Last day of July. It has been a chaotic year so far and looks to be for the rest of the year. All we can do is roll with what ever happens and hope we don't capsize. Can y'all swim?
We did our shopping on Wednesday because the local power company planned upgrades for yesterday that they warned us might cause an interruption in power. Mom got e-mails indicating our power had been shut off a couple of times but we didn't notice any interruption. We thought they might have decided not to do the work because we had rain starting and continuing for two to three hours of the time they specified for possible shut off. An interesting encounter at the drug store: the clerk we usually see was wiping down the handles on the carts grumbling that she was looking forward to the pandemic being over in the next month or so. I asked her if she knew how long the 1918 flu lasted. She didn't so I told her--2 years. Stunned she bleated "Oh, I hope not." One of the problems with our response, on both the political and the broader social levels, has been a short term focus. We simply don't plan for things that might last longer than the next three months. Not many took Fauci seriously when he said, in February or March, he didn't expect a vaccine for the next 12 to 18 months. Watching the situation spiral in New York I said that this thing wouldn't be gone any time soon and wouldn't be at all pleasant. Considering the resurgence of the virus in various countries where it was thought to be contained, I think this doctor might be right that we might have to live with this thing for decades to come. After all we still have HIV, MERS, SARS circulating and no vaccines for any of them. Although researchers have a couple of hundred possible vaccines under development but a lot of questions that won't be answered quickly: how effective, what possible side effects, in whom is it effective, and how long does the immune response last. So far, from preliminary studies of people who acquired the disease and recovered the data indicate antibodies disappear in 2 to 3 months. And there is some indication that people might be able to contract the virus a second time.
I was flabbergasted when I heard #45's announcement that he is going to start the process of bringing manufacturing back to our shores by "loaning" Kodak a huge chunk of our tax money to establish a "start-up" company to manufacture pharmaceutical ingredients. I think this piece at Epsilon Theory covers this bit of insanity very nicely. The kleptocracy is running smoothly even if everything else is falling apart.
Ronni Bennett at Time Goes By has a pot that reflects my thoughts exactly. A couple of the comments also hit home. I had a very low opinion of George W. but said after #45 was "sworn" in (with his fingers crossed, I am sure) that I miss him. When the news came out that Reagan had Alzheimer's I asked how anyone could tell. Frankly, I miss him also. Those are the two I considered the worst of the list from my life time from Truman, who I don't remember, through Eisenhower, who I vaguely remember and continuing on.
Once upon what feels like a very long time ago, Americans didn't know who won presidential election on election night. They would know who won the vote in their own town or county. They might find out within a week or two who won in their state. But many wouldn't find out who won the Electoral College vote until Inauguration Day. Since 1936 the date when the Electoral College would vote was set by law for the middle of December and the Inauguration date was moved from March to January. We have become used to almost instantaneous electronic communications. None of us really remember how slow communications once were. This year might be a bit of a trial for those of us raised in a culture of instant gratification. Election Day is becoming an Election Season with early voting, mail-in (a.k.a., absentee) voting as well as in person voting. We may not know who wins this contest for several days, perhaps even a week+, after November 3. Just like so long ago.