May 22-25, 2020

Happy remembrance of Memorial Day Weekend everybody on this 4th of July, 2020! Simply check the infection rates and hospitalization rates for coronavirus to see what took place then and as a result is happening now.

As all the fireworks go off Friday night, July 3rd and Saturday night July 4th, let’s remember not just war veterans who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this country, but also every single one of those ordinary citizens who, over the past Memorial Day weekend defiantly ignored warnings of the seriousness and lethality of the COVID-19 pandemic since February 2020. They either lie in a hospital bed now, maybe in ICU barely clinging to life, or are already deceased from the deadly virus and are now six-feet under.

FOX4 News reported yesterday: Dallas County reports more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases, setting single-day record.

dfw-county-map

This is just one county out of five major populated counties encompassing the DFW Metroplex. Dallas County has bounced back and forth with Harris County (Houston) as the #1 most infected counties in all of Texas the last three months.

Lady Liberty fireworksOn this day of America’s Independence from Great Britain in 1776, let’s step back about 8-weeks to May 10th with A Salute Before the Storm and May 12th with Color-coded Alerts? followed by May 27th with It’s Over, We’re Free! and the images in that blog-post where Americans, especially Texans in my home state, arrogantly defied safety orders and the invisible, lethal virus just to get out on beaches among hundreds of thousands of other celebrating rebels for loads of self-pleasure. As a result, Texans today are on world wide news almost daily because of our stupidity and lack of any intelligent leadership both on the federal level and state level to heed warnings and strong advice by real epidemiological and virological experts, who almost cried publicly to say ‘do not reopen businesses so prematurely.’

TX COVID-19 Cases

TX COVID-19 Hospitilizations

With all the numbers spiking upward once again, what do the majority of Texans plan to do this July 4th holiday? Here’s an abbreviated list* of DFW municipalities and their plans for the weekend in the wake of Gov. Gregg Abbott’s latest About-face orders and admonishments to “Stay Home”:

FRIDAY, JULY 3RD

Allen, TX:

Spirit in the Sky Fireworks
9:30 p.m.
Best viewing area: Within one mile of the corner of W. Exchange Parkway and N. Watters Road
Encouraged to watch from your home or car.

Arlington, TX:

Independence Day Fireworks
9:30 p.m.
Globe Life Field (Parking open to public in Lot B, C, F, M and N)
Encouraged to remain at and around their vehicles, maintain social distancing, wear a mask when appropriate and bring their own food and drinks.

Rockwall, TX:

Concert by the Lake
7:30 p.m.
The city is asking people to consider wearing masks and to practice social distancing. But, that’s not a requirement for the concert or fireworks shows over the weekend. Fireworks shows will happen on both Friday and Saturday night in Rockwall, as well as a downtown Rockwall parade Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m.

SATURDAY, JULY 4TH

Frisco, TX:

Frisco Freedom Fest
9:30 p.m.
FC Dallas parking lots available to the public for viewing. Fireworks will also be streamed live on FriscoTexas.gov. All patrons are encouraged to stay in their vehicles.

Grapevine:

38th Annual July 4th Fireworks Extravaganza
9:30 p.m.
Lake Grapevine (Parking with a fee offered at Oak Grove Park, Rockledge Park and other locations)
No walk-in traffic allowed. Boat traffic only allowed at the Dove Loop Ramp and at the softball fields. Face masks required.

The Colony:

Liberty by the Lake Fireworks
9:30 p.m.
The vicinity of The Colony Five Star Complex, 4100 Blair Oaks
Encouraged to watch from “the safety and comfort of your car” or with social-distancing.

Trophy Club:

Fourth of July Fireworks Show
9:30 p.m.
Independence Park
Nearby parking map available here. Health department advised those who attend fireworks to stay in their vehicle or wear masks.

* – Source: https://www.nbcdfw.com/entertainment/the-scene/4th-of-july-events-across-north-texas-see-whats-cancelled-and-whats-not/2399073/

Stacy Fernández is one of Texas’ most prolific journalist on breaking Texas news having spent years first with NPR, The Dallas Morning News, and at News21 as a reporter, and she correctly writes in The Texas Tribune Thursday, July 3rd:

Health officials want people to choose Harper’s route, finding safe alternatives to yearly traditions. But with Texas’ recent history of temper tantrums by a small but vocal slice of the populace who don’t want to wear masks and insist bars and hair salons reopen, that seems unlikely.

“We have learned in the past these gatherings that took place during the Memorial Day holiday did lead to the spread of COVID-19,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a Friday interview with KSAT. “If people gather on 4th of July the same way they did in Memorial Day it is going to lead to a massive increase in the number of people testing positive, the number of people who will be hospitalized, and it could lead once again to an increase in the number of people who lose their lives.”

[…]

“It’s shocking to me that so many people aren’t taking this seriously. I’m curious to see how the fourth is going to be as far as what changes and numbers,” Harper said. If Texans socialize this weekend as they did over the Memorial Day weekend “it could be catastrophic,” said Phil Huang, a doctor and director of Dallas County Health and Human Services, in a press conference Thursday.

[…]

Abbott also amended his executive order and lowered outdoor event limits from 100 to 10 people. Outdoor gatherings, like those typically held for the Fourth of July, must be approved by local officials if they more than 10 people are expected. The few exceptions include religious services, outdoor sports and summer camps. Outdoor events of 10 or less do not need prior approval.

That same day, in response to Abbott’s order, Collin County Judge Chris Hill approved all gatherings of more than 10 people.

Added July 5, 2020 — The Dallas Morning News:  Despite Health Warnings and Governor’s Plea, Fourth of July Revelers Flock to Dallas-area Lakeshores.

Since this past February and March—I really wish then I had been wrong—I have tried to politely explain to as many Texans as I could that if all of us do not go the full long distance, no matter how long it takes, with all known effective measures of stemming this lethal virus from spreading out of control, over-running our hospitals, those consequences are guaranteed to be worse. If we don’t do this together, then we are looking at September or October for flattening the curve (again) and at the earliest. An even more catastrophic impact will take place on all sectors of the economy lasting for many more months after. Since last December and January the true experts have been proven right at every surge and resurge of the coronavirus. We better listen and obey this time around.

Texans, instead of celebrating your own personal independence from tyranny, inequality, oppression of your civil rights, and obligations to those less fortunate than yourself, why not celebrate the HOPE of independence from this deadly virus taking your life, your child’s life or that of your immediate family members, or a dear cherished close friend. I say that’s worth celebrating, alone, or with one or two others who tested negative for COVID-19.

Added July 6, 2020:  FC Dallas out of MLS is Back Tournament amid coronavirus cases — this is the result of North Texans defying Governor’s orders for COVID-19 protection and determent for all North Texans’ safety, and the exact same thing can and will happen to their beloved Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers season-openers if they refuse to take the deadly virus serious!

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Live Well — Stay Home — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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It’s Over, We’re Free!

I’d rather be posting about the joint SpaceX-NASA launch today at 4:33pm EST. It will be the United States first launch of two astronauts into space since 2011 atop the new Falcon 9 rocket. It will be big news for many reasons. I do hope everything goes well, goes perfectly and hopefully the weather is going to cooperate. Unfortunately, we are still in the middle of a much bigger, unprecedented pandemic story dealing with just as much risk of life and death as space exploration ever has, actually more so for the mere fact that COVID-19 has taken hundreds of thousands of American lives and 350,000+ around the world. Controlling then stopping this pandemic is more important than the distraction and excitement of a SpaceX launch.

∼ ∼ ∼ § ∼ ∼ ∼

This past Memorial Day weekend saw record crowds outside at beaches, parks, resorts, and Memorial-Veteran celebration events not seen since mid-March or before. As all 50 states began lifting and easing coronavirus restrictions this past week under pressure from pro-business, pro-economy, pro-danger-n-risk GOP groups, many Americans blatantly disregarded social-distancing and wearing protective masks. From Al Jazeera news:

In the Tampa area, along Florida’s Gulf Coast, the crowds were so big that authorities took the extraordinary step of closing parking lots. The county’s sheriff, Bob Gualtieri, said about 300 deputies were patrolling the beaches to ensure people did not get too close.

In the state of Missouri, people packed bars and restaurants at the Lake of the Ozarks, a vacation hot spot popular with Chicagoans, over the weekend.

One video showed a crammed pool where vacationers lounged close together without masks, St Louis station KMOV-TV reported.

In West Virginia, ATV riders jammed the vast, 700-mile Hatfield-McCoy network of all-terrain vehicle trails on the first weekend it was allowed to reopen since the outbreak took hold. Campgrounds and cabins were opened, as well.

Patrick T. Fallon-Reuters

Florida beach front Memorial weekend – Patrick Fallon/Reuters

Many authorities and law-enforcement have been confronted with disdain and hostility by Americans when trying to enforce or promote safety measures during the entire pandemic restrictions. This is perhaps the saddest testimony of a Dis-United States of America during this crisis. Park authorities, municipalities, and law-enforcement all agree that they cannot possibly monitor and make all Americans stay at least 6-feet apart. They do not have the staff to accomplish such a ridiculous order. However, they do remind all Americans that it is 90% self-governance and kind regard for neighbors, friends, and strangers alike. It is safety and health for everyone first as well as yourself. Common sense, right?

Port Aransas, Texas [Eric Gay-The Associated Press]

Gulf beach at Port Aransas, TX, Memorial weekend – Eric Gay/Associated Press

In a May 2020 study by the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Department of Mathematics, Imperial College London, the W.H.O. Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Modelling, the MRC Centre for Global Infectious Disease Analytics, the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics, Imperial College London, and the Department of Statistics, University of Oxford, there are 24 states in the U.S. that still have not contained their COVID-19 outbreaks. Here are the 10 worst, most at risk states for a June 2020 resurgence of the deadly virus, from worst to less worse:

  1. Texas
  2. Arizona
  3. Illinois
  4. Colorado
  5. Ohio
  6. Minnesota
  7. Indiana
  8. Iowa
  9. Alabama
  10. Wisconsin

I am not the least bit surprised that Texas leads the pack in being #1 in NOT controlling our coronavirus outbreaks and most likely to suffer the worst with another June outbreak. For well over two weeks here in Dallas there are noticeably less and less people applying social-distancing or wearing masks. That most likely means they are not washing their hands regularly either. Texans see our nation’s leader never wearing a mask and taking doses of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that has no clinical tests proving it works against COVID-19. This is a remarkably sad testimony for how Americans and Texans do not care for each other—unless of course it is their own family or a dear financially beneficial friend or Good Ole Boy—and care less about medical-scientific facts on pandemics and what the true experts warn and recommend. It’s a new era of illiteracy and unenlightenment.

Despite the increase of rebels and protesters throughout late April and all of May here in Texas and an uptick in the number of deaths, in Dallas County the number of ICU patients and emergency room visits for COVID-19 has flattened out. This is encouraging, yes. But the real indicator of whether this reopening happened too soon and many blowing off safety measures in public will be the final numbers around June 10th through the 14th when the incubation period expires for Memorial weekend infections and hospitalizations trend upward again. Whatever happens, the fact remains that in February and early March all of this should have been seriously addressed nationwide by our federal leadership. It wasn’t. American death-toll:  100,000+ and counting.

Three cheers for COVID-19. The winner! It is going to be around and a menace for a long, LONG time with this kind of unity and lack of virtues for others. I hope a tested, FDA-approved, effective vaccine is found and distributed very soon.

————

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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Every Single Cell-Phone

Last night on PBS NOVA, Decoding COVID-19, the award-winning science show since 1974 aired a most intriguing, informatively packed episode about our current progress and fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. From their website introduction:

In an unprecedented global effort to understand and contain the virus—and find a treatment for the disease it causes—is underway. Join doctors on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 as they strategize to stop the spread, and meet the researchers racing to develop treatments and vaccines.

Life and Survival vs. Loss of Privacy

In the latter portion of the show doctors and scientists discuss how all biophysicists, epidemiologists, virologists, geneticists, pathologists, everyone around the world in these scientific fields are racing to find a vaccine. A vaccine that can take up to 2-years of testing and manufacturing before it reaches the Earth’s population.

Meanwhile, the only defense we humans have at the moment is monitoring, managing, then restricting our social behavior. In Wuhan, China, the first epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, on April 8, 2020, Chinese authorities reopened the city and province for business. Residents were allowed to travel and move about in public with face-masks. The emotional, mental, and social benefits for Wuhan residents was enormous. However, life in Wuhan was/is nowhere near back to normal.

Wuhan residents, healthcare doctors,  and government officials have a serious concern and fear of a second resurgence of COVID-19 infections soon after reopening. This is justified. And so many restrictions are still in effect there. For example, anyone entering or leaving a building, property, park, or space are required (by law?) to use their cell-phone to scan in, upload special location-marking codes to a regional database. Gates of complexes, condominiums, stadiums, malls, entertainment events, parks, all have entry and exit stations, policed by security guards where every single person must scan a QR-code using a phone app at all specific entry/exit points, with your specific health condition, and based upon everyone else’s health-data condition that has been near you at the same time. Your color-coded COVID-19 warning-status is constantly updated. Green? You’re good, free to move about as you please as long as you have not been near another risk or high-risk person. Yellow or Red codes mean you will not be allowed to enter or exit before medical attention arrives. For those two color-codes, further medical testing, removal and possibly immediate quarantine may be required.

These measures in Wuhan have seemingly been very effective in squashing new outbreaks. They also have further benefits in conjunction with widespread testing. Everyone with a cell-phone will get multiple notifications of anyone who has been in near-contact with you wherever you’ve traveled. Without a doubt, for a lethal pandemic such as SARS-CoV-2 this level and complexity of monitoring is ideal for public health and safety until an effective vaccine arrives.

Therefore, here is my question for you, my readers and followers:

Is your own personal privacy more important than other people’s life and well-being?

In this day and age of hyper-sophisticated electronic technology and the fact that almost all of Earth’s human beings possess a cell-phone packed with GPS monitoring data for wireless providers and other mega-corporations to purchase and to use, is your personal privacy, movement data, and social activity more important than stopping and reducing COVID-19 from wiping out millions of the human race, possibly even taking your life, or someone dear to and deeply loved by you? Would these type of Chinese-inspired data-sets and phone apps help incompetent American leadership in any way for tracking COVID-19 infections, its hot-spots, and then assisting in testing kits and potential hospital admissions?

Yes? No? Maybe? Unsure?

Share your thoughts and feelings below. When is it right to Take One for the Team, the Village, and when is 24/7 electronic intrusion too much and goes too far for some group of questionable people of greed and control?

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Live Healthier — Love More — Laugh with Family/Friends — Learn More Science

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