Thoughts on the COVID-19 Pandemic

This article describes the understanding of COVID-19 here at Camp Dismal. It is an attempt to help my readers understand the dynamics of infection spread and protective practices.

References

For authoritative answers to common questions, please consult the following websites having researched verified information about the disease.

  1. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub WHO public information portal.
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/ US CDC public information portal. May be tainted by US politics.
  3. https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html Johns Hopkins University tracking site.
  4. https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/ Virginia health department tracking site.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_modelling_of_infectious_disease A run through the math of disease spread
  6. https://youtu.be/gxAaO2rsdIs A wonderful video showing the form of the model, simulation runs of the model, and how public actions affect model parameters and the spread of the disease.
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Vidar Invades Camp Dismal

Vidar photo is a stock image kindly provided by Schiit Audio.

FedEx beat its delivery promise to bring Vidar to Camp Dismal 2 days early. So we had an unboxing and installation, both fairly trivial and got to have a first listen playing the Thile-Mehldau eponymous duet record and Judy Collins In My Life record. The Judy Collins record features her beautiful voice singing Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, and other songs with an electric backing. Vidar pairs nicely with my Dhalquist DQ-10s and has been a perfect gentleman since arrival.

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Thoughts on National RESILIENCY

Featured image: Dominoes Falling, courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/mwmbwls/ Creative Commons license grant CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This started out as a draft of a note for Senator Mark Warner, one of the Democratic Party brain trust working on the 2020 campaign strategy. Thinking before the pandemic was that the campaign would focus on a return to normalcy. Post-pandemic, it is clear that many elements of national resiliency need a major overhaul.

Our government has suffered from two things, potentially related. First, one of our national political parties has been using a strategy of divide and conquer to keep power to itself for oligarchical purposes. This includes campaigns based on fear of them.

Second, our social programs were developed individually in this hostile environment to treat symptoms rather than in support of essential governmental and civic resiliency objectives.

At every point on our journey to our current resiliency system, one party waged a two pronged fear campaign — fear of communism or now socialism, whatever that is, and fear that they, people not like us, might get something that we didn’t or cause us harm more directly.

The resulting difficulty of passing coherent legislation has led to a patchwork of well-intentioned but buggy programs. This patchwork is full of gaps and special cases making it difficult for the patchwork to support maintenance of national resiliency and unable to support many of us whose occupations do not permit a secure standard of living. For these purposes, a secure standard of living includes safe housing, essential health care for chronic and acute diseases and trauma, retirement security, and economic during earned income interruptions.

This post makes the argument that we need to take a step back, change our policy from one of aiding individuals ad hoc to one of achieving a resilient government and society that can survive foreseeable challenges by aiding individuals in a holistic fashion. It is largely about keeping domino chains from topping.

Our Congress’s response to the 2020 COVID-19 outbreak has been largely ad hoc. In spite of Congress’s “best” efforts, it has largely missed the mark by slow delivery of ad hoc relief measures that treat individual economic effects of the pandemic. The economy is far too complex for such a strategy to be successful.

Rather relief needs to enter the economy at the same points from which economic activity originates and flow through the economic networks that service normal transactions. Where possible, relief should permit the individual transactions that would occur if isolation measures were not in place. Normal emergent flows would support most of the economy.

This article considers the characteristics that promote societal resilience. How we go about achieving these characteristics is a complex undertaking that will emerge a bit at a time. Much of what we need already exists but needs refinement and protection from schemers. But essential elements of individual and familial security require an overhaul and processes that now require legislative action need to become automatic.

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Ampzilla’s Passing

Last week my beloved Great American Sound Ampzilla amplifier overheated. The lounge began to smell of hot linen. At first, I thought my sense of smell had gone wonky again. My sinus allergies can cause strange smells from time to time. So I took some antihistamine and started the air-con fan to filter out any particulate that might be about. A half hour later, the smell was still about unabated so I started checking for overheated electrical things in the lounge. I found Ampzilla with a high case temperature and no air flow up the chimney. Very odd since the fan is a Rotron Boxer powered off the line. What to do, have Ampzilla refurbished or purchase a modern replacement? More after the break.

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Camp Dismal Meal Plan

Rocky has spent the first four years of his life on the farm, in training, and at the Jacksonville track racing kennels. Rocky arrived “rough as a cob and full of piss and vinegar.” He was a big fellow willing to test limits. And the only useful companion skill he had was good lead and door manners. So Rocky was starting from a pretty low training baseline but with sound temperament, intelligence, and desire to fit in. He had so much to learn, where to begin. You sort of figure that out as you go along. The adopter’s guides present things in an order pleasing to book editors. Your hound may have other ideas about what should be learned first. This article recounts how Rocky adjusted his eating habits to Camp Dismal norms.

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Rocky has Hookworms

Hookworms are pandemic in the US racing greyhound environment from farm to track and most racing kennels. Aggressive use of hookworm medications has resulted in the worms developing resistance to the more commonly used medications. Most greyhounds retiring from racing or displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic and Florida wagering ban closures will have an active hookworm infestation.

After the break I’ll describe what our local adoption agency is doing for new retirees, describe the treatment protocol, and the hookworm characteristics that led to the development of this protocol. The references include Greyhound Health Initiative papers (a bit scholarly), and and articles at Greyhound Friends and Ohio Greyhound Gathering and Adoption, two regional adoption charities. The Jennifer NG, DVM, article contributed to the OGGA website is a good lay introduction to contemporary hookworm management in greyhounds.

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Rapid advancement: Now Rocky the Restless

I don’t think I’m ever going to live down this roach. It was epic apparently. Oh, and there is video. Just not here. Moocher has threatened to work on that.

The roach. I’m good at it and quite animated in assuming the position.

I’ve had a promotion from Rocky the Gormless to Rocky the Restless. Apparently, I’m no longer dumb as a rock. I’ve learned my name, I have a bit of a recall, I’m kenneling, I’m getting my table manners down, and getting along with big sister, mostly. And I’ve mastered Missy’s wet Willie technique of rousing the Moocher to use the loo while he is asleep. Missy says this is really important!

The restless bit comes from my fascination with the blighter behind all the shinny surfaces at eye level. I keep barking at the blighter and asking to go out to run him off. Moocher is going crazy.

I’ll be 4 on May 27 so Moocher has another year of adolescent behavior to endure. Most of us grow up in year 5. Moocher would like to keep me playful. He takes advantage of my curiosity and playfulness to redirect me with a squeaky toy when I am making mischief.

There be photos after the break. And the link for the adoption charity nearest Bill.

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Rocky Promoted to Gormless

Twitter nicknames are somewhat important as user names can be reused for multiple critters in succession. I inherited my Twitter user name from Lord Nick which explains the @nickgreyhound1 bit. But although I look somewhat like Nick and I’m young like Nick was in the beginning, I’m definitely not Nick. I deserve my own Twitter nickname. Sadly, I don’t get to pick it, head Moocher does.

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Rocky Arrives

Ahoy, I’m Rocky, the Dismal Manor FUNGIE (don’t ask). On March 27 I was in a racing kennel at the Jacksonville, Florida track. On Saturday, I was loaded up on an airport shuttle bus become dog hauler and transported to GreytLove in Hanover, VA. The nice folks at James River Greyhounds found me a home at Dismal Manor with the retired Moocher and Missy.

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Lifestyles of the not so rich and not so famous