Random Thoughts

I’m in one of those writing phases. I think we all can relate … there is a lot locked in the mind but you can’t just get the words through the fingers. They are random thoughts — one liners, fragments just waiting to be expanded upon.

So today, instead of sharing a story about life and love — the Thursday anchor — I am going to just fire off those observations. Feel free to add yours.

I don’t have a Firecube or other voice-activate devices {except for my phone which I rarely use}. It is a convenience. If I want the lights turned on, I just say “Alexa, turn on lights” and voila, on they come. Except, you do have to be a little more specific, like “living room lights.” I learned that the hard way. After my first attempt, all the lights in the house associated with the command turned on. But I always feel a little guilty. I often say “Thank you” after the task is completed. Alexa apparently doesn’t like the compliment. She also won’t respond if you call her Siri.

Lately, I’ve found the intensity of my dreams increasing. For the past few years, most of my dream world had me as a visitor. Lately I have been involved in the intrigue and action. I’m getting in my exercise. Last night, for example, I was chasing a cat down a back alley that went on seemingly forever. The other night was climbing over a fence like I often did as a pre- and early teen to get onto the vacant lot for a ball game. In recent weeks, I’ve had conversations and interactions with friends  and relatives — some still very much here and others who have crossed over. The dreams have been vivid but fractured … nothing I could weave together into a story line.

I have also found myself social media surfing more. It’s like I need that Facebook/Twitter fix to keep me going. It leads to more Googling than normal.

The Kentucky stay-at-home orders have a plus side. I went to the post office Tuesday and still have just under a half tank of $1.35 per gallon gas I purchased almost a month ago — and that’s after a couple of trips around the Kentucky countryside. While encouraging stay-at-home, Kentucky isn’t restricting intrastate travel as long as people of social distancing. Interstate travel is more restrictive and could land you in a 14 day quarantine. The state has been enforcing that at border crossings from Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio with rolling roadblocks. I understand Maine is as well, as are other states.

Other than for exercise (?) or finding interesting photo ops, my travel has generally been limited to picking up food, going to the grocery store or visiting the post office. I’ve been surprised by the compliance of mask wearing {a recommendation, not an order here in Kentucky — yet}. It’s pretty much split — half do, half don’t. The surprising part, however, is it is generally true older shoppers go mask-less while younger folk cover their faces. I haven’t decided if the older folk are just plain stubborn or the younger ones drank the Kool-Aid. In total transparency, I did not have a mask on at the grocery store or post office.

Speaking of masks, I do understand the rationale of the “new normal”.  Kentucky is toying with making them mandatory as restrictions start to ease Monday (May 11). I am in the vulnerable age group with underlying medical conditions. I would hate to be coughed, sneezed or breathed on, nor would I want to cough, sneeze or breathe on someone else if I’m a carrier. However, that was true under the “old normal” as well. Just use some common sense, people. I did wear a mask once during this crisis, and actually found it affecting my breathing even though I do not have any underlying respiratory issues.

According to the latest statistics, about 16% of those tested nationwide tested positive — somewhat skewed because of New York which has the dubious distinction of just over 31% positives. I haven’t been able to determine the actual hospitalization rate, although I suspect it to be just over 10% of the symptomatic positives. The morbidity rate is alarming, about 5.5% nationwide, somewhat skewed by New York/New Jersey numbers which is about 6.27%. These numbers, as best as I can discern, include death certificates that list cause of death as pneumonia, influenza or COVID-19. But remember, that’s 5.5% of the 16%. Most people — estimated around 98% — recover.

One death is too many, but most had underlying conditions  like hypertension, obesity, metabolic and cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Less than 10% had no underlying conditions.

Let’s contrast those numbers and take the virus out of the equation. There are 52,420,000 seniors in the United States. Each year, three million seniors are treated for fall injuries (5.7%) and 800,000 are hospitalized (1.5%), 300,000 with hip fractures (0.6%). Although the elderly comprise about 12% of the population, about a third require hospitalization, Over one in four are related to the treatment of circulatory disorders. Respiratory disorders result in nearly 15% of all hospital stays in this group. Congestive heart failure is the single most common condition requiring hospitalization, with pneumonia the second most common reason. Coronary issues and strokes cause cumulative around 2,000,000 of the six million plus senior hospitalizations each year.

See what I mean about Googling?

The point is I am well aware of the dangers lurking around. But I  refuse to be shackled by worry. I mean I might prevent getting sick by staying home, but I could also fall or have a sudden heart attack or stroke right here on the couch. And I would have missed the rainbows and flowers sprouting and geese and the world changing from brown to green. Call me stubborn, but the only way to get through life is to live, not shelter-in-place. I intend on soaking in as much of this world as I can. I am not going to waste that time worrying about my next step and the perils it might present. After all, I may not know the path or route, but I do know the destination.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails. — John Maxwell



About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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