We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Monday, January 11. 2021
Wednesday, January 6. 2021
Tuesday, December 29. 2020
Sunday, December 27. 2020
I contracted Covid back in March. 2 weeks of coughing and headaches, no fever, and a general haziness for about 2 months afterward. I'm fine now, no long-term issues to speak of. I am heading in for some medical checkups since my insurance is ending soon. If you're over 50 and understand the prep process, you know what I'm talking about. At any rate, the doctors had me take a Covid test last week as a precautionary measure. It's a smart move, and of course I came up negative.
Thing is, I was visiting friends last night, and a few other people stopped in. We wound up spending a few hours together. This morning, one sent us a text telling us he'd awakened with a fever. Later he texted that he'd been tested and came up positive.
Most of the people there last night already had Covid, so we're fairly confident we should be in good shape. We'd all been tested and had the antibodies. There are no guarantees, but I'm fairly confident most of us will be fine. There wasn't a ton of interaction, touching and no coughing. But we were indoors, and Mrs. Bulldog has not had Covid yet. So she will go get tested in a few days. Meanwhile, we will quarantine for a few days...
Except I have that procedure on Tuesday morning. So I shot them a note to let them know, and will follow whatever measures they ask me to engage.
This is how things should be handled. Rather than locking down, we can take steps to manage ourselves properly. Lockdowns haven't stopped the spread, they've merely created a false impression that viral outbreaks can be 'stopped' or 'prevented' with policy. Except the policies haven't stopped anything, and often have only led to worse overall situations.
Thursday, December 24. 2020
Wednesday, December 23. 2020
Friends of mine have barraged me with commentary on the "disaster" that Florida is, particularly with regard to Covid. Anecdotally, I was told urban (and this seems to confirm) ICUs typically range from 55-80% full at any given time, depending on seasonality. The current occupancy rates, in some places, are in the 90s, so while that is very high, it's worth noting ICUs are usually very full. The real concern is the ability to expand, as needed. I believe, based on the response in April, this is something our system can handle fairly effectively. I'm not being too relaxed or naive. I'm not diminishing or putting down the efforts of our medical personnel. I am applauding them for their efforts, their hours, their professionalism, and creativity as they have found many solutions and treatments along the way to help mitigate and ease many of these issues. That is the beauty of not only our medical system, but our overall economic system. Flexibility and ingenuity.
Our friend the Manhattan Contrarian has presented his excellent piece on why Florida has made New York look silly and misguided in the midst of all this.
I doubt the media will present the story as MC has. I applaud our friend MC for presenting the facts. After all, he lives near the center of the echo chamber.
I'll toss in one more point of comparison - New Jersey, which like NY has similar governance, though a much smaller population (8.9mm) than Florida (21.5mm) and New York (19.5mm). Covid cases have reached 440k in NJ, about in line with where Florida is as a percentage, but it has almost 19k deaths - similar to Florida (older and with a larger population). Comparatively speaking, New York City alone has roughly the same population as New Jersey, but has had roughly the same number of cases as New Jersday (390k) and more deaths (24k).
"Follow the science" is a real thing, but not the way Progressives present it. For them, it's really "Follow the politics, which pretends to be science."
Sunday, December 6. 2020
Monday, November 30. 2020
Statistically-inclined readers may offer their explanations for this data, if valid.
Add: I doubt this was retracted for narrative reasons.
Sunday, November 15. 2020
Tuesday, November 10. 2020
For peace of mind, this is a remarkable deal: Lifeline Screening. No prescription needed. No reason not to do it. It's a great service.
Cardiovascular disease (heart attack, stroke, aneurysms, and the like) is the #1 killer in the US (about 1 million deaths/yr) and in much of the world too.
If screening raises any issues, they can be pursued by your doctor.
Thursday, October 22. 2020
Thursday, October 8. 2020
Wednesday, September 23. 2020
Tuesday, September 22. 2020
I get plenty of sunshine but take 1-2000 iu of D regularly but not daily.
By the way, excess Vit D can be toxic.
Thursday, September 17. 2020
Tuesday, August 18. 2020
An excellent long read by Norman Doidge MD: Hydroxychloroquine: A Morality Tale. A startling investigation into how a cheap, well-known drug became a political football in the midst of a pandemic
Trump's suggestion that it might be helpful, and the fact that he takes it, discredited it. There are many physicians who take it, even without complete proof that it is helpful. They take it with zinc.
Friday, August 14. 2020
Trials Seek to Answer if Vitamin D Could Help in COVID-19. In clinical studies worldwide, researchers are testing the possibility that supplements of the vitamin could prevent or decrease the severity of SARS-CoV-2 infections.
Excess Vit D is not good for you. I like to get mine from the sunshine.
Thursday, August 6. 2020
Not just for COVID times. My advice for a functional life, for as long as one is given by God or nature, is to workout 5-6 days/week, stay fit and trim (the latter being mainly nutritional). Don't abuse substances. Have a good sex life and social life. Do things, and take on new challenges whether mental or physical.
I will never advise anyone about what to eat. Westerners are over-nutritioned. If overweight, eat less (especially carbs) and, if underweight, eat a bit more of everything. Simple. If you lift heavy, get some extra protein because it won't hurt.
Get a physical exam, mammogram, PSA, and cardio stress test, however often your doctor suggests. The Maggie's Fitness for Life exercise regime requires more structure and discipline than very many are willing to do, but we recommend it anyway - 2 days of HIIT cardio, 2 days of calisthenics, and 2 days of heavy weights. It will not extend your life, but could make it more functional and lively.
If you hit 80-90 years old, do whatever you want. You made it to the finish line.
Tuesday, August 4. 2020
This Coronavirus Is Never Going Away. No matter what happens now, the virus will continue to circulate around the world.
Even vaccines will never get rid of a virus, or almost never. We have to live with these things. Viruses go viral, regardless of what humans do.
Thursday, June 11. 2020
Tuesday, May 12. 2020
My personal approach to virus phobia was doubles tennis last weekend in the sun and breezes, then cocktail hour on the porch. Call it defiance if you wish, but life is short and we have to live it while we can. My medical advice is to stay young, fit and trim, workout daily, and hope you get the mild or insignificant case as most people do, and get on with life as best you can.
There is no safe option because you cannot get rid of a virus. From Dr. Bhattacharya at Stanford Medical School:
Wednesday, April 22. 2020
Some people seem to be more prone to it than others. In the case of COVID-19, children with their less-developed immune systems are unlikely to react in this way.
A brief piece on cytokine storms here.
Not related, The Swedish experiment looks like it’s paying off
Thursday, April 9. 2020
Friday, April 3. 2020
Yes, it is stressing hospitals in hot spots, but compared to what? As Bulldog suggested yesterday, this virus is partly a political and media event - not entirely medical as with the past nasty viral epidemics.
From an epidemic expert, The Severity of the CoVID-19 Epidemic is Not as Bad as You Think, According to the Numbers.
As with any viral illness, it's best to protect the frail and elderly. Best, but rarely possible. Numbers are cold things, death is not, but some perspective on the big picture is good.
Thursday, April 2. 2020
Not too long ago, I shared my views on Covid-19 and the lockdown. I still stand by my (often misunderstood) position and I feel that after this is over, I'll still stand as having a well-developed viewpoint. Meanwhile, as we sit in the midst of all this, I am now officially 3 weeks working-from-home. The Covid numbers have continued to rise, the deaths have risen as well, and the newsmedia has...ratcheted up the fear factor as high as possible. Even my sister, down in Florida (where even she admits nothing is happening of any note) is freaking out and running scared.
Well, today I chatted by phone with her and shared with her something I'll share with all of you. I am Covid-19 positive. I found out yesterday.
Let me share some of my own personal thoughts and some of my doctors' comments.
First, I was told "this is a high-powered flu". By 3 different doctors who checked me or spoke with me. Second, "No, there's nothing we can do unless you have respiratory distress, so please monitor yourself carefully." Yup. I do that anyway. Third, there were no lines at the station where I got checked. Called first, drove up, got out, they checked me in a field tent, sent me to another field tent, and did the swab (annoying, but not horrible...a Q-Tip WAY UP into your sinuses). Doesn't hurt. You do sneeze a little.
I am in good general health. I work out regularly, good BP, good pulse rate, not an ox by any standard, but I'll keep up with most people my age, and probably surpass them (55+, in case you're wondering).
My first hints of the virus were on Tuesday 3/24. A little coughing, lots of mucous, etc. Not a dry cough. By Thursday, Mrs. Bulldog was saying "You're coughing too much, I don't want people on our walks to think you have it, so stay home." Fine...I stopped taking walks. I had started having headaches (sinus) anyway. The headaches got worse. By Friday, my head was pounding, the cough was persistent, and it was dry. No fever. No rash. 3 days of (sorry) diarrhea began.
Over the weekend, the headaches intensified, the coughing got worse. I was more or less stuck on the couch watching movies, in a very annoyed frame of mind. By Sunday, it was suggested I get tested.
So we arranged it, and yesterday at 3pm the results were back. Positive.
Of course, by now the headache is starting to fade. It's still there, but Tylenol keeps it reduced. The coughing is still there, but laying down helps it stop (don't lay down too much...no need to promote pneumonia). I've been sleeping 10 hours a night. The really weird things, and there are 2 of them, are the general haziness of frame of mind - I can't concentrate very long - and what I'd call "fever dreams without the fever." I don't know how to describe these, but I have the strangest dreams all night. Then I wake up in the morning very dehydrated and have to drink a pint or two of water.
My doctor voiced concern over the number of cases, but also pointed out that "it's just a flu that is worse for at-risk people, you're not at risk. Just stay vigilant, take care of yourself and you should be fine."
So if this were the normal world - I'd take 2-3 weeks off from work, and get better. Instead, I've had 3 weeks off, and based on current protocol I will have AT LEAST (if my symptoms play out normally) 3 more weeks off (because my office says 2 weeks after cessation).
For what it's worth - most people in the US, after 6 weeks off from work, will be broke. If it goes longer, who knows. At this point, the "cure" is worse than the disease. Trump is right to consider opening some counties as soon as possible - like any other pandemic, this has areas of concentration. We can limit exposure to those regions, and keep the rest of the nation working well.
Stay healthy. Stay vigilant. I do believe there is much more, politically, to play out. At this point I no longer believe it's mainly a health crisis (if it ever was). It's a political one.
ps - I had to inform my HR Department - just a public safety thing. Naturally, I got a call back today...all pre-arranged, and about exactly what I supposed. They were trying to determine if I could have caught it anywhere else but at the office. "AVOID LAWSUITS AT ANY COST" must be their view. Can't blame them, I suppose. Not that it would stop me if I was litigious. Thing is, nobody can EVER prove where they got it from. I commute, via train, every day. I went to the bank. I was playing poker one night with 50 people at a bar the week before being sent home (won $650 and the tournament WITH A ROYAL FLUSH - not a joke, totally telling the truth, I have pictures...it's the poker players' Hole-in-One). So I could have gotten it anywhere...and I admitted that. Because it doesn't matter where I got it from. I KNEW I was going to get it. That was the point of my original article. If you believe you can avoid it, you're fooling yourself. I DO NOT believe social distancing works. But don't worry - they politicians and other liars will convince you it's working.
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