Corona Log Entry March 21, 2022
Corona Log Entry- March 21, 2022
It is a cool, 62-degree morning here in SW Florida. The winds are brisk, with 23 mph gusts. It is a nice change from the 90-degree temps of the last few days. And those stifling temps occurred when it was still officially Winter. We made runs to the Post Office and the Library, before stopping at New York Bagels, for some of their great coffee and tasty Bagels.
The Corona monster is once again rearing its ugly head, for the fourth wave of infections. Hong Kong reports a massive wave of new infections. Most occur in the elderly, who were either unvaccinated or had not gotten a booster shot. China has ordered the lock down of nine entire provinces, to try and stem the new Omicron wave.
In Europe, Germany, Great Britain and Ireland report a swift rise in Covid-19 infections. Most had only recently dropped their mask wearing requirements and were trying to restore normality to their business sectors. B.O.A. C recently dropped its masking requirements for overseas flights. Whenever we hear these new infection reports, we cringe, thinking of all the third world countries who never even got through the first three waves of Covid-19 infections. No one even counts the many fallen in those places. God Bless them all.
The Moderna drug company is petitioning the CDC for permission to bring out its second booster shot. Naturally, the Federal Government would be asked to pick up the tab. Initial indications are that, if approved, the new booster will be offered to people over 65 years of age and those with immune-compromised systems. These are all people thought to be more at risk from any new contaminations. There are no reports of a massive wave of new infections yet in the United States. But, it is only a matter of time before any new wave reaches us. We have over 60 million unvaccinated people here in the U.S. It is fertile hunting grounds for the virus. Some 970,000 Americans have fallen to the Covid-19 Virus, in the last two years. Worldwide, the total is over six million souls lost.
In the U.S., inflation is the latest plague to hit us. Gasoline, at the pump, was selling for $4.39 a gallon, its highest level in forty years. In states, like California, people are paying over $6.50 a gallon. Naturally, this impacts every sector of the economy, with shipping costs. Many foods are selling for 10-15 % higher than they were last year. Some items are not even available. New housing construction costs are sky high. Even rents and the cost of older homes has rocketed to unheard of levels. Some blame the covid-19 pandemic. Some, the Ukraine war. Others attribute many of the rising costs to the entire “supply chain” mess afflicting the New York and California ports. And although every level of government is “meeting” on this issue, nothing is getting done. Whenever something like this happens, it usually has an unseemly political backstory as its cause.
The Federal reserve Board is about to introduce a rise in interest rates. It will be the first of several they plan, to throw a damping effect on raging inflation. In essence, it makes the cost of borrowing money, from banks to buy and build things, more expensive for borrowers. In theory this will dampen their ardor.
To our North, our Canadian friends recently dropped their testing requirements, for anyone crossing the border, as long as they have had a series of anti-viral vaccinations. Many people on the U.S. side of the border are petitioning Congress to drop our testing requirements for border crossings. This new wave might change all of that. We are scheduled for a 12-day Canadian Rockies rail trip in Canada, this August. It has already been postponed three times due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. It might just get scrapped a fourth time.
In Florida, mask requirements are all but forgotten. This state is also highly resistant to vaccinations, due to the current Governor’s urging. That doesn’t bode well for us, if a fourth wave does arrive. Hold onto your hats, Floridians.
The Major television news focus, for the last three weeks, has been the Russian invasion of the Ukraine. Nightly, brutal visions of Russian indiscriminate bombings, of urban areas in the Ukraine, highlight the human tragedy of war. Some 3.6 million Ukrainians have fled their homeland, seeking shelter in neighboring countries. Though faced with the over-whelming military superiority of Russia, the scrappy Ukrainians have held on tenaciously. NATO countries have smuggled in massive supplies of stinger, ground to air missiles, and armor piercing, shoulder-held Javelin missiles, to help the Ukrainians make their stand. Reputedly, the Russians have suffered severe personnel casualties, with even a few Russian generals tossed onto the bloody scrap heap. Tsar Vladimir is unmoved. Eventually, he will crush the Ukrainians. Right now, people are even venturing to talk of World War Three, if Vlad continues with his conquests on into the Balkans.
In Washington D.C, there is the usually finger pointing and running around in circles. Members are trying to engender support from their members, by urging the U.S to erect a “no-fly” zone over the Ukraine or at least supple interceptor jets to the Ukraine. Every one of these representatives has been briefed by the U.S, military, on why this cannot occur, raising the real possibility of a third world war. Yet, they still curry favor with constituents, by asking for these risky additions to our aid package to the Ukraine, now totaling several billion dollars.
The U.S. Senate is also considering the confirmation of President Biden’ appointee to the Supreme Court. If confirmed, Federal Court Judge Ketanji Brown-Jackson, will be the first African American woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
For most of us, we await patiently the call for a second booster shot, our fourth in total, to help fight off the Covid-19 scourge. We continue to wear masks, wash our hands frequently and avoid crowds, to help ward off the viral monster. And around us in Florida, it is the time of the massive invasion of college students for Spring Break. That, and the opening of the baseball stadia, for the new season, promises to increase the jeopardy for everyone. Still, we take things one day at a time and hope for the best.
Joseph Xavier Martin