Coronavirus Update March 13, 2020 – I Declare

Mar 13, 2020 by

If one were to give a title name to today, “I Declare Day,” seems like it would be the most fitting in coronavirus, COVID-19 American history. The reason that’s so fitting is because from President Trump down to several of the nation’s governors, to county commissioners, to mayors, school superintendents and anything lower, if they could declare something, many of them did.

The president declared a national emergency, thus freeing up federal dollars for multiple agencies and purposes for more rapid responses to needs around the country.

Governors made announcements about actions they were taking to increase testing sites and free up bed space in their states.

At 11 a.m. in Dallas County, Texas, an order from the county commission went into effect prohibiting the gathering inside or out of groups of more than 500 people. A “strong discouragement” also came with that for groups as large as 250 people. And another discouragement was issued for those who are older than 60 years of age and those with underlying health issues.

The mayor of Los Angeles announced closings of the LA Unified School District. And on the declarations went.

The worldwide total cases, based on the Johns Hopkins site rose to 137,456, a gain of 9,113 in 24 hours. The total number of deaths worldwide also rose to 5,074, an increase of 354 deaths since the Thursday numbers.

And the number of recoveries reach 69,643 worldwide, an increase of 1,319.

Most notably, Thursday the increase in cases in China rose 11. For Friday’s county the number increased by 13 to 80,945.

Italy, however, remained the world hotspot with 15,113 cases and an increase of 2,651 overnight. Their country’s deaths rose to 1,016, with a change of 189 new deaths during the last 24 hours. Italy had 0 new recoveries. They have 13,052 active cases, an increase in 2,462 overnight.

If measuring by number of deaths, Iran was the next country to consider, now totaling 514 total, with 85 new deaths since Thursday. Their caseload of 11,364 increased by 1,209, which was some 500 fewer than Spain’s.

South Korea’s numbers included a 110-person caseload increase to 7,979. The death total in the country stayed at 66 from the day before. Recoveries increased to 510, up 177 cases, and there are 7,403 active cases right now.

In the United States, the total cases rose to 1,701, an increase of 38. The death toll rose to 47, up by 1.

The check of the Russian’s status shows a total of 34 cases. Last Friday they had four. Their totals increased by 6 overnight. They still have 0 deaths. They have 3 recoveries, that didn’t change over night, and active cases are 31. Like pointed out, last Friday the numbers were 4 cases, 0 dead, 2 recoveries, and 2 active cases.

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Coronavirus Update for March 12, 2020 – Mass Closures Begin

Mar 12, 2020 by

Apologies for posting today’s coronavirus update so late. Today has been consumed by discussions and announcements and updates about a virus that here in Texas has infected 22 people in a state of 28 million people. Last night President Trump addressed the nation and announced a travel ban from European countries to the United States. The NBA stopped games in serval venues last night and postponed the season indefinitely. MLB has moved the beginning of the season back two weeks. The NCAA yesterday, in consultations with the NCAA came to the conclusion to hold the annual mens and women’s tournaments without fans. Today, they cancelled the 2020 tournament completely. That’s right. March Madness has turned into March Sadness.

As for facts and figures without hyperbole, according to the Johns Hopkins map in comparison to today’s numbers v. yesterday’s, there are now 128,343 cases worldwide–that’s 16,980 more than yesterday. The actual number of countries the disease is in has varied by time of day within the past 48 hours. On March 10, the number was at 115. March 12, the number had grown to 118, and today it is down to 116.

The number of dead from the pandemic rose to 4,270 worldwide, up 828 from yesterday. The recovery numbers worldwide increased to 68,324, with 5,932 new recoveries since yesterday.

Overnight in China, there were only 11 new cases recorded since yesterday, bringing the number to 80,932.

Italy continues to be the most active nation on the planet with 12,462 cases, up 2,313 new cases from yesterday, and 827 who have now died. An additional 191 people died there in the last 24 hours. The newly recovered reach 1,045, up 321 from the day before, and 10,590 now have active cases of the disease, up 1,794 cases from yesterday.

In the United States, the number of cases rose to 1,663, an increase of 613 cases. The number of fatalities rose to 46, an increase of 11 from yesterday.

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Coronavirus Update March 11, 2020 -Pandemic Declared

Mar 11, 2020 by

BREAKING: The World Health Organization Wednesday declared the spread of the coronavirus a global pandemic.

Update: As of 1:13 p.m. central today, the count of cases in Italy rose from 1,049 to 12,462–a change of 137 people. Along with that came the deaths of 196 people recorded above this morning, making the death total in Italy up to 827 people. The United States death toll now is at 37, up from 35 this morning and 31 yesterday. The number of cases in the US has reached 1,110, from 1,050 this morning (Wednesday) and 761 Tuesday and 566 Monday. A point to note, The White House and the Center for Disease Control in America have emphasized that more test kits are being put out into the field.

The coronavirus update for March 11, 2020 is based on the website maintained by Johns Hopkins. This post is an examination of those numbers and a comparison of the numbers from the day before.

Worldwide there are 5,445 additional cases reported, bringing the total to 121,564. The number of deaths from yesterday changed by 286, with the total today being 4,373 and yesterday at 4,087.

All in all, the number of new classes reported in Italy changed by 977; Iran by 958; South Korea by 242; Spain by 552; France by 372; Germany by 348; and the United States by 289.

The death rates are less drastic. Italy had an additional 168 deaths; Iran 63; South Korea 0; Spain 14; France 3; Germany 1; and the US 4.

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Coronavirus Update March 10, 2020

Mar 10, 2020 by

Because of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy, the country has imposed a nation-wide quarantine with very limited permissions for travel within the country. Indeed, just as recently as Friday (this is Tuesday) there only were 3,858 cases and 148 had perished. The country was well-behind South Korea and Iran with 4,747 and 3,858 cases respectively. Today, March 10, Italy has surpassed Iran and South Korea in cases, deaths, and active cases. Iran remains ahead of the three in recoveries with 2,731, provided Iran is releasing accurate numbers.

Nevertheless, the new totals as of this morning, per the Johns Hopkins website, world-wide we have reached a total of 116,119 cases of coronavirus. The death county world-wide is at 4,087, and the recovery statistic is said to be 64,385.

Since yesterday, there have been an increase of 4,756 new cases, 195 new deaths, and 1,993 recoveries.

In the United States, there were an additional 195 cases reported in the last 24 hours and 5 new deaths reported and attributed to COVID-19. Overall in America, that brings the number of cases to 761 out of 327 million people, and 31 deaths. That is not noted to diminish the significance of the deaths, for every life is sacred, but to help put the situation in some perspective as well.

A personal anecdote, the Walmarts in the Mesquite and Balch Springs areas of Texas are running quite low or out of stock of anti-bacterial wipes in value packs, having tried to order them from two different stores in the past two days. The Mesquite store seemed to have the Clorox wipes for around $12.87 or so. Not sure how long supplies will last.

I saw a comment on this morning with one person asking, “Why is there a run on toilet paper, I thought this was a respiratory thing?”

There has no doubt been a considerable amount of hype given to this matter. Now whether it is overblown or merited remains to be seen or a matter of interpretation. What do you think?

I will admit I have done some prepping of my own. Water, canned foods. I’ve stopped shopping in grocery stores and instead either having it delivered or going to Walmart’s pick-up. But I have not ordered me a surgical mask, which would not help me even if an infected person was around, nor have I ordered an N-95 mask.

What has been shameful is the number of advertisers who have jumped on Instagram and advertised masks that are not rated N-95. They’re selling masks that even were a person around a sick person or to have the disease, would not prevent them from spreading their germs because their masks do not measure up to standards.

And then there are the vendors on Amazon who only three or four weeks ago were selling a box of N-95 masks, or simply one even, for as little as $85.99. The prices have gone higher, or they’re simply out of stock now. So I believe some attorneys general should look into some price gouging that’s gone on over the sale of masks. First false advertising, second, price gouging.

The essential point about masks is that even the Surgeon General of the United States has said, “Stop buying them.” Unless you have COVID-19 you don’t need one, and if you don’t have it and you’re wearing one, it’s not going to prevent you from getting sick. If the coronavirus germs are in the air, they’ll get in your hair, on your hands, face, etc, and by touching your face, eyes, nose, mouth, you’ll ingest them and stand a good chance that way of getting infected. So, don’t buy a mask.

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Coronavirus Update March 9, 2020

Mar 9, 2020 by

Today I begin what I hope will become a regular series of Coronavirus updates based a much as possible on fact, with observations of whether or not the mainstream media in America and politicians are using the spread of COVID-19 as a politicized weapon.

The source I use daily to track information about coronavirus is from the Johns Hopkins website. They supposedly are getting their information from the WHOCDCECDCNHC and DXY. Since March 6, 2020, I have been writing down daily totals published on the chart published by Johns Hopkins, and then running comparisons.

Here are facts according to the information available:

Since March 6, 2020–the first day the world count of known cases topping 100,000 worldwide–the number of cases has increased from 100,330 to 111,363. An increase of 11,033 cases in four days.

On the sixth, there had only been 3,411 deaths worldwide. Today the number is 3,892–an increase of 481.

The recovery numbers were 55,753 worldwide, and 62,392 today; a total change of 6,639.

Yesterday, Sunday, March 8, the virus was only to be known in 107 countries. Over night that expanded to 109.

In the United States as of today we have 566 known cases; a difference of 333 since Friday. I’ve included the death count on the “Diamond Princess” cruise ship in my US numbers since instead of listing a total sum of the US deaths as Johns Hopkins has done with every other country on that map except China. On Friday the United States had a total of 14 deaths. Today that number is up to 26.

Since yesterday in the United States, 100 more people have been identified as having the disease, (566 Monday as opposed to 466 Sunday). It appears there was one death in America since yesterday.

On Friday, Iran was ahead of Italy in the number of infected cases (Iran 4,747; Italy 3,858) by 889 cases. March 9 marks the first day that Italy has switched places with Iran by 241 cases. (Italy 7,375; Iran 7,161).

Since yesterday, France also has jumped ahead of Germany by 58 cases (France 1,209; Germany 1,151).

On Friday it was inescapable to notice that Russia only was registering 4 confirmed cases, 2 recovered, 2 active and 0 dead. Especially with their close proximity to China, where the numbers are astronomical compared to anywhere else in the world. As of today, the situation has changed. Russia is now reporting 17 confirmed incidents, 3 recoveries, 14 active cases, and still 0 deaths.

Is this a crisis, epidemic, pandemic, or being overhyped?

My answer to that question right now is, I do not know. The president and vice president say the situation is being handled, that there is a low risk of getting it, etc. The CDC last week or the week before went Chicken Little and were saying 70 percent of all Americans will have it within the next year.

The president has said it will die out once the summer heat comes. This has drawn nothing but scoffs from much of the media who are hoping for this to be something out of a dystopian movie. On their own, CNN has even gone ahead on their own and started calling the matter a pandemic, when the learned disease control experts around the world have not, and said it is not.

The US Stock Market has lost 5,000 points in the past week because of the panic that has been created in the media. Are they right to generate panic in their reporting?

If you look at the attached chart from the Johns Hopkins model, you can see that the last few days mark a period where the number of identified cases has grown larger than the number of recoveries. What the chart does not say is if this is attributable to the influx of text kits that are being delivered across the US and to other countries as well.

So this is the latest. Elderly people with underlying conditions such as heart problems, obesity, diabetes, and respiratory issues they say are at the greatest risk. CDC officials are saying those are the ones who already should be limiting their exposure to groups, not traveling far from home, and washing their hands like crazy.

How bad is this going to get? I really wish I knew.

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Current NYT Bestseller Hardcover Fiction List Worth Reading

Feb 26, 2020 by

Throughout 2016-17, I would congratulate Amor Towles via Twitter and even an occasional email on the success of his book, A Gentleman in Moscow, for it’s 60 weeks or so on the New York Times Hardcover Fiction Bestseller List. At that time, no one on the list was close to him. Most of the regular once a month books from the likes of James Paterson, John Grisham, Steven King, Clive Custer, and Tom Clancy writing from the grave, et al would pop up, get their three weeks of fame and then by on the $5 dollar rack at Barnes and Noble a month or two later.

But now in early 2020, there is something special going on. For one thing, Delia Owens’s Where the Crawdads Sing now has been on the list for 76 weeks, and a good many of them in the number one slot. I read this book last summer and there is still imagery that pops into my mind when I think about the scenes she created in the book. I can still feel what it might have been like walking up to the tower down by the ocean. Hear the rotted steps off the front porch. Imagine what it might have been like in her boat in the bayou. Going to her hideaway shack. The book deserves the notoriety it is receiving.

Yet that is not all. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides is a book, as of today I’m only six chapters into, but holy smokes, this has my attention. A woman has been charged with murdering her tied up husband by shooting him in the face multiple times in their London or Surrey home. (Writers have long had so many characters live in Surrey its almost funny.) After the woman allegedly did the deed, she has stopped speaking. The narrator is finally about to get her in a mental home. He got a job there just so he could be able to work with her to see what makes her tick. This is as far as I’ve gotten, but I’m intrigued. From the looks of it, the woman is not the murder…. The book, at present sits at 37 weeks on the NYT list.

The present number five book on the list is Ann Pachett’s The Dutch House. For 21 weeks, the book has done like most all Packet books, and been on the list. I am an fan of Ann’s work, there is no doubt. Commonwealth and Bel Canto are wonderful reads as well. The Dutch House includes and older sister character named Maeve. One can’t help but fall for this girl and her grit. I truly enjoyed the book, and by the way, the girl in the red coat on the cover, is a depiction of her.

But I also noticed Stephen King has a book that’s been on the list 22 weeks–The Institute. I read his 2018 tome The Outsider, which also made the list. I don’t know about this one. The tagline on this one is too much for me.

Jojo Moyes is next with 19 weeks on this list. That book, The Giver of Stars, if it gets to 25 weeks, that’s typically when I will finally buy. If you’ve had the chance to read this book, leave comments below about why others should, too.

And then John Grisham has a book that’s lasted 18 weeks, The Guardians. I’m not much for legal and lawyer whodunnits. Leave comments below if you’ve read this book and what you liked about it.

Congrats to these authors for doing something that’s very hard to do. First they made the list. Second of all, they made the list and have stuck around longer than the normal few weeks of marketing push for a book, and are still living, breathing, and selling copies like crazy.

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First Love by Ivan Turgenev

Oct 24, 2019 by

First Love by Ivan Turgenev. I enjoyed this book. First Love is my 10th Russian/behind the Iron Curtain novel to read since December, beginning with War and Peace.

A great final quote from First Love is this one, a summary about living, and an expansion on the American phrase, “Youth is wasted on the wrong kind.”

Oh youth! youth! you go your way heedless, uncaring – as if you owned all the treasures of the world; even grief elates you., even sorrow wits well upon your brow. …Perhaps the whole secret of your enchantment lies not, indeed, in your power to do whatever you may will, but in your power to do think that their is nothing you will not do; it is this that you scatter to the winds – gifts which you could never have used to any other purpose. Each of us feels most deeply convinced that he has been too prodigal of his gifts – that he has a right to cry “Oh, what could I not have done, if only I had not wasted my time.”

This is not a very long book. It may be read in one day, but you’ll not want to speed through its pages. There’s too much there you’ll want to think about and absorb.

This is not my first Turgenev book, I read Fathers and Sons not too long ago. This one, however, was recommended to me strongly by a young former Russian ballerina whom I met while sitting at the bar for dinner at the Eighth Avenue Tick Tock restaurant in New York City, Sept. 23, 2019.


Anastasia, the former Russian ballerina who insisted I read Turgenev’s novel First Love, a beautiful story about life in mid nineteenth century Russia.

Anastasia, who could speak very little English, was impressed with how many Russian novels I’ve read in the past 10 months. Ten of them now, one for each month. When she saw my reading list she was highly impressed but quickly typed out in Google translate that First Love is simply a beautiful book that I must read. I ordered it from Amazon between translations in our conversation.

Anastasia was so right, I hope you enjoy it, too,

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