My Wuhan Virus Regimen

by baldilocks

So, this is how I’m maintaining my physical health during the LA lockdown.

My daily intake:

  • Calcium 1000 mg
  • Vitamin D 3000 units
  • Zinc 15 mg
  • Aspirin 325 mg
  • Old person multivitamin (age 50+); two things of special value in this: vitamins B6 and B12

Home juicer squeezed fruit juice consisting of:

  • Strawberries or beets
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Grapefruit
  • Tomato
  • Apple
  • Ginger
  • Lime (sometimes)
  • Kiwifruit

Home juicer squeezed juice consisting of:

  • Carrot
  • Tomato
  • Garlic

I drink that last concoction when I’m not going to be near anyone for a bit. A friend told me that it knocks down cold/flu symptoms, but I haven’t had either one since I started drinking it … that may or may not be proof of its effectiveness.

(Disclaimer: I am not a vegetarian and have no plans to become one.)

Nighttime: big glass of water with a spoonful of food-grade diatomaceous earth. Allegedly this stuff does a lot of things, but it does one very important thing: it makes everything come out right in the morning, if you get my drift.

Daily output:

Recently I was diagnosed with a condition called spondylolisthesis. It is literally a pain in my butt on the right side, but that wasn’t what caused me to have it checked out. It was this: if I lay on my back for more than about a minute, my right foot starts to tingle.

It stems from an injury I received many years ago while helping someone move a heavy object. So, that diagnosis has resulted in three things.

The first is physical therapy, during which I learn how to strengthen my core, how to properly stretch and where a cute young guy gives me a back(side) massage twice a week. And, yes, they are open during the lockdown.

The second is power walking; 45-60 minutes, roughly 3 miles, 5-6 times a week. When I reach a speed that puts me under 45 minutes, I increase the distance the next day. It’s a good time to listen to audiobooks, but I don’t do it that often. I get out and walk very early and I like the sound of silence.

I’ve been doing this for about a month and I had thought about doing some jogging, but because of the spondy-blah-blah, that’s out. Good thing, too. In spite of my Kenyan heritage, I hate running.

Walking while wearing a N95 mask: I keep it on the tip of my nose unless I’m near someone. It’s more for their peace of mind than mine.

The third thing: planking. This practice has greatly increased the length of time that I’m able to lie my back before my foot starts to tingle. And it has noticeably decreased my computer hunch.

I feel really great after I finish, both physically and emotionally.

No claims on whether this regimen cures or prevents anything, but it can’t hurt.

I was taking almost all the vitamins and the home-juice long before the onset of COVID-19, so I’m not making any claims on effectiveness against that or any other virus. Mostly I began taking these things to ward off pain, anxiety and lethargy. I have only one prescription – the vitamin D – and I plan on keeping it that way for as long as possible.

And I top all this off with a big dollop of prayers for success. God rewards action.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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We the People decide what is normal not the government

One phrase that has been bandied about far too often during this Coronavirus crisis is “the new normal.”  It deeply disturbs me every time I hear an elected member from our government, at any level, declare that the end result of their plans for reopening our country will be a new normal. 

Whenever one of our elected representatives uses that phrase they are acting like a dictator.  They are treating us like subjects rather that citizens of a Constitutional Republic.  Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts acted like a dictator when he declared this to be phase four of  his torturously slow plan for reopening this state:

Phase 4 will be the “New Normal” – development of vaccine and/or therapy enables resumption of new normal.

The use the phrase “new normal” as the end goal is a sign of surrender to the virus.  It is defeatist.  It is not something we Americans should ever strive for.  The only acceptable end result for any challenge facing this country is a complete return to the normal we had before the challenge began.

When a  politician declares that the end scenario of any crisis will result in a new normal they are declaring that they want to fundamentally transform this nation in some way.  It is unacceptable to us Americans that our government will unilaterally transform this nation in some way. We the people must always be the the agents of change for any change no matter how small or local.

It also bothers me greatly that phase four of the Baker plan will only commence when a vaccine or therapy enables it.  There is no guarantee when that would happen.  Until then we are stuck in phase3 which is defined as “Phase 3 will be “Vigilant” – additional industries resume operations with guidance.”   It will mean nothing but government interference,

The entire Baker plan, as unveiled on this past Monday, is as slow and arduous as I feared when I wrote last week’s article.  I’m afraid that by the time we reach the end of it the economic devastation will be quite catastrophic. We need to let Governor Baker know that his plan is way too slow.

The Pritzker disaster in Illinois

Apple River Fort State Historic Site last month in Elizabeth, Illinois, located in a county that has 18 reported cases of COVID-19 as of May 10, 2020.

By John Ruberry

Illinois has the wrong governor at the wrong time. 

Oh, I’m not talking about the political positions of Chicago Democrat J.B. Pritzker, the billionaire who was elected governor in 2018. 

Let’s first discuss how he was elected. Largely because of support of unions, who probably fell in love with his wallet, as well as the tacit support of the most powerful politician in Illinois, longtime state House speaker Michael Madigan, Pritzker won the Democratic gubernatorial primary. That’s quite ironic as the Pritzker family has had a troubled relationship with organized labor, starting with the Pritzker-owned Hyatt hotel chain

Pritzker largely self-funded his campaign. So did his hapless general election opponent, multi-millionaire Bruce Rauner. The one-term Republican achieved nothing as governor, other than get bested by Boss Madigan, the mother hen of Illinois’ pension bomb

Illinois’ shelter-in-place order in response to the coronavirus was eased a bit earlier this month. Golf courses, those germ cesspools, are now open. Dine-in restaurants, health clubs, hair salons and the like are closed. Nearly one million Illinoisans, including my wife and daughter, are newly out of work. 

When things get back to what we might call normal, many of businesses won’t be here anymore. Pritzker is a trust fund baby who has never had to worry about economic survival. I’m sure he’s had a few setbacks, but he could always reach into that perpetually-full cookie jar of a trust fund or his accounts in the Grand Cayman Islands. Contrast that situation to the husband and wife who met while working as servers at a restaurant twenty years ago, then saved their money and took out a second mortgage on their home to open their own restaurant. They’ve laid off their servers and bussers, and only half of their cooks kept their jobs. Revenue has plummeted. Taking a third mortgage out on their home to bail out their restaurant isn’t an option. So their dream business, their livelihood that supported children may have only one destiny. Closing down. And then they’ll have no choice but to declare bankruptcy. 

Pritzker doesn’t get it. 

Since the governor issued his shelter-in-place order nearly two months ago most state offices were shuttered. Yet every state employee is being paid. Let’s zoom in on Illinois’ secretary of state office, which is mainly what other places call the DMV. Driver’s licenses aren’t being issued or renewed, the same goes with license plates, unless, with the latter, you are buying a car as most car dealers in Illinois have the ability to provide at the very least temporary state tags. 

Why haven’t state employees like these been laid off? Union rules just might prohibit that but we are told by Pritzker that Illinois is facing an emergency. I’m sure if he wanted to he’d find a state law to justify layoffs. But Pritzker couldn’t simply buy the governor’s office two years ago, he needed votes to win and unions supply lots of voters. And Pritzker, who is not the most dynamic campaigner–he comes across as an arrogant jerk because he is one–will need labor support again if he chooses to run for reelection. 

Sales tax revenue is of course way down in Illinois. Because of that and the state’s mountain of unpaid bills and its appallingly-underfunded public worker pension plans, last month Fitch lowered Illinois’ bond to one level above junk

Unlike its governor, Illinois has no trust fund to bail it out nor does it have bank accounts in the Grand Caymans. Courtesy of Boss Madigan Illinois hasn’t had a rainy day fund for years. 

Pritzker is facing several lawsuits challenging his shelter-in-place order. But his wife violated that order by leaving the state for the refuge of their Florida equestrian estate, in the manner of a medieval royal escaping a plague. 

It’s good to be king. It’s better to be a billionaire living off a trust fund who can use that cash to be elected governor and then lecture people like me as to how I should live my life. He’s been doing so in his daily press briefings on live television that pre-empt talk shows and soap operas. What fun! The Great Oz has spoken!

Rural Illinois has been particularly devastated by Pritzker’s shutdown. Many Illinois counties have fewer than ten reported cases of COVID-19. Three of them have none. 

With great fanfare and expense–$65 million–Pritzker transformed Chicago’s cavernous McCormick Place Convention Center into a hospital because he told us our existing hospitals would be overwhelmed by the coronavirus and there’d be no more hospital beds. After treating 37 patients the McCormick Place hospital closed down. Pritzker took bad advice from so-called experts.

Whether the shelter-in-place order in Illinois and other states worked–or perhaps it was never needed–the lockdowns need to end, with exceptions such as preventing visitors at places with vulnerable people, such as nursing homes. Densely populated cities such as New York and Boston–but not Chicago–probably need to keep up additional protections against COVID-19.

As I wrote a few weeks ago here, a new epidemic is coming. Perhaps it’s here already. One consisting of addiction, spouse and child abuse, and suicide. Economic hardship often brings out the worst in people. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

It looks like Massachusetts may not be opening any time soon

Governor Charlie Baker had originally announced that all nonessential businesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would remain closed until May 4th.  That date was later postponed another two weeks.  Most of us in this state were hoping and expecting that when that date is finally reached things would rapidly return to normal  I was one of them.  My hopes were rudely squashed when I saw this article on social media: Baker: Mass. Businesses Closed Due To Coronavirus Won’t Be ‘Off To The Races’ On May 18.

Here is how Governor Baker describes his plans for the opening process:

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said that while he hopes some businesses will be able to resume operations soon after May 18, he added it will be a gradual process and not “off to the races.”

“There won’t be anyone firing a starting gun on May 18 and saying everybody’s off to the races, but we do hope certain types of businesses and workplaces will be able to begin resuming operations, under the guidelines established through this process, and based on the fact that we will have hit certain triggers, with respect to the status of the virus here in Massachusetts,” said Baker.

Instead  of the rapid reopening we were expecting it looks now like it will be a long arduous process. According this quote from Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito the process might not even begin on the 18th.

“There seems to be some with an understanding that May 18 is a magical date. May 18 is the date that we said the report of this advisory board will be released,” she said, adding “It doesn’t mean that the economy across our Commonwealth will just reopen. It’s just not possible.”

How arduous will the process be? Check out this quote from Governor Charlie Baker.

“In the coming weeks we’re prepared to have more concrete plans on what each phase of reopening will look like, where certain activities and industries fit into which phase, general business guidance about social distancing, personal protection, and cleaning protocols that all businesses will need to adhere to upon reopening, and industry specific guidance and protocols for reopening safely,”

If Governor Baker’s reopening plan proves to be as slow and torturous as it seems from this article I’m not sure how many businesses will be left to open.  How many people will have their livelihood destroyed for good?  I believe the economic carnage by a painfully slow process will be staggering.  I don’t believe the people of Massachusetts will stand by and let such a slow process play out.  A major protest took place on this past Monday with at least a couple thousand in attendance.  The protests will soon spread and become larger,  Hopefully Governor Baker will listen.

Rather than relying on a committee of experts to come up with a plan which will be implemented by bureaucrats I believe Governor Baker should just let the business owners and the people of  Massachusetts come up with their own plan.  Decentralized decision making is always far superior to mandates from bureaucrats

State of Shock (Update)

by baldilocks

I find it almost impossible to write anymore because in the last few months, like nearly everyone in the country – in the world, probably – I live in a state of open-mouthed shock.

The list of reason is long, and I think it would be boring to display them here. Chief among them, however, is this: how many times that conservatives and Christians defend living in a state of fear and discovering how many of them would choose peace and safety over liberty.

And don’t tell them about signs of hope! This will cause them to ridicule you, your intellect, and even your lineage – assuming that the one doing the ridiculing isn’t part of your lineage. Because only the ignorant have hope; only fools are looking for the end of the pestilence.

And only the stupid are willing to hang onto their freedom, by their fingernails if necessary.

Turns out that the embrace of the US Constitution was just talk in many cases. Just a nice theory.

But now that some risk is involved, not only are they not willing to risk peace and safety for theoretical liberty, but these so-called conservatives would shame those who are willing to put it on all on this line for phantom called freedom.

They might even be the ones on the phone to the cops when the real conservatives are outside exercising their liberties by doing things like … taking their children to a babysitter so that they can go to their “essential” job.

So it is that I agree with Dennis Prager.

All my life, I have dismissed paranoids on the right (“America is headed to communism”) and the left (“It can happen here” — referring to fascism). It’s not that I’ve ever believed liberty was guaranteed. Being familiar with history and a pessimist regarding the human condition, I never believed that.

But the ease with which police state tactics have been employed and the equal ease with which most Americans have accepted them have been breathtaking.

People will argue that a temporary police state has been justified because of the allegedly unique threat to life posed by the new coronavirus. I do not believe the data will bear that out. Regardless, let us at least agree that we are closer to a police state than ever in American history.

(SNIP)

[W]e are presently living with all four of the key hallmarks of a police state:

No. 1: Draconian laws depriving citizens of elementary civil rights.

No. 2: A mass media supportive of the state’s messaging and deprivation of rights.

No. 3: Use of police.

No. 4: Snitches.

Prager expounds on each item.

I think there is still hope, but our state and local governments will not relinquish their new powers easily, as Michigan Governor Whitmer has demonstrated through her actions in the face of active resistance.

Strangely enough however, I don’t think that it will be violence that will break the stranglehold, at least not mass violence. [UPDATE 6/3/2020: Holy cow was I ever wrong about this!]

I think that there are enough Americans out there – regardless of party – who will tire of government incarceration and will simply ignore their jailers and take the risk of pestilence, ridicule and arrest. Heck, it’s already happening, even here in California.

And I guarantee that a goodly portion of them will go outside while invoking protection under the wing of the Most High. Without fear, naturally.

Because that’s how you hold onto your freedom. Fortune favors the bold.

UPDATE: Be sure to listen to Da Tech Guy Blog Podcast. Live Monday at 12:35 AM ET.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Follow Juliette on FacebookTwitterMeWePatreon and Social Quodverum.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar!

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We must not let politicians use Coronavirus as an excuse to transform the US

Just about every day since the Coronavirus crisis began I’ve seen progressive politicians voice the disturbing notion that this is a perfect opportunity to transform the United States in some way.  Always their proposals will make the United States a more progressive nation.  These politicians are nothing but shameful opportunists. We should resist these calls very strenuously.

Several progressive elected officials and Hillary Clinton have proposed that enacting Medicare for all would be a perfect solution our current crisis.  They are living in a fantasy world.  Socialized Medicine has an abysmal track record.  Check out how nations with socialized medicine have fared during this crisis.  The US has preformed far better.  Nothing would destroy the United Sates medical system, which is by far the best in the world, faster. 

Joe Biden, and others, have, proposed enacting the Green New Deal because of Coronavus.  That would destroy our energy sector, which thanks to the efforts of President Trump, made the US a net positive producer of energy.

Universal basic income has been proposed many times, including recently by Nancy Pelosi, as a temporary solution to our crisis.  Once enacted that new entitlement would quickly become permanent.   Nothing would trap generation after generation in poverty more securely than this.

Changes to our electoral system such as voting by mail and vote harvesting are the most dangerous changes proposed by progressives.  If they were enacted progressives would win election after election because of their willingness to use fraud and to deceit to win elections. 

Getting everything back to the way we were before the Coronavirus crisis as quickly as possible is the best and quickest way to restore our economy and standard of living.

DaTechGuy off DaRadio Livestream: 9:45 AM Today’s Topics Georgia on my Mind

Today’s Edition of DaTechGuy’s AM Court (now renamed DaTechGuy off DaRadio ) topic is Georgia on my mind as we talk about the impending opening of Georgia and other states as April winds down in our virus year

You can watch the livestream here

Remember our Podcasts are Monday at 12:35 AM and (Normally) Fridays at 9:30 AM EST. If you like what you see please consider liking the stream, subscribing or hitting DaTipJar

Who else has the Coronavirus Lockdown blues?

I’ve been having a difficult time coming up with a topics for my weekly articles.  After brooding about it I decided my problem is that this endless Coronavirus crisis has gotten me feeling quite down.  I’m suffering from the blues.  I know my suffering is trivial compared to those who have lost loved ones to the virus or compared to those who have been infected with the virus.  Compared to most I’ve got it quite good.  I’m just so worried about everything that’s going on and I’m heartsick about all of the suffering everyone else is dealing with.

Like most I’m wishing and praying that this nightmare will soon end.  Not knowing when the pandemic will end and how severe it will get before it’s all over are the two things weighing most heavily on me.  Unfortunately no one has any answers to these questions. All of the original models and so many of the experts have been proved so wrong.  It is wrong to blame anyone but the Chinese and the World Health Organization for this.

It is heartbreaking to know that so many have lost their livelihood because so many businesses have been forced to shut down.  I’m worried that when this is finally over far too many businesses will never reopen their doors, 

Going out to restaurants and bars with groups of friends and relatives was a pastime I engaged in quite often.   It is something I miss a lot.  Getting take out is not the same at all.  Who knows when anyone will be able to just sit and enjoy themselves in one of those fine establishments again.

Not being able to go where I please is something that bothers me a great deal.  I despise being told what I can and can’t do by the government at any level.  There is something completely un-American about that.  The American people will only put up with that for so long.  The demonstrations have already begun and will soon spread.  Hopefully those protesting take proper precautions against rapidly spreading the virus.  Unreasonable measures taken by the different government levels will only make the protests worse,

I pray that this nightmare will soon end with a minimal amount of future death and suffering.  That will be the best medicine for my blues and blues of everyone else,

Higher Ed: Adapt or die

By Christopher Harper

Covid-19 may have created a perfect storm when it comes to higher education, creating an opportunity to take a good, hard look at a college education.

In the past 30 years, the cost of an undergraduate degree has tripled at public schools and more than doubled at private schools, adjusting for inflation. At a four-year, private institution, tuition and room and board averaged $46,950 in 2018. Four-year public colleges charged an average of $20,770 a year for tuition, fees, and room and board. For out-of-state students, the total went up to $36,420.

At roughly the same time, the Federal Reserve estimated that the cost of a college education increased eight times the percentage of wages.

Simply put, the ratio between the cost of a college education and a job is way out of balance.

That equation doesn’t take into account the massive debt that students have amassed as a result of the increased costs.

It’s worth noting that in Pennsylvania, which would be relatively representative of many states, the losses faced by universities have little to do with the classroom. Instead, the losses involve housing, sports, and conferences. Maybe universities should stick to the core mission of educating students and get out of these other businesses. See https://www.inquirer.com/education/coronavirus-stimulus-dollars-penn-state-temple-rutgers-rowan-st-joes-widener-cuts-money-20200420.html

What can be done about the cost of higher education?

The amount of money spent on faculty has decreased over the past few decades as universities hire more adjuncts who receive lower pay and often no benefits.

At the same time, the number of non-teaching personnel on campus, with several administrators at top universities making six-figure salaries with fringe benefits and secretarial support. About two-thirds of university budgets have nothing to do with teaching but instead go toward dormitories, facilities, marketing, and student health.

At Temple University in Philadelphia, where I teach, I have seen a vast expansion of vice deans, assistant deans, associate deans, directors, and assistants to the above over the past 15 years. I don’t know what many of them do, and none of them have visited my classroom.

Higher education will have to expand its offerings of online courses at reduced rates after students and their parents saw that classes could be delivered relatively effectively. That means that faculty will have to come to grips with providing online instruction.

The discussions I have had with faculty about online teaching remind me of my former colleagues in the news business who ignored the implications of the internet more than 20 years ago.

Simply put, colleges and universities must adapt or die.

Report from Louisiana: Sleep Anxiety

By: Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – As this lockdown continues, I have seen more and more people comment on the disruption of their sleep patterns, and I would be lying if I didn’t admit to experiencing this myself.

In a normal world, I am in bed by 10 and up by 5:15. I am a teacher and have to be at work at 7:05 (although I always get there about 6:40.) On the weekend I might sleep until 7 or 7:30. In this new Covid-world, I have been waking up at all hours of the night and sleeping later in the morning. I mean, wide awake at 3:00 kind of awake. And what difference does it make? I don’t have to wake up at 5:15, I’ll tell myself.

It is odd to me because I don’t feel especially stressed or worried about anything; I haven’t lost my job or my pay. I do not suffer food insecurity. I’m not any more worried about bills than I ever am. Nobody in my immediate family is ill. And, overall, I’m basically perfectly content staying at home, so what’s the problem?

Many people are reporting disruptions in sleep right now and there is an explanation for this:

Stress is both the short and the long answer. Whether it’s insomnia, daytime sleepiness, struggling to stay awake in the evenings or waking earlier than usual (or, if you’re really lucky, a combination), sleep-disturbance is a well-documented manifestation of stress. And while stress is usually a precursor to the fight-or-flight response we’re in the slightly odd situation where having to reckon this stress is wreaking havoc on our bodies while we’re safe in lockdown in our homes. We are in a high-alert state; our brains busily preparing our bodies for dealing with disaster, even if it doesn’t fall into our direct path.

In short, our stress hormones are on overload. Compounding the problem, we are not releasing stress in some of our more typical ways like going to the gym or socializing with friends, so everything stays all bottled up. We eventually run out of closets to clean out, fences to paint, garages to clean out.

Experts have many recommendations for easing this sleep anxiety that many of us seem to be facing, such as limiting screen time before bed, avoiding too much news, avoiding sugar, and eliminating that afternoon nap.

Face it, our world is different now and may never be the same. Certainly many of the social distancing policies we now practice will remain part of our daily lives for some time to come. Maybe this is part of our anxiety.

As states now begin to figure out ways to reopen and get back to a new normal, perhaps we can all get a good sleep.

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.