05 August 2020

virus bits

First, I invite you to have a brief look here.

So, the virus, or The Covid as my Irish family calls it.

Like so many, I have by now had a couple of virus related dreams. In one of them, I was struggling to breathe and as a result, in the morning, I read through my Living Will to reassure myself that I have it in black and white, no ventilator if in intensive care. It's a thing, I admit but I have watched people on ventilators, incl. my mother and, no. I am old enough.
The other dream comes back in various guises. In it, I meet friends, dear friends, who come bearing gifts and who refuse to wear masks or keep a distance and basically laugh at me for being so vigilant. (There is one of them in real life. She is convinced she'll never catch it or if, just a mild case. We don't mention it.) Anyway, that one scares me a lot.

Our numbers a creeping upwards, ever so slowly and there is tons, I don't exaggerate, tons of information and appeals and catchy videos and songs in the media, tabloid incl., to remain vigilant. It's a shaky calm. In my city, we currently have six patients in intensive care and 21 infected cases.

Virologists now assume that almost half of the infections are caused by aerosol transmission, almost the other half by larger droplets and only about ten percent by smear infections. While the larger droplets fall to the ground rapidly within an area of around one and a half meters - keeping your distance helps here - the microscopic aerosols can stay in the air for a longer time, spinning around and infecting someone in the process. Since they arise not only when coughing and sneezing, but also when speaking, singing, shouting and breathing, it is almost impossible for an infected person to not produce them.

This means that, especially in closed rooms, a distance of 1.5 meters is not necessarily sufficient to protect yourself against infections. Indoor restaurant seating, church services or open-plan offices are all places where many have been infected in the past. If you need to be in such a place, the best option at the moment, apart from wearing a mask, is to ventilate by opening the window, because this ensures that the air is diluted or exchanged. And keeping a distance. Same old. Same old.

As a rule of thumb, the fewer people we see, the shorter we stay in closed rooms and the more distance we keep, the better.

The orange man apparently said something like: "This thing's going away. It will go away like things go away." It's almost philosophical. Almost.

One of the brilliant Monty Pythons sketches is the one about the dead parrot. If you don't know it, watch it here, it's a good laugh and we all need that. Not only because not all things do go away the way things should go away. And then watch the new version here.

In other news, this week was our 41st anniversary - we forgot.
Also, my mother died 21 years ago - I remembered, but only because my sister called me on a pretext.

Meanwhile, it is pink week with grapes:



  1. the orange one is a moron. he doesn't have the intellect to be able to grasp this virus. plus, he's bored with it. now that reports are going to HHS over which he has control instead of the CDC, all numbers are suspect. all of a sudden, Texas has not just leveled out but now is falling. I don't believe it. our governor is a big toady. it wouldn't surprise me if Texas just quit submitting numbers.

    we don't go anywhere. well, I go to the grocery store and he goes to the meat market and any other things needing to be done inside are done with masks and quickly or not done. we're lucky to be as old as we are and not just because we marvel at being this old. we don't have to go anywhere.

    our 44th anniversary is the 14th.

  2. I congratulate you on 41 years of marriage. Coincidentally, another couple I know just celebrated that same landmark.
    I suppose the only hope for us all with this virus is the vaccine. What I worry about here, though, is that there are so many absolutely rabid (haha!) anti-vaxers. It's ridiculous. But you watch- it'll be a huge, big deal.
    I love the grapes. Thanks for that lovely imagine.

  3. Happy anniversary! Ours is coming up too, 34 years for us. Thank you for the sober recap of salient details. We mostly stay home but there are vulnerable aspects to our plan, more people in the mix lately. Reminds me of the 80s and HIV, how you had to consider that you weren’t dating one person, you we’re dating everyone that person had ever dated. It’s like that. My niece who lives with us is becoming slowly more social. It’s hard for young people to stay home all the time. She spent last weekend with a friend. So this week, we’re basically “dating” her friend’s entire family. And so on.

  4. Congrats on your anniversary! Lovely flower photos and the grapes look delicious. Enjoyed the videos though i lament the fact we have such a person leading our country.

  5. Happy Anniversary! Love the flowers and grapes there.
    We are waiting for the vaccine and will only feel safe taking it if our very trusted Dr. Fauci takes it. He is our role model for getting through this nightmare. Stay safe and healthy there.

  6. Great photos. I hope you can still find a way to celebrate 41 years. That's a long time!

  7. Happy anniversary! I've heard that the AMOUNT of virus a person is exposed to also factors into how efficiently it transmits -- which is why health workers, for example, are so prone to catching it. They're around a lot more virus than the rest of us. Apparently if you breathe in a small amount of virus in the air (from someone you briefly walk past, for example), chances are your body will kill it before it can take hold. But if you're in an enclosed space and face-to-face with someone over a more extended period of time, that's more dangerous. Which makes sense.

  8. It seems that you and R are living in the present with all its beauty and chaos and humor. "Pink week with grapes" and "dead parrot." I can see why it was possible this year to forget your 41st anniversary and to forget that it marked 21 years since your mother died. Thank you for giving me an opportunity again read the story of how you and R began your life together, recognizing something in each other at first glance. It always does my heart good to picture you and R in those first moments in Ireland. This time I googled "Connemara" to see the landscape and then visited via Google maps. I'm glad I did. Such beauty.

  9. Ah, Orange Man, so deep, so prophetic, so "un homme de nos jours". True it will go away, as - eventually - will the Earth itself. If I were a Chinese magician capable of condemning people to live in interesting times, I might just cast a spell such that OM stayed around to view this somewhat distant apocalypse. The boredom of all that waiting and not feeling inclined to read; just a million re-runs of Pointless.

    Stick around during The Plague and we'll all have our anniversary planning done for us. Ours is a Big One (1/10/60) and you'll laugh at our gullibility. With little to spend our money on we'd planned - albeit tentatively - to spend a full-family weekend in, guess where?

    Too easy although there is a trap of course. But why not forty-eight hours in the land of G√ľnter Grass, Dietrich Buxtehude (adopted in his case) and the engineers of Auto Union AG? Plus a nostalgic walk down Drosselweg in Hattingen-Ruhr which Google Images reveals to have changed somewhat since my last walk there in 1953.

    We're prepared to spend lavishly but not throw away money on indeterminable risk. Something quieter then, with rugs over our knees.