Omicron Ba.4 and Ba.5

Since December 2019 I have been hyper-vigilant in following every single viral protocol and government mandate regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its nonstop variants and subvariants. I’ve been glad to do so not just for my own health and safety, but also as a team-player in the ongoing war of national public health and safety for all Americans. Having played team sports all my life, I completely understand why it must be done; been doing it for over two years. I promote the basic ideals of being a TEAM player in this war against an invisible enemy.

For me it was a no brainer, right? January 21, 2020 that (invisible) enemy known as COVID-19 from Wuhan, China, was quickly spreading. There was no doubt whatsoever it was going to hit our U.S. ports of entry. Like a scourge never before seen in human history it was going to hit our shores, invade the lungs and bodies of millions upon millions of Americans and kill them—1,064,207 dead and counting. And as predicted, that’s exactly what happened. It still continues killing today and for the foreseeable future.

On August 8th, 2022, over two years later in my fight against COVID, I lost my undefeated battle-record following a trip to Dallas, TX for my best friend’s Celebration of Life ceremonial funeral. With triple-digit temperatures in DFW and across most of the state of Texas during the entire month of July and into August, everybody was staying inside with A/C for any event or gathering between 10am and 10pm. This included my good friend’s ceremony. No one, not a single person there was wearing any mask or social-distancing despite the COVID Omicron subvariants Ba.4 and Ba.5 spreading like wildfire throughout the entire state.

This general apathy was true again Sunday night, August 7th, at one of my all-time favorite Goth Industrial Steampunk EBM dance clubs, The Church. No masks anywhere, no social-distancing in the least. By Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 9th–10th, I had every single Omicron Ba.4 or 5 symptom listed and I tested positive Wednesday morning. I was deathly ill by then. That night I had hallucinations in my terribly uncomfortable, broken sleep. By that point in time I had already exposed my Mom and sister to the virus over 2 1⁄2 days.

Three days later while I was in my 7-10 day isolation, Mom tested positive. Only by the slimmest, luckiest margins my sister never tested positive the four days she was with us indoors helping with meals and basic daily tasks. Remarkable actually.

This past Tuesday, the 16th, I finally tested negative and came out of my quarantine. I really had no choice because the last four days my sister could no longer come inside with us. The house was a mess, especially the kitchen due to Mom’s fatigue and severe dementia. I had to hit the ground running. Many daily tasks and chores had gone undone for over a week. Mom ends her quarantine this Saturday, Aug. 20th, if she tests negative tomorrow.

Unfortunately, I still have a runny nose presently, mucus-phlegm congestion in my throat and chest, persistent coughing, along with fatigue after extended periods of physical exertion. Our family PPO practitioner has informed me that I cannot get reinfected by the same subvariant I gave to Mom. However, I can indeed get reinfected by any other variants and subvariants of COVID. Each reinfection raises my risks of long-term or permanent health problems with other bodily organs and systems. He also informed me that symptoms can persist for weeks or months after quarantine, possibly (but rarely) for the rest of my life. 😔 I can say this with utter conviction, breathing is more difficult now 3-4 days after testing negative.

I do not wish this virus on anyone. It is terrible and possibly damages your health systems long-term. And myself, Mom, and my sister, we are all fully vaccinated (2 doses) and fully boostered (2 more doses) and absolutely plan to get boostered next month for the Omicron subvariants. I can’t imagine what HELL we would’ve experienced had Mom and I not been maximally protected by those four Pfizer and Moderna shots.

Recently, most all U.S. states have dropped their entire COVID mandates and protocols despite the skyrocketing cases of Omicron infections across the nation. This is a massive mistake! Furthermore, I tried diligently to report my COVID infection as well as my Mom’s, but could not do so. Why? State governments now require that only clinically approved testing sites can report new cases to the county and state agencies, like the CDC. There are likely hundreds or thousands of new cases/infections not being reported because like us, we tested with At Home Antigen Test Kits. These positive results are not accepted by county and state databases. Hence, if your county health center reports for example only 10 new cases in a day or 23 new cases in a week, it is very wise to add maybe 15-20 more cases on top of that… give or take 50 more infected people. 🙄🤦‍♂️ That’s just a random guess on my part given our small populated area/county here in Kerrville. If you reside in a large metropolitan area, it’s wise to add a lot more cases to what public agencies report. Believe me, their numbers are far too low!

This biological war is by no means over, it’s not even in decline. As long as all of us refuse to declare war on COVID by abiding by protocols and mandates, wear masks, social-distance, stay away from large indoor crowds, and test, test, test… this deadly virus will just keep morphing into smarter, stronger new variants and subvariants. That’s simple cytology and biology folks.

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Music To Soothe & Lift Our Spirits

In these present, troubling, and daunting times on Earth, on our various continents, and my own continent of North America and the United States, I often find solace in music; from 18th- and 19th-century classical music to my more modern childhood and teenage years of great music. For the last four days or more I have been compiling many of my own favorites from the 1970’s and many that are mainstream, but not necessarily what I personally would choose as my own. Eh, we must think outside of ourselves at times, right? 😉

Without further ado I present my 170+ classic great songs (more less) from the golden age of 1969-ish to 1979. Hope you enjoy these hours of tunes as much as myself, and my Mom—yes, my Mom introduced me to many of these artists when I was a boy—here or on my YouTube playlist: Great Pop & Rock Hits of the 1970’s

Addendum — Due to YouTube’s/Google’s unknown international playing, viewing, copyright laws, etc., across national-regional borders, some or many songs in my playlist are not visible or playable. To rectify this unintended (on my part) inconvenience, Click here for a complete playlist of all songs & artists. Then should you choose, you may find the track in your country’s YouTube site. Happy listening and dancing!

Live Well – Love Much – Laugh Often – Learn Always

Dementia Update

As some of you know or have noticed over the years, I am unable to post on a consistent regular basis as I once did my first decade on WordPress. My commenting and participation on other blogs I enjoy following, sadly has become very limited as well. If you are fairly new to my blog, visiting, or browsing WP, the reason there are much fewer posts is due to my Mom’s Stage 5 Dementia, which is really now well into early symptoms of Stage 6 with fewer mixes now or crossover with Stage 5.

In my December 2021 post about her cognitive decline I listed and briefly explained all the various stages. As of 2022, it seems the general consensus of all the seven stages are known and what the adult children of parents with dementia, or early onset Alzheimer’s Disease, can expect. Here is Stage 6 according to Dementia.org:

Stage 6: Moderately Severe to Severe Dementia

When the patient begins to forget the names of their children, spouse, or primary caregivers, they are most likely entering stage 6 of dementia and will need full time care. In the sixth stage, patients are generally unaware of their surroundings, cannot recall recent events, and have skewed memories of their personal past. Caregivers and loved ones should watch for:

  • Delusional behavior
  • Obsessive behavior and symptoms
  • Anxiety, aggression, and agitation
  • Loss of willpower

Patients may begin to wander, have difficulty sleeping, and in some cases will experience hallucinations.

Mom shows all of those four bullet-points now, although three of the four on some days and then perhaps two of the four other days. But there is always at least two of four every single day. She definitely needs supervision at minimum 12-16 hours per day with some of that time (1-hr at most) a check-in or Q&A time sporadically with her throughout the day to gauge how she’s getting along.

Friends and neighbors sometimes ask me how I am doing, how I’m managing my own health and social needs. Apparently, Caretakers of elderly parents with dementia or Alzheimer’s are often overwhelmed in a period time if they receive no relief, no break for themselves and don’t become well-informed of the two diseases. Another thing I’ve heard from the support-group I attend once a month is that the role of caretaker is usually a thankless job/role. Since late-stage dementia is basically early Alzheimer’s Disease, Alz.org lists Ten Symptoms of Caregiver Stress. I currently tick 9 out of 10 symptoms. The biggest reason why? I’ve been going non-stop, no break, every single day and night as her full-time, live-in caretaker since mid-August 2021, or over 47-weeks straight with no respite.

Back in late April of this year I was supposed to get a much needed 6-day, 5-night vacation up in Dallas, my hometown where all my good friends still live. We had several plans made and fun, exciting things to do, dancing, umm… and maybe some drinking included! 😉 But here’s what happened that week/weekend that changed everything: In Memoriam to My Brother. Hence, no real vacation for me at all. I spent the vast majority of my time at the hospital sitting with James, followed by waiting (alone) in my hotel room some 4-5 days and nights for decisions and details about his funeral. I had no motivation to go out alone or with friends; I wasn’t great company then anyway.

So yeah, over 47-weeks now and still counting.

Meanwhile, Mom and I march on, day-in and night-out, fighting a cognitive disease that takes a little more brain-space from her than we can actually replace or take back. But we do have our victories here and there. That’s when Mom wants to celebrate big with either glasses of her Pinot Grigio or I make a pitcher of my world famous El Presidente margaritas, which have a good patada de toro to the ass or head, whichever it reaches first. Hah! 🍸🥳 These are our cherished good times and there will come a day when they aren’t possible. And so we enjoy them thoroughly, when we can, and at length for sure. Do you know what I mean? 😍

Live Well – Love Much – Laugh Often – Learn Always

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For American Pro-Gun Pro-Violence Originalists

“The question Whether one generation of men has a right to bind another, seems never to have been started either on this or our side of the water. Yet it is a question of such consequences as not only to merit decision, but place also, among the fundamental principles of every government.” […]

“This principle that the earth belongs to the living, & not to the dead, is of very extensive application & consequences, in every country…”

thomas jefferson — in a letter to james madison, sept. 6, 1789

∼ ∼ ∼ § ∼ ∼ ∼

Thomas Jefferson, as most of you know, was one of the six (6) Core Founding Fathers of our nation in the late 18th century. James Madison was as well and these two great scholars—Jefferson and Madison—contributed enormously to the idea, the drafting, writing, and ratifying of our U.S. Constitution in 1787–1788.

Early Colonial American Flintlock Saddle-ring Carbine – price: $15,000.00

In his letter of September 6, 1789 to Madison who was back in the American colonies, Jefferson was witnessing firsthand the start of the French Revolution. What he saw and interpreted from the French people was not unlike he and his American colleagues, the other five core Founding Fathers, and American colonists had also recently lived: revolution and independence from tyranny.

Now let’s jump to a modern enigma. What or whom is an Originalist? According to the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, PA, Originalism is a theory of the interpretation of legal texts, including the text of the [18th century] Constitution. Originalists believe that the constitutional text ought to be given the original public meaning that it would have had at the time that it became law [in the late 1700’s].

Prussian “Hessian” type Jaeger rifle – price: $15,575.00

As you might infer from his 1789 Madison letter, as well as his 1816 letter to Virginia lawyer Samuel Kercheval, Thomas Jefferson would have undoubtedly and adamantly opposed this view of our nation’s rule of law if he were alive today for comment. Yet, his many letters to friends and colleagues amply demonstrate his position on Originalism vs. Living Constitution. And Jefferson was not the only Founding Father who would most certainly oppose this controversial political theory of Originalism. Edmund Randolph, also an attorney and Constitutional delegate from Virginia, wrote in his draft of a constitution:

To insert essential principles only; lest the operations of government should be clogged by rendering those provisions permanent and unalterable, which ought to be accommodated to times and events.

edmund randolph — july 1787
Brass barrel English Boxlock Flintlock Blunderbuss Officer’s Pistols – price: $10,775.00

There are also historical precedents from our Supreme Court Justices referencing the Eighth Amendment in their 1958 decision on Trop v Dulles and evolving standards of decency. With this historical background in mind, I would like to propose an idea, a compromise for our modern American Pro-gun, Pro-violence advocates and fanatical Constitutional originalists.

French & Indian War Period “Watkin” Brown Bess musket – price: $17,575.00

Let’s suppose for a minute that Originalism is an infallibly correct political, legal interpretation and application of the U.S. Constitution today and its first eleven Amendments up to the Twelfth Amendment of 1804. Let’s also suppose that the Second Amendment, written in 1791, should stand exactly how our legislators of the late 18th century explicitly meant its content between 1787 to 1791 regarding state militias and their arms/weapons of the time. Because those 18th century law-makers couldn’t have known the unspeakable level of carnage and lethality brought on targets in a matter of a few minutes by an armed 20th or 21st century shooter with specialized weapons or armaments, let’s see where this leads. Let us follow to its conclusion, for the sake of fairness or argument, the modern Originalist’s logic.

In keeping staunchly with the spirit of originalism and the original 2nd Amendment, and since it seems they all must have various high-capacity military weapons in their possession for their personal pleasures. So let’s say all modern-day Pro-gunners and Pro-violence advocates in America can choose from these 18th century (only) flintlock rifles and pistols to your heart’s content and their large private arsenals. Here are some of your choices; get your original 18th century firearms now and show-off your (asinine) stubborn commitment to original 1770 — 1799 laws, amendments, and flintlocks and their so-so not so rapid reloading! 😊 Footnote, notice the sale prices on each firearm by antique dealers.

If I were to follow to its end the logic of modern-day Originalists in the U.S., then I can argue my own ‘right to bear arms’ gives me the equal right to own a nuclear weapon or bomb. After all, nuclear weapons are an armament or arms as defined by the 18th century Second Amendment, and just as important, nor are nukes explicitly banned in writing by the Constitutional framers of 1791. Voilà! Me and my good ole boys all get nuclear arms; it’s our God-given Second Amendment rights! Let’s unload our 30- and 60-round AR-15 magazines in the air in wild celebration!

Pffft! I’ll grossly understate: ludicrous logic, right? By the way, as of the 185th day in 2022, the U.S. has had at least 314 mass shootings or massacres and more than 22,750 Americans have died due to gun-violence this year.

Now, back to reality.

How many Pro-gun, Pro-violence, 2nd Amendment defenders, and Constitutional Originalists—and probably Anti-abortion lovers too—like Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh and all other legislative, law-enforcement, and pro-gun American citizens do you think would gladly give up all their 20th and 21st century firearms for original late-18th century firearms that our Founding Fathers and Constitutional framers knew of back then when drafting our Laws of the Land? It really begs the question, Is Originalism even a tenable position today, legally or theoretically? Hah! 🙄

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Intrusive Intruders

Given the events in America over the last two to three weeks with our January 6 Select Committee Hearings—another one today unexpectedly announced late yesterday—the Supreme Court’s extreme radical decisions into every American’s intimate privacy as well as disregard for public safety on so many levels, and finally their decision about public praying on a football field’s 50-yard line on public property at a public school’s campus, i.e. favoring one religion over others, thus violating the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause… I thought Gary Numan’s song and lyrics below, from either side of the arguments, was terribly appropriate for this unprecedented time in U.S. government history. After reading and listening to his song, you might agree:

I could listen to you scream
Pretty music to my ears
I could listen to it all day
If you want me to

I could talk about my world
How you brought about ruin
I could talk about your greed
If you want me to

I could look into evil
See a heart just like mine
I could throw away reason
If you want me to

I could walk into darkness
Find the hole you crawled into
I will be the intruder
If you want me to

You can whisper your Lord’s prayer
And pretend that it matters
But don’t you wish you’d just listened more?
You can hide in the shadows
And pretend I won’t find you
But don’t you wish you’d just listened more?

I could listen to more lies
About promises you kept
Will you walk on water
Like you said you would?

I could make you my prisoner
But you were dead man talking
When you burned the oceans
Like you said you would

You can beg for God’s mercy
And pretend that He hears you
But don’t you wish you’d just listened more?
You can drown in your sorrow
And pretend you were helpless
But don’t you wish you’d just listened more?

This was always your one life
I won’t pretend that it matters
But don’t you wish you’d just listened more?
This was always your one home
I won’t pretend that I’ll miss you
But don’t you wish you’d just listened more?

Share your thoughts and opinions below if you’d like, about Numan’s song or whatever else. I certainly have many of my own, but will reserve them, for now, unless otherwise required. Such dark days in this country now and ahead for the foreseeable future. Why are Originalists forcing us back to the 17th and 18th-centuries!? 🤦‍♂️

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