Hey look

locking everyone in their houses and not allowing them their normal activity levels very likely made it MORE likely they’d get sicker and die from the plague than if they’d been allowed to stay active!

Physical inactivity is associated with a higher risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes: a study in 48 440 adult patients

and

This study found the SARS-CoV-2 virus was three times more sensitive to the UV in sunlight than influenza A, with 90 percent of the coronavirus’s particles being inactivated after just half an hour of exposure to midday sunlight in summer.


Fancy Feast Canned Cat Food Shortage

I mentioned it before, that it was becoming hard to find on the shelves. I still can’t find any sort of official press release, or even news article on it. However after finding the Purina Fancy Feast FB page I found the following posts (screenshots so that folks without FB can see them).

And many many more comments like this.

I was able to order in a selection of mixed cases via Chewy, but the selection even of those was limited. If you have a cat who only eats these products you’re going to want to be prepared to order in bulk cases, or even have to find something else they’ll eat.


Its all connected

The COVID-19 vaccine will require billions of glass vials—but lockdowns are cratering the supply of recycled glass

When the coronavirus began to spread in the U.S., recycling rates started to drop. Some cities suspended curbside recycling; in other areas, the recycling centers that sort through waste had to close because workers couldn’t safely stay 6 feet apart. Several states suspended the bottle bills that pay consumers to bring containers back to stores. Some haulers started taking recyclables to landfills.

……

“We’ve designed our manufacturing process to use significant quantities of recycled glass, and so have all their other glass manufacturers in the country,” says Randy Burns, vice president of governmental affairs at O-I Glass, a major producer. “It takes less energy and heat to use recycled glass. So if you’ve designed your equipment to run on a high percentage of that, you have a choice to make if there’s no recycled content available. You can use more virgin raw materials, yes. But the equipment may not produce the same quantity of those products because it has to run at higher temperatures. And the configuration isn’t optimized for that input.”

Turns out that “non-essential” just means “some politician has decided we don’t need it”. But I knew that back in March 2020.


Unpopular opinion time

Over the last year I have slowly come to the realization that the phrase “if it saves just one life” might just be one of the most selfish sayings ever.

We’ll likely never know if the forced shutdowns and closures actually saved people’s lives (from dying of covid19) or not. They may well have.

The problem is that at the same time that the closures may have prevented deaths from covid19, they caused deaths from other things.

Suicide rates are up across the country, especially in the child populations. And the mental health of the remainder has taken a hell of a hit.

The elderly and people living in community housing are suddenly dying of loneliness and depression as their contact with family and the outside world was cut off.

Reports of drug overdoses and deaths have also continued to rise, reports of domestic abuse and rape as well.

And we’ll likely never know what the long term medical side effects of the forced lack of “non-essential” medical care for an extended period did to the world-wide population.

Unemployment continues to climb, small businesses continue to fail at astronomical rates. The tolls of high unemployment on a population are well known, all by itself it means an increase in suicide rates, drug overdose, and domestic abuse. How many small businesses that had been around for generations have to close due to the shut downs for it to count? What do you think that has done to the mental health of those people, to watch their businesses fail?

Every business that fails, every now unemployed person, is that many fewer to pay taxes. And all those stimulus checks and payments have to come from somewhere. What happens when there’s fewer people paying taxes? I can guarantee that the various politicians won’t be taking pay cuts to make up the difference.

The food supply chain still isn’t back to normal. We’re damn close to a year out from the original forced shutdown here in the USA, but the grocery store shelves STILL aren’t back to where they were prior. Never mind the supply chains for so many other things.

And that’s all without getting into the political climate. Something close to half the country now believes that the corrupt run the country and nothing they can say or do (legally) is going to make a difference. Something close to the other half of the country is happily calling for the blood, forced unemployment and re-education, and even death, of the first half. Oh sure, it’s more involved than that, but as someone who’s had a front row seat to how both sides think, I think that pretty well sums it up.

All those people who suicided due to the shutdown. All those people who died from lack of medical care, or who will die due to lack of medical care, during the shutdown. All those people who’s lives are now in a downward spiral because of the shutdown. They all had as much a right to live as the folks the shutdown was supposed to protect. “If it saves one life” is fucking useless if it kills 2. Its selfish as hell is what it is.

All of this has been running through my brain for a while. It’s part of why I’ve stuck to memes so much. I’m not prone to depression, but god it’s depressing to look at the bigger picture.


Really??

Look, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I firmly believe that human stupidity and greed is capable of making up for any such, and that the average human couldn’t keep a secret that long anyway.

But when they do stupid shit like this:

Its enough to make even me wonder.

I’d love to see the various politicians get their asses handed to them, but I’m starting to think that the ones we really need to go after is the media…..


What I’m seeing in stores

Observations from the last few weeks, both at work and while shopping.

The grocery stores are well stocked on flour, well, untill you look closer. Lots of bread flour, all purpose flour, and bleached white. Some speciality flours (I actually found rye at my local grocery for the first time EVER), but NO whole wheat in any brand.

Is there a shortage of canned cat foods? Specifically Fancy Feast, which I’ve now seen to be short at several different stores, including one pet store, but also related sized cans in at least a couple brands (for all I know they’re all made by the same factories, I’ve been to lazy to check). Also, kitty litter seems to be short, it sold out when the original shut down happened, but recovered quickly. Now suddenly its short again.

Feminine sanitary products shortages. IE: tampons, pads etc. The grocery store I shop at the most, the one in the larger city near my work, has had less than full shelves since this all started back in March, but about Oct-ish I noticed the shelves were decidedly empty looking, and Nov-ish I noticed they cut the available shelf space in half. Now even that shelf space is looking pretty damn empty. I forgot to check at my local to home grocery last time I was in there.

Cleaning supplies are still fucked. Shelves only look full because of creative stocking and random brand availability, if you actually look close there’s ALOT of products still missing. Though I actually saw multi-surface 409 at work a couple weeks ago, it was one case, but it was the first I’ve seen since this started. In addition brands that we were able to get all summer are suddenly not available at all. Specific examples include Spray Nine and Greased Lightening. And I won’t discuss toilet bowl cleaners in any brand, lets just say that if you see it you’d better grab a bottle, cause god only knows when you’ll see it again.

Paper goods do seem to be recovering, though they’re still not back to normal levels.


Snowflake stars

A large part of what has kept me sane this year has been the discovery of chainmail.

Being able to create a whole and entire pretty little thing in the space of an hour or two makes me smile. Even though most days I can only get 2 or 3 such things done in a day before my hands throw a fit, it still makes me smile.

So I decided to spread the cheer a bit, and I mailed out a BUNCH of snowflake stars to friends and family this year.


Christmas Memes

If you follow me on FB or Twitter you’ve already seen these, but I thought I’d collect them all together for one meme dump here.

One question before I start. Is there interest in me continuing meme dumps into the new year? I’m still going strong on FB, and people there are definitely appreciative, and I know the smiles are welcome, and I appreciate knowing I made someone smile. Do you all want this to continue here?

Read moreChristmas Memes


Vaccine numbers, reality

If one more person tells me “omg, we have a vaccine, we can get back to normal!!!!”…..

Ok, numbers.

Pfizer’s vaccine requires two doses. Pfizer says it plans to produce 1,300,000,000 doses by the end of 2021. That’s 650,000,000 vaccinated people if everything goes smoothly and there’s no unexpected problems.

According to the US Census bureau there’s over 330,000,000 people in the USA. So IN THEORY Pfizer can vaccinate everyone in the USA by the end of 2021 no problem.

Of course, Pfizer is also sending some of that vaccine outside of the USA, (which makes sense, because if we don’t vaccinate the entire god-dammed world the virus is just going to spread and mutate to the point where who knows if the vaccine will work,) but hey, there’s other vaccines about to be on the market. Let’s assume (and as of right now that’s a hell of an assumption, but hey, we’ll run with it) Moderna can also produce enough vaccines to vaccinate 650,000,000 people by the end of 2021.

The same Census bureau link above says estimated world population is over 7,730,000,000. Assuming vaccine production as stated above, thats approx 1/7 of the world’s population vaccinated. But hey, Australia is also working on a vaccine, so another 650,000,000 people vaccinated (maybe, if we’re lucky). And while I’ve not been following TO closely I’m sure other countries are also trying to develop vaccines.

But 7.7 billion people is ALOT of doses of vaccine, even if all the other vaccines are single shots not doubles like Pfizer’s.

Assuming that nothing goes wrong with production or distribution. Hint, things are already trying to go wrong.

That assumes that all vaccines are equally good at preventing people from getting sick, not all countries medical establishments are up to USA standards.

Or that they’ll actually stop the spread of the virus. Hint, last time I checked Pfizer’s vaccine stopped you from feeling the symptoms of Covid19, but they didn’t actually know if it stopped you from SPREADING the virus, which is a bit of a loophole since even if everyone in the world WANTED the vaccine there are people who CAN NOT get it.

And hell, they don’t actually know how many people, minimum, they have to vaccinate in order to ensure herd immunity. So while yes, they probably don’t actually have to vaccinate all 7.7 billion people in order to stop the spread, they have no way of knowing when they’ll hit that benchmark.

And that assumes everyone is willing and able to take the vaccine. As noted above there are people who are going to be medically advised NOT to take it. And polls are varying, by ALOT, of what percentage of people are going to be WILLING to take the vaccine, at least here in the USA. I’m seeing numbers saying between 30 to over 50% of people are either planning on refusing the vaccine, or are planning on waiting as long as possible because they worry about the side effects. Right or wrong it’s going to happen that people are going to refuse it, and it’s not going to be just the usual vaccine refusers either.

Covid19 isn’t going to go away any time soon. And if you think all the various businesses that keep being partially or fully shut down are going to last through another year of this mess you’re dreaming. Nor can our government afford to bail out the entire USA for another year, or years.

Nor are you going to get everyone to wear a mask, this is the USA, right or wrong our fight reflex is to strong. It’s not going to happen. Making people criminals for not wearing a mask, while releasing criminals because OMG they might get sick in prison, is counter productive.

Look, if you feel safer wearing a mask, wear it. If you feel safer keeping your kid out of school cause you’re worried about the school spread then do it (hint, more and more studies are showing remarkably little spread via in person schooling) then figure out a way to keep them properly educated and socialized from home. If you feel safer not getting your nails done, hair cut, or eating out, then do what you need to do to make you feel safe.

And I do think that the spread of hands free shopping, and deliveries, and curb-side pick-ups and the like is a good thing. As is the recognition that the general public is a filthy mass and maybe we should all be cleaning a bit more to stop the spread of things like the flu. And I’d definitely like to see a wider recognition that if you’re sick, even if it’s “just a cold”, then stay home.

But this screaming panic over this is doing SO MUCH MORE damage than the virus itself. Even if all the long term side effects of getting it turn out to be truly bad.

No, I don’t want your grandma to die of Covid so that the rest of us can have “normal” lives. But I don’t want your grandma dying of loneliness and despair in a nursing home because she hasn’t seen her family in person in months, or even touched another human being, either.

I don’t want women dying of breast cancer, or ovarian cancer, because they missed their annual checkup which would have found it and so it doesn’t get caught until to late. Or any one of another from a HUGE list of medical problems that preventive and voluntary medical procedures are meant to catch.

And I’m sick to hell already of watching small business after small business fail this year after their owners have struggled to keep them going.

And all that IS happening.

And maybe, just maybe, consider that the USA’s news cycle thrives on the negative, and that maybe, just maybe, you’re being fed deliberately bad news in order to hook you in. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s how they survive. I noticed it all the way back on 9/11/2001, so its not new.

So take a deep breath, step away from the news pages telling you how bad it is, and figure out how to live.

Edit:

shortly after posting the above I found THIS. *sarcasm* But hey, we’re protecting the children, so its all ok. */sarcasm*

And its not just the kids. Winter is a horrible time for depresion anyway, especially after the holidays. This year? Well, the holidays aren’t going to be very holiday-ish. I can guarantee that more and more adults are feeling depressed this year too. Between the fear of the virus, fear of job security, fear of loss of income, and how am I going to feed my family, on top of lack of socializing and interacting. I’ve certainly seen deteriorating interpersonal skills in my customers since this started. I’m sure the depression is right there with it. If you need additional help to get through this make sure you get it.

And yah, stay away from the news. Its not worth it.