine people. At moments like that life becomes just too damn real.

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  57. alex said on March 31, 2020 at 8:30 am

    Probably undyed his hair so he could show that he’s been working so hard, he’s aging before our very eyes.

    Look how full and oddly square his comb-over has become. It’s stacked like a layer cake in addition to no longer being piss yellow. I wonder if he’s wearing a rug now, or some kind of extensions.

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  58. Snarkworth said on March 31, 2020 at 10:04 am

    Coming up with childish insult nicknames is bad enough. Coming up with childish insult nicknames that people can’t even understand, well. That takes takes it to a new level.

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  59. ROGirl said on March 31, 2020 at 10:29 am

    The orange face and white clown makeup around the eyes set off the square white hair.

    The Cuomo brother interviews are hilarious.

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  60. Mark p said on March 31, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    I had a dermatology appointments 8:15 this morning. The parking lot for the entire clinic was nearly empty, as was the hospital lot across the street. I was checked at the entrance (temperature scan across the forehead and questionnaire) and then the questionnaire again in the dr’s office. I was surprised they were open. Since I was out, I went to Walmart. I was looking for hand sanitizer. A stocker asked what I needed. When I told her she reached into a big box she was pulling from and gave me a bottle. Finally!

    When we first started looking for toilet paper we took the only thing they had, the store brand. It’s just barely better than nothing, packed very tightly, extremely thin, one layer. You can almost literally see through it. And harsh. It’s going to last forever, a blessing and a curse.

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  61. Colleen said on March 31, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    I am taking advantage of free SiriusXM and listening to progressive talk. Now my anxiety is in overdrive. I may have to go back to true crime podcasts to calm down….

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  62. Dorothy said on March 31, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    I’m like Nancy WRT hand sanitizer. Just can’t stand the feeling it gives my skin. BUT these are new times. I had to go into my office today very quickly. I brought home with me the two bottles of hand sanitizer that were on the counter when you walk in the door. This will come in handy at the grocery store (I’ll put some of it in a small, travel size bottle in my purse.) By the time we have personnel and/or students back in the office, I expect we’ll be able to order some via Office Depot or some such place this summer.

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  63. Julie Robinson said on March 31, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Hand sanitizer is mostly alcohol so it dries your skin out something fierce. Still, I have a stash because I am a hoarder/tchotchke addict. It’s frequently in goody bags from tourism people. Wonder if we’ll continue to get those? The tourism industry has been shaken and maybe changed forever.

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  64. LAMary said on March 31, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    There are a couple types of hand sanitizer that are not the weird sticky type like Purell. Working in a hospital I was a heavy hand sanitizer user. I like one call Jao, which is sort of expensive but it smells great and doesn’t dry out your skin as much as Purell does. The other is made by EO and it smells like lavender. Not sure about availability right not. I have a stash of both. Also Dr.Bronner’s hand sanitizer is good and I found it at Sprouts. I bought lavender, but I think it was also available in citrus and possibly rose.

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  65. Sherri said on March 31, 2020 at 6:37 pm

    I can only conclude that the President of the United States wants me to die.

    A Korean War-era law called the Defense Production Act has been invoked hundreds of thousands of times by President Trump and his administration to ensure the procurement of vital equipment, according to reports submitted to Congress and interviews with former government officials.

    Yet as governors and members of Congress plead with the president to use the law to force the production of ventilators and other medical equipment to combat the coronavirus pandemic, he has for weeks treated it like a “break the glass” last resort, to be invoked only when all else fails.

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  66. Deborah said on March 31, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    The right wing attempt to say Trump and the GOP were distracted by impeachment so it’s the Democrats fault that the Corona virus slipped in and went wild is preposterous and seems to be backfiring on them. We weren’t born yesterday assholes. They own this and they know it.

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  67. Sherri said on March 31, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Because I live in a blue state, one Trump will never win, my governor is a snake and a nasty person, and I’m not a real American, so he wants me to die.

    And the rest of the GOP is just fine with that.

    One White House official said Trump is attuned to the electoral importance of Florida in November, giving added weight to the arguments DeSantis has made to the administration that his state’s economy should reopen as soon as possible.
    “The president knows Florida is so important for his reelection so when DeSantis says that, it means a lot,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be frank. “He pays close attention to what Florida wants.”

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  68. Peter said on March 31, 2020 at 7:45 pm

    I don’t want to wish ill on anyone, especially because if I survive this epidemic I’ll be surprised, but I think Florida is going to be a real disaster, and the lackadaisical attitude is going to spectacularly backfire.

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  69. Deborah said on March 31, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    It’s coming at us from all sides now, no one is safe, anywhere. If we do everything perfectly 200,000 will die. What are the odds that we’ll do everything perfectly? I’m 69 and healthy, but I’m in the higher risk category. My husband is 72. Ditto. These next few weeks are going to be brutal. Not looking forward to the near future, at all.

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  70. Peter said on April 1, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Here’s a scary thought – NY Mag is reporting that RBG still uses the private Supreme Court gym twice a week. Talk about someone who should protect themselves from a virus!

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  71. Jeff Borden said on April 1, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    My wife’s one-week hospitalization last year for a mild stroke revealed all sorts of medical issues. She’s had an ablation to repair her atrial fibrillation issue, but tests found she has a combination of COPD, asthma and chronic bronchitis, so she’s at a much higher risk than me. Aside from walks with me and the dog, she’s been housebound for more than two weeks, which is fine by me.

    I hit the grocery today looking like an extra from “Gunsmoke” with a red bandana over my face and leather gloves to handle merchandise since face masks and latex gloves are scarce. They have some kind of store brand paper towels and toilet paper for sale, but none of the big names. Buyers are limited to two packages each. I bought just one each. Meanwhile, the Illinois governor extended our stay-at-home order until late April. J.B. Pritzker is a multi-billionaire and I was very cool to his purchasing the governorship, but he’s been an excellent leader during the Covid-45 crisis. . .certainly far superior to that dunce in Florida, who still hasn’t shut down a state with a huge number of elderly people at risk.

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  72. Sherri said on April 1, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Republicans hate vote by mail because it makes it easier to vote.

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  73. Julie Robinson said on April 1, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    Florida finally shut down, though everyone I know there was already staying put.

    To add to the fun Mom’s cat slipped past her and we’ve spent the last two hours hunting for her. Litter box and food on back patio, prayers said, and fingers crossed.

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  74. Jim said on April 1, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    This is utter lunacy! Deploying ships (full of sailors!) to combat the cartels is unconscionable.

    I weep.

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  75. Suzanne said on April 1, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    Maybe people are starting to wake up. When I came home from work, a very, very conservative retiree who lives down the road from us was talking to my husband (in our house! Aaaargh!!) I overheard him tell my husband that this caronavirus thing has really shown how incompetent Trump is. He would never had said so a year ago.

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  76. LAMary said on April 1, 2020 at 7:03 pm

    Here I was looking forward to another trump dump and more lies and misinformation and what did I get? Stuff about drugs coming over the border. You’d almost think trump was trying to distract us from a bigger issue.

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  77. Heather said on April 1, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    I think we’re also being primed to think of the body count as “only” 100-200K. That’s far more Americans than were killed in the Vietnam War (about 60K), which of course went on for years.

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  78. Deborah said on April 1, 2020 at 8:35 pm

    Back in Santa Fe for the normal 3 days in Abiquiu, 1 day in Santa Fe routine as I’ve said here a million times. This time however, my husband is going back to Abiquiu for the next 3 days and I’m staying in Santa Fe with LB to get a few things done. Today my husband took our Jeep in for a routine oil change etc, so dropped LB and me off at a Target near the car dealership to see if we could get a few things we’ve been needing and haven’t been able to find elsewhere. We were very successful, except for TP. It was stressful though, we wore bandanas and disposable gloves that we normally use for our bucket business in Abiquiu. LB was standing guard outside Target with a shopping cart full of stuff while I walked over to an albertson’s next door to purchase some beer and wine which they don’t sell at Target here. We tried to meet up with our respective carts but both encountered the line where the cart seizes up and won’t allow you to proceed. We were about 500 ft apart but there was no way we could get together and neither of us could shuttle our stuff because it would leave valuable stuff unattended in the meantime. We had to wait for my husband to finally get the car from the service department to pick us up individually. Where I was waiting there would occasionally be a homeless person who decided to camp out nearby, while I had obvious beer and wine in my stalled cart. I was nervous that someone would storm me and run off with some of my loot, but it didn’t happen and I worried for nothing. LB didn’t have the same hangers on where she was stalled with her cart. She probably could have shared some goodies if she had been approached. We were glad to get back to the condo and find room for the groceries that we don’t usually buy in such quantities at a time.

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  79. beb said on April 1, 2020 at 10:56 pm

    I’ve never heard of a shopping cart that would lock up at a certain distance from the store. I can see that some stores would be concerned about their carts wandering all over creation but it also seems a bigger expense to equip all their carts with the electronic boots as it would too just replace the carts. ANd I bet they still have carts with damaged wheels….

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  80. Deborah said on April 1, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    Chicago’s mayor Lori Lightfoot does some great promotions to stay home and save lives. I love Chicago. Happy to be in NM right now though.

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  81. Deborah said on April 1, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    This is spectacular The Weight.

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  82. Julie Robinson said on April 2, 2020 at 10:02 am

    Shopping carts are pretty expensive, and if it’s an area frequented by those without homes, walk offs can be a big issue.

    The cat came home at 10 last night. We had all spent hours walking and driving around, and Mom was crying pretty much continuously. She’s 87, she’s got me and the cat, she’s stuck at home, it’s a tense time. But praise be, it’s sunny today.

    I took advantage of being 63 and hit the Costco senior hour this morning. They were pretty well stocked and I was even able to get almond milk. It’s not great, but we’re trying to limit our trips and we haven’t been able to find dry milk. They had signs all over reminding people to stay six feet apart, lines up at the checkouts and someone directing people to each register, so there were never two people at the register.

    They were out of Beano though. We’ve got a lot of dried beans, and that could be a problem.

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  83. Jenine said on April 2, 2020 at 10:23 am

    @Julie: glad to hear about the cat, I was hoping it would come home when good and ready.

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  84. Deborah said on April 2, 2020 at 10:24 am

    I read this morning that domestic violence is on an uptick since families are in lockdown. It’s bad enough that people are horribly sick and dying, now violence in the home is something some people have to contend with.

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  85. Mark P said on April 2, 2020 at 11:33 am

    I have mentioned using the Walmart order-on-line, pick-up-at-the-store way of shopping for groceries. In the past, pre-corona, it worked very well. When we did it a week or so ago, we couldn’t get a next-day pickup, so we had to wait till the next morning and see. We were able to get the next day then, so a day later than we hoped for. We tried again Wednesday, and there was no Thursday pickup. So I checked again this morning (Thursday) and now there is no Friday pickup. We have to wait till Friday to see if we can pick up on Saturday. But the real problem is that every time I go to the Walmart site to check our order, we get a notification that yet another item in our shopping cart is no longer available. First it was extra sharp cheese and some others, now it’s trash bags. Toilet paper has not been available online for some time. It looks like we have no choice but to go to the store and do our shopping there. Sometimes things that show as not available are actually somewhere in stock.

    So, it was a great idea, but it’s not working. Kind of like our government.

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  86. LAMary said on April 2, 2020 at 11:47 am

    I hope this link works. This site is worth a visit. It’s the best thing I’ve seen in weeks.

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  87. Sherri said on April 2, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    So the governor of Florida only wants to take the Floridians off the cruise ship, not the rest of the Americans (or the Canadians). By his reasoning then, that he needs to save his resources for Floridians, it seems to me that I shouldn’t have to send my Federal taxes in to be distributed to places like Florida, but should send that money instead to Olympia to deal with the state need here. That would be unfortunate for the 40 states that receive more than they contribute, but hey, we have needs here, too.

    If Florida doesn’t want to take care of other Americans, why should Washington take care of Florida, one of those 40 states? I mean, I thought we figured this out back in 1789, and then made it clear in 1865, but if not, well…honestly, I’m not sure I’m up to a war to stay together.

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  88. Jeff Borden said on April 2, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    I don’t expect much from dumbass politicians, but the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, may be the stupidest motherfucker in all 50 states. Yesterday, he said he had just learned Covid-45 could be spread by asymptomatic people. . .a fact that has been loudly trumpeted for, what, a month or more? The punks like Kemp and that dildo in Florida, Ron DeSantis, care more about the cash registers ringing than the health of their constituents. Along with the Orange King and his Keystone Kops *adminstration, these boneheads need to be held accountable for the thousands of death they might’ve prevented by listening to experts.

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  89. Sherri said on April 2, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Brian Kemp, who flat-out stole the election from Stacy Abrams
    Ron DeSantis (FL)
    Tate Reeves (MS)
    Kay Ivey (AL)
    Bill Lee (TN)
    Mike Parson (MO)
    Kevin Stitt (OK)
    Henry McMaster (SC)
    Greg Abbott (TX)

    All have shown that they are not fit to govern, and not interested in serving the people.

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  90. Suzanne said on April 2, 2020 at 12:55 pm

    The governor of Arkansas was interviewed on NPR this morning. Another low IQ guy. He’s doing “targeted” stay-at-home orders. No need to shut everything down! He waits until there is a problem and then acts, like the park he had to close up because people were not following the guidelines and congregating.
    How do they not understand the concept of contagion and that after the fact is too late? I suppose because most of them are like the governor of Georgia, home state of the CDC. Complete, bumbling, evil fools. Mostly evil.

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  91. Deborah said on April 2, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    How anyone after all of this would still declare they’re going to vote for Trump, is astonishing.

    Those asshole governors are making it worse for the rest of us. In about a week and a half the lid is probably going to blow off in those states.

    In cities after a big snowstorm mayors don’t get re-elected if the streets didn’t get cleared off expediently. It’s true people can die from accidents on those poorly cleared streets and there’s a lot of inconvenience. This pandemic is soooo much worse than that, for their own re-election prospects you’d think those governors would pay attention and get serious. Are they that stupid? They’re prolonging the inconvenience of social distancing and of course worst of all they’re risking thousands of lives. Obviously.

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  92. Sherri said on April 2, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    Yes, they are that stupid.

    I think they believe that the bad things will only happen to the bad people, and they are the good people.

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  93. LAMary said on April 2, 2020 at 2:43 pm

    I would like to know how Kentuckians decide who they’re voting for. With the exception of the current governor who seems to be a good guy, they have the freaking worst bunch of elected representatives I know of. They’re terrible in different ways too. Rand Paul is awful. Mc Connell is nasty and corrupt and that asshat with the modified jeri curl who voted against the stimulus package is another sort of asshole altogether.

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  94. Brandon said on April 2, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    that asshat with the modified jeri curl.

    @LAMary: You must mean Thomas Massie.

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  95. LAMary said on April 2, 2020 at 3:53 pm

    That’s the one.

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  96. susan said on April 2, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    Check out this moving bar chart, “Confirmed Cases by State in US” for the month of March. Holy moly, New York… What happened there that didn’t happen in other huge metro areas, e.g., Chicago, LA? Criminy.

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  97. susan said on April 2, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    LAMary @86 – That is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in days or weeks. I am so grateful for really witty and droll people. Thanks for posting that link.

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  98. St Bitch said on April 2, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    Love, love the Song Around the World link, Deborah @81; and the beaux art/faux art link, LAMary @86. Muchas gracias!

    Charlotte – the protagonist in Writers & Lovers, by Lily King, makes me think of you. I wonder if you would agree with me, were you to find the time, access and inclination to read (or listen – the audiobook narrator does it justice) to this is a quiet gem of a story.

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  99. Jim said on April 2, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Susan @96:

    Actually, nothing happened there other than NYC getting it early and being very dense, and the stay at home not being put in place as fast as Seattle and California.

    The same thing is happening now in many other cities. The graph is also skewed because it is in raw case data and not normalized (per 100 people). If it were, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Nola would look just like that (maybe worse) for a similar 31 day period with a later start date.

    I am one worried math prof.

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  100. Jim said on April 2, 2020 at 5:56 pm

    The Washington Post has free COVID-19 content.

    They have updated their US map to provide normalized data.

    Orleans Parish in LA is almost twice as bad as the state of NY.

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  101. LAMary said on April 2, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    I swear, I’ve seen at least four sleazy My Pillow guy commercials in the last hour and when I was watching CNN this morning I kept getting Franklin Graham commercials. Is it their world and we’re just living in it?

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  102. 4dbirds said on April 2, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    My father was in the army and I grew up all over the United States, Germany and Japan. I lived in a small town in Texas from the age of 10 to 18. My father was stationed at a very small army post where helicopter pilots were initially trained before they went to the larger Ft Rucker, Alabama for advanced training to eventually go to Vietnam. The town, Mineral Wells, is west of Fort Worth and firmly in southern baptist country. Since I went to and graduated high school there I stay in touch with the town and few friends through Facebook. I am bracing myself for the surge in Texas and the small and mid-sized cities there. They are absolutely living in this pandemic relying on their magical thinking. The city council still has not shut anything down. Church goes on and I think school is going on also. Restaurants are open and of course bars too. I just shake my head at the whole thing.

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