SL 781

I needed some escapist fun today. So what is amusing me?

A cool Swiss-chalet like vacation home in California.

Stanley Tucci making a cocktail. I really do need to up my cocktail-game.

Rachel Ray makes ramen.

I might take a virtual garden tour or museum tour. I ignored those links two weeks ago, but I’m getting desperate.

16 thoughts on “SL 781

  1. Some older Samsung phones have built-in oximeters:

    If they work well, this could be really helpful!

    It looks like COVID-19 can sneak up on victims, so that people are often much sicker than they feel or look:

    A doctor writes (after doing a stint caring for COVID-19 patients), “Over those days, I realized that we are not detecting the deadly pneumonia the virus causes early enough and that we could be doing more to keep patients off ventilators — and alive.”

    “And here is what really surprised us: These patients did not report any sensation of breathing problems, even though their chest X-rays showed diffuse pneumonia and their oxygen was below normal. How could this be?

    “We are just beginning to recognize that Covid pneumonia initially causes a form of oxygen deprivation we call “silent hypoxia” — “silent” because of its insidious, hard-to-detect nature.”

    I’d previously heard a number of anecdotes involving people being told by healthcare providers on the phone that if they could breathe, they didn’t need to come in to the hospital. While very understandable, that advice seems to have been a mistake.


    1. Oh joy. One more thing to worry about. I have a husband with a history of collapsed lung and a son with a history of asthma and pneumonia.

      Was just reading student papers and one student mentioned he had a really bad fever. I looked up what he wrote on his index card* first day of class, and it ends up he lives in Laura’s backyard**. Poor kid probably has coronavirus. 😦

      *Thanks to my index card system, I can memorize students’ names on the first day of class, even with a class of 40.
      ***I have 4 more papers to grade and I’m taking one last break….


  2. Wendy said, “One more thing to worry about. I have a husband with a history of collapsed lung and a son with a history of asthma and pneumonia.”

    Wow, that’s a lot.


  3. Not to be a thread hog, but I’d like to talk about our new TX state park reopening COVID-19 regulations. I do not know know how this is working on the ground, but here are the new rules for Enchanted Rock (a major TX state park):

    “April 20, 2020 – Most state parks, including this one, are open for day visitors (no camping is allowed at this time).
    What to know before you visit:
    * Advance day pass reservations required – reserve them online or by calling (512) 389-8900
    * Face coverings are required
    * No groups of over five people are allowed.
    * Maintain at least a six-foot distance from people not in your group.
    * Park hours may be adjusted – be sure to check park hours before you visit.”

    My husband wants to take our big kids soon, but the passes for Saturday and Sunday have already been given out.

    It’s a fairly reasonable thing to start the reopenings with–even hyper-cautious given requiring face coverings at a park. The Florida beach openings also seem (despite some trick photography) to be pretty safe and reasonable.

    Gov. Kemp of Georgia, on the other hand…


  4. Here’s the TX reopening timeline (or at leas the first one I saw):

    April 20–open TX parks
    April 22–“Restrictions on surgeries will be loosened. The change will allow doctors to treat patients without having to get state approval, the governor said.” !!!
    April 24–“Texas retail businesses that have been closed may re-open and offer ‘to-go’ options for customers.”
    April 27–“Additional openings and more restrictions are scheduled to be loosened by Gov. Abbott”

    “Despite the order calling for a gradual return to normal, Abbott extended the closure order for all Texas schools and colleges for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. The state’s stay home order is scheduled to expire April 30.”

    I can’t argue with any of the April dates. I think there’s been a lot of harm (in both directions) in the widespread assumption that the only two options are binary: “state totally closed” and “state totally open.” There are a lot of gradations possible, especially with the addition of required masking and restrictions on customer load and crowding.


  5. I’ll be following to see how these plans work for Texas/Georgia/Florida. The southern states are trying a different strategy. I think there are a lot of variables about the novel virus that we don’t understand, including transmission, specificity, severity, fatality. And, acting on the assumption of “better safe than sorry” can have significant costs, too.

    With every opening up, there needs to measurement and close attention to infection/fatality. That’s what I’m worried the south isn’t doing. The first community transfer death in the US is now thought to have occurred on February 7th (in California, based on testing someone who died at home on that date). So there’s the real potential for cryptic transfer and deaths which could be ignored while things got worse. On the other hand, nothing has blown up in those states yet.

    IHME is saying May 26th for us now, as the time to switch to containment (which, again, requires both testing and tracing and isolation). May 27th for NY & NJ, June 7th for Texas.


    1. bj said, “The southern states are trying a different strategy.”

      I don’t know that it’s fair to stick Georgia in the same category as really any other state. Tattoo parlors! Nail salons! Massage therapists! All opening April 24!

      Theaters, private social clubs and dine-in restaurants can open up April 27 in Georgia.

      One of the nuances is whether mayors will try to go stricter than governors, and how that will go. I can imagine a lot of local pushback against enforcement if the governor says GO and the mayor says NO, especially since the governor’s orders will probably be highly publicized. A number of Georgia mayors have been expressing reservations about their governor’s plans.

      The GA governor should have coordinated better with the mayors–it’s potentially very confusing to the public.

      I just learned that Hometown U. has opened up a free food pantry on campus for students. Mask and gloves are required to go in, but are provided.

      And yes, that is an extremely creepy song.


  6. I love Sting and am particularly amused by the person playing connect 4 as an instrument (someone should make a music video with connect 4, scrabble tiles, dice, Yahtzee, bananagrams, . . . ). But, this song is still creepy. I wish they had changed the words.


  7. I think the problem is that we don’t know how the virus is transmitted very well yet. Say, for example, back in the day when the March 10th choir practice went ahead, people thought avoiding contact would be good enough. Now, people seem to think being outside is good enough. Is six feet far enough? Does the 6 feet depend on wind patterns?

    I think the key is to be looking at the results of opening up — do you see a pattern to those who get sick? Were they at the park, tattoo parlor, restaurant, choir practice, church?


    1. bj said,

      “Is six feet far enough? Does the 6 feet depend on wind patterns?”

      My bet is that six feet isn’t good enough indoors, but is a lot better outdoors. Also, outdoors, you’re less likely to wind up being involuntarily crowded by other people. It’s really hard to avoid indoors. (I’m sure we’ve all had some minutes of either going too close to people in stores or waiting excruciating minutes for them to make their choices…)

      “I think the key is to be looking at the results of opening up — do you see a pattern to those who get sick? Were they at the park, tattoo parlor, restaurant, choir practice, church?”

      Somebody I was reading pointed out that the March 8, 2020 Los Angeles marathon doesn’t seem to have been the disaster that a lot of us expected it to be.

      There are also questions about the role of AC:

      It looks like the AC helped droplets spread 3+ meters in the restaurant.

      That story makes me wonder whether restaurants can be safely opened for indoor dining anytime soon. Maybe patio dining?


  8. I am a fan of webcams of parks — I regularly check one at a local park to see if there are reflections on the lake to take pictures of. And, this year, I enjoyed the cherry blossoms through the camera live feed.

    But, a video (like that video of Kew gardens) is not a “virtual tour”. It’s just a video. I want live cams or some form of augmented reality.


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