Bag of Randomness for Friday, March 20, 2020

In an effort to find accentuate the positive, this pandemic came at a time in history in which humans can handle it best.

  • Medical science is at its peak, even if we can’t fix a horse’s bone (Ticket reference).
  • We all have plumbing. (TMI Alert: We have a bidet, we don’t need any TP.”
  • Hello, electricity.
  • There’s an infrastructure to deliver everything. Roads are already built, as are railroads, airports, as well as shipping ports.
  • We have broadband internet which allows for fast data communications which not only allows us to communicate across the world in less than a second, and allows for businesses to track and manage inventories with complex algorithms, but websites like Amazon exist which allows us to order anything and have it delivered to our front door. If this happened in the mid-Nineties, imagine trying to do this on a 14.4 or even a 56k modem.
    • “Modem” is actually short for “modulator-demodulator”. Thank you, Dr. Livsey. (That’s a joke intended for an audience of one.)
  • Grocery stores and places like Wal-Mart and Target have had a chance to establish curbside pickup. Imagine if curbside pickup wasn’t an option at Wal-Mart and just how much more crowded it would be inside. You can place an order and have an expectation of what’s in stock and not. Then, you can pick it up at a scheduled time and you don’t even have to leave your car – and, it’s free.
  • Boredom can easily be conquered, though we will still complain about it. You can read any book in the world which has ever been printed just by ordering it online to an e-reader. You don’t have to download movies or television shows, you simply can stream any show or movie ever created. If that’s not enough, we entertain ourselves with our own created content using Tik Tok and YouTube.
  • Mobile phones, yo, anything you need to find out or anyone you need to contact is literally at your fingertips.
  • We have mobile banking.
  • Waste management.
  • We learned our lesson from the Ice Capades.
  • Godzilla humidifiers exist.

One thing I try to instill in my children is that it’s not what happens in life, it’s how you choose to react respond to it.

I bet since a lot of schools are going to some sort of online content, a lot of parents are going to find out that the teacher is not the problem.

I’m guessing it would be a good time to own a drive-in theater?

Is Australia still on fire?

Malaysia Flight 370 has been missing since March 8, 2014.

Armchair Political Consultant – President Trump has been hard on China as of late, perhaps deflecting blame. I’d caution that approach, the Chinese don’t take kindly to being insulted, but more importantly, because most drug ingredients come from China. If China wanted to, they could jack up prices and kill our economy even more, if they wanted to utilize that leverage. I’d advise the president to go hard against the Middle East counties who have ramped up oil production causing job losses in U.S. oil fields.

Hang in there, Italy.

Italian Army Transports Dozens of Coffins Out of City After Crematorium Overwhelmed With Coronavirus Deaths

  • The city’s crematorium has resorted to operating 24 hours a day in order to deal with the number of deaths amid the outbreak. As reported by L’Eco di Bergamo, army vehicles have now been used to take the coffins away to neighboring areas.
  • The Washington Post previously reported the dead in Bergamo are being buried with no ceremonies as family members remain under quarantine or too sick to attend themselves.
  • The obituary pages in the local newspaper can also stretch up to 10 pages and feature around 150 names as it lists all of the COVID-19 victims.

Here are scenes from inside an Italian hospital. The quietness is haunting.

Before Virus Outbreak, a Cascade of Warnings Went UnheededGovernment exercises, including one last year, made clear that the U.S. was not ready for a pandemic like the coronavirus. But little was done.

That scenario, code-named “Crimson Contagion” and imagining an influenza pandemic, was simulated by the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services in a series of exercises that ran from last January to August.

The simulation’s sobering results — contained in a draft report dated October 2019 that has not previously been reported — drove home just how underfunded, underprepared and uncoordinated the federal government would be for a life-or-death battle with a virus for which no treatment existed.

Many of the potentially deadly consequences of a failure to address the shortcomings are now playing out in all-too-real fashion across the country. And it was hardly the first warning for the nation’s leaders. Three times over the past four years the U.S. government, across two administrations, had grappled in depth with what a pandemic would look like, identifying likely shortcomings and in some cases recommending specific action.

In 2016, the Obama administration produced a comprehensive report on the lessons learned by the government from battling Ebola. In January 2017, outgoing Obama administration officials ran an extensive exercise on responding to a pandemic for incoming senior officials of the Trump administration.

To quote from President Trump’s inauguration speech, ” The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs.”

Senator Dumped Up to $1.6 Million of Stock After Reassuring Public About Coronavirus PreparednessIntelligence Chair Richard Burr’s selloff came around the time he was receiving daily briefings on the health threat.

As the head of the intelligence committee, Burr, a North Carolina Republican, has access to the government’s most highly classified information about threats to America’s security. His committee was receiving daily coronavirus briefings around this time, according to a Reuters story.

A week after Burr’s sales, the stock market began a sharp decline and has lost about 30% since.

On Thursday, Burr came under fire after NPR obtained a secret recording from Feb. 27, in which the lawmaker gave a VIP group at an exclusive social club a much more dire preview of the economic impact of the coronavirus than what he had told the public.

Coronavirus Diaries: I’m a Flight Attendant. Boy, My Passengers Are Weird Now.

  • A lot more passengers have been bringing their own sanitary supplies, wiping down their seats, wearing face masks, wearing gloves. I’ve also noticed people declining drinks and snacks altogether, just not wanting to interact with us at all.
  • One thing that I took note of on my last trip: A lot of passengers who come on the airplane and feel sick for unrelated reasons have become defensive about it. They’ve started to give me too much information about the reason for their illnesses. So I’ve had passengers go into great detail about how they had too much to drink last night.
  • Some of our service standards have changed. We’re no longer handing out blankets and pillows. We no longer serve glassware on board. Any time there’s a basket of communal snacks or something, we’re handing them out instead of having people reaching in.

Microsoft can filter out the sound of you eating potato chips on a conference callThe software giant’s trained artificial intelligence software to identify background noise that isn’t your voice. Snackers, rejoice.

Time is undefeated.

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3 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Friday, March 20, 2020

  1. AndreaJN says:

    Love the positive reminders! This would be so much harder without our modern conveniences!

  2. Bizarro Big Tex says:

    Mmm…….precious bidet.

    DF Homer Simpson
    ps – that is a fancy French dessert, right?

    pss- My Life During the Outbreak: 1. Wake Up 2. Read BagofNothing 3. Contemplate 4. Read Liberally Lean. 5. Contemplate some more. 6. Go to bathroom 7. Have some breakfast coffee 8. Go back to bed

  3. ALEC666 says:

    Coronavirus is our “War of the Worlds”

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