Corona Log -14/1/22
Corona Log Entry- January 14, 2022
It is a sunny and cool day here in S.W. Florida. Temps are in the low seventies. A cold front is coming that will bring rain and cooler temps tomorrow. The Northeast is getting a shot of cold Canadian air that will bring single digit temps and heavy snow to them on Sunday.
The Omicron variant, of the Corona virus, has over run the country. Hospitals are again filled to the rafters with Corona patients. Most, who pass on, are those who were not vaccinated. The death rate from the disease over all remains steady. The omicron variant seems to be more infectious, but less lethal that Delta and all of the other variants. There is a glimmer of hope that the viral assault might be running out of steam, due to increased vaccinations. The worldwide tally is over 5,542,000 dead from the virus. 850,000 of those souls were Americans.
Most of the schools in the country are open. Businesses, in large part, are open and running. Industry does seem to be impacted by a considerable number of people call in sick from the virus. Ditto for hospitals and other vital services. The Federal Govt. is sending our medical teams, to several areas, to assist with emergency hospital staffing. Most regular surgeries have been postponed until the current viral siege lessens.
Around the world, similar conditions exist. In China, the govt. ordered the entire population of Xian, a large city, to remain in their homes, quarantined. Two other large cities in China are also in quarantine. The Chinese are apprehensive. The Winter Olympics will start there in a few weeks. They are trying to calm down the illnesses before the world’s athletes arrive on the scene. Other governments in Europe have either shut down their business and commercial entertainment sectors or imposed strict masking and distancing requirements. As usual, the conditions in Africa and South America are unknown and presumed to be much worse, due to lack of vaccines.
The CDC issued a warning to Americans, to avoid traveling to Canada, because of the severity of the Omicron outbreak there. That is a switch. In general, you get the sense that among medical circles, that there is a faint hope that the virus may be running to its peak and may soon relegate itself to a Fly-like status, where we will all need to be vaccinated against it yearly. We had reached this point, in hoping for an end to the Pandemic, a few months back, when the Omicron variant reared its ugly head. Let’s hope that no more of the medical gorgons are lurking in the shadows, waiting to strike.
Most of the cruise ship lines have suspended their operations for the next few weeks. Even with stringent vaccination and testing requirements, ships were returning to port with scores of infected passengers. There is no major report of similar conditions in the airline industry. Perhaps, mask-wearing regulations, sanitation and spacing are working better there.
In the financial sector, all of the markets are jittery. The collateral effects, from worker shortages, supply chain blockages and inflation, have made investors reluctant to pour money into stocks. Gas prices, at the pump, remain high. Goods and services are now up over 7% in the last year. It will take some time to untangle this situation. Mortgage rates are headed up in the residential sector. Prices everywhere seem to be on the rise. Oddly enough, in spite of the rising costs, there are empty shelves appearing in the grocery stores. Whether this is a result of the supply chain tangle, or more hording by and uncertain populace, no one has yet ventured a guess.
In Washington, the usual Kabuki theater is playing. The massive “Build Back Better” stimulus plan, of the Biden Administration, is going nowhere. A recent attempt to suspend the Senate Filibuster rules, so that a simple majority of 50 votes would be needed to get bills through the U.S Senate, is not attracting supporters. On another front, President Biden is leading the charge to enact Federal legislation to pull back all of the various voter suppression measures recently enacted by a number of states. This is a virtual battle for the hearts and minds of American voters. Its Congressional fate is uncertain.
The U.S. Justice Departments recently filed charges of Sedition against a dozen members of a right-wing, white-supremacist group for their collective actions in helping plan and carry out the insurrection of Jan. 6th 2021 on the American Capitol. These charges are the most serious yet laid out on the 700 people charged in the incident.
Locally, Florida Governor Desantis is engaged in daily theatrics, to boost his national profile, in hopes of becoming the Republican Presidential standard bearer in 2024. His estimation of his own abilities is much over rated. Locals have taken to calling him “Deathsantis” for his awful handling of the Corona Pandemic. His hindrance, of masking mandates and other preventive measures, is wreaking a terrible damage on Florida’s population.
At this point, everyone is bone weary of the whole pandemic. The virus doesn’t care. It will continue to hunt the unvaccinated. I had hoped to put this narrative to bed, but the viral monster keeps on coming at us. We do our best, to wear masks in public, continue hand washing and sanitizing regimens and hope the trial will soon pass us by. So far it is working. We are healthy and disease free. Like every other calamity, we take it one day at a time.
( 934 words)
Joseph Xavier Martin