No No No No!

Ran across this article yesterday.

Shutting down businesses and paying people for lost wages for four to six weeks could help keep the coronavirus pandemic in check and get the economy on track until a vaccine is approved and distributed, said Dr. Michael Osterholm, a coronavirus advisor to President-elect Joe Biden.

…….

“We could pay for a package right now to cover all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers for losses to small companies to medium-sized companies or city, state, county governments. We could do all of that,” he said. “If we did that, then we could lockdown for four-to-six weeks.”

…….

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/11/biden-covid-advisor-says-us-lockdown-of-4-to-6-weeks-could-control-pandemic-and-revive-economy.html

Ok, first of all, where the hell do you plan to GET that much money?? Oh I know, you’ll borrow it. Nice, that’ll TOTALLY solve the economy problem…..And what about those of us who work for big sized companies? I mean, sure, my job is actually pretty secure, but not ALL big sized companies are. And if THEY start failing……that’s a hell of a trigger point there.

Then there’s the little fact that the economy is about more than just money. Money is only good for buying things. If you shut everything down again there won’t be anything to buy you moron! All the stimulus paychecks in the world won’t solve THAT.

You DO recall what happened in March when things shut down right? Despite frantic attempts to keep SOMETHING on the store shelves just about every store that was able to remain open ended up with empty shelves. Canned foods? Nope. Milk? Nope. Paper goods? Nope. Peanut butter? Nope. Disinfecting cleaning supplies? Nope. And while some of that was the result of people panicking and buying whatever they could get their hands on, not all of it was. Manufacturers are currently HOPING they’ll be able to be back to normal schedules at some point in 2021. HOPING! They are NOT caught up. Not even Kinda. Another 6 week shutdown, before they’re caught up? No, no, no, no…..

Oh, but the grocery shelves are back to normal! Right? No, no they aren’t. And neither are the cleaning supplies. Or, or, or…..the stores have just become really creative at how they stock the shelves. But if you know what you’re looking for? Yah, its really really obvious. Look, I’ve mentioned before that I have a wholesale foods account. The pricelist from the wholesaler back in March was 30 pages long, single column. Their current price list? 2 pages, double column. There’s SO MUCH stuff they can’t get right now. And what they can get, quantities still aren’t back to normal. And cleaning supplies? Look, I personally sell those at my work. There are entire brand lines of products that I haven’t seen even a single case of since this started.

And don’t get me started on Christmas. I hate to advocate buying your Christmas decor early. But this year? Buy it now. Or it won’t be there when you do go to the store. The ONLY thing we have plenty of stock of is pre-lit trees. We have NO backstock of ornaments. Barely any backstock of yard decor and blowups. No where NEAR enough backstock of lights. And the stock we do have? The selection isn’t near as wide as usual.

And then there’s the fact that the shutdown literally killed people. An awful lot of those “non-essential” medical treatments are only non-essential because the thing they treat was caught early enough to keep it from being an emergency. Or because they’re preventative, to keep things from becoming an emergency. Take away the availability of those treatments and suddenly there’s a lot more things that end up being emergencies, or that aren’t caught at all until it’s to late. And the lack of contact for seniors and the disabled stuck in assisted living and nursing homes? Yah, that killed some of them too, and set others back drastically.

Not to mention that all that assumes that we’ll HAVE a functional, GOOD, vaccine by the end of that 6 weeks. And yes, I know, it looks like we might. But might is not 100%. And no, I won’t be taking a vaccine that was rushed through trials that way. I WILL claim religious exemption if I need to. I’m not anti vaccine, they’re good things. But one that was rushed through like this? That we have NO CLUE what the long term outlook of it is? Fuck no. And I’m not the only one feeling twitchy at the way they’re rushing this vaccine through.

Look I get it. Nasty scary virus we don’t understand completely. But if the “cure” is doing more damage than the bug there’s a hell of a problem in how you’re doing it.


Election

Look, I’m not a Trump fan. He didn’t do as badly in his first 4 years as I’d been afraid, but still, not a fan. But there was no way in hell I was going to help vote in a geriatric dementia case with a California VP. Not that it matters since I live in upstate NY, and New York City dictates how the state’s votes go in national votes. My entire extended inlaw family could write in for the dog and it wouldn’t affect how the state’s results went.

I’m not any more worried by a Biden (or Harris) presidency than I was a Trump presidency. President not dictator or king. Not thrilled, but we’ll get through it just like we got through Trump’s presidency. Well, we’ll get through it if they can not sink the economy further by shutting everything down again cause COVID!!!

The general public’s response to the election has been my concern. I have friends on about every side of the political divide that you can imagine. And the divide between the news sources and media stories that each side sees, reads, and shares is drastic. To the point where its hard to tell that they’re talking about the same specific incident or happening.

And now the media has declared for Biden. But the legal side of it isn’t complete. What happens if the legal side of it changes that result? My entire FB and Twitter feed is nothing but cheering. The riots and hate if things don’t go their way is going to be even worse. And yah, outside of the idiots on each side (cause there are always idiots on every side) the majority of hate is coming from one side in particular. And its the side that seems to delight in eating their own too.

Look, I don’t care how you voted, or your political views of this mess. Take a deep breath. Make sure your home and family is secure. That you can withstand another 3 month shutdown, food, home, money wise. Cause while Biden/Harris don’t especially worry me, the rest of the political backlash has very major potential to go very bad.


Playing music on my Android phone

I keep a fair bit of music loaded onto my phone, specifically so that I can plug in headphones when I’m on my lunch break at work. I didn’t used to use headphones in the break room, but I have several co-workers who not only seem to enjoy loud and annoying TV shows (why is pranking people on TV such a big thing? And even if I didn’t mind that the hosts have especially annoying laughs), but who’ll walk into the break room and turn up the volume on the TV, and then hold loud and obnoxious conversations over the top of the TV. So, noise canceling headphones for the win!

With my newest phone I was just using Google Music. It came preinstalled, and since I don’t need anything fancy, or anything streaming, I didn’t care about any other features. The last couple weeks its been prompting me to “upload your music to Youtube for streaming anywhere!”, which I ignored. I don’t want streaming, I don’t want to use signal, I want to play the music already on the damn phone.

Yesterday I plugged in my headphones, tapped the music player, and got a message “Google Music is no longer available for streaming services, upload your music to Youtube to continue!”. And wouldn’t let me just play the music on my phone.

So I’m sitting there swearing at my phone (to the shock and amusement of my coworkers who are regularly shocked at the language that I know, why I don’t know), and scrolling through the Google Play Store trying to find a music player that didn’t cost anything, didn’t have ads, and just played MY MUSIC ALREADY ON MY PHONE DAMYOU. After thinking about it a minute longer, I disabled the Google Music app, and then went into the file manager, found my music, and tapped…..and it played! No special app required! Woot! No ads, no annoying “upload your music for streaming!!”, nothing! Just played.

So, lesson learned. If you have a reasonably recent model Android phone (and possibly older ones too, since I don’t have the newest and fanciest) you may not need a special app to play music!


Hairsticks

I’ve always loved hair decor. Decorative clips, barrets, hairsticks and so on. Unfortunately they don’t tend to love me, or at least my hair type. I have slippery fine hair, and unless I pin and hairspray the hell out of them they don’t stay in my hair. I’d long since given up on wearing anything of the sort except for very dress-up occasions because of it.

Then I ran across these:

The hairsticks are made from G10 laminate, the same stuff often used on knife handles. Its NOT slippery, infact has a fair bit of texture to it, which in turn means that they actually stay in my hair! The only hair elastic in that picture is at the base of the pony tail before I twisted it into a bun, and those sticks stayed in my hair for a good shake and another couple hours after the photo before I had to take them out to change clothes.

The hairsticks can be found here on Instagram or here on Facebook. If you’re on neither let me know and I’ll get the maker’s email to send you. He charges $30 a pair for single color sets like the ones pictured above, more for bicolor depending on the number of layers involved.

The chainmaille dragons come from here. And you totally need to check out Cedar’s stuff. After getting my dragons in the mail I was suddenly taken with a mad desire to make more decorative pendants for my hairsticks, and Cedar was wonderful about answering my questions about the hobby. Cause I TOTALLY needed a new hobby to add to my list don’t-cha-know.

For additional thoughts and pictures of the hairsticks see LawDog’s take on them here.

I have to add, I’ve now worn a pair of these hairsticks at work, all day, for the last week. They’ve actually STAYED in my hair for an 8hr day running around the sales floor and doing all sorts of physical labor. They’re awesome. I’ll also note that the black ones pictured are 7.5″ long, the others are 6.5″. If you have especially thick hair, or a longer neck, you may want them to be longer rather than shorter, but he makes them to order, so he can make them whatever length you want.


Tell me again

Tell me again, how lockdowns were the only option for handling this virus.

Tell me again, how lockdowns were the only way to keep the public safe.

Tell me again, how forcing those already confined into total solitude was the only way to save their lives.

Tell me again, how its all for the children.

There were and are absolutely intermediate steps that can and should be done to protect the vulnerable. The expansion of shopping services, and other hands off services. The expansion of sick days and the ability to work from home from businesses. The recognition that some people have fucked immune systems and need additional protection. I’d certainly like to see these things continued and expanded.

But the assumption that we, as a national and international community, needed to shut down everything in order to save lives?

No.

The long term health damage from these shutdowns is going to be astronomical, just in the first world countries involved. Physical health, mental health, and emotional health. And not just to the adults. Children NEED the social interactions we just forced them to miss, they NEED it in order to learn to be better adults. We just fucked the hell out of the next generation, and that sort of thing has the ability to snowball into additional generations as those kids grow up and have kids of their own.

The long term health damage done to non-first world countries due to the shutdown? Programs to alleviate starvation had to shut down. Programs to alleviate various major diseases had to shut down. Shutdowns that mean that their efforts could be set back years due to having to start over in some areas. Shutdowns that mean that they now have to start over at gaining local trust.

And the economic, world wide, damage done by the shut down and the following various health issues? Yah.

So tell me again…..