Corona Log Entry 25/4/22
Corona Log Entry- Friday, April 14, 2022
It is a warm and sultry day here in SW Florida. The temperature should rise up into the low 90’s this afternoon, with a welcome chance of showers. We had been to the gym earlier, for a morning workout. Afterwards, we stopped by the Survey Café in Old Bonita Springs, for some delicious vegetarian omelets and great coffee.
We had an 11:15 A.M. appointment scheduled at Walgreens, to get our second booster shot of the Moderna Vaccine, for the Covid-19 virus. We stopped by, filled in the necessary paper work and were quickly vaccinated. This would make four shots in total that we have received since the pandemic began. Fortunately, in our case, these wonder drugs have worked as advertised. We have been covid-free for over two years. That is not so for friends and relatives. Some, returning from Europe, had contracted mild versions of the virus, even though they had received three shots in the vaccine series. A goodly number of our contemporaries had passed on from complications associated with the rigors of the epidemic.
A fourth wave of the plague, labeled both Ba1 & later Ba2, was now sweeping Europe and entering the United States. Some medical personnel were also naming a version of it Xe. It was all getting pretty confusing for most of us. Infection rates and hospital stays are climbing fast. Fortunately, because of the high rate of vaccinations here in the U.S. the death rate is not climbing as precipitously. And this latest wave of Corona, although more infectious, does not appear to be as lethal.
The public squabble is going on everywhere, about mask wearing. The CDC recently extended the requirement, for all air plane and mass transportation users, to wear masks until early May. In that this is the big Easter travel season, people are not happy with the decision. Lobbyists and citizen’s groups everywhere don’t want to go back to wearing masks. In the face of this opposition, the City of Philadelphia recently went back to ordering mask-wearing for all inside dining and commercial enterprises.
If this account of things sounds confused, that is because most of us are. Mask wearing, no mask wearing, get a fourth shot, don’t get one. Most of us are pretty confused about everything. It would be nice if we were getting brief, current status reports from the federal government. But, that isn’t happening. Their minds are elsewhere.
In the world around us, the Russian invasion of the Ukraine dominates much of the media stories. Reports of atrocities against Ukrainian civilians, by the Russian army, are claiming the world’s shocked attention. Still, nine weeks after the initial invasion, the scrappy Ukrainian forces are holding their own, even pushing back the Russians in certain areas. On Thursday, Ukrainian militia sunk the Russian guided missile cruiser “Moskva” in the Black Sea, using sophisticated anti-ship missiles. It was a stunning embarrassment to Russian military forces and a massive morale booster for Ukrainians.
Massive donations of American and European armaments are fueling the resistance. President Biden just pledged another $800 million dollars in U.S. aid to the Ukraine, yesterday. I think most of the world knows what the eventual outcome of this awful struggle will be, in time. But, it will be a pyrrhic victory for the Russians, who are sustaining heavy battle casualties and a massive loss of military materiel.
In Washington, Federal District Court Judge Kemanji Brown Jackson, was confirmed by the United States Senate, to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. She will be the first African American woman appointed to the court in our 240-year history. And I might add, she is one of the most qualified to be appointed to that bench in many years.
In America, we are still dealing with supply chain scarcities in the service economy and rampant inflation. Economists point to the nine per cent inflation, of many commodities, in the last year. Residential mortgage rates are up over 5%. These are the steepest rise in prices in over forty years.
The stock market is puttering along as usual. The Dow Jones is level. There are some trepidations among speculators, about the future of wheat and oil prices, due to the Ukrainian war. But, these concerns are not yet stampeding the market. The price of gas, eggs and many basic commodities are rising with the inflationary tide. There are no apparent shortages anywhere, just greedy merchants taking advantage of the confusing times, to ramp up prices and gouge the public. Perhaps, we need another Office of Price Administration, like we had in WW II. These folks used to hunt down the gougers and jail them as war profiteers.
Socially, Congress is gearing up for the Fall, midterm elections. The Republicans are expected to take control of the House of Representatives. The Senate could well be in play, but it is still too early to tell who is doing what. The speeches and the posturing continues without let up. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, an early contender of the 2024 Republican nomination for President, had a “Don’t say Gay” Bill passed by the Florida legislature, in an attempt to capture the support of the right-wing Trump base of the Republican Party. Other shady note-worthies are trying to suppress the African-American vote, by restrictive legislation in several states. The nation hasn’t seen this kind or organized and official “Jim Crow” bigotry since the 1950’s.
As I have stated several times, I am trying to put this book to bed. But this latest Xe, Ba1& Ba2 waves means that the story has not yet finished. Until then, we hand wash frequently, wear our masks when needed and social distance when possible. We will get through this pandemic yet, by taking one day at a time.
Joseph Xavier Martin