Tag Archives: pandemics

Worst Quotes of the Week – September 19, 2020

“It will start getting cooler.  Just you watch. . . . I don’t think science knows.”

President Donald Trump, in response to a reporter’s question about climate change causing wildfires in the Western U.S.

“You know, putting a national lockdown, stay at home orders, is like house arrest.  Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history.”

U.S. Attorney General William Barr, addressing a Constitution Day celebration hosted by Hillsdale College.

The event’s host asked Barr to explain the “constitutional hurdles for forbidding a church from meeting during Covid-19.”  Barr had recently suggested that Sedition Act charges should be carried out against some protestors – even peaceful ones – to maintain the traditional “law and order” status quo conservatives demand every time civil unrest breaks out over civil injustice.  It’s ironic he made his comments during Constitution Day, since the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution covers free speech.

“The blue states had tremendous death rates.  If you take the blue states deaths out, we are at a level I don’t think anybody in the world would be at.”

Donald Trump, noting the slow decline of positivity case rates and hospitalizations while touting the overall federal response to the outbreak at a White House press briefing.

The pandemic has taken nearly 200,000 American lives so far.  Aside from claiming that “blue states” (those with Democratic governors) are insignificant, I’m equally appalled he ended his sentence with a preposition – more proof he’s an idiot.

“I think he made a mistake when he said that.  It’s just incorrect information and I called him and he didn’t tell me that and I think he got the message maybe confused, maybe it was stated incorrectly.  We’re ready to go immediately as the vaccine is announced and it could be announced in October, it could be announced a little bit after October but once we go we’re ready.”

Donald Trump, referring to Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over the importance of wearing masks and the timing for a vaccine.

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Health In

This COVID-19 pandemic has taken so much from the average person – no matter where in the world they live.  Here in the U.S. we’re trapped in a nightmarish scenario with a disoriented leader heralding recent gains in the stock market, while millions remain unemployed.  I’m sure those struggling to pay utilities are thrilled to know Fortune 1000 companies are enjoying record stock prices.

One of the most severe – and underrated – effects is the impact the scourge has had on people’s psyches.  Emotional, mental and physical health always become subconscious victims of any national crisis.  People are just trying to survive.

Personally, I’m in a vortex of angst and frustration.  My freelance writing enterprise – as meager as it was – has pretty much collapsed.  I’m fortunate I have some money saved from previous work, but I know that won’t last forever.  Or even much longer.  After my mother’s death this past June, though, I began to feel sick.  Friends and relatives thought I was in a state of grief, which I was for the most part.  But I thought I’d contracted that dreaded novel coronavirus.  I had many of the symptoms.  I had hoped my seasonal allergies had started to hit me early.  Then again, perhaps it was the stress of dealing with my mother’s health.  One friend suggested I was suffering from a lack of iron and Vitamin D.  Still, I finally reconciled, it may be all of the above.  Fighting so many battles at once takes a toll on the body.  And mind.

Because of the pandemic, health clubs were among those businesses shuttered across the nation in an effort to contain the spread.  I last visited my gym in mid-May; shortly before the rehabilitation center where my mother had been staying shoved her out because her Medicare benefits had been exhausted.  (That’s another story!)

But even after my gym reopened in June, I still haven’t visited.  Again it was that awful sickness.  I didn’t know what was wrong.  I’ve taken to doing basic calisthenics and walking along an exercise trail behind my home in recent weeks in the middle of the day.  I used to go running, but I don’t have the strength right now.  Key words: right now.  Once you take off a long time without doing any kind of exercise besides laundry and loading and unloading the dishwasher, it’s a tad bit difficult to get back to normal.  But even that little bit still makes me feel good.

Seven years ago I wrote about my tendency to visit my local gym on Saturday nights, when hardly anyone was present.  I commented that only lonely fools like me did such a thing.  At the turn of the century, working out on a Saturday night was unmanageable.  But the gym I had at the time was open 24 hours.  It was a perfect time to jog on a treadmill and lift weights, I realized, with such a sparse crowd.  No one was there to be “seen”.  That quiet time – with various types of music blaring from the myriad speakers lingering overhead – allowed me to think of every aspect of my life.

I left that gym in 2017 to join another local gym that closed unexpectedly a year later.  After a lengthy hiatus, I joined my current gym last year.  This is an old-school gym with no fancy juice bars or chic workout gear.  Loud rock and rap music bounces around the concrete walls.  It boasts an outside area with non-traditional workout gear, like tractor tires and tree stumps.  Men can go shirtless.  People there sweat – they don’t perspire!  It’s not for suburban soccer moms or GQ cover models.  (No offense to soccer moms!)  I feel more than comfortable in such an environment.

I know it’s tough to take one’s mental and physical health into consideration if you’re unemployed or underemployed.  But I also know you don’t have to belong to any kind of health club to care for your own health.  Mental health experts are concerned about the severity this pandemic is having on people’s well-being.  Quarantines are literally driving people crazy.  And to drink too much alcohol and/or consume illegal drugs.  Or contemplate hurting themselves.  A bad economy helps none of that.  I can identify with all of that.  I really do feel that kind of pain.

Just walking the other day, carrying a water bottle and letting the sun emblazon my bare torso, helped me mentally.  It didn’t make everything magically disappear once I returned home.  I knew it wouldn’t.  But maintaining one’s health – as best as possible, even in the worst of times – is vital.  It can’t be overemphasized.

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Tweet of the Week – September 12, 2020

“New York Times” reporter Kathy Gray was in Freeland, Michigan, on September 10, when President Trump arrived to a cheering crowd – most without masks and none social-distancing.  This is actually the first of many tweets Gray transmitted before the Trump campaign forced her to leave. As usual, Trump and his gang just don’t understand the concept of a free press.

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Most Ironic Quote of the Week – September 12, 2020

“This is deadly stuff.”

President Donald Trump to Bob Woodward on February 7, 2020

In a series of taped interviews with Woodward earlier this year, Trump admitted he knew weeks before the first confirmed U.S. coronavirus death that the virus was dangerous, airborne, highly contagious and “more deadly than even your strenuous flus,” and that he repeatedly played it down publicly.  Woodward, a veteran and legendary journalist who first gained fame with an expose of the Watergate scenario, recounts his conversations with Trump in his new book “Rage.”  Not surprisingly, Trump is now trying to downplay the interviews.

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Worst Quote of the Week – September 12, 2020

“Please brothers and sisters, let’s try to not gossip.  Gossip is a plague worse than COVID.  Worse.  Let’s make a big effort: No gossiping!”

Pope Francis, in declaring that the pandemic is somehow part of a scourge within Catholic communities and the Catholic bureaucracy itself that is dividing the faithful

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Best Quote of the Week – August 29, 2020

Scott Horsley 2010

“Before the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. unemployment rate was just 3.5% – as low as it had been in half a century.  But economic growth fell short of what President Trump and his advisers promised.  The economy grew 2.2% last year, roughly on par with the pace over the past decade.  Growth briefly hit Trump’s 3% target in 2018, following passage of the Republican tax cut.  But that now appears to have been a short-lived “sugar high.”  While supporters of the tax cut said it would encourage more business investment and spark a decade of sustained 3% annual growth, business investment actually slumped for most of last year.  That was partly a result of sagging global demand as well as uncertainty stemming from the president’s trade war.”

Scott Horsley, NPR Chief Economics Correspondent, in response to Donald Trump’s claims about an improving economy during the President’s speech at the Republican National Convention

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Photo of the Week – August 22, 2020

During a virtual roll-call at the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, the 18th, the Rhode Island delegation was represented by John Bordieri, the executive chef at Iggy’s Boardwalk, a seafood restaurant on Narragansett Bay.  Bordieri initially bemoaned how badly both the seafood and restaurant industries have been hit by the current COVID-19 pandemic – while a masked man stood next to him holding a plate of fried calamari.

As many discussed the beautiful beachfront setting and / or the idea of dining on fried calamari, many wondered who the beefy man perched beside Bordieri is – and if he does private parties!  I don’t know what calamari or beachfronts have to do with politics, but this setup added a colorful diversion to an otherwise lackluster convention.

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Yeah, You! The Semite One!

Some gifts are best presented as is.  With a verbally-challenged President like Donald Trump, those gifts can be unexpected.  At least that’s what the National Museum of American Jewish History has realized, following yet another gaff by our faux Commander-in-Chief.  In a speech about the beauty of America’s national parks, Trump had trouble pronouncing the Yosemite in Yosemite National Park; a 1200 sqm. (310,798 h) gem in California, perhaps most famous for its astounding giant sequoia trees.

In response, the NMAJ has produced a tee shirt to honor the moment and has already sold 1,500.  Amidst the humor, there is irony.  Untold numbers of die-hard Trump supporters with White supremacist leanings will undoubtedly be horrified to learn their man has created profits for a Jewish institution.

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Dumbest Quote of the Week – August 15, 2020

“The closest thing is in 1917, they say, the great pandemic. It certainly was a terrible thing where they lost anywhere from 50 to 100 million people, probably ended the Second World War.  All the soldiers were sick.  That was a terrible situation.”

President Donald Trump, incorrectly stating that the 1918-20 Spanish Flu pandemic brought an end to World War II.

Quick world history lesson: World War I ended in November of 1918 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.  World War II began with Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939 and ended with both the collapse of the Nazi regime and the bombing of Japan in 1945.

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Photos of the Week – August 8, 2020

The 2020 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally opened this week in Sturgis, South Dakota with little regard for the COVID-19 pandemic.  Bike aficionados roared into town, sans masks and social distancing.  I have to concede I have no problem with this.  While I haven’t ridden a motorcycle in almost 30 years – and probably wouldn’t now at my age – I fully support this rally and the attendees’ right to navigate as they please.  If I was on bike, traveling down the highway at 100 mph, my biggest concern wouldn’t be a virus flying into my mouth; it’d be a bug!  Or some idiot coming the other way in their over-sized SUV texting.

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