May 4, 2020

On twitter over the weekend, following a Chicago “re-open Illinois” protest, a photo circulated with the hashtag #IllinoisNazis: #IllinoisNazis So what is the polite way of saying, "Go fuck yourselves?" or are they doing it already? Asking for a friend.— Randi Rhodes (@RandiRhodes) May 2, 2020 The third and fourth of these photographs are patently not a matter of a Nazi celebrating Nazi-ness with a swastika, but are using the swastika to accuse their opponent of being fascist. Now,… Read more

April 29, 2020

First, a person face mask update:  I have now given away 117 face masks — to people requesting them for work (a grocery store bagger, a pharmacist, an unemployment agency worker), to an assisted living community, for my priest to give away to people he encounters, to a food bank, to a local services provider for the disabled.  I have found a new method the developer of which calls the “hybrid face mask” because it has characteristics of the generic… Read more

April 26, 2020

On boating: From CapitolFax, reporting on Pritzker’s latest briefing, Saturday afternoon, April 25th: Q: We had heard some people wanting clarification on the boating, that’s going to be allowed starting May 1, two people per vessel, people were wondering. Is that two unrelated people what if it’s say husband wife and kids that all live in the same home, can there be more than two people in the boat if they are direct family members?… A: [He answered and then… Read more

April 25, 2020

In the news/media recently: “Out of pandemic crisis, what could a new New Deal look like?” Michael Tackett and Josh Boak, Associated Press. [N]early 90 years [after the original New Deal], the United States is fighting a disease that presents the country with wrenching life-and-death challenges. Yet at the same time, it has served up something else as well: a rare opportunity to galvanize Americans for change. . . . Yet the coronavirus outbreak has also revealed how ill-equipped the… Read more

April 24, 2020

In the local news:  Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has extended the stay-at-home order from its original end date of April 30, until a new date of May 31, with some small modifications:  some state parks will reopen to hiking, fishing, and boating; some golf courses will re-open; greenhouses, garden centers, nurseries, and pet groomers will be deemed “essential”; some elective/nonemergency medical procedures will now be permitted; and non-essential retailers will be permitted to take telephone/online orders for outside pickup or… Read more

April 16, 2020

So here’s a bit of what I’m up to lately, or, rather, what the Actuary family has been doing. Regular readers will know that I gripe about my parish regularly – that too many parishioners are passive and figure that “nothing can be done,” or avail themselves of the greater level of involvement at the neighboring “competitor” parish.   And the same appeared to be proving true when it came to outreach and ministries as a result of the shut-down:  other… Read more

April 10, 2020

Is hydroxychloroquine an effective treatment for COVID-19*? Are ventilators effective in treating patients as the disease worsens? Why are African-Americans dying in greater numbers? Let’s talk science. How many times have you heard the phrase “the science is settled”?  That’s been repeated endlessly with respect to climate change, but, in fact, the reality of science is that it is never settled. Many years ago, as a student of history, I had a class in “historiography” in which the professor aimed… Read more

April 9, 2020

Schools are closed. Depending on what part of the country you’re in, they’re closed ’til April 30, or closed for the rest of the year, or nominally closed til April whatever-th but, let’s face it, that’s gonna be extended.  And depending on the school district, the kids are doing “e-learning,” or they’re working on workbooks with parental guidance, or neither of the above.  And depending on the family situation, they’re being supervised/nagged by parents, being directly instructed by those parents,… Read more

April 7, 2020

So when I last visited this blogging editor, I complained about people making accusations of “euthanasia” towards others who worried about the economic impacts of our response to COVID-19.  As time passes, I continue to worry, and my concerns increase, about the economic impact of our COVID response. You probably know the drill:  projections of chaos in hospitals, of old folks being denied ventilators, of patients being triaged, and worse, are not coming to pass.  Elective surgeries have been cancelled… Read more

March 27, 2020

So earlier today, I dropped off my first batch of fabric face masks to the assisted living community where my parents live, and thought about the fact that, only a bit over a year ago, they were living in their longtime home, going out to restaurants or getting take-out, going out to the grocery store, and so on.  How much less are they at risk of COVID-19 because they now have their meals prepared for them and no longer need… Read more

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