Boston’s First Full ICU

When my step son’s diabetes first tore into him he was taken to the intensive care unit at Boston Medical Center.  They were in the news yesterday.  It looks like it was the first time COVID-19 maxed the capacity of an ICU in Boston, and it was that same Boston Medical Center ICU that did so much to save Harry’s life that night.

Read this article from WBUR’s website, written by Carey Goldberg, Martha Bebinger, and Elisabeth Harrison…

In what appears to be the first time a Boston ICU has reached capacity in the coronavirus pandemic, Boston Medical Center was treating so many patients who needed intensive care on Sunday that it had to stop accepting new patients into the ICU during the overnight hours, the hospital says.

The worrisome milestone comes at a time when state, federal and local officials are warning that the viral outbreak may be entering a surge period in Massachusetts and other states.

BMC says that overnight Sunday, ambulances brought patients to other hospitals instead. By Monday, the hospital says, it was able to begin accepting ICU patients again.

Boston health officials say this is the first known case of a Boston hospital reaching ICU capacity during the current COVID-19 crisis.

According to numbers reported Monday by the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association, Boston Medical Center has 140 COVID-19 patients with 39 in the ICU. On Sunday, the group says the hospital had 147 COVID-19 patients with 42 in the ICU.


The Stir Crazy Files – Episode 14

I took out the garbage.  When I came back in the house my beautiful bride, Jennifer, was standing in front of the cabinet in which we keep our box of garbage bags.  I said she needed to take a step to the left….

I then proceeded to pull the entire chorus of Do The Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Picture Show out of my teeny, tiny, little brain.  Now, I’ve never been much of a Rocky Horror guy.  I saw the movie.  It was goofy but okay.  I would guess I’ve heard the song Time Warp maybe… three times in my life?

And there it was… the whole chorus… spewing out of my idiot, stir crazy head.

Welcome to Week #4

I guess technically week #4 started for me last Friday after work. It started for my wife last Wednesday. Still, it’s the first work day for me so I’ll go with today.

The worst news from the weekend came from New Hampshire and Maine.  We’ve been reading stories online about people from out of state getting harassed in certain regions of those two states.  Harsh words being said in parking lots, rocks and bricks being thrown at cars with out of state plates.  Stuff like that.  I can pretty much guarantee that 99.9% of the stories are bullshit, and 99.9% of the remaining 0.1% are just assholes with small dicks trying to feel tough on the interwebs.  It doesn’t matter though.  I can take a hint.  You don’t want us there?  Fine.  Just don’t expect me to show up with my vacation dollars after all this is over.  You don’t want me now, then you don’t get me then.  Simple.

On the upside, the forecast is calling for a beautiful day today.  We’re hoping we can open up all the windows and air the house out.  I’ve been looking forward to that since before this all started.  We were walking around the back yard the other day and saw new buds forming on one of the trees.  Spring is here, kids.  Finally.

We’re not sure about the whole face mask thing.  Personally I think it would be a better use of our resources to give all of the face masks to all of the hospitals, but really what do I know.  We don’t have any in the house.  We’re looking for alternatives and will probably end up just chopping up some old t-shirts.  I have an order out for some bandanas from an amazon seller, but the chances of that getting delivered this week are slim.  The delivery estimate still says April 10, but I’m not banking on it.

We came up with a very goofy alternative to walking around the block.  We’ve been (kind of) speed walking through the house.  Bedroom to the kitchen to the dining room down the hall to the living room back into the dining room through the second door to the kitchen to the bedroom, count the lap, then reverse and do it again.  The mayor of Boston is not our mayor at all, but yesterday he recommended everyone wear masks any time they leave the house.  That’s more than what the Feds recommended, but it’s probably not the worst idea.  They also put a 9:00pm curfew into effect starting today.  In this neck of the woods, what ever Boston does usually filters down to the suburbs eventually so I expect Methuen to make similar recommendations soon enough.

We’re probably done going on get-out-of-the-house-but-not-the-car road trips for now.  I don’t know if we’ll walk around the neighborhood until we can figure out a face mask situation.  We’ve still managed to avoid going to any stores of late.  Jen is an instacart guru at this point.  As long as they keep picking up our orders and we keep washing everything off when they deliver it, I think we’ll be okay.

The kids don’t come back until Wednesday.  I’ll feel better about the state of the world once they are here.  Outside of that, we’re okay.  We’re stressed, and a little freaked out, and really getting tired of all of it, but otherwise we’re okay.

Random Boring Quarantinie Thoughts

Three weeks down… still going… no end in sight.

It’s okay.

I’m all caught up on the three CW DC Comics shows that I’m still in to.  I finished Bojack Horseman, Picard, and Discovery.  Now what?  I watched the first five episodes of Altered Carbon something like a year or more ago.  I just started episode six… if I can remember what’s going on I’ll try to run with it… I don’t have a lot of optimism on that.  I want to watch Lock and Key too.  You is also out there unfinished.  I don’t know.  Part of me wants to just do a full Walking Dead rewatch.  I don’t know.

Over the last year or so I have sort of rediscovered King Crimson.  Big time.  Listening to the 1981-1984 line up is making me think… is it time to start playing with guitar synthesizers?  Back then you needed to buy a whole new guitar to do that.  Later you could do it with just a new pick up.  Now you can do it with pedals alone.  I’ve been watching demos.  It’s a major rabbit hole.  I don’t really want to go there.  I mean, Albert King never used a guitar synthesizer, right?  I don’t know.

The weather has been shitty for a week.  Rain rain go away and all that shit.  April showers bring May showers and everything.  Next week we might hit the 60’s.  That would be nice.  I very much want to go outside, even if it’s just to sit on the patio.  If we’re all going to be stuck at home for… ever… then I want the weather to be nice enough for me to take my conference calls outside.  I want to cook on the grill… at least until it runs out of propane.  Not sure how we’ll replace that.  Gas stations are essential, right?

I’m gonna play some guitar today, I think.  It’s not much, but it helps.

The kids are at their father’s this weekend.  I wish they were here.  All of this crap is somehow easier to deal with when all four of us are together.  It’s easier to worry about how they are holding up when I can actually see them.

I got them mean old quarantine blues.


When I first went back to college in 1997 one of the first classes I took was a course in using office software.  I don’t know why.  It was called Intro to Computing and I was a Computer Science major.  I barely used any of it again over the course of the last 23 years.

Until today.

I am keeping two Google spreadsheets.  One tracks COVID-19 cases in Massachusetts by date, the other does the same for the United States.  One of the columns tracks the daily change in total cases.  Today’s total minus yesterday’s total.  Another column tracks the death rate.  Just a few minutes ago I figured out how to take a math function from one cell and fill it down to the entire column below it.  I knew how to do that back in 1997 but I didn’t know how to do it in Google Sheets.  I am ignorant no longer (well…).

Oh, and did I mention that I have line graphs on both sheets too?  I’m tracking the curves and hoping it is flatter than it would have been without us all staying at home.  I hope so, but based on my little graphs it sure doesn’t look it.  Those curves are steep.