I avoid, at all costs, perseverating about the coronavirus. But, receiving and dispensing accurate trustworthy information is my one indulgence. The New Yorker came to my rescue with an article that begins in the following fashion.
“Doctors around the world—including in the emergency department where we work, at Mount Sinai Hospital, in Manhattan—have learned the hard way that the coronavirus doesn’t confine its ravages to the lungs. COVID-19 can push kidneys into failure, send the body’s immune system into catastrophic overdrive, and cause blood clots that impede circulation to the lungs, heart, or brain. It’s a disease of remarkable complexity, which even the most experienced doctors are struggling to understand.”
But, before discussing the article (with a link will be provided.) One word definition, The word is perseverate and it is one of my favorite words, one that I use conversationally with wild abandon, the word is persevere. The meaning: repeat or prolong an action, thought, or utterance after the stimulus that prompted it has ceased. As readers will note, it was correctly used in the first sentence of this blog. But there is new stimulus for thinking about and uttering about the virus,, a timely article by The New Yorker. The linkL https://www.newyorker.com/science/medical-dispatch/what-we-dont-know-about-covid-19?utm_source=onsite-share&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=onsite-share&utm_brand=the-new-yorker
It is a very technical article which actually answers few questions and could leave one in a state of panic. It concludes in the following manner: And yet, as the historian of science Lorraine Daston writes in a recent essay, it’s natural to cast about for answers at the dawn of a pandemic. “At moments of extreme scientific uncertainty,” Daston writes, “observation, usually treated as the poor relation of experiment and statistics in science, comes into its own.” Confronting a new disease, doctors have no choice but to turn to “suggestive single cases, striking anomalies, partial patterns.” Slowly, as our ideas about “what works and what doesn’t” help tell us “what to test, what to count,” the picture clarifies. Until then, “we are back in the seventeenth century, the age of ground-zero empiricism, and observing as if our lives depended on it.” One patient at a time, we have to work our way into the present.
Daston’s article contains interesting statistics. Yet, beyond that tepid reassurance, there’s not much consensus as to just how deadly the virus is; observed case-fatality rates in places where the disease has spread so far range from 12.7 percent (30.25 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, this latter a better gauge when testing is still spotty) in Italy to 2.2 percent (3.14) in Germany, although the two countries have comparable (and comparably good) health systems. For the US, the current observed rate is 3.6 percent (5.04); in China, 4 percent (0.24). (All figures from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.) There is always variability in how the same bug affects different individuals: age, sex, income, medical care, genetic dispositions, nutrition, and many other factors all play a role. But within large samples of hundreds of thousands of patients, stable averages ought to emerge and converge, at least in roughly similar populations.
So what did I do with all of this information? I took the bull by the horns – an interesting phrase that one. What does take the bull by its horns mean?To take the bull b the horn is to deal with a difficult situation in a very direct way. Used in a sentence I took the bull by the horns and confronted him about his mistreatment of the workers. The exact origin of the phrases take the bull by the horns and grab the bull by the horns is unknown. Many ascribe these idioms to bullfighting. Others believe they originated in the American Old West, where cowboys wrestled with cows and steers.
The difficult situation I am dealing with is my left knee replacement surgery scheduled for May 15,2020. Personal Drivers wife, through him, expressed concern for me and the scheduled surgery. Is that not precious? It is. I listened, and besides, Wise Man had similar advice. There is no way that I want to be in a hospital during these times and then home in a weakened condition. So I called my doctor’s office, has a great conversation with Andrea, the surgical scheduler. At her suggestion we put it off until November. We spoke of many things and I thanked her and her colleagues for working during these times. To cheer I told her of my only joke, I do not have a large repertoire. It means: collection, stock, range, repertory, reserve, store, repository, supply. Here goes:
A young Chinese couple are making love for the first time.
He: Tell me what you would like. Tell me what you like me to do.
She: (Shyly) 69
He: Broccoli and stored fried beef?
Andrea laughed and said she would spread the joke around the office. To spread cheer that is my self appointed task and, so needed in these days. I do get help from others, sent an email to CPI
Me: Hi!I awoke to learn find from a Hair Salon email, of all places ,that the damn quarantine has been extended another month. So I guess I will take a sleeping pill and go back to sleep. Life most complicated to say the very least. Well not actually – it is rather simple come to think of it. I am adjusting quite well – I seal myself off from all of the gloom and doom news. I think I shall pretend to be a maiden imprisoned in a tower during. medieval times.
She: Like Rapunzel?
Me: How perfectly funny! It is going in the blog.
The photograph that will accompany this blog is a memory of the Uncle Dave book. Through diligent and arduous research I found the gravesite of my great grandfather Robert Baxter. The Dryburghs of the family were not buried in Scotland because they had gone to Canada, and died there. His was the only grave I found. It was profound and I shall tell that story in a later blog. He died at the age of 24 or 27 from tuberculosis – it was an occupational disease brought about by the working conditions of linen factories, where he was employed. The greed of those factory owners is appaling. But at the time, as I recall, I was either in a friendship with a multibillionaire or about to be in a friendship with a multibillionaire. I am convinced that the working conditions of those around him do not cost them tuberculous, But greed is greed is greed.
I wanted to by a home there – in West Wyemss that rhymes with dreams, but could not, because of Brexit and my immigration status. Perhaps I may someday as things are changing. One just has to live through it all.