Coronavirus SARS-Cov2 COVID-19

covid-19

OK, I have been really lax with this blog and not written anything for a long, long time, but this is an important message for all and any readers.

This will not be the usual post, but I just wanted to get this out to people, especially following the President’s speech last night which was lackluster at best, and unforgivably misleading, at worst.

COVID-19 is here in the US. It has been spreading within the community for 15 days already, according to CDC.

Unchecked, the infection rate will be exponential, doubling every day or so.

It is more infectious and more fatal than the ‘flu, although it does affect older people much worse than younger people.

Younger people can spread it to older people, and we do not know the extent of the spread in the US yet since the CDC and FDA were woefully slow in closing to use their own test and releasing it too late.

Likely there are tens of thousands of people infected and spreading it already, possibly more.

It is important that people understand the seriousness of this situation.

The following article is a superb analysis of the pandemic:

Please Read This Analysis of the Coronavirus Impact

Please, please read it if you can. It not, or TLDR, then skip to Chart 23 at the and also read the text beneath.

Please take care, practice “social distancing” and #NowWashYourHands

~Richard

 

 

 

May Day, Kitchener redux and Voting.

May Day Celebration isn’t a big thing in the USA. We don’t celebrate it as the start of Spring and there’s certainly no National Holiday for us on what is largely International Worker’s Day in many countries in the Western Hemisphere. In fact, it usually just passes us by as a regular working day. This year, though,  many are talking to the streets, mainly protesting the current state of affairs in the government and the recent policies of the US Executive.

I find all this latter day engagement in the system fascinating. It is interesting to see just how much politics is being talked about these days compared to only a few short years back. This is a good thing as perhaps more people are finally taking active interest in the way they are being governed.

170501_KitchenerVOTE.jpg

That being said, my point today is to highlight the still pathetic engagement that voters generally have in our Western democracies. It is staggering that we pontificate about installing democracies onto other cultures, rightly or wrongly, and belittle anyone who does not espouse our values and yet, when it comes around to election time quite often fewer than half of eligible voters actually turn up to the polls to actually make their mark in the box.

The next big election in my little transatlantic world is in the UK next month and I could not but help create this poster based on one of the many (in)famous WWI recruiting posters put out with Lord Kitchener’s prominent mustachioed visage.

My perspective – get out there and do your democratic duty by casting your vote – even if it means writing in someone else’s name because you don’t like any candidates. If you don’t make this small effort what right do you have to even comment on our government?

~Richard

St. George’s Day and a lesson from the French?

Last year I wrote this post relating to the patron saint of England, St. George. One year on and as Britain is stumbling forward through its self-inflicted exit from the European Union, I see little change in the mood of Little Britain, at least from what I read in the media.

Today, on the “other side of the channel” as we tend to call it, we saw the potential for a change in Europe as Emmanuel Macron finally gave Marine Le Pen a good run for her money and established that the center left candidate may actually stand a chance to win in a two-horse race for the Presidency for La Republique. Perhaps we will see a tide change and just maybe this will have a knock-on effect on the results of the snap election that Prime Minister Theresa May has called back in the UK. After all it may not be so much about St. George killing the dragon anymore but rather that the slumbering dragon, in the form of the disenfranchised populace who weren’t motivated to cast their democratic vote last time, will actually see that their opinions do count and turn up at the polling stations to make their mark.

Perhaps it is time for the dragon to roar…

170423_StGeorge.jpg
~Richard

A Commerce Drive

We are at a junction. Which path should we take to drive commerce and make us all as rich as Croesus, left or right?

Better make the decision soon as those lights don’t stay red forever…

170305_ACommerceDrive.JPG

~Richard

A Day for Reflection and Remembrance

A lot has happened this week. A seismic shock has been sent through the world as a brash, bigoted, businessman has blustered and blundered his way to the top of the totem pole. We have a new US President-Elect: Donald Trump.

As many of us who did not support him wring our hands and worry about our uncertain future I want to take a tiny piece of time to contemplate those who have given their lives, limbs or sanity on our behalf over the years to allow us the freedom to make our choices.

In the UK we always stopped work at 11:00 am on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month for two minutes of silent remembrance of the Armistice Day, as it was also known. Places of work, school, shopping areas and even the TV and radio would be silenced for 120 seconds of stillness and a show of unity.

This is not something that is observed in my adopted homeland, but I was moved to hear reference to the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of eleventh month at our local Veteran’s Day Parade in town last Sunday.

Today, I personally observed this moment of introspection and reflection in my office. I had a business meeting at 11:00 and told them I would be at least two minutes late attending in order to observe Remembrance Day.

This year it seemed particularly important to do so.

Never have we needed two minutes of stillness more than now.

11001102

~Richard

Get Out and Vote – NOW

Today is THE day, so get out there, fellow Americans and HAVE YOUR SAY. If you don’t vote today, in one of the most important elections we have ever had, then you have no right to comment come tomorrow.

161108_ivotedtoday
image from Daily Kos, copyright unstated, used for editorial expediency 

I have done my civic duty, so come tomorrow I will be commenting, one way or another!
~Richard

Vote Like a Beast

How I wish the late great Frank Zappa was here to see this, and poke fun at the system. He was a great defender of democracy. In his absence all I can do is link to his video, with such an important message:

Now VOTE!

~Richard

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