Color-coded Alerts?

Yesterday Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced a new mechanism for measuring the spread of coronavirus in our 909 mi² county and thus a recommendation-only for the public movement or outings by residents of Dallas County.

As of yesterday, May 11, 2020, new infection cases of COVID-19 in Dallas County reached 253. For at least the last 10-12 days the county has seen new cases hit about 250 per day. Jenkins was reluctant to say with certainty that we have finally plateaued with new cases, but he was willing to speculate that we might be getting there soon. Judge Jenkins did remind Dallas County, however, that we are still in the Red-phase of highest concern and precautions. Let me restate and emphasize that again:  We are still squarely inside the Red-phase of public health and safety! Red is the recommendation to stay home unless your’re performing essential (critical) activities.

What exactly are those “essential” (critical) activities? Fortunately, he and Dallas County health experts spelled them out precisely here in this public document! Below is the top of page 3, but I hope you can take a quick look at the entire table.

Annotation 2020-05-12 012524

The full Table begins on pages 3 — 6 and list exactly what the acceptable activities should be and by default exactly what is NOT acceptable or recommended.

Personally, I am undecided as to the real projected effectiveness of this measuring system then recommendation-only guideline for an already restless, rebellious, very self-consumed (minority?) population in our county, the DFW metroplex, and many specific 2016 demographic areas across Texas. Therefore, I wanted to ask my Followers and visitors your thoughts. Share below your opinions about this new Color-coded Alert system. Do you think it can be effective for 2.7-million residents of Dallas County? If so, why? If not, why not? Your feedback is valued and appreciated. Meanwhile…

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Live Healthier — Love More — Laugh with Family — Learn More Science!

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A Salute Before the Storm

This past week our U.S. Navy Blue Angels, an aerobatic squadron performing shows across the U.S. and Canada, flew over north Texas in a fanfare salute to all our front-line healthcare, EMT, police, and fire workers during this unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. The sound, speed, and visual was indeed arousing, uplifting, and a grateful demonstration for our brave workers who have no choice but to put themselves in danger and/or at risk for infection, possibly worse. However, for Texas and the DFW metroplex was this big show a “salute” per se, or a Good Luck Hope You Survive fly-by for what’s about to hit us with a vengeance?

BA over Dallas

I have published a few past blog-posts regarding Conservative Texans and their governmental representatives being either relaxed or intentionally defiant about the seriousness and lethality of the COVID-19 pandemic. I have also posted about some Conservative business-owners protesting and public officials (e.g. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick) acting and speaking downright ludicrous about reopening businesses way too early. I still hold to my original time-frame of late-July or August of returning to business-as-usual. That depends on how well Americans and Texans take serious and endure quarantines and Stay-at-Home orders until the virus is safely under control.

I honestly do not see this happening, particularly when I am forced to must go out in public for essential tasks and items. I have gotten my routine of exiting outside down to once a week, rarely twice. No more.

During the month of March Texans in DFW were doing quite well at staying home, not going to work and working from home, and not flooding public parks and blatantly ignoring social-distancing as reported for days and weeks. The change was encouraging! It seemed we had a decent chance of slowing and kicking wide-spread infections.

This short video shows the first weekend after local Shelter-in-Place recommendations were announced. This is from Well Creative Productions, Dallas, TX – Drone Videography – Cash Sirois:

But that was late-March folks, the first Friday night after Shelter-at-Home orders. After only 6-weeks this footage is no longer representative of today, not even close. Dallas and the state of Texas is seeing an increase in public protests that defy social-distancing and public health and safety. Yesterday afternoon Dallas saw yet another defiant protest of health and safety-for-all in a rally downtown called Set Texas Free. Here is what one of the rally organizers actually said:

“What we, as a people, saw is there are less people dying of COVID-19 than are unemployed.” he [Kevin Whitt] said. “We are losing our economy. There is so many people in Texas that are still unemployed,.”

Sadly, Kevin Whitt doesn’t have a clue about COVID-19’s methods of incapacitation and/or death. The actual numbers of infections and deaths by the virus have at least a 2-week or more lag. Furthermore, if clinics, test sites, and hospitals get overwhelmed by exponential numbers of infections, even serious life-threatening infections, then the death toll will quickly catch-up and surpass in a blink those who are unemployed! What sort of socioeconomic devastation will a 3-5 week hospitalization (perhaps in ICU?) have on those individuals and/or families? For the uninsured, which typically end up being severe cases and longer stays, the cost for the patient and the hospital is near astronomical: upwards of $74,000 per patient. These estimations provided by FAIR Health, Inc. For the insured, though noticeably less, it is still an enormous bill at discharge, about $38,755 or more… assuming the patient lives. Now, try to imagine what those costs would be for a nation of 1.35-million people infected and still rising! And do not imagine those dollar-amounts in just the next few weeks. Imagine them and multiply them for the next 3-6 months for a more accurate estimation!

Then there is the national celebrity Shelley Luther, owner of Salon Á la Mode in north Dallas, and her Republican circus-rally-for-profit. Following is The Texas Tribune’s must read article:

Just last week, Gov. Greg Abbott unfurled the first phase of his plan to reopen the Texas economy. He would allow limited openings of stores, restaurants and movie theaters, but he wanted to go slowly enough to make sure he wasn’t letting the pandemic run loose. Some health experts were nervous, while others were cautiously optimistic. Abbott said he would wait a couple of weeks to reconsider ending other restrictions.

[…]

Others have been pushing for a return to pre-pandemic Texas. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick unveiled a 113-page report from what he called his “Texans back to work task force.” One of the stated goals was to recommend ways to “safely and effectively reopen and restore our Texas economy to 100% in the not too distant future.”

[…]

Republican state Reps. Briscoe Cain of Deer Park and Steve Toth of The Woodlands crossed the barricades this week to get illegal haircuts in defiance of the governor. Cain could have been prepping for a court appearance: He’s one of Luther’s lawyers.

That publicity stunt went unpunished.
The Texas Tribune by Ross Ramsey; accessed May 10, 2020

On her GoFundMe site Luther has profited $500,085 as of May 10th. Senator Ted Cruz (R) could not resist jumping on her money bandwagon either.

defiant rebel shelley luther

Local semi-retired sports anchor Dale Hansen with his own show Unplugged had this response to Luther and any other Texans defying legal public health and safety orders and laws during this time. Click here. I promise my intelligent readers and followers it is a must watch video-commentary. I’ve had past disagreements with Dale’s opinions and commentary, however, on this day on this topic about this rebel Prima Donna… I completely agree with him! Sadly, Shelley Luther is not the only whacko-rebel…

May 12, 2020 addendum:
Dallas Morning News headline — Dallas law firm fires employee after ‘threatening’ post about his gun, COVID-19 mask requirements.

K Bain Psychosis

Bain’s psychotic message on Facebook

The firm’s chief marketing officer, Kelby Luther, confirmed Monday that the terminated employee is Kevin Bain, who had worked as a document services manager based in Dallas.

[…]

[Kelby] Luther said the firm’s statement refers to a widely shared Facebook post in which Bain referred to the Whole Foods grocery store on Lomo Alto Drive in Highland Park, saying that any business that insists he wear a mask “will get told to kiss my Corona ass and will lose my business forever.” Bain went on to say “It’s time to stop this [expletive],” the post continued. “Do I have to show the lame security guard outside of a ghetto store my CV19 test results? I will show him my Glock 21 shooting range results.”

Yet the scientific and medical reality is this: Infectious disease experts fear coronavirus will spread as more Texas businesses reopen. This is what an overwhelming amount of nationwide medical, scientific, and epidemiologists warn and The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports:

Epidemiologists said they are encouraged Gov. Greg Abbott is assessing data and consulting experts to inform a gradual reopening of Texas’ economy. But they cautioned that for an incremental approach to be effective, sufficient time is needed between each phase to assess its effects on the spread of the virus.

Abbott’s announcement Tuesday that barbershops and hair, nail, tanning and cosmetology salons may reopen provided they follow a strict set of rules came four days after the first phase of businesses, including malls and restaurants, were permitted to begin operating in-person at a limited capacity.

[Shockingly] his decision came sooner than anticipated, as he had previously pointed to May 18 as a possible date for a second phase of reopenings.

Meanwhile, new infection cases in my county and in the DFW metroplex continue to climb in alarming numbers day after day after day, with no sign of slowing. With this fact let’s definitely cheer-on our hyped-up shows by U.S. Navy Blue Angels, Presidential pep-rallies of false information, watching all the non-stop commercials by mega-corporations bombarding us with messages of hope and healing with their corporate logos and self-promotion. And yes, we SHOULD applaud and congratulate our front-line healthcare workers daily for everything they are risking, doing and will risk and do in the coming 6-10 weeks or more! Because in all likelihood they are going to feel the storm hitting their hospital beds, clinics, testing sites, and admissions. They will be overwhelmed because a few of us want to deny what is happening and will happen if we keep ignoring medical and scientific expert’s warnings. For those greedy few—the safety of public health and work-place safety for everyone—miraculously does not apply for them. The minority in a specific demographic of the population are somehow immune from COVID-19 and necessary legal orders of full and/or limited quarantines. But then if none of them are enforced, then what’s the point in any of this? Disturbing isn’t it?

Our Greatest Generation endured over 4-years of unprecedented sacrifice and national unity to get through World War II. This generation, my generation and those younger cannot even last two months! What a legacy. 😔

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May 10, 2020 extension — from The Atlantic:
There’s One Big Reason the U.S. Economy Can’t Reopen — The country faces the same problem today that it did two months ago: There are not enough tests to contain the virus. Written by Robinson Meyer, May 8, 2020.

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Live Healthier — Love Each Other — Laugh Often — Learn Science!

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Crowds, People, and Strangers?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve often been told and have heard this self-perceived proud gloating about remote, rural country-living:  Living out in the country away from huge crowds, rude impolite strangers, horrible traffic and congestion, and high crime-rates are the best reasons not to live in the big city. Where I am currently living, in the central Hill Country of Texas, I am often offered this sort of bragging. I find it a very odd mindset and perception by “sweet ole” country folks. Almost naïve, if I must admit.

I was born and raised in one of Texas’ largest cities, Dallas. From only 682,000 people inside the official city-limits, Dallas has grown now to 1,300,092 in 2016. That number is strictly within the narrow city-limits. Today, the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex has a 2016 population nearing 7.2-million! Though not as large as say New York or Los Angeles, DFW is not moderately sized by any means. And with that size and diversity comes a plethora of wonderful benefits, like the Fine Arts, endless huge libraries scattered about, auditoriums, theaters, museums and sports stadiums, a very wide job-market, and in particular the means and resources to be environmentally responsibly Green! Huge perk there! Nonetheless, yes… Dallas-Ft. Worth does have its drawbacks like crime and traffic just like any major city in the U.S. and around the world.

Dallas Skyline before Sunset 612 3

But are those drawbacks due to a location or region, or are they results of crowds, people, individuals and strangers in a strange or familiar home or place? Is it related to a number of people squeezed together or is it a fluctuating degree of people-skills, education, collaboration? Here’s the million-dollar question:  What is really implied by gloating about one’s geographical home/house or culture? I’d like to honestly understand.

As some/many of you know, I am currently displaced from my big city home and culture of Dallas, Texas. Due to family (mis)givings I am in that heaven-like(?) rural, remote small country town getting my elderly widowed Mom’s house emptied and her moved out of this large 10-acre ranchita home. We are a minimum of 66-miles from the nearest city. With that privacy and peace-of-mind, as many “round these parts” would boast, there are also some significant DISadvantages to this lifestyle. First and foremost, fast emergency attention from EMT’s! When Mom’s late husband had a critical heart-attack in 2006, it took the ambulance and EMT’s nearly 30-minutes to arrive out here, partly because there were only two ambulance services here serving about a 25-mile or more radius.

Second, and as we discovered last year needing to dispose of an old cathode ray tube (CRT) 24″ television, not only did the local garbage pickup company not accept these TV’s for the landfill, but all local businesses or recycling centers would not either. It took near two weeks to finally find an off-the-beaten-path junkyard business to reluctantly take ours, for free!

One year later we are back here again. Now it is her 44″ CRT television that weighs about as much as a small elephant! I would know, because I am the one who strained my legs, arms, and back just to get it out of the entertainment cabinet and onto the tow-dolly in front of the cabinet — only to move it 50-yards to the back patio out the wide sliding-glass doors; the only exit it would fit through. Getting out of bed the next morning I’m sure I looked like a drunk turtle on its back, legs barely swaying in the air looking for something to grab! Hell, if I had needed fast emergency care for paralysis, I’d be waiting for at least 30-minutes, which in that painfully forsaken time I could have hot tea and toast… country-style!

log cabin livingWithout delay I get on the internet and search for some business, some Green recycling establishments nearby to come and pickup this dead goliath-of-entertainment and dispose of it properly. Snap! I find no less than three! I continue reading all the various junk-items that they happily come and pickup — just type in your zip code it says and they’ll arrange for pickup. Wow, I am totally stoked about this solution! Three minutes later, I’m sorry sir. We do not service that area. It is simply too far, too remote. Talk about total deflation. We ask if they have any recommendations. “Go onto the internet and Google TV removal/disposal.” As I already discovered, all the other recycling establishments were in the same large city… yes, 66-miles away.

It begs the question: What is it again you remote country folks love about being so secluded out here away from the crowds, people, traffic, strangers and individuals — and their oft needed help and businesses — that makes this sort of living heavenish!? Where do all of you take or place your trash that landfills won’t accept? What exactly is being burned — once the burn-ban is lifted locally — around town and its outskirts? Because I always see white, blue-ish, or black smoke billowing up into our atmosphere? Oh! Another question:  When the poor or homeless or lower-middle class here cannot afford (by law) automobile* liability insurance, or driver’s license fees, or even gasoline to put IN the automobile,* is there any (very affordable) public transportation available? Which by the way, greatly cuts down on carbon emissions if utilized by more and more caring citizens! And one nationally growing medical healthcare concern is rising dementia and Alzheimer’s disease among our retired and aging. Medical research has shown that if a brain remains actively stimulated and challenged, especially during the last half of life, dementia and Alzheimer’s are noticeably reduced! Ahh, large cities and the hustle-n-bustle of many diverse people certainly offer healthy brain-game exercises! So again…

What is so grand about living far away from crowds, people, and (temporary?) strangers of whom you might one day require their kind assistance or ideal business? Tell me again?

Should we rethink this mentality? Should we better define what “community” means… fairly and accurately on several scales?

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*Sidenote — when on the streets of this small country town, it becomes glaringly obvious that 75% – 80% of vehicles on the roads here are big trucks or SUV’s.

Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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