Tag Archives: pandemics

Thanksgiving 2020

Before eating, always take time to thank the food.

Arapaho Proverb

I don’t know if this can possibly be a happy Thanksgiving for anyone in the United States right now – what with all of the chaos that has made this year a time most of us want to forget.  For me and millions of others across this nation, not much good has come of it.  If anything, though, Thanksgiving holiday moves us closer to the end of the year and further into the future.  As much as religious and social conservatives despise it, time does move forward.

I’m primarily thankful I’ve reached this point without losing my mind.  I had some moments a few months ago when I didn’t know if I’d live to see the dawn.  Depression and anxiety have always been two of greatest nemeses.

But here I am.  I’m still thankful I have the same small cadre of friends I’ve had for years.  And I’m thankful I have a home and have had enough financial resources lately to get through this – the worst period of my life to date.  Too many people have neither.

While I’m glad I have some semblance of hope, I know there are so many people struggling more than me.  As this holiday known for family gatherings and an abundance of food hobbles along through a global pandemic, I can only cringe at the large numbers of my fellow Americans dealing with so-called food insecurity – a polite term for hunger.

There have been an untold number of food drives the past few weeks across the country; where charity outfits have been distributing free food to people.  People who are unemployed or underemployed and on the cusp of homelessness.  While the elite continue to waddle in their gluttony and an incompetent Congress dismisses the suffering the way a serial killer tosses their victims, literally millions of Americans are wondering how they’re going to survive.  This – in the wealthiest and most powerful goddamn country on Earth.

I can beseech those people to understand there IS a tomorrow.  The sun WILL rise.  And, as tough and grueling as it is, they can’t give up on themselves.

Image: Banahas, prickly pear paddles, dandelion salad and white tail deer. Photo by Caleb Condit & Rebecca Norden

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Spread This!

Be careful what you say.  And write.  And post in an advertisement.  In trying to keep Americans’ spirits energized for the upcoming holidays, the Giant Foods grocery chain created this jewel for its food platter offerings – without fact-checking the verbiage.  In the midst of a lethal pandemic the last thing anyone desires is a “super-spreader” event.  I mean, we already have one in the White House.

Giant Foods apologized for the ad and promptly pulled it.  I have to admit all that cheese, shrimp and wine looks delectable!  Just don’t breathe on it!

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Worst Quotes of the Week – November 21, 2020

“There are mail-in ballots.  Some people in some places receive four or five of those, and they used four and five of those.  Let’s say that they got four in the mail and they sent the four in, there’s three of them that are crying out, ‘Wrong! This is wrong. This is not right. This is deception.’  It’s crying out.  There are others through software that votes have changed, you better believe those ballots are crying out, ‘This is a lie. This is not right. This is not right.’  All the way down the line, even to people who have died and gone to Heaven. … Especially if those people were born again, they’re in Heaven right now and they’re crying out.  They’re crying out against the injustice of this. You cannot come against the Lord of the Sabbath, the Lord of angel armies.  Angels have been dispatched; they are out there.  That is why that voice is crying out. It is not just the people. It is the ballot itself.”

George Pearsons, senior pastor at Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, Texas, on the 2020 presidential election

“He is not president-elect until the votes are certified.  So the answer to that is no.  And I don’t know what basis you or anybody else would claim that he’s president-elect before the votes are certified and these contests are resolved.”

– Texas Sen. John Cornyn, on a call with various news organizations

Cornyn also admitted Donald Trump may not have been reelected.

“There are legal claims that are being challenged in court, and everybody on the ballot has certain access rights and remedies, and if they want to push that, they are able. Once those are adjudicated and the process plays out, I will accept the results of the election.”

– Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, refusing to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the state

“It’s Orwellian in a place like Oregon to say if you gather in numbers more than six we might come to your house and arrest you and you get 30 days of jail time.  That’s not the American way.”

Kayleigh McEnany, White House Press Secretary, in response to health care officials’ advice not to have large family gatherings for Thanksgiving

McEnany tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in October.

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Best Quotes of the Week – November 21, 2020

“A president is a public servant. They are temporary occupants of the office, by design.  And when your time is up, then it is your job to put the country first and think beyond your own ego, and your own interests, and your own disappointments.”

Barack Obama, on CBS’ “60 Minutes”

“My whole campaign was about ‘COVID, COVID, COVID,’.  And when I talked to people through their storm doors, they would say they wanted responsible COVID management.”

Dr. Kristin Lyerly, Democratic candidate for a Wisconsin State Assembly seat, on what incited her campaign

“We’re stuck with Dan Patrick and a $1 million bounty for a fraud that never happened.”

Houston Chronicle contributor Cort McMurray, on Texas Lte. Gov. Dan Patrick’s monetary offer to anyone who can prove voter fraud in the elections

“I think the hardest thing to watch is that people are still looking for something else and a magic answer and they do not want to believe COVID is real.  Their last dying words are, ‘This can’t be happening.  It’s not real.’”

Jodi Doering, a South Dakota nurse on how some of her patients prefer to believe they have pneumonia or something other than COVID-19, even if they’re dying and despite seeing their positive test results

“Yes, the Trump administration is a bit like the COVID pandemic. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the worst — the last chapter is just the worst.”

David Brooks, on Trump’s refusal to concede

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A 2020

I know I’m not alone in wishing this year a speedy demise.  It certainly can’t end soon enough.  On January 1, I personally felt I was at the precipice of a new beginning.  I planned to finish and publish my second novel; a minor accomplishment that didn’t materialize last year.  I also hoped to work towards upgrading my house.  My father’s fetish for candles many years ago left soot marks throughout most every room.  I also wanted to plant a couple of trees in the front yard.  All sorts of good things loomed across the horizon!  But, if you want to see the Great Creator’s sense of irony, announce your plans for the future.

At the end of January, my mother suffered a stroke; one bad enough to render her left side almost completely immobile.  I had to admit her to a rehabilitation center and almost felt like I was abandoning her.  She made good progress and started to regain movement on her left side, especially her arm.  Then her Medicare benefits ran out, and the center had to discharge her.  Basically they evicted her because she didn’t have enough money.  So she returned home and went on hospice care.  She passed away in June.

By then, however, the COVID-19 pandemic had hit, and the economy starting tanking.  As my mother’s health deteriorated here at the house, I also fell ill and thought I’d contracted the C plague.  Nasty visions of me lying in bed gasping for air, while my mother wilted in her own bed and hospice nurses tried getting into the house, burdened my days and nights.  One morning local firefighters ambushed my front door with loud bangs.  They’d been told a COVID victim might be trapped inside.  A man stood on the porch with a heavy tool designed to breach everything from storm doors to bad attitudes.

After my mother died, I learned she had no beneficiary payouts from her two pension funds.  Like so many Americans, I was unemployed and exhausting what funds I’d garnered from previous work.  I couldn’t qualify for unemployment insurance, and no stimulus money was headed my way.  I had to borrow money to pay basic utilities.  Then I did receive money from an insurance policy I didn’t know existed.  That became the brightest spot in my dismal life so far.

I’ve stabilized myself now, even as I remain jobless with minimal prospects.  More importantly, I know I’m not alone in my feelings of despair and loneliness.

The U.S. is still mired in the depths of the most cantankerous presidential election in decades.  The pandemic shows no signs of abating.  And the economy remains brittle.  Adding to the agony is that the Atlantic / Caribbean hurricane season just won’t quit.  Even though it’s technically scheduled to cease on November 30, tell that to nature.  Some fools tried that with the pandemic – ordering it to end by X date – and the scourge replied with a middle finger.

Such is 2020.  Everything that could go wrong this year has gone wrong.  We’ve reached the point, nevertheless, that any kind of mishap is answered with, ‘It’s 2020.’

The number 2020 is supposed to signify perfect vision.  And, at this moment, we’ve seen how perfectly screwed up things can get.  Thus, in the future, perhaps for generations to come, any crisis will be dubbed ‘A 2020’.

Had a bad day at work or school?  Just tell people it was a 2020.

A rough trip through the airport?  A 2020 escapade.

Burned food in the oven?  You made a 2020.

How was it with your in-laws over?  It was so 2020.

You get the message.  Now, on to New Year’s!

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Worst Quotes of the Week – November 14, 2020

“Whistleblowers and tipsters should turn over their evidence to local law enforcement. Anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and final conviction of voter fraud will be paid a minimum of $25,000.”

– Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, offering $1 million from his own campaign to anyone anywhere in the U.S. who can prove voter fraud

Jim Clancy, former chairman of the Texas Ethics Commission, said handing out large sums of reward money may be improper if it’s being used to help prove Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman had this response:

“Let me tell you something.  Every Christian, every pastor out there that voted for Joe Biden last night, you have brought a curse upon yourself and your family, your children, and your children’s children down to the third and fourth generation, and you need to repent.  You cannot call yourself a Christian and call yourself a [Democrat] and vote for Biden.  You are implementing the dark agenda.  Satan’s agenda. The kingdom of darkness. You are not supporting the kingdom of God. And if you cannot see that, if you do not repent, judgment will fall upon you, I believe, and your family and your children’s children down the third and fourth generation.”

Mark Taylor, QAnon conspiracy theorist and self-described “firefighter prophet”, on Christians who voted for Joe Biden

“We have 11 million people in our country who have already had COVID.  We should tell them to celebrate.  We should tell them to throw away their masks, go to restaurants, live again because these people are now immune.  But Dr. Fauci doesn’t want to admit to any of that.  Dr. Fauci’s like, ‘Oh, woe is me.’ Until the election occurs, and now, maybe he’ll be changing his attitude.”

Sen. Rand Paul, encouraging Americans to get rid of their face masks

“You can’t say that marriage is a union between one man and one woman.  Until very recently, that’s what the vast majority of Americans thought. Now it’s considered bigotry.  That this would happen after our decision in Obergefell should not have come as a surprise.  Yes, the opinion of the court included words meant to calm the fears of those who cling to traditional views of marriage. But I could see, and so did the other justices in dissent, where the decision would lead.”

– Associate U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, about the landmark same-sex marriage case, in a speech to the Federalist Society

Alito noted that such cases are tantamount to the oppression of religious liberties.

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Tweet of the Week – October 31, 2020

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Worst Quotes of the Week – October 31, 2020

“We are not going to control the pandemic. We are going to control the fact that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas.”

Mark Meadows, White House Chief of staff, on CNN

“One thing we’ve seen in a lot of the Black community, which is mostly Democrat, is that President Trump’s policies are the policies that can help people break out of the problems that they’re complaining about.  But he can’t want them to be successful more than they want to be successful.”

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, on “Fox & Friends”

“We’ll have to see if it’s a problem, right?  People are entitled to say maybe it was a problem, maybe it wasn’t.”

Donald Trump, on an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer by right-wing extremists

“Because women, suburban or otherwise, they want security.  They want security.  They want safety.  They want law and order.  They have to have law and order, and we’re gonna do great.  And I love women, and I can’t help it.  They’re the greatest.  I love them much more than the men.  Much more than the men.  So I’m saving suburbia.  I’m getting your kids back to school, get your kids back to school.  And you know what else?  I’m also getting your husbands — they wanna get back to work, right?  They wanna get back to work.  We’re getting your husbands back to work, and everybody wants it.”

Donald Trump, at a rally in Michigan

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Best Quote of the Week – October 31, 2020

“Throughout this pandemic, physicians, nurses, and frontline health care workers have risked their health, their safety and their lives to treat their patients and defeat a deadly virus.  They did it because duty called and because of the sacred oath they took.  Physicians and patients are all making remarkable sacrifices and we continue urging all to wear a mask, physical distance and wash your hands to reduce suffering, illness and death.”

Dr. Susan R. Bailey, President – American Medical Association, responding to President Donald Trump’s claim that doctors exaggerate the number COVID-19 patients for the sake of profit

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Stupidest Quotes of the Week – October 24, 2020

“He’ll listen to the scientists.  If I listened totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression instead – we’re like a rocket ship.  Take a look at the numbers.”

President Donald Trump, at a rally in Carson City, Nevada, on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s pending response to the COVID-19 pandemic

“Who do these people think they are? Debate commission will mute the mics? Can you imagine if they’d-a told Abraham Lincoln we’re gonna mute the microphone if you don’t shut up, sir?

“Abe Lincoln would say, why do you think people are gonna be there? To watch you hit the mute button? Who do these people think they are?

“You know, if I didn’t know better, I would swear that the debate commission is trying to get Trump to pull out of this. I think they’re goading Trump. I think they’re trying to provoke him into pulling out of this thing by announcing they’re going to mute microphones.

“Look, I understand when these people — and these are tiny people compared to Donald Trump, folks. Whoever’s on this debate commission, they are tiny people. Now, they think that they are the country’s elite — and, hell, they may be.

“I mean, given the definition of elite and who these people that think they run the country are. But they are tiny people compared to the giant that is Donald Trump.

“Donald Trump is a giant of achievement, a giant of personality, a giant of appetite, a giant of energy. There isn’t a single person in American politics that can hold a candle to Donald Trump.

“There’s not a person that can keep up with him energy-wise. There isn’t a person with his drive. There isn’t anybody close to his ambition at his age.

That’s who they are. So they come along and they threaten to mute his microphone. I don’t think these people want Biden taking a risk of looking like a deer in the headlights when confronted with his treason.

“The treason that involves these deals between his son Hunter and Hunter’s buddies and Biden’s family members that resulted in the massive enrichment of the Biden family.

“Donald Trump, however he has earned his money, he has not done it via corruption of the United States government. Donald Trump has not enriched himself by sticking his hand into the U.S. Treasury like all of these other government players do.”

Rush Limbaugh, on his radio show, criticizing microphone muting rules for the October 22 presidential debate

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