Saturday, February 29, 2020

Is Leap Day/Night like a full moon?

The ER was borderline crazy tonight. It would have been handy to be Beeblebrox with the two heads and an extra pair of hands would be ok too. After the late afternoon rush, the on-call doctor said he hoped not to see me again today. That didn't work as more patients appeared and he got called back in. Ah well, hopefully tomorrow night will be tranquil in comparison.

Then, on the drive home I saw TWO raccoons on the edge of town. That's bad when the town is only three streets wide. I took the flashlight and carefully felt my way down the hill that has turned into an ice ramp to make sure the chickens were ok and locked up for the night. It's starting to resemble a mud pit in their pen. I'll admit to smiling about the mud though; it's a necessary stage to get to spring and gardening season.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Masks, gardening, life

A friend at work yesterday asked me about masks because her sister was in a panic and willing to pay any price to get some N95 masks. I explained that those are supposed to block out 95% of a virus with a perfect seal around the edges (no facial hair), but the infection could still get in through the eyes. Where they are really useful is when sick people wear them (without the valve, of course).

I suggested her sister invest in one that is rated 100 with replaceable filters; either a full-face version or a half-face with goggles, but her best bet is to avoid people.

One question she brought up is why do the Chinese all wear them if they aren't that helpful. My opinion is they are already used to wearing masks because of the high pollution rate in the cities, they are good at obeying orders (if everyone wears them that includes the sick), and it will help them stop touching their faces, which is very important.

Oddly, being concerned about the coronavirus has made me more aware of the good things. I've started seeds for the garden and each unfurling leaf brings me delight. I take more interest in what I'm eating and have lost a little weight. As the snow slowly begins to melt, I watch little pieces of ground emerge from the edges. No matter what happens, spring will come and hopefully, we will all be ok.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Good grief

Colds that linger are so annoying. It is funny how people react, drawing back in horror; because nobody wants it. I read that there are approximately 200 different cold viruses which is why we never seem to get ahead by becoming immune to one. Still, it's better than influenza by a mile.

I've been watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on netflix. Still fun and I've always found Dick Van Dyke to be delightful, but there's a lot more singing than I remember.

The best news of late is that the chickens are laying again! I wanted to give them a chance to be more natural this year so didn't even run the extension cord out to supplement the light. There were a couple months with very, very few eggs, but now I know that mid-February is when they get enough sunshine to kick in the start of springtime laying.

I also got an email that my seed order has shipped - a sure sign of SPRING.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

I made it!

I worked 8 days in a row so I could have a 4 day weekend. It wouldn't have been so bad except I picked up a very bad cold half way through. I'm still shaking off the last of the symptoms, but at least I'm no longer miserable.

Of course, the weather continues to be 'interesting'. Since I worked last weekend, we were destined to have a snow storm and we did. Then, this week brought a fast-moving cold front (which most of the country probably felt). I got a text from my wood guy that he received three calls from customers that they were out of firewood and needed some that day. It was the coldest day of the winter for us. How could a person not notice their wood supply was getting low?? He thanked me again for getting my orders in early. :) Two loads delivered already for next winter.

I did find out what was keeping the birds away; there's been a hawk hanging around. :( Now, I love hawks and eagles, but not so much in my backyard. It hasn't bothered the chickens yet, but I still hope it moves on after it cleans out the rabbit population.

On a more serious note: I've been keeping an eye on the developments around the novel coronavirus, aka covid-19. Since I work at a hospital, I asked around a bit to get other impressions. Not surprising, the nurses ask about travel both in the ER and the clinic. I suspect eventually there may be a sign put out directing people to mention foreign travels like there was during the Ebola scare. As to individuals, it seems to run the gamut from very concerned to 'it's no worse than the flu'.

I've heard that comparison to the flu from a number of sources. My issue with that is in China's response. Why would a country of over 1.3 billion people cripple their own economy and open themselves to global commentary because of something that might cause a few thousand deaths? There is no logical explanation that I can think of which makes me suspect it could be much, much worse than anything we've seen thus far.

Personally, I'm taking a cautious, middle-of-the-road stance. I won't quit my job and lock out the world, but tomorrow will be my last visit to a store until I have a better understanding of what will happen. I don't really eat out anyway, so nothing has to change there. I'm also taking food/supplies to my son so if he is exposed and told to self-isolate at home, there won't be any shortages to worry about.

I am sincerely hopeful that this will blow over and be a false alarm.