Tequila Monday, April 20, 2020

Right, I know that I’m taking the tequila thing over the top. But, doesn’t it feel like a great way to get the week going after a dreary cold Sunday? Or, go the other way – alcohol free for the week. Hmmm. 

My very first job I said thank you and please, even scrubbed the parking lot down on my knees. 

Then I got fired for being scared of bees, and they only paid me fifty cents an hour. 

Father forgive us for what we must do. You forgive us and we’ll forgive you. 

We’ll forgive each other til we both turn blue and we’ll whistle and go fishin’ in heaven. John Prine

Tracking the Virus backwards to understand where it’s going forward

My niece shared an article published by The New Yorker about the research going on to understand this infectious attack. Peyton’s childhood friend and BFF, Katherine Xue, wrote the article. She grew up with Peyton and turned into an evolutionary biologist. This link will open your eyes up to the science, technology and smart people dedicated to solving the mystery of infectious diseases. 

 It reads like a sci-fi detective story because, well, it is. It’s a true story of genome sequencing, viral replication, tree branches and mutations, amazing technology and the incredible sharing of data by the global scientific field. And it’s one that is continuing to unfold from how it came into Washington State…

[EXCERPT] The viral genomes showed that after the coronavirus reached Washington State, in late January, it grew into its own branch of the tree, spreading silently through the city for weeks. Based on the cryptic transmission evident from the evolutionary tree, researchers estimated that the virus might have infected five hundred to six hundred people in Washington State by early March, far more than the eighteen cases reported at the time.

…to how it infected New York City…

[EXCERPT] Most cases sequenced from the massive New York City outbreak belong to a single branch whose closest relatives are in Europe, not China, suggesting that the virus crossed the Atlantic rather than the Pacific Ocean to arrive on the East Coast.  

Please give it a read and dig deeper by clicking on the links to other resources inside the story. You’ll come out knowing a lot more. 

Our local paper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, continues to provide excellent reporting on the COVID-19 story and how it is affecting Atlanta and the State of Georgia. I’d like to point out two articles in Sunday’s paper:

The first “Seeing through the Silence” is a special section showcasing the photographic images of the COVID-19 story and the staffers who took the photos. 

The second uses stories, headlines and images from the The Atlanta Constitution’s pages from October 1918! to compare the Spanish flu pandemic with the novel coronavirus in a “Now” and “Then” context. Frankly, it’s remarkable that the paper can dig back into its archives to do such a comparison.  

Also, in the AJC, I found this story fascinating. It was titled, “It’s not exactly the Depression”  How The Great Depression and COVID-19 each resulted in massive unemployment shows how one outcome, joblessness, can be caused by very different events. It’s important to understand that context as these two events rise up for comparison due to the unemployment data. It’s also really helpful to understand the positive things that eventually came from the Depression, tools to help the country fight challenges to our economy that creates crippling unemployment.

Scottish dreams lost in the virus

On a personal note, Julie and I were set to board a plane bound for Edinburgh, Scotland, today at 5:20 p.m. We’d planned the trip to the home of golf for almost a year. We finalized everything over four months ago. Then, we started out 2020 playing more winter golf here than ever before with a goal of preparing for what Spring in St. Andrews could be like, ie, windy and wet. We were ready: Warm weather layers, rain gear and new walking golf shoes. Obviously, if we hadn’t cancelled some piece, it would have cancelled on us. Edinburgh airport is closed! We have put the plans on the shelf for now and hope to go in 2021. All for the best. Just checked the weather over there. It’s 50 degrees and sunny. Perfect. 

I wonder what we’ll find while we’re here instead of there.

Stay safe. Stay well. And remember, cut your TP use in half and “Stay the F**k home!”

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