COVID-19 Numbers

Here’s what I have for today:

  • Methuen, MA
    • Total Cases: 990 (up 1 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 57
    • Death Rate: 5.76%
  • Massachusetts
    • Total Cases: 107,611 (up 172 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 7,938
    • Death Rate: 7.38%
  • United States
    • Total Cases: 2,366,961 (up 37,324 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 121,746
    • Death Rate: 5.14%

There are two numbers that jump out at me here. One good, one unbelievably awful. First, the good.

Methuen has not had a COVID-19 death since June 15th. That’s nine days. That is incredible. We’ve had 16 new cases in that time but no fatalities. Excellent!

Now the terrible news. You’ve probably worked this one out for yourself. The United States had 37,324 new cases yesterday. We had been doing well enough for the daily increases to occasionally dip below 20,000, but now with states opening up like morons, we’ve topped 30k on four of the last six days. The level of stupidity in my country is utterly astounding.

It should also be noted that through most of the pandemic, Massachusetts has been the state with the forth highest case count. We got hit hard. Reports are now saying that we are the state with the lowest infection rate. That’s good news. In the last few days we’ve dropped to the sixth highest case count, as Texas and Florida have been skyrocketing. Jen and I were looking at the numbers by state a few days ago and we estimated at that time that it would probably take Florida another week to catch us. Nope, they blew past us today. It only took a few days.

….and yet… we’re still opening up for business. Their money is more important to the nation than your health, and even your life. Way to go, USA.


There is something delightfully therapeutic about bashing the holy hell out of an electric guitar when you’re in a state of near permanent near panic over a global pandemic. The plague might get me, but until it does I’m going to vent all of my frustrations through bad music and mediocre guitar playing.

Amen and all that.

Don’t Read the News

If you enjoy freaking out and panicking over the state of the world related to COVID-19 then by all means go ahead and read the news.  I often start my lunch break by perusing Google News.  I look through the headlines of the topics I follow and if something catches my interest I’ll open it up in a new tab and save it for later.  Once I’ve gone through the front page I pop on over to those other tabs and start-a-readin’.

In our present global situation though, a quiet little lunchtime activity like that is enough to either make me want to punch everyone on Earth square in the face, or curl up in a ball and cry as the world around me collapses into anarchy.  Yeah, both alternatives sound like so much fun.

In one article I read a few minutes ago, the Governor of New York said that things are falling apart much faster than anticipated.  He said the Federal Government (I don’t recall which agency) has a stockpile of about 20,000 respirators.  New York estimates they need 30,000.  The Feds (I think he said FEMA) agreed to send 400.  Four Hundred.

Who was it, the Lt Governor of Texas, I think, who yesterday said that grandparents are willing to die in order to save the US economy.  Really.  I am not kidding you.  Some numb nuts actually said that.  The nerve… the gall… the stupidity.  I said it in a post yesterday and I’ll say it again.  These fascists clearly care more about giving money to billionaires than they do about the lives of the people who put them in their offices.  Their constituents are worth less to them then their bank balance.  If that isn’t evil, then what is?

A few weeks ago I got into a minor online argument with a maga cult member who swore that electing a socialist like Joe Biden… as if Joe Biden had a socialist bone in his body… would burn down the entire country.  As of this moment, there is a bill being hammered out in the US Legislature that is by all accounts near completion that will see the US government send checks of $2400 to married couples, with an additional $500 per child.  Funny… I don’t hear those maga cult members I was arguing with complaining about socialism now.  Now that the high priest of fascism, the cheeto himself has come out in favor of this plan.  Is socialism no longer the devil that you swore it was?  How does that work?  Is it not socialism if a republican does it?  Hypocrites.

Okay, I’m done with the news today.  I’m going to put my headphones back on and listen to podcasts about Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead.  After that, maybe some prog rock.  Probably no blues today… my heart can’t really take that right now.

Wash your damn hands.


Remote Classes

I saw some rumblings on thebookface that the University of Vermont had made a call on post-Spring Break classes. I just checked with Bellana and it is confirmed.

Spring break ends on Monday, but classes on Monday and Tuesday are cancelled outright. Starting on Wednesday they are switching to remote classes.

In other words… hey you crazy spring breaking kids… don’t come back.

I asked her if she left anything in her dorm that she needs going forward and she said she’s all set. She is prepared. She’s also planning to go back as soon as they let her, which is understandable. I guess the question now is will they lock the place down while the students are away or will they be able to get back into their rooms if they need something.

We will see.

Happy Birthday Dear COVID

Are you worried about COVID-19?

Am I worried about COVID-19?  Yes and no.  Do I want to get sick?  No.  Am I expecting to get sick?  No.  Will the world end if I do get sick?  No.  Am I worried about my family getting sick?  Yes.  No.  I mean, if it happens it happens.  We’ll take care of each other just like we would if one of us caught the flu.  At this point it’s spreading fast enough that it’s just a matter of time before someone you know gets it.  That is not the same as saying everyone you know will get it.  There are about 6.9 million of us here in Massachusetts.  We ain’t all getting it.

The CDC has a good website with lots of up to date information.  Unfortunately they are a Federal agency and that means they are subject to the fascist ball of orange goo.  Cheeto has actually put his lap dog Mike Pence in charge of the response so expect prayer groups to be the official US policy.

I’m going to get my information from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, thank you very much.  Yes, I know that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is getting it’s information from the CDC but give me a break, okay?  We’ve had to suffer through almost four years of that fascist prick and I don’t think I can take anymore, so I am a full-on States Rights Masshole.  Deal with it.

Anyway, this is what my beloved state has to say as far as prevention:


Many of the things you do to help prevent colds and the flu can help protect you against other respiratory viruses, including COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • Clean things that are frequently touched (like doorknobs and countertops) with household cleaning spray or wipes.

  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Use a tissue or your inner elbow, not your hands.

  • Stay home if you are sick and avoid close contact with others.

The same page has a section on treatment but I’m not going to share that.  Suffice to say there is no specific treatment.  Stay home and do all the things you do when you have the flu.

There is a good page giving various statistics within the state so far.  It gets updated every day at 4:00 PM (next update is about two hours and fifteen minutes from now) so any numbers I share are from 4:00 PM yesterday.

Currently Massachusetts has one confirmed case (a UMass Boston student who went on a trip to Wuhan) and 27 presumptive positive cases.  I’m interested in checking back at 4:00 to see how much that has changed.

There have been 719 quarantines in Massachusetts.  249 people are currently under quarantine, and 470 have already completed it.  When I read the news earlier I was under the impression that there were 719 current instances in the state.  Again, I am curious to know how that grows today.

719 quarantines… sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?  What if I told you there were more than 6.9 million people in Massachusetts?  Does it still sound like a lot?  Nope.  Wuhan Province (is province the right word?) in China has about 100,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19.  Sounds like a huge number.  There are more than 11 million people in Wuhan.  Does it still sound like a lot?

Note: In the 10 minutes or so since I pasted the prevention suggestions into this document I have come to realize that I CONSTANTLY touch my face.  My mouth, my nose, my eyes… CONSTANTLY.  Oh good.  I’ve also coughed a few times, but that’s mostly because I ate a piece of granola and it went down the wrong pipe.  The people sitting around me in the office don’t know that though.  Please don’t come at me with pitch forks or any shit like that.

The suggestion states that we should wash our hands for 20 seconds.  The memory mnemonic for that is to sing happy birthday twice.  Earlier today I was washing my hands and I was singing happy birthday and I used the following lyrics:

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear COVID,
Happy Birthday to you.

I guess what I am trying to say with all of this is that no, I’m not worried.  Even if I was worried, I wouldn’t panic.  It’s okay to be nervous, just keep your head and wash your hands.

Again, Wash Your Damn Hands.

Hang in their folks.  At it’s worst this isn’t going to end civilization.  It isn’t the Zombie Apocalypse.

Speaking of which, in last night’s The Walking Dead (no spoilers!) the Whisperers behaved in a way that felt, to me at least, to be wildly out of character.  They were using pretty complex tools, which seems like something a cult based on behaving like animals wouldn’t really be down with.  I can’t remember if they did anything like that in the comic.  I know they used blades when they fought, but I can’t recall anything more complicated than that.

In closing: Wash your hands.